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Pushkar Fair has a lot more to offer than just camel fair

The greatly awaited Pushkar Fair is right upon us, scheduled to begin on 4th November and will culminate till 12th November on the day of Hindu festival Kartik Purnima. There’s nothing like Pushkar Camel Fair. It’s a celebration of the uniqueness of Rajasthan and experiencing the festival is the dream of every traveler. This is the time when Pushkar comes truly alive with multiple hues.

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The small sleepy town comes out of its hibernation mode and becomes the playground of people from the world over. The history of Pushkar Fair is a hundred years old but the festival keeps not only that historic spirit alive but also has new age elements to it now.

Primarily, thousands of pilgrims and cattle merchants flock the town for holy rituals or the trade of cattle and livestock. But, that’s not all; Pushkar fair has a lot to offer to the travellers who are neither pilgrims nor traders. Buzzing markets, fascinating ghats and activity grounds are enough to catch the fancy of travellers and photographers.

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Sunrise and Sunset: The vibes and the views of Pushkar switch within every hour right from the dawn to dusk, added to that the starry sky above ignited Pushkar Lake gives a heavenly chill in nerves. During early mornings and evenings, when the dust mixes with golden light falling from the sun it’s an absolute delight to watch the camels and the camel traders in the Mela ground. You not only get to see the heard of camels but also get a glimpse into the life of a rural Rajasthan, where the traders heat up the chullahs (a kind of stove used for cooking the food ) and prepare their food with minimum ingredients. Thousands of people from the world across come to capture only this spectacle.

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Markets: The narrow streets and lanes of the town have hidden within themselves a whole world of intrigue; from the local artifacts and handicrafts to funky apparels and chunky jewellery, Pushkar’s cozy markets are the treasure trove for a shopping enthusiast.

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Ghats: The Ghats in the holy land of Brahma are said to be nothing less than those of Varanasi. Roaming around the ghats with a soothing sound of hymns and bells renders tranquility to the visitors. While the night scene becomes even more fascinating when evening aarti is performed on these Ghats. Illuminated with multitude of lights the Ghats and lake take the spectators into a world of solace and peace.

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Food: Pushkar is also one heaven for foodies. From street stalls to roadside cafes, wide range of cuisines waits for food lovers to visit and enjoy sumptuous cuisine of Pushkar. Special Masala chai in Kulhad, Authentic Italian pizza, unique Poha Dal Pakwaan and Ugma ji ki kachori are a few to dishes to tantalize your taste buds. However, as you walk down the streets of Pushkar amidst the aroma of freshly made baatis, puris and kachoris being fried right on the street, the whiff of gulkand and the sight of tempting malpuas dipped in sugar syrup will call out only one thing- pure bliss.

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Adventure and Activities: Apart from the buying and selling of livestock, the fair has become an important tourist attraction. Competitions such as the ‘matka phod’, ‘longest moustache’ and ‘bridal competition’ are the main draws for this fair, which attracts thousands of tourists. In recent years, the fair has also included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar Club and a team of foreign tourists. Pushkar Camel Fair has so many events and activities like camel cart ride, horse riding, bullock cart ride and giant wheel that your day will be full but we advise you to take out a little time to stroll in the narrow lanes of the town.

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For your convenience, here’s a tentative impression of the flow of events at Pushkar Camel fair 2019.

4th to 9th November – Cattle Trading
Cattle trading is at its peak during these days along with a variety of cattle contests.

10th to 11th November – Cultural Galore
These two days will see some cultural activities like dance shows, music performances sponsored by the Rajasthan State Government.

12th November – Holy Dips
This is the Holy Day when people take dips in the Pushkar Lake, and other religious ceremonies take place.

How to reach Pushkar:

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By Air

The nearest airport to Pushkar is in Kishangarh, which is 36 kilometres away. Apart from this, Jaipur Airport is the major airport, which is 140 Kms and well-connected to major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata. Once you reach at the airport, you can hire a cab to reach Pushkar. The journey from airport to the city will take approximately 3 hours. You can either pre-book a cab or hire from any of the taxi vendors outside the airport.

By Bus

Regular buses between Jaipur and Ajmer ply every hour. However, buses from Delhi to Ajmer and further to Pushkar are easily available. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation runs deluxe and semi-deluxe buses (both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned) connecting Ajmer to nearby cities and then transport you to Pushkar for a very nominal fare.

