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Rājasthān the land of Rajasthanis, ("the land of kings"), is the largest state of the Republic of India by area. It is located in the northwest of India. It encompasses most of the area of the large, inhospitable Great Indian Desert (Thar Desert), which has an edge paralleling the Sutlej-Indus river valley along its border with Pakistan. The state is bordered by Pakistan to the west, Gujarat to the southwest, Madhya Pradesh to the southeast, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to the northeast and Punjab to the north. Rajasthan covers 10.4% of India, an area of 342,269 square kilometres.

Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state. Geographical features include the Thar Desert along north-western Rajasthan and the termination of the Ghaggar River near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga of the Indus Valley Civilization, which are the oldest in the Indian subcontinent discovered so far.

One of the world's oldest mountain ranges, "The Aravalli Range", cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, famous for Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern Rajasthan has the world famous Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site known for its bird life. It also has two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska Tiger Reserve, and a famous temple in Khatu, Sikar district, dedicated to Khatu Shyam Ji.

Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan

Much of the popularity of Rajasthan is attributed to its magnificent forts and palaces. These forts, built by the famous Rajput kings, feature architectural brilliance, legends of the past, historical events and offer glimpses of the bygone days. The forts make up the key tourist attractions in the state. Many of them are located on hill tops overlooking the towns below. The forts exist as store houses to a number of other attractions.
Jal Mahal, Jaipur
click to enlarge
City Palace - Udaipur: Udaipur is popularly known as the Jewel of Mewar, the city was founded by Maharajah Jai Singh in 16th century. The city of Udaipur endorses three major lake, Pichhola, Fatehsagar and Udaisagar. The three lakes add to the magic of the city.
Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist
Amber Fort, Jaipur: Amber derives its name from Ambikashwar, a title of Shiva or from Ambarisha. The oldest inscription found here dates back from 954 A.D. The place was once under the hold of the Mina tribe from whom it was wrested by the Kachhawaha Rajputs in the 11th century.The sprawling Amber Fort is a typical example of what the lives of our gallant Rajputs were like militant, adventurous, temperamental and also self-indulgent.
Amber set in picturesque location, Amber is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh, it sprawls on the hillside.
Hawa Mahal or the 'Palace of Winds', Jaipur: They could see, but could not be seen. At Hawa Mahal, you could relive the bygone era of concealed freedom. As you look below at the street you realize the architectural marvel that Hawa Mahal is. For even while the women of the royal family could not participate actively, the intricately latticed 365 Jharokhas made it possible for them to partake of the festivities, without being noticed.
Other Palaces & Forts in Jaipur
City Palace, Jaipur
Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh: Chittorgarh The town of the brave, known for its massive fort atop a hill, which can be singled out for its glorious past. The fort has a chequered history, it has witnessed some of the bloodiest battles in history, three great Sakes and some of the most heroic deeds of valour, which are still sung by the local musicians.
The Fort A standing sentinel to the courage and valour of Chittorgarh, it stands tall over a 180 meter high hillock covering a massive area of 700 acres. The fort is believed to have been built by the Maurya rulers in 7th century A.D. The fort is a treasure house of history and historical monuments, the approach to the fort is very difficult, the one mile steep serpentine thoroughfare is exhaustive and the fort is reached through huge seven pols or gates, which are infact the strong points having a water tower and massive iron spiked doors. It was ravaged thrice, and each time phoenix-like it rose again.

Allaudin Khilji was the first to sack Chittaur in 1303, legend and history corroborate that this was because of his passionate desire to abduct Rani Padmini. Yet she preferred death to dishonour, and commited Jauhar along with the other ladies of the court.
The palace is a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The construction of Hawa Mahal is credited to Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and dates back to 1799. The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds was a thoughtful effort to enable the ladies of the royal household to look at the outside world. It was a welcome respite for the ladies of the royal household who had to follow the purdah system.
The Important monuments inside the fort are:

Vijay Stambh or Victory Tower - Built by Rana Kumbha in 1440, to commemorate the victory over the combined forces of the kings of neighboring Malwa and Gujarat, this tower is 120 ft. high and has a girth of 30 ft. at the base, the nine storeyed high limestone structure is richly ornamented from top to bottom.

Kirti Stabbh or Tower of Fame
- Built in 12th centuary, dedicated to Lord Sri Adinath Rishabdeo, the first Jain Tirthankar. The 22 metre high structure is replete with figures from Jain pantheon.
The rooms are decorated with cusped arches, inland stones of pink, and green lotus leaves and painted mirrors. Apartments like the Bada Mahal, Kush Mahal, Ajjan Niwas, Phool Mahal and Dhola Mahal. All enhance the romance of the elegant setting.
January / February
Dungarpur
Baneshwar Fair
January / February
Nagaur
Nagaur Fair
January
Bikaner
Camel Festival
February
Bharatpur
Brij Festival
February
Jaisalmer
Desert Festival
February
 
Shekhawati Fair
March
Jaipur
Elephant Festival
March
Jaipur
Gangaur Festival
March - April
Udaipur
Mewar Festival
May
Ajmer
Urs Ajmer Sharif
June
Mount Abu
Summer Festival
July - August
Jaipur
Teej Festival
October - November
Pushkar
Pushkar Fair
Jaisalmer: Jaisalmer is popularly known for its Sand Dunes.
When
Where
Festival / Fare
Lake Palace, Udaipur: Lake Palace or Jag Niwas is regarded as one of the most beautiful palace of the world, the mere sight is mesmerizing as this white wonder arises out of the waters of lake Pichola. Built in 1746, by Maharana Jagat Singh II on the island of Jag Niwas, as a summer resort. This cool haven is a marvel in stone and is the best example of Mughal- Rajput architecture. The courtyards lined with columns, spectacular terrace gardens, foliage and fountains all add to its striking architecture.
attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this palace, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors.
RITRJ01 - Jaipur (The Pink City)
2 nights / 3 days
RITRJ02 - Jaipur & Pushkar
3 nights / 4 days
RITRJ03 - Jaipur & Ranthambore
4 nights / 5 days
RITRJ04 - Mount Abu
2 nights / 3 days
RITRJ05 - Mount Abu & Uaipur
3 nights / 4 days
RITRJ06 - Jaisalmer
2 nights / 3 days
RITRJ08 - Mt Abu, Uaipur & Jaipur
5 nights / 6 days
RITRJ08 - Jodhpur & Jaisalmer
3 nights / 4 days
RITRJ07 - Jaisalmer & Bikaner
3 nights / 4 days
RITRJ11 - Mini Rajasthan
7 nights / 8 days
Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Ajmer
RITRJ12 - Full Rajasthan
11 nights / 12 days
Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Chittorgarh, Mount Abu, Udaipur, Pushkar, Ajmer