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Colors of Rajasthan Tour Destinations

It can be a case of mistaken identity if you go by your first impressions of the capital city of India- Delhi. Behind all the frantic and frenzy of a modern city there lies a serene peace which is an integral part of Delhi. A city of dynamic contrasts and colors, Delhi is deep with history and rich with culture. A travel to Delhi will cast an irresistible spell of charm to the tourist. Both 'Old' and New Delhi exert a beguiling charm on visitors. Explore Old City and get immersed in the Mughal past. Stroll down the labyrinthine streets of Old Delhi before coming out in the lush boulevards of imperial New Delhi, with its planned governmental offices and tree-lined avenues. The commercial hub of Delhi is Connaught Place, where you'll find most of the offices of travel agents, tours operators, banks and airlines. 'Old' Delhi is two kilometers north of Connaught Place, and its main thoroughfare is Chandni Chowk.

Mandawa lies midway between Fatehpur and Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan, in the heart of the Shekhawati region. It is connected to Delhi and Jodhpur through good roads. Fort Mandawa, once a stronghold of the founder dynasty of Mandawa, is now a heritage hotel. Mandawa is famous for its richly frescoed havelis, or palatial Rajasthani style houses, the major ones being the Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, the Hanuman Prasad Goeka Haveli and Murmuria Haveli. The bazaar at the center of Mandawa has an arched entrance that depicts the Hindu deity, Lord Krishna, leading his cows.


This "oasis in the desert" is a day's drive from Jaipur. Founded by Rao Bikaji in 1488, Bikaner is the only green spot amidst miles of desert terrain. This verdure of Bikaner can be partly attributed to the Bikaner Gang Canal built in 1928. Older parts of Bikaner are surrounded by an old fort wall, enclosing ornately frescoed "havelis" with mirror work interiors and elaborate facades, temples and buzzing bazaars. The Junagarh Fort, built in 1593, is made of yellow and red sandstone, with intricate carvings, mirror work and frescoes. The Lalgarh Palace and temples at Bhand Sagar are some of the other places of interest in Bikaner.

Jaisalmer, founded by Prince Jaisal in 1156 as a trading post between India and the West, is surrounded by the forbidding, yet beautiful Thar Desert of Rajasthan. The Jaisalmer Fort, set atop a hilltop, is built of yellow sandstone that shimmers in the bright sunlight and gives the fort the illusion of being gilded. The Rajmahal Palace, with beautiful stone screens, is one of Rajasthan's oldest palaces. Jaisalmer also has some palatial havelis, like the Badal Mahal and Patwon ki Haveli, which have beautiful interiors with frescoes, murals and ornate pillars.

Built by Rao Jodha in 1459, Jodhpur is located on the edge of the Thar Desert. Meherangarh Fort, built on a sheer cliff, has walls almost 40 feet high, with 7 impressive, heavily fortified gates. It encloses the Phool Mahal, Umaid Vilas and Ajit Vilas. The Fort also houses the Old Fort Museum that showcases palanquins, furniture and weapons of the former Maharanas of Jodhpur. The Old City is enclosed within tall walls of the Fort. The Sire bazaar has red sandstone buildings and richly carved walls. The Umaid Bhawan Palace, perched atop Chittar Hill, has 347 rooms and interiors of marble and sandstone.

Jaipur, known as the Pink City because of its pink washed buildings, has fine forts, bazaars, havelis and museums. It lies four hours' drive from Delhi over the smooth National Highway 8. Founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan state. The mathematics loving Maharaja had the streets laid out in a mathematical grid. The Royal Palace of Jaipur occupies the center of this grid, covering almost 1/7th of Jaipur's area. It includes the Mubarak Mahal with a white marble fa'ade, the Diwan-I-Khas, Diwan-I-Am and the Chandra Mahal. The Hawa Mahal, to the East of the palace complex, has an elaborate fa'ade of pink sandstone. It once housed the king's zenana (palace of the ladies). The Jantar mantar observatory, built by Jai Singh, gives accurate readings of planetary positions in the sky.

The site of the famed "monument of love", the Taj Mahal, Agra stands on the banks of the river Yamuna. Agra also houses the Red Fort and I'timad-ud-Daulah. The Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan in the memory of his deceased wife, is a monument of surpassing beauty. The luminescent white marble of the Taj Mahal seems to change hues depending on the position of the sun in the sky. The arched entrances have domed pavilions on its sides. The tomb of Mumtaz Mahal has Persian calligraphy on the outer walls and is inlaid with precious stones. Shah Jehan's tomb, similarly inlaid, lies nearby.

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