By Train

You will need to take a train to Ajmer and then take a 30-minute drive to Pushkar. The Ajmer railway station is well-connected with major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bhopal, and Bangalore. Some of the most popular trains that run daily on this route are Ajmer Shatabdi and Ajmer Rajdhani. Apart from these, other trains are Chetak Express, Aii Sdah Express, Aravalli Express and Bsb Express. Once you reach at the station, you can hire a taxi to reach Pushkar.

So what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy India’s Biggest and world’s famous festival Pushkar Fair.

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The Walled City marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The royal city of India Jaipur has recently made the entry in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  For its arcade and royal architecture, Jaipur has always been on the heritage list.  The announcement was made after the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at Baku (Azerbaijan). As Jantar Mantar has been already marked as World Heritage Site and now as the wall city has bagged the title is a proud moment for all of us.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his happiness through Twitter and posted “Jaipur is a city associated with culture and valour. Elegant and energetic, Jaipur’s hospitality draws people from all over. Glad that this city has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site by @UNESCO.

“The city was proposed to be nominated for its value of being an exemplary development in town planning and architecture that demonstrates an amalgamation and important exchange of ideas in the late medieval period. In town planning, it shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas that resulted in the form of the city,” UNESCO

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Jaipur you made us proud!

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Things no one tells you about the marvellous doors of City Palace, Jaipur.

Apart from its magical architecture, the royal residence, and a museum, the city palace has lesser known but not less beautiful gates in its third courtyard. In the inner courtyard of City Palace, Pritam Niwas Chowk has four small gates known as Ridhi Sidhi Pol, which are elaborately decorated in brilliant colours. This courtyard is dominated by Chandra Mahal which is said to be the most charming courtyard in City Palace.

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Each door has a different role to play and a story to tell. These gates are adorned with themes symbolising four seasons and are dedicated to a specific Hindu God & Goddess.

  1. Lotus Gate– Beautified with lotus petals and stunning floral patterns representing summer season, Lotus gate is dedicated to Lord Shiv and his consort Parvati. Lotus gate surrounds the statue of God and a motif of sun. The beguiling colours and detailed lotus flower work all over the gate will leave you stunned.

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  1. Peacock gate-It is one of the most famous and admired gates of them all. This gate is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and symbolizes the autumn season. It is located on the North-East side of the courtyard. The carved peacocks surround the statue of God and are brilliantly decorated with colourful paintings.

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  1. Rose gate– The repeated petal pattern represents winter season and is dedicated to Goddess Devi. Rose gate, which is in the third number in the series of the four gates, is beautifully designed and painted with rose petals that also surround the statue of God and a motif of sun.

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  1. Lehariya Gate– The beautifully vivid green coloured gate or the green gate represents the green of spring season. This indicates the start of the spring and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Lehariya means waves, which was how it got it’s name. It also has a statue of Lord Ganesha surrounded by the motifs of waves.

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The above-stated gates give us the spiritual connection and the essence of the life of the medieval period in India. The City Palace surely makes you fall in love with its art.

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5 Must Know Facts about City Palace

The City Palace, Jaipur is one of the most admired and finest attractions among the places to visit in the Pink City. With an organized layout of large courtyards, perfectly manicured gardens, and magnificent mahals, the palace is still a home to the royal family of Jaipur.

It houses beautiful amalgamation of Mughal and Rajput architecture and narrates the city’s glorious historical past which can be seen at the major attractions of the City Palace, thus making it a perfect sight for every history enthusiast and photographers.

While making a trip to Jaipur, make sure you reserve a day to visit the corridors of the City Palace and live a day like the royals!

Royal History

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Located in the heart of the Pink City, the City Palace has been the official residence of rulers of Jaipur. It was built in accordance with the Vastu Shastra, under the guidance of Sawai Jai Singh II by two renowned architects- Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, depicting the fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles.

Story Behind The Gates

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Inside the City Palace, the Pritam Niwas Chowk houses 4 gates where each has a different role to play and a story to tell. These gates represent four seasons and Hindu gods and goddesses. The Peacock Gate with motifs of peacocks represents autumn and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Lotus Gate have continual flower and petal pattern representing summer season and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati.  The Green Gate is suggestive of spring and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Lastly, the Rose Gate with repeated petal pattern represents winter season and is dedicated to Goddess Devi.

