Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Jaipur Hawamahal
Jaipur, the largest city of Rajasthan is an epitome of magnificence and vibrancy. This city was established in 1727 by Jai Singh II, and is India's first planned city. Jaipur was the capital of former Kachwaha rulers and it so presents itself as a versatile tourist destination. This royal place is rich in heritage, culture and architecture. With splendid fortresses, majestic palaces, tranquil temples and beautiful havelis; Jaipur turns out to be an ideal tourist destination. It is not just the royal buildings and palaces that this city offers. Other than these captivating attractions, Jaipur displays exquisite handicrafts and spectacular jewellery. These intricate works of art add life and colour to this Pink City's uniqueness. Also, the serenity of lush gardens and floral array acts as the cherry on the cake of fabulous landscapes. All this make a picturesque view that tends to enthral any visitor.
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The best time to visit this place is between October and March. Since the weather is pleasant during these months, that allows one to explore more of this place without getting scorched in the seething heat. This city of Rajputs is well known for its fairs and fests that are held on a grand level. The festivals include kite festival, camel festival, teej, gangaur, elephant festival, to name a few. The city witnesses maximum tourists during these days. To add on to its liveliness, this place has brilliant bazaars filled with bright turbans and ethnic attire, hand-dyed and embroidered textiles, pretty jewellery and delicious food. All these things can draw anyone towards them. Dressed in pink, this royal city of Rajasthan, Jaipur is the apt blend of heritage, palaces, culture and art and the flamboyance of this place can be experienced only by visiting it.

History of jaipur:
Forts, palaces, architectural marvels and tales of valour, all in their own way, bear testimony to the glory that Jaipur is and was just after it was conceived by Sawai Jai Singh in 1727. Located 262 kilometers from Delhi, jaipur was the first planned city in northern India. Jaipur's history dates back to the 12th century when the Kachchwaha clan o Rajputs arrived at the old fort palace of Amber in the Aravalli Hills. The Kachchwaha belonged to the Kshatriya, or the warrior caste of Hindus, but they traced their origins back to the sun, via Kusa who the twin son of the god Rama.

The people the Kachchwahas ousted were the Susawat Minas, who became the hereditary loyal guards of what became one of the largest and most valuable treasuries in India. From this base, the Kachchwaha Rajputs, with their brilliant soldiering, and a knack for lucrative alliances (even if that meant swallowingg Rajput pride), amassed a fortune. It was the special relationship the Amber rulers developed with the Mughals that brought them real power, influence and wealth.

 Arriving from Jaipur through the narrow pass in the hills, you are presented with a view of the honey coloured Amber fort-palace that conforms to every expectation of how a romantic Rajupt forts should appear. It rambles over a rugged hill, reflected in Maota Lake below. The odd elephant plods up the ramparts road. In Amber village, which clusters around the hill, gem-cutters smoothen and cut stones, the faithful go to mosques and temples, and children run around the royal chhatris (mausoleums) and decaying houses. A circle of protective hills surrounds all this, and snaking up these hills are crenulated walls punctuated by look-our posts. On the highest ridge and overlooking the valley is Jaigarh Fort, a spectacular display of defence. Inside Amber Fort, the contrast is sharp, the grand painted gateway, the hall o public audience that made even the Mughal emperor jealous, pools and cascades to cool the air in summer heat, and the hall o mirrors inlaid with tiny pieces of glass so that a single flame creates a room o a thousand bejeweled stars.

 The power to create such a strong fort enclosing such beauty was built up over several generations. Raja Bihar Mal made the first move. Recognizing Mughal power, he paid homage to the emperor Humayun and led a 5,000-strong army for him. Then he made sure he was the first Rajput presented at Akbar's court. His big chance came when Akbar made his first annual pilgrimage to Ajemr, the burial place of a Muslim saint, which lay in Kachchwaha territory. On a visit to Akbar's tent, Bihar Mal gave his daughter to be the emperor's wife and his adopted grandson, Man Sing, into royal service. The daughter finally gave Akbar his first son, who became emperor Jahangir. The next ruler, Bhawan Das, cemented the alliance and gave a daughter to be Jahangir's wife. Then came the two rulers who built Amber. Man Singh, a leading general under both Akbar and Jahanir, and Jai Sing I, a military and diplomatic genius who brought the house of Amber to its apogee at the Muhal court, On the throne aged 11, Jai Singh I was soon commanding a Mughal force for Jahangir, then fought all over the Mughal empire for Shah Jahan and finally backed the right side in the war for succession and became emperor Aurangezeb's most prized Rajput commander. All this time, the Kachchwaha coffers were filling with prizes, rewards and booty. Three rulers later, Jai Singh II, another child prodigy, came to the throne. The young lad quickly impressed the 71-year-old Aurangzeb who awarded him the title 'Sawai', meaning one-and-a-quarter. Even today, the flag flying above the City Palace in Jaipur has an extra, quarter sized one  next to it. Jai Singh II, having proved his soldiering ability further enriched his coffers and fulfilled his other passions - the arts and sciences. The impressive giant stone instruments which he devised for the open-air observatories at Jaipur, Delhi, Ujjain and Varanasi stand testimony to his scientific prowess. After ascending the throne, he shifted the capital from Amer. He studied the architecture of several European cities and drew up plans for constructing a larger and well-planned city. He consulted his best mathematicians, astronomers and the Silpa Sastra Sastra, a traditional Hindu architectural treatise before making the the blueprint for the new city.

After building close bonds with the Mughas and sure that there could be no danger to his throne, Sawai Jai Singh, envisioned his dream project, the building of Jaipur. the foundation stone was laid by him in 1727 and an eminent architect, Vidyadhar Bhattacharaya, was asked to desing the 'Pink City. ' It was a two-in-one compliment as 'Jai' means victory and was also the ruler's first name. That it was later chosen as the capital of Rajasthan formed from the amalgamation of various kingdoms, was a tribute to both Jai Singh and Bhattaccharya.