Magnificent Structures inside the City Palace

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The legendary City Palace is said to comprise one-seventh of the walled city of Jaipur with temples, edifices, courtyards, gardens and a museum. Some major attractions include Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Mubarak Mahal, and Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. Diwan-I-Khas, decorated with plush chandeliers was once a private audience hall of the royals is now an art gallery. Interestingly, the hall also features two huge sterling silver vessels which are officially recorded as the world’s largest sterling silver vessels.

The City Palace Museum

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The City Palace Museum which is now called Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Museum houses largest and finest collection of arms in India. It includes- swords, double-edged cutters, daggers, knives, axes and arrows of various shapes and sizes. The sword of Maharaja Man Singh that weighs about 5 kilograms is one of the attractive exhibits. It also has a vintage collection of baggis.  One of the major attractions is Victoria Baggi which was gifted by Prince of Wales to the Maharaja in 1876. Also on display are the mahadol, a palanquin with a single bamboo bar that was used for carrying the idols of Hindu gods during festive processions.

A Royal Abode to the Royal family

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The Chandra Mahal is a seven-storied cream-white structure, sumptuously adorned with unique paintings and floral decorations with mirrored walls and ceilings. It has screened balconies and a pavilion at the roof from where a panoramic view of the city can be seen. It is set amidst well laid out gardens and a decorative lake in the foreground. At present, the royal family resides in the Chandra Mahal.

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Feed Your Musical & Arty Soul At Ranthambore Festival 2018

Ever wondered what life would be like in some other state than the one you’re currently living in? What if we told you that a grand festival is waiting in an old palace somewhere in the deserts of Rajasthan for you to truly witness what living in Rajasthan feels like? It’s not just a bunch of turbans or camels we’re talking about. It’s about everything that makes Rajasthan the colourful and celebrated desert it is.

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Ranthambhore Festival in the Nahargarh palace of Ranthambhore has for you a three day carnival to get into the spirit of Rajasthan and admire the beauty of the state while closely experiencing the quintessence it is made of.

Imagine yourself in a palace, listening to the rustic, full-throated and soulful voice of a Rajasthani folk singers, playing indigenous instruments – the dholak, dhol, ektara, khartal, morchang and sarangi, attending music concerts and watching documentaries, eating lavishly some regal supper, learning new art, talking to people from different countries,  sitting under the stars and venturing into the forest nearby. Can’t get any better, right?

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Indulge in the collaboration of art, music, dance, food, cinematography, adventure and intellectual activities and shopping at the Ranthambhore Festival on the 19th, 20th and 21st of January.

The festival has activities enough for you to remain in awe of the exquisiteness of the humble state.

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A festival for you to experience, learn and take back with you the art of the state with activities like drum circle, folk instrument classes and performances, meditation and yoga, hot air ballooning, open mic, culinary venture, musical performances from around the globe, documentary screening, music and nature conservation, bicycle tour of Ranthambore’s environs,  souk, mid-night star gazing session, traditional block printing workshop,  pottery workshop and the most esteemed  Royal Secret Supper.

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If this doesn’t make you pack your bags right away, we don’t know what will.

 

Date-19, 20 and 21 January

Venue– Nahargarh palace, Ranthambhore, Rajasthan.

Getting there- By Air

If you are travelling from Jaipur, the airport is 160 kms from Nahargarh Palace, Ranthambore. Jaipur is well connected to all metros with daily flights operated by Indigo, Go Air, Jet Airways, and Indian Airlines. Once you land, you can take a prepaid airport taxi or a private taxi to Ranthambore. This will cost you approximately Rs 2500.

By Train (Recommended)

Sawai Madhopur station is only three kilometers (ten minutes drive) from Ranthambore and is well connected to almost every city in India by superfast trains, being the most important railway junction in Rajasthan.

By Road

Ranthambore is well connected with all major highways and if you’re planning a road trip, here’s what you need to know. Jaipur to Ranthambore 180 Km (Approx. 3h via Rajasthan State Hwy 24) Delhi to Ranthambore- 381 Km(Approx. 6 Hours via NH8 and NH 11A) Mumbai to Ranthambore – 1031 Km (Approx. 16 h 51 min via NH 3) Udaipur to Ranthambore- 388 Km (Approx. 6h 10 min via NH 76 and RJ SH 29) Agra to Ranthambore- 239 Km (Approx. 4h 23 min via via RJ SH 1) Ahmedabad to Ranthambore – 640 Km (Approx. 9h 47 min via NH8 and NH 76)

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Gangaur Celebration : A Colorful Affair In Rajasthan

Every year the festival of Gangaur is observed in the state of Rajasthan during the month of March-April.  Traditionally the festival celebrates Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, however there is a lot more to the festival then meets the eye. For those who want to know, Gangaur is not just a one day festival where people offer their prayers to the deities. The festival holds a lot more than that.idolsGangaur is preceded by Sinjara, a day when women dress up, pamper themselves and put beautiful designs made by Heena on their hands. The women celebrate Sinjara by adorning themselves with beautiful jewellery and clothing and also by eating traditional sweet Ghewar. In the city of Jaipur this is the day when women prepare for the festival of Gangaur too. People bring beautiful idols of Isar and Gangaur (Shiva and Parvati) in their house and women design beautiful clothes for the idols along-with preparing sweets.isar-gangaurThe next day, on the festival of Gangaur, women come together in groups and pray to the Goddess Parvati for blissful married life. The rituals performed during the festival are also very beautiful and have been performed by the women of Rajasthan for centuries. Isar and Gangaur, adorned in beautiful clothing, are placed on a beautiful stage of made of flowers and grass. Women then festoon their head with Tika, hands with Heena and beautify their eyes with kohl.  The whole ceremony is accompanied with beautiful Folk Songs that women keep singing.pooja

 

grassAnyone who visits this festival ceremony for the first time will definitely be charmed by the beauty, simplicity and colors of the festival.  Post the ceremony one can easily notice many small dots (Bindis) of different colors made with turmeric, vermilion, Kohl and heena that are put by women as a part of festival’s rituals, on the wall.  The festivities do not end here, in the evening, Isar and Gangaur, are again treated with sweets and then fed water. dotsOn the day of Gangaur Pink City gets to see a royal Gangaur procession, which starts from City Palace, find its way through the Pink City and ends at talkatora. Over the years, numbers of festivals and fairs have changed in nature – however, the procession has retained its traditional charm. The tourists and visitors get to witness the traditional dances and performances throughout the procession.2015 aThis year the procession will include: the cannon carriage, decorated rath, ornamented horses and camels. A number of bands will also accompany the procession.  The sawari of the Gangaur will be almost at the end followed by Dhalet Chobdar, women in traditional dress with Kalash and mounted police on horse.

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Jaipur Beat witnesses ‘Dancing with horses’ event at Jaipur

Just when we thought Rajasthan is all about colors, dance, music, festivals, here comes one more event to add a feather in the cap! The widely known and celebrated ‘Dancing With Horses’ event that was also performed on the occasion of Diamond Jubilee of Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle in London – was performed in Jaipur for the first time today i.e. 14th March.

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You have been to jungle safari, desert safari, so how about experiencing a horse safari now? Especially when the weather in Jaipur is neither too hot nor too cold !

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Dancing with Horses is an award-winning spectacle featuring dancing horses, tribal dancers, cavalry tent peggers and folk musicians of Rajasthan. The show has excerpts choreographed at the world premium of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee that was held at Royal Windsor Horse Show, 2012.
The show was one of the most exciting events in Jaipur. It was a truly magnificent sound and light theatrical experience showcasing dancing story tellers and musicians who set the stage for the most precious jewel of India’s heritage; the Marwari Horse.

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As many as 30 horses, 15 riders, 3 foreign dancers, 20 Indian cultural dancers, 10 musicians and 5 horse trainers participated in the event. There was no entry fee for the show and a crazily large number of foreign tourists, members of the erstwhile royal families, celebrities, bureaucrats, defence service personnel attended and applauded the event.

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The spectacular night took the audience on a beautiful journey through horsemanship, cavalry displays, music and dance.

The event held at the Rajasthan Polo Club in Jaipur, was presented by Francesca Kelly and Raghuvendra Singh Dundlod of the Jaipur-based Indigenous Horse Society of India. The event showed the legendary performances of the dancing marwari horses. A wonderful joyous celebration of man and horse filled the air with happiness expressing the rich heritage of India perfectly 🙂

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The event will also take place tomorrow i.e. 15th March from 7:30-9 p.m., don’t miss it and come to Rambhagh Polo Ground to have the best time of your life !