 The city was planned in a grid system of seven blocks of buildings with wide straight avenues lined with trees, with the place set on the north side.Surrounding it are high walls pieced with ten gates. The site of the shops were chosen after careful planning and they are arranged in nine rectangular city sectors (chokris). Jaipur was the first sizable city in north India to be built from scratch, though the famous pink colour symbolizing welcome', came later when Ram Singh II received the Prince of Wales in 1876. The colour was chosen after several experiments to cut down the intense glare from the reflection of the blazing rays of the sun. To this day, the buildings are uniformly rose pink. After Jai Singh died in 1773, a battle for succession followed and the Marathas and jats who were making advances in various parts of the country also decided to try their luck and Jaipur lost large chunks of territory with the ruler playing second fiddle the the fast growing East India Company. In 1818, several maharajas of the north-west princely states and Maharaja Jagat Singh of Jaipur, signed a treaty with the British under which they could continue to have control of their states, but would be collectively supervised by the British under a new name, Rajputana. After Independence, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner and other Rajpur states merged to form the state of Rajasthan with Jaipur as the capital. And even after 273 years after it was founded, jaipur has retained its unique flavour and old world charm. It is a bustling trading centre with colorfully set bazars, people sporting blood-red turbans, puppet sellers, and festivals and fairs.

Tourist Attraction of Jaipur :

1. City Palace:
Jaipur City Palace
Upon visiting the magnificant City Palace, it's easy to see that the royal family of Jaipur was one of the richest in India. The huge complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings blend both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The Peacock Gate is exquisite, and contains an alluring display of detailed workmanship featuring bright peacocks. Today, the royal family lives in the graceful Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) bordering the courtyard. Also inside the City Palace complex is a museum, art gallery, and interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons.
Location: Chokri Shahad, Old City, Jaipur.
Entry Cost: 300 rupees for foreigners (includes camera fee and entry to Jaigarh Fort). 75 rupees for Indians, plus 75 rupees for a still camera.
Opening Hours: 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

2. "Hawa Mahal" Palace of the Winds:
Jaipur Hawa Mahal
The intricate and fascinating facade of the Palace of the Winds is probably Jaipur's most recognized building. Constructed in 1799, it has five floors that contain rows of small windows and screens. Wind used to flow through the openings, giving the palace its name. However, the wind has now gone from the Wind Palace. Legend has it that the palace, which overlooks the main street of Jaipur's lively Old City, was built so that the women of the royal household could watch the streets below without being observed. A panoramic view can be had from the top of the building. Take a peek behind the facade of the Hawa Mahal.

Location: Next to the City Palace. Enter from the rear of the building.
Entry Cost: 50 rupees for foreigners. 10 rupees for Indians.
Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily.

3. Galta Monkey Temple
Galta Monkey Temple Jaipur
Getting to this rather ruinous but holy Hindi temple, nestled in peaceful surroundings between two granite cliffs, is quite an adventure but it's completely worth the effort. The temple is part of a larger temple complex, which also has three sacred pools of water. One of the pools has been taken over by thousands of monkeys that congregate there to swim and bathe. They're generally friendly and love to be fed.
Location: At the far eastern side of the city, outside Gulta Pol, near Agra Road, Jaipur. To get there, take a rickshaw, walk up the hill to the white Sun Temple, then follow the steps downhill into the gorge.
Entry Cost: Free
Opening Hours: Visit late afternoon, near sunset, when the monkeys flock to the temple.

4. Amber Fort and Palace
Amber Fort and Palace
Around half an hour's drive from the city center, like something out of a fairy tale, Amber Fort is set on a hill top overlooking the Maota Lake. It was the original home of Rajput royalty until Jaipur city was constructed, and contains a number of breathtaking palaces, halls, gardens, and temples. Inside, the elaborate mirror work adds to the grandeur. The fort entrance is reached by walking up the hill, going in a jeep, or taking a lurching elephant ride.
Location: North of Jaipur. Frequent buses depart from the Palace of the Winds to Amber Fort. Taxis are also available.
Entry Cost: 50 rupees for foreigners. Elephant rides are 550 rupees ($13).
Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily.
Sound & Light Show: Takes place every evening.

5. Nahargarh Fort
Nahagarh fort jaipur
Nahargarh Fort, also known as Tiger Fort, is perched high on the rugged Aravali Hills overlooking Jaipur city. The fort was built 1734 to help defend the city. It found fame in 2006, after many scenes from the movie Rang De Basanti were filmed there. Nahargarh Fort offers spectacular views, which are best seen at sunset. It also makes a great place for a picnic as there's a cafe on the premises, which serves beer and snacks until 10 p.m. The fort looks particularly attractive at night when it's lit up.
Location: North west of Jaipur city center. Get there by local bus, taxi, or a steep half hour trek directly up the hill.
Entry Cost: Foreigners 30 rupees.
Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset, daily. Palace open from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily.

6. Jaigarh Fort
Jaigarh Fort Jaipur
Jaigarh Fort
The massive Jaigarh Fort was built in 1726 and holds great appeal for military lovers. Flanked by towering gateways and watchtowers, it contains the world's largest cannon on wheels. The cannon has never been fired though, and neither has the fort been captured. As a result the fort has remained intact over its long life, and is very well preserved. Infact, it's one of the best-preserved military structures of medieval India. Jaigarh doesn't have the delicate interiors of Amber Fort, and therefore appears as a real fortress. Climb the Diwa Burj watchtower to get an excellent view over the plains.
Location: North of Jaipur, within walking distance of Amber Fort.
Entry Cost: 50 rupees ($1).
Opening Hours: 9 am to 4.30 p.m. daily.

7. Markets and Shopping
Shopping in Jaipur
Jaipur is an excellent place to shop and you'll find an enticing variety of goods available there. Some of the most popular items are precious gemstones, silver jewelry, bangles, clothes, blue pottery, and textiles. Don't miss these top 5 places to go shopping in Jaipur.

Location: The main shopping area is M I Road.
Opening Hours: Many shops are closed on Sundays.

8. Jantar Mantar Observatory
jantar mantar jaipur-india
Jantar Mantar Observatory
Jantar Mantar, built by King Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734, literally means "calculation instrument". More than just a curious collection of sculptures, each structure at the intriguing Jantar Mantar observatory has a specialized astronomical function. There are 14 structures in total, which measure time, predict eclipses, and track stars. The most impressive one is the huge Samrat Yantra sundial. At a height of 90 feet (27 meters), it has a shadow that moves roughly the width of a person's hand every minute. It's a profound display of how quickly time does in fact go!
Location: Next to the City Palace, Jaipur.
Entry Cost: 10 rupees (20 cents) plus 50 rupees ($1) for a camera.
Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily.

9. Government Central (Albert Hall) Museum
Jaipur Albert Hall Museum
Albert Hall Museum
This old and famous museum was modeled on the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Its collection includes portraits of local kings, costumes, woodcarvings, paintings, and arts and crafts. Unfortunately photography isn't allowed.
Location: Ram Nivas Bagh, south of the Old City, Jaipur.
Entry Cost: 30 rupees (60 cents) for foreigners.
Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily.

10. Dera Amer Elephant Safari
Dera Amer Elephant Safari Jaipur
Dera Amer Elephant Safari
Jaipur is well known for its elephant rides, and this elephant safari is a thrilling way to explore the countryside around the city. Situated on a private estate in the green foothills behind Amber Fort, it enables visitors to get right away from the hustle and bustle. The safari ventures though villages, agricultural fields, hills, and ancient monuments. Many people take a safari before or after visiting Amber Fort, but night safaris are popular as well. If you wish, it's even possible to stay at the camp.
Location: 20 minutes from Amber Fort, Jaipur.
Cost: Around $130 per person for a morning safari, buffet lunch, beer and soft drinks. Inquire with the company for exact pricing.
Opening Hours: Safaris run from morning to night.

Jaipur Culture:
Located in the eastern Rajasthan, this city of Jaipur is popular of the amazing forts and stupendous palaces. This royal town has magnificent architecture and is the first planned city of India. The buildings here are made with pink-painted sandstone which brings it the name of Pink City. With fantastic attractions all around the city, it invites tourists from all over the world. Jaipur's rich cultural heritage is displayed in the traditions, customs, lifestyle, art and architecture of this place. In fact the best understanding of Jaipur's culture can be attained through its art, music and architecture. The splendid monuments of Jaipur deserve a visit. Those huge fortresses of Mughal and Rajput reigns, the Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jal Mahal aptly describe the culture of the city. Jantar Mantar of Jaipur, the largest of all five similar monuments is an observatory basically, which is indeed an architectural spectacle.

The people of this lively town are friendly and warm. Their colourful outfits and unique jewellery are the part of their culture displayed in a flamboyant way. They love to dance to the tunes of Rajasthani folk songs. Famous dances of Jaipur include Ghoomar, Chari where the dancers got to dance on a pot with a lit diya on their head. Traditional instruments like Sarangi, Ektara, and Jhalar are also played while singing folk songs. Food or the local delicacies of Jaipur also reveal the culture of the city. Jaipur's utterly delicious mangodi, papad, khichdi, buttermilk, sohan halwa have no match. Also famous for its handicrafts, Jaipur has markets flooded with handicraft items. Carved silver jewellery, kundan as well as meenakari jewellery, ivory carved sculptures, wood work and leather goods, are all so finely made that they would undoubtedly catch your eye. Known for blue pottery, miniature paintings and traditional clothes with work of bandhni, zari and zardosi, are certainly the best examples that depict rich culture of Jaipur.

Art And Crafts:
The Mughal and Rajput rulers used to invite skilled artists and craftsmen from India and abroad to display and share their abilities with the people of Jaipur. Many of them settled here leading to development of Jaipur as the haven of rich art and culture. Some of the artful talents of artisans include: Bandhani; Block printing; Stone carving and Sculpture; Tarkashi; Zari, Gota, Kinari and Zardozi; Silver Jewellery; Gems, Kundan, Meenakari and Jewellery; Miniature paintings; Blue Pottery; Ivory carving; Shellac work; Leather ware, etc.

Performing Arts:
This land of Jaipur has its own performing arts. The Jaipur Gharana for Kathak is widely popular and apparently an example of rich cultural heritage of Jaipur as far as performing arts is concerned. Tamasha is another such example.

The pink city Jaipur presents to you scrumptious cuisines that are known throughout India; dishes like Dal Bati Churma, Missi Roti, and sweets like Ghevar, Feeni, Gajak, Chauguni ke laddu, Moong Thal, to name a few. Rajasthani cuisine is full of nutrition since it's made in ghee and butter; and is generally vegetarian.

Fairs And Festivals:
This city witnesses various fairs and festivals at different time of the year. Some of the festivals are Gangaur festival, Jaipur Literature festival, Kite festival, Teej festival, Shitla Mata Fair, Chaksu Fair, Elephant Fair, Chhat ka Mela in Amber during Navratri. The colourful city becomes even more lively and lovely.

People and Languages:
The people of Jaipur are friendly and warm. The colourful outfits and ethnic jewellery they sport are the part of our culture exhibited in a beautiful way. They love to perform folk dances to the tunes of Rajasthani folk songs. The main language of Jaipur is Rajasthani. However, Marwari, Hindi and English are also spoken in the city.

How To Reach :
People from all parts of the world come to observe the beauty and to know about cultural legacy of Jaipur. Being the major city of the country, Jaipur is well connected to almost every corner of India via different means of public transport including air, rail and road. Every day the public transport is used by over millions of travellers travelling to and around Jaipur with various purposes and destinations. Jaipur International Airport is located about 7-10 km from the main city and can easily be reached with ease by taxi or bus. The Indian Railways on the other hand provides the best service to the passengers and as for the bus service, the roads and the highways are very well constructed and smooth with less chances of getting any dump in between the way. Read to know more about how to reach Jaipur.

By Air:
The Jaipur Airport is situated at Sanganer, 7 km (domestic terminal) and 10 km (international terminal) from the main city. It connects the city to all the major parts of India as well as some of the major overseas countries. It has the facility of daily domestic flights to Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Indore and Pune. Also, it has the facility of international flights through which it connects directly to Sharjah, Muscat and Dubai. Flights to Singapore and Bangkok are also available via Delhi. Furthermore, it offers the chartered service to London and Dublin. Once you get down at the airport, hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the main city.

By Train:
Jaipur is well connected to almost every part of India through the means of Indian Railways. There are several trains which connect this city to Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Agra, Kota, Alwar, Jodhpur, Alwar, Ajmer, Kota, Chittorgarh, Bikaner, Udaipur, Barmer, Jammu, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Haridwar, Indore, Gwalior, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Roorkee, and Kanpur. In addition to this, long-distance trains arrives from several other cities including Patna, Ranchi, Lucknow, Allahabad, Vadodara, Banaras, Surat, Bilaspur, Nagpur, Raipur, Puri, Bhubaneswar, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mysore, Mangalore, Goa, Kochi, and Kozhikode. There are three main railway junctions including Jaipur, the main station; Gandhinagar and Durgapara. Every train stops at Jaipur junction and a few of the trains stop at Gandhinagar and Durgapara. After getting down at the railway station, take an auto-rickshaw, bus or hire a taxi to reach the destination within the city. There is a special, luxurious and renowned train called as Palace on Wheels which departs from Delhi and connects all the well known destinations of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Alwar, Udaipur, etc.

By Road:
Jaipur, the pink city is linked with the all the major cities of India through the network of National Highways 8, 11 and 12 to name a few. There's also a very good bus service between Jaipur and Delhi provided by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) with the buses at about every half an hour to and from both sides. There are non-AC and AC Volvo buses in which the fare of the AC bus is more. From Jaipur you can board the bus from Narayan Singh Circle or the main Sindhi Camp bus stand whereas in Delhi you can take the bus from Bikaner House on Pandara Road which is next to India Gate. Also, there are some private buses which are available from Dhaula Kuan in Delhi. There are some express buses which connect various cities and towns of Rajasthan such as Bundi, Kota, etc. to Jaipur. This city is also connected to Mumbai via Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Udaipur and Vadodara and is also well linked to Agra via bus. 



Jodhpur is the second biggest city in Rajasthan. It is about 335 km west of Jaipur, the capital city. Since it lies on the geographic centre of the state, it has emerged as an important tourist transit base.

This city is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to Thar’ because it is located right on the border of the Thar Desert.  It is also popularly called the ‘Sun City’ because it experiences bright and sunny days throughout the year. Another name for this city is ‘Blue City’ because the houses around the Mehrangarh Fort are all painted blue.

History of Jodhpur :
The history of this place dates back to the time when the Rathores were forced by the Afghans to leave Kaunaj, which was their original homeland. They settled in Pali, which is located close to present day Jodhpur.

Rathore Siahaji tied the knot with the sister of a local prince, which added to the power and strength of the Rathore Clan.  After some time, they succeeded in driving the Pratiharas out of Mandore, which is located at a distance of about 9 km from present day Jodhpur, and made it their capital city.

However, after some time, they felt that they required a secure capital. As a result, Jodhpur was formed by Rao Jodha, the chief of the Rathore clan, in 1459, to serve as a capital city and the city was also named in his honour. Earlier this place was known as Marwar.

The Rathores shared healthy relations with all the Mughal kings, except Aurangzeb. After Aurangzeb's death, the Mughals were driven out from Ajmer by Maharaja Ajit Singh and it was made a part of Marwar (present day Jodhpur). Jodhpur started developing into a modern city under the rule of Maharaja Umed Singh. It further prospered under the British rule.

People & Culture of Jodhpur
The city of Jodhpur has lent its name to a type of trousers. Jodhpurs, as they are called, are loose around the thigh and tight at the calf and are mainly designed for horseback riding and playing polo. Invented in 1887 for use by Sir Pratap Singh, it caught the fancy of the British aristocracy and soon became popular.
The forts, palaces and havelis of the city are complemented by the various vibrant fairs and festivals that draw a large number of people. Some of the popular events of Jodhpur are Marwar Festival, Jodhpur International Desert Kite Festival, Nagaur Fair etc.
Tourist Place in Jodhpur:

Crowning a perpendicular cliff, the fort was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459 A.D., when he shifted his capital from Mandore. Standing sentinel to the city below, it overlook the rugged and rocky terrain and houses a palace intricately adorned with long carved panels and latticed windows exquisitely wrought from red sandstone. Carved panels and porches, elaborately adorned windows and walls of Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace), Phool Mahal, Sheesh mahal, Sileh Khana and Daulat Khana, seem to make the medieval splendour come alive. A collection of palanquins, hawdas, royal cradles, miniature paintings of various schools, folk music, instruments, costumes, furniture and an impressive armoury.

Build in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh ll in 1899, the imposing white marble memorial marks the site of royal crematorium. It houses portraits of successive rulers. The four cenotaphs around here commemorate notable acts of bravery and generosity of the four successive rulers.

The only palace builds in the 20th century, as a famine relief project which gave employment to the people for 16 years. Build by Maharaja Umaid singh and named after him, this exquisite palace is also known as Chittar Palace, because of the local chittar sandstone used. It is a splendid example of Indo-colonial art and deco style of the 30s.A unique feature of this palace is that the hand-chiselled sandstone blocks have been put together in a special system of interlocking; there is no mortar binding.

A great centre of Brahmancial and Jain religions. The temples here belong to two periods ? an early period represented by nearly 12 temples and later period of 6 temples. The Jain Mahavir Temple is unique among the Osian temples, with the vaulted design of its hall-celling. The main Sachiya Mata Temple appears to be made in 1178 AD and has a shikhar clustered by two rows of turrets, an ambulatory and large assembly hall with an elaborate ceiling.

A contempralely art gallery of its only kind in Jodhpur. The gallery have collection of different kind of art from all over the country, right through miniatures painting, wood craft, ceramic, iron and many more. In one sentence ?See to believe?.

Things to do in Jodhpur:
The ‘Blue City’, as Jodhpur is known, is famous for its palaces, havelis, forts and museums. Some of the places to visit in Jodhpur include Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Rai ka Baag Palace, Balsammand Lake and Kaylana Lake. Umed Garden and Nehru Park also attract a large number of people.

Food & Shopping in Jodhpur:
Jodhpur is not only popular because of its palaces, forts and temples, but also because of its handicrafts, folk dances and folk music. The tie and  dye textiles, lacquer ware, embroidered leather shoes, antiques, puppets, carpets, Rajasthani textiles, miniature camels and elephants, clay figurines, marble inlay work and classic silver jewellery found in Jodhpur are popular worldwide. Popular bazaars in Jodhpur include Mochi Bazaar, Sardar Market, Tripolia Bazaar, the market near the Clock Tower as well as the Station Road.

Also, no trip to Jodhpur is complete without tasting its local delicacies. Snacks like kachoris and the world renowned dal baati is a must-try. Other local specialities include mirchi bada, makhania lassi, Jodhpuri maas, gatte ka saag etc.
How To Reach :
By Air: The Jodhpur Airport is 5 km from the city center. Regular flight services connect the city with other major cities in and around Rajasthan. There are daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur.

By Train: Jodhpur is well connected by railway lines. Trains to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata are easily available. The 'Palace on Wheels' also visits this city of royal splendor.

By Road: Another convenient mode of transportation to Jodhpur is by road. The main highway between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer is via Agoli and Pokaran. The highway is well connected with Agra, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur by bus.

Local Transport: Means of transport in Jodhpur include Taxis, Auto-rickshaws and Tongas. Taxi stand is near the

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Alwar is known as "Tiger Gate" of San Luis Potosi. Surrounded by lush green Aravali hills and presents a breath taking natural environment. Forests and lakes form the backdrop to this beautiful place. The site is dotted with architectural splendor, surrounded by harsh mountains. The deep valleys and thick forest cover is a haven for many species of birds and animals. It is one of the oldest cities in the state and its prehistoric and historic sites are an archaeologist's delight. Paradoxically, Alwar is both the oldest and the most recent of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan. Trace their tradition back to the realms of Viratnagar that flourished here around 1500 BC It is also known as Matasya Desh, where the Pandavas, the mighty heroes of the Mahabharata, spent the last years of his 13 years of exile. 

The grandeur, beauty and delicacy of the design of innumerable palaces and forts in the region, tranquil lakes, majestic hunting lodges, sites of archaeological importance, thick forests, many birds and animals mixed with an equally diverse socio - cultural configuration have made this region a traveler's delight.

Major Tourist Place :

Alwar Fort:
The Alwar fort, built on a hill, about 1960 feet above the sea level, stands majestically 1000 feet above the city of Alwar. The fort was built by Hasan Khan Mewati in 1550 A.D. It passed from the Mughals, to the Marathas, to the Jats, till it was finally captured by the Kachhwaha Rajputs. The fort, from nort to south is about 5 kms. long and is about 1.5 kms. wide. There are six entrances to the fort which are, Chand Pol, Suraj Pal (named after Raja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur), Jai Pol, Kishan Pol, Andheri Gate and Laxman Pol. It is said that PratapSingh, the founder of Alwar state used Laxman Pol for entering the fort forth first time. Ametalled road in th past connected the city with Laxman Pol.

Ruins of Bhangarh:
The ruins of Bhangarh paint a picture of the ancient kingdom that once flourished here. Founded in 1631 by Madho Singh, Younger brother of th famous Man Singh of Amer, this town of about 10,000 dwellings was suddenly abandoned due to reasons clothed in mystery. Particularly noteworthy is the town plannng, castle hierarchy, market system and the charming beauty of several temples.

Jain Temple:
Ancient Jain temple dedicate to the eighth Tirthankar (great teacher) Shri Chandra Prabhu Bhagwan can be seen here. It has elaborate carvings and paintings, exquisite pillars and arches. Situated 60 kms. on the Alwar - Delhi road route, it is an important Jain pilgrimage. Loading fooding facility is available.

The Sariska Tiger Reserve is just 40 kms. from Alwar and about 110 kms. from Jaipur. The landscape of Sariska is dominated b thickly forested hill slopes with vertical cliffs. The terrain is basicall undulating with some wide plateau lands separating the valleys. This game sanctuary southwest of Alwar was once the personal hunting ground of the Maharajas of Alwar. I become a sanctuary in 1955 and aws later taken up under Project Tiger in 1979. It covers an area of 320 sq.miles. The forested hills of Sariska are among the best places to view tigers in India. Leopared, Hyena, Somebar, Nilgai, Chinkara, Chansingha, Sp.of Monkey, Birds are other attractions.

Sariska Palace:
Sariska Place built in 1892 - 1900 as a hunting camp by the erstwhile ruler of the Alwar is now a luxury hotel. Sariska is open to visitors throughout the year but the best season to observe wildlife is during winter months. i.e. from November to March. The Rajasthan Tourism Dev. Corpn. runs a hotel and also provides transport on hire to visit the sanctuary.

Shiva Temple ( Nogaza):
An arduous, bumpy drive of 8 Kms. taking off from Tehla Village is very well compensatd by an overwhelming view of ruins of several ten centuries old, fabulously carved temple which stand studded on a small hillock surrounded on all sides by forest covered hills. Particularly remarkable is the highly venerated Shiva temple where worship is done even today and the single stone giant structure of 23rd Jain Tirthankar locally known as "Nogaza".

Shopping :
Important shopping centers in the city are: Hope Circus, Bazaza Bazaar, Saraf Bazaar, Malakhera Bazaar and Kedalgang Bazaar. Alwar has a rich heritage of handicrafts like terracotta statues, weaved carpets, leather Mojaris, embroidered juties, bangles, pottery etc.

How To Reach

By Air:
The nearest airport to Alwar is Delhi Airport which is 163 kms away.

By Road:
Alwar can be easily reached by road as well. There are well-maintained roads linking it to tourism destinations like Delhi, Sariska, Bharatpur, Deeg and Jaipur.

By Rail:
The railway network connects Alwar with Delhi, Jodhpur, Mumbai and other important tourist cities of India.

Friday, October 26, 2012


South west of Jaipur, Ajmer is an oasis wrapped in the green hills. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major centre of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D.

When Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri. Since then, Ajmer became home to many dynasties. Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage centre for the Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is equally revered by the Hindus and Muslims.

It is a centre of culture and education, the British chose Ajmer for its prestigious Mayo College a school exclusively for Indian nobility. Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (11 km.), the abode of Lord Brahma, lying to its west with a temple and a picturesque lake. The Pushkar Lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik (Oct./Nov.), devotes throng in large numbers here to take a dip in the sacred lake.
For those who wish to observe a pilgrimage center in India, they should travel to Ajmer Rajasthan. Situated on the way to Pushkar, Ajmer houses the tomb of the 13th century Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is uniformly valued by the Hindus and Muslims. The once a year Urs at the Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is held on a impressive scale and attracts pilgrims from all over the world irrespective of their caste and faith.

A visit to Rajasthan would showcase within its domain a travel tour to Ajmer, situated in Rajasthan, North India, which is standard and comfortable in nature and form. A visit to Rajasthan, coupled with an assistant travel tour to Ajmer, situated in Rajasthan, North India, are two resources of travel information to be collected about Ajmer, Rajasthan, North India. A visit to Ajmer, situated in Rajasthan, North India, is a skillful reminder of the information that Ajmer is a existing example of secularism and passive co existence, with the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin chisti at Ajmer along with the pilgrimage at Pushkar, and the Brahma temple in the near surrounding area, to be the worshippers point of the both the Hindus and Muslims. Tour to Ajmer, Rajasthan, North India, would showcase a combination of the Mughal and Rajputani style of structural design. Anasagar Lake serves as an ideal picnic and holidaying spot for the tourists and the local population similar.

Shopping in Ajmer Rajasthan is a pleasurable experience. Ajmer is known for antiques, ornaments, charming gold and silver jewelry in modern designs, bandhini (colorful tie-and-dye sarees) and overstated jodhpuri 'Jutis' (shoes). Ittar, a special form of local scent is sold in small and large packs all over Ajmer Rajasthan and is a specialty that one can take home from Ajmer Rajasthan. The yearly Urs Fair is the time one can buy the colorful formations of traditional folk artisans of Ajmer. Colorful clothes and products from Tilonia village and small paintings from Kishangarh and a range of wood crafted products are available throughout the festival. Ajmer is a famous pilgrimage spiritual tourist attraction in the state of Rajasthan. Ajmer provides as the base for most of the long distance journeys to Pushkar, which holds a yearly spiritual festival.

Ajaipal Chauhan founded Ajmer in the seventh century. He constructed a hill fort "Ajaimeur" or the invincible hill. The Chauhans ruled Ajmer till the 12th century when Prithviraj Chauhan lost Mohammed Ghauri. Thereafter it became a part of the sultanate of Delhi. Ajmer was also favourite residence for the great Mughals. One of the first contacts between the Mughal King Jahangir and Sir Thomas Roe took place here in 1616. The Scindias took over the city in 1818 and then handed it over to the British and it became one of the only part of Rajasthan controlled directly by the East Indian Co. The bus stand in Ajmer is located near the RTDC hotel Khadim. And the railway is further north and most of the hotels are west of the stations. Northeast is the main post office and most of the cities market is located behind and up to Agra Gate. Further north is a large artificial lake called the Anna Sagar.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Shrawasti District is one of the districts of the Uttar Pradesh state of India and Bhinga town is district headquarter.Shrawasti district is a part of Devipatan Division.Shrawasti is a newly created district carved out from district Bahraich.Shrawasti shares its border with district Balrampur,Gonda and Bahraich.Bhinga, the District Headquarter of Shrawasti, is approximately 175 kilometres away from the state capital, Lucknow.Shrawasti, the northeastern district of Uttar Pradesh, is located near River Rapti. It is closely associated with the life of Lord Buddha. It is being said that the mythological king Sravast founded this town. Shrawasti was the capital of Kosala Kingdom during 6th century BC to 6th century AD. 

Shravasti being an important pilgrimage and tourism destination is well connected to the rest of Uttar Pradesh and India.

Location: In Eastern region of Uttar Pradesh, India
Best time to visit: October to March
Nearest Airport: Lucknow Airport
Nearest Railhead: Balrampur Junction
Must Visits: Temple of Lord Buddha Maha Mangol, Maheth and Saheth
Language spoken: Hindi, Urdu and English

         History of Shravasti teerth begins with the formation of Janpad's by Yugadidev Shri Adishwar Prabhu. This place was the capitol city of North Kaushal Janpad. Many Jain Kings such as King Jitari, the father of third Teerthankar Shri Sambhavnath Bhagwan and others past here after Bhagwan Adinath. King Prasanjeet ruled this place at the time of Bhagwan Mahaveer. He was a loyal follower of Prabhu Veer. The main listener of Prabhu Veer King of Magadh Samrat Shrenik has wedded the sister of King Parasanjeet. This was also called by the names of Kunal Nagari and Chandrikapuri in the old days. Many Jain temples and Stoops (pillars) were present in this city. It is specified in history that greater king Samrat Ashok and his grand son King Samprati also constructed many temples and Stoops at this holy place. This teerth place is also descripting in "Brihatkalp". Chinese traveler Fahiyan has also described this holy place in his memories of traveling India during 5th century BC. One more Chinese traveler during 7th century BC, Hun-Yen-Sang, has described this place as Jet van Monastery. Later this was called as Manikapuri. This was ruled by King Mayurdhwaj during 900 AD, by King Hansdhwaj during 925 AD, by King Makardhwaj during 950 AD, by King Sudhavadhwaj during 975 AD and by King Suhridhwaj during 100 AD. All of them were Jain Kings belonging to Bhar Vansh. Dr. Bennet and Dr. Vincent Smith have also specified them as Jain Kings. Work done by King Suhridhwaj for strengthening religion and defending the temples in his empires from Muslim attack will always taken as a great reminder of history. He also defeated Mohamed Gazanavi. Acharya Jinprabh Surishwarji has specified this teerth as Mahith in his granth "Vividh Teerth Kalp" in 14th century of VS. During those days many Jin-home having big boundary walls, idols and Dev kulika's were present in this city. Doors of the temple use to shut down automatically at the time of Sunset and opens in the morning. This was said to affect of Shri Manibhadra Yaksha. A Lion use to visit the temple on the occasion of annual gathering and would go only after the completion of Aarti. Allaudin Khilji and his soldiers damaged this temple. Pandit Vijaysagarji and Shri Soubhagya Vijayji have described this teerth in 18th century. Number of ancient idols and inscription were recovered after digging Sahet Mahet area near Shravasti village. These are kept in museums at Lucknow and Mathura. Archeological Department has acquired an ancient temple present near the Mahet Fort. This place is described as the birthplace of Bhagwan Sri Sambhavnath. The damaged remaining at Sahet Mahet reminds the ancient ness of this place. At present this is the only temple present at this teerth place.

Maha Mangole Temple : Shravasti is an important historical and religious attraction in Uttar Pradesh. The place has for long been attached to Lord Buddha and his times. It is said that Lord Buddha spent 25 years living in the monastery of Jetavana that is situated in Shravasti. It is at Shravasti only where Lord Buddha is supposed to have astonished rival teachers by performing miracles. It is in Shravasti that Buddha transformed Angulimal from a dacoit into a Buddhist monk. He also delivered many important sermons here. The two 21 meters high pillars erected by Emperor Ashoka mark these sites. They are on either side of the eastern gateway of the Jetavana monastery. Shravasti was a flourishing center of learning during the Gupta period too. When the famed Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang visited this site, he found several damaged Stupas and ruins of monasteries at this place.

Mahaveera Temple : It is said that Lord Buddha spent 25 years living in the monastery of Jetavana that is situated in Shravasti. The city also has the pride of being the place where many of Vinaya rules, Jatakas and Sutras were first discussed. The place rose to prominence when excavation works revealed that Saheth was the original site of once magnanimous Jetavana monastery. The place saw sudden spurt in tourism after that discovery.

Maheth : Maheth is important cluster of shrines in Shravasti. Though not as famous as Saheth, Maheth also has a cluster of shrines that are very popular among the tourists visiting Shravasti. In fact, Maheth was the actual site of the erstwhile Shravasti city. Spread across the area of near about 400 acres, Maheth was the site of numerous shrines and Stupas. Maheth has been identified with the remains of the city proper. Nevertheless, the site for long had remained abandoned and ignored. It was only in the early decades of 20th century when the excavation works were initiated that the site raised to prominence. 

Saheth : Saheth is one of the most visited clusters of shrines in the Buddhist tourism circuit of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Saheth covers an area of around 35 square Kilometers and is located in the very heart of Shravasti. The site falls on your right when you move nearly a kilometer Southwest from Maheth. The place forms an important angle in the Buddhist Triangle of Sarnath-Sravasti-Kushinagar in the eastern Uttar Pradesh. The place is full of numerous monasteries and shrines related to Buddhism apart from quite a few Stupas. Although most of these are in ruins, the place has a charm of its own. Emperor Ashoka started the construction works that was continued by his successors. Kushana and Gupta rulers later carried it forward. It can be broadly classified that while most of the Stupas belong to the Kushana period, the temples are predominantly in the Gupta style. 

How To Reach : 

By Air - The nearest airport from Shravasti is Lucknow. Lucknow Airport is near about 170 kilometers from Shravasti. The airport is well connected to other cities in India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Chennai and Bangalore through a range of flights operated by both private as well as public carriers.

By Rail - The nearest railhead is Balrampur that is 17 Kilometers from Shravasti. Nevertheless, Gonda railway station that is also nearby is a better option when it comes to connectivity. Gonda station is well connected to other cities in Uttar Pradesh and India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Agra, Lucknow, Bangalore and Ahmedabad etc.

By Road - Shravasti is well connected to the rest of Uttar Pradesh by roadways. The nearest mega terminus is at Gonda that is 50 kilometers from the downtown Shravasti. Gonda in turn is well connected by bus to cities like Lucknow, Bareilly, Kanpur, Allahabad, Agra and Mathura. Both Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation as well as Private players operates these buses


Balrampur district is one of the 75 districts of Uttar Pradeshstate in India. Balrampur town located on the bank of the Rapti is the district headquarters. Balrampur district is a part of Devipatan division, and historic Awadhregion.
Balrampur is known for temple of Pateshwari Devi, a Shakti Pitha. To the left of the temple is Surya kund which according to legend, was made by Karn of the Mahabharata in honour of his father, the Sun god. Also for ruins of the ancient city of Sravasti, now a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Jains.

History of Balrampur:  Sravasti was the capital of Uttara (North) Kosala. The ruins of Sahet, ancient Sravasti, spread over an area of 400 acres (1.6 km2). Towards the Rapti River, a little north of Sahet, lies the ancient city of Mahet. The fortified entrance to Mahet is made of mud, constructed in a beautiful crescent shape. The Sobhnath temple houses the great Stupas. These Stupas reflect the Buddhist tradition and boast of the history of the monasteries in Balrampur.
Jeetavana monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the country is said to be one of the favorites sites of Gautam Buddha. It contains the 12th century inscriptions. The site was so religiously significant that the Emperor Ashoka, the great, visited this site. There is also a sacred tree of Peepal nearby. It is said that the tree was grown from a sapling from the original Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya.
Gautam Buddha spent 21 rainy season under the sacred Peepal tree. The famous incident of Angulimal happened in the forest of Sravasti only, where the cruel dacoit who used to kill people and wear a garland of their fingers, was enlightened by Gautam Buddha.
Another site of great religious importance in the city is Sravasti. It is said that Mahavira Jain, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, 'influenced' this place. It houses the famous Shwetambar temple.

Tourist Place in Balrampur: 

Devi patan temple is one of the most important Shaktipeeths in the region, revered by Hindus in India and Nepal. Located 70 km. from Gonda, it is surrounded amidst the beauty of Himalayan tarai. Just 2 km. from Tulsipur, this famous shrine is among one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. It is believed that during the event when Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of his wife Sati, the light shoulder of Sati had fallen here.

The Devi Patan Siddha Peeth had been established by Guru Gorakshnath of the Nath Sampradaya. The existing temple here is said by to be constructed King Vikramaditya. In the 1lth century King Suheldeo of Sravasti had renovated the temple. The Royal family of Balrampur, is today the caretaker of the temple. A large fair takes place in Navratri and every year on Chaitra Panchami the deity of Pir Ratan Nath is brought from Dang in Nepal to the Devi Patan temple where it is worshipped along with the Devi.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


According to the Hindu belief, Prayagraj (modern name- Allahabad) is the king of all teerths; but Chitrakoot is rated as more elevated. When Chitrakoot did not go to him as all the other teearths did, Prayagraj was told that Chitrakoot enjoyed a higher status and it was Prayagraj who was expected to go to Chitrakoot and not vice versa. It is said that Prayagraj comes every year to wash off his sins by bathing in the Payaswini. It is also said that all the gods and goddesses came to Chitrakoot when Ram performed the Shraddha ceremony of his father to partake of the shuddhi (i.e. a feast given to all the relatives and friends on the thirteenth day of the a death in the family). They were captivated by the beauty of the place. Lord Ram's presence there added a spiritual dimension to it. So they were unwilling to depart. Vashishtha, the family priest sensing their desire to stay and in accordance with the wishes of Lord Ram, forgot to utter the visarjan (departure) mantra. Thus, all the gods and goddesses have made this place their permanent abode and are always present there. Today also, even when a mere tourist reaches this place strewn profusely with ancient rocks, caves, ashrams and temples with sages engaged in holy and spiritual sadhana, he loses himself unwittingly in the atmosphere charged with unceasing holy rites and enlightening sermons and partakes of the bliss of a world very different from our own. Thousands of pilgrims and seekers of the truth from all parts of the world resort to this place impelled by an irrepressible desire to improve and elevate their lives. 

Chitrakoot has had its own identity and this very name since times immemorial. The first known mention of the place is in the Valmiki Ramayan, which is believed to be the first ever Mahakavya composed by the first ever poet. As an unwritten composition, an epic of growth, it was handed down from generation to generation by an oral tradition. As Valmiki is said to be contemporaneous with (or even earlier than) Ram and is believed to have composed the Ramayan before the birth of Ram, the antiquity of its fame can well be guaged. Valmiki speaks of Chitrakoot as an eminently holy place inhabited by the great sages, abounding in monkeys, bears and various other kinds of fauna and flora. Both the sages Bharadwaj and Valmiki speak of Chitrakoot in glowing terms and advise Ram to make it his abode during the period of his exile, as the place was capable of relieving a person of all his desires and of giving him a calm of mind that could make him achieve the highest of the goals in his life. Lord Ram himself admits this bewitching impact of this place. In the ‘Ramopakhyan’ and descriptions of teerthas at various places in the Mahabharat, Chitrakoot finds a favoured place. It ‘Adhyatma Ramayan’ and ‘Brihat Ramayan’ testify to the throbbing spiritually and natural beauty of Chitrakoot. The writer has been told that the latter work devotes as many as sixteen cantos to the description of Chitrakoot and its principal places. Entire Indian literature relating to Ram gives it a unique pride of place. The Rev. Father Kamil Bulke even mentions a ‘Chitrakoot—Mahatmya’; found among the collections of Mackenzie.Various Sanskrit and Hindi poets also have paid similar tributes to Chitrakoot. Mahakavi Kalidas has described this place beautifully in his epic ‘Raghuvansha’;. He was so much impressed with its charms that he made Chitrakoot (which he calls Ramgiri because of its time-honoured associations with lord Ram) the place of exile of his yaksha in Meghdoot. Tulsidas, the saint-poet of Hindi has spoken very reverently of this place in all his major works-Ramcharit Manas, Kavitawali, Dohawali and Vinay Patrika. The last-mentioned work contains many verses which show a deep personal bond between Tulsidas and Chitrakoot. He spent quite some part of his life here worshipping Ram and craving his darshan. It was here that he had what he must have considered the crowning moment of his achievements--ie. the darshan of his beloved deity Lord Ram at the intercession of Hanumanji. His eminent friend, the noted Hindi poet Rahim (i.e. Abdur Rahim Khankhana, the soldier-statesmen-saint-scholar-poet who was among the Nav-Ratnas of Akbar) also spent some time here, when he had fallen from favour with Akbar's son Emperor Jahangir. According to the Beetak literature of the Pranami sect, the saint-poet Mahamati Prannath wrote two of his books-Chhota Kayamatnama and Bara Kayamatnama here. The exact place where Prannath lived and composed these works interpretting the Quran and showing its similarities with Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran, could not be traced.

Tourist Placein Chitrakoot :

KAMAD GIRI: Kamadgiri is the main holy place of Chitrakoot. The sanskrit word 'Kamadgiri' means the mountain which fulfills all the desires. The place is believed to have been the abode of Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman during their exile. Lord Kamtanath, another of His names, is the principal deity not only of Kamadgiri but of the whole of Chitrakoot. The religious-minded believe that all the holy places (i.e. teerthas) are in the Parikrama or its pilgrimage-path. The pilgrimage path around this hill is about 5 Km. long and was built by Pratap Kunwari ,the Queen of the Bundela King Maharaja Chhatrasal in 1725. There are a large number of temples in the Parikrama Path. Except during the summers, the hill remains green throughout the year and appears like a bow seen from any place in Chitrakoot.

RAM GHAT: It is the most beautiful bathing ghat of the Payaswini river believed to be capable of absolving a person from all his sins.It is believed that Lord Ram bathed here with Laxman and Sita Ji on their arrival in Chitrakoot.The famous saint-poet Tulsidas is also believed to have lived here for quite some time.It is the place where he is believed to have darshan of Ram and Laxman.Tulsidas was preparing sandal-paste for himself,when Ram and Laxman appeared before him as two children.Ram asked him to mark a tilak on his forehead.Tulsidas did this even without recognizing Him as God whom he so devotedly worshipped and for whose darshan he was craving.Hanuman ji made Tulsidas recognize his Lord by uttering the famous couplet

The devotees usually take a dip here before going for Parikramaand darshan of Kamtanath Ji. There is a group of temples here on the Ghat which is known as Puri and some devotees go around this group of temples also in the Parikrama. Many important places like Raghava Prayag Ghat,Mattgajendreshwar Swami, Parna Kuti and Yagya Vedi are nearby.

MATTAGAJENDRESHWAR SWAMI : The famous temple of Mattagajendreshwar or MadganjanSami is situated on the Ramghat. According to a pauranik legnd,Brahma offered penance here in the Satyug and foundeda Shivling here as Kshetrapal (i.e. protector of the area) whch was known as Mattgajendreshwar Swami.Laterwhen Sri Ram came to Chitrakoot, he did Rudrabhishe here after bathing here in the Payaswini. Much later, Raja Aman Singh,the King of Panna built a temple here. 

RAGHAV-PRAYAG GHAT : This is to the south of the Ramghat of the Payaswini and is the convergence point of the three rivers—the Payaswini ,the Mandakini and the Gayatri (or the Savitri ,a river not visible to the eye) meet here. Lord Ram performed the pitra tarpan ceremony (sacred offerings to a deceased father by his son) of his father King Dashrath, who had died after Lord Ram’s exile. It is believed that even the King of Teerths Prayagraj also comes once every year to absolve himself of all the sins by taking a dip here.

YAGYA-VEDI : This is near the Parn Kuti on the Ramghat. It is said that Lord Brahma performed Yagyas here. Hence, the name. 

JANAKI-KUND: This beautiful Kund is situated at a distance of about half a kilometer from the Pramod-Van, on the left bank of the Payaswini. 'Janaki' means the daughter of Raja Janak and is another name of Sita Ji, who used to bathe here during the period of her exile. The rocks nearby bear the foot prints of Janaki Ji.there are a number of charitable institutions in the area, including the Janaki Kund Eye Hospital, the Raghuvir Temple, the Blind School.

SPHATIK-SHILA: ‘Sphatik’ is a Sanskrit word meaning a crystal. There is a huge rock resembling a reddish-white crystal, about 1 Km. away from Janaki-kund on the left bank of the Mandakini. Sri Ram and Janaki Ji used to rest here perhaps while going to and coming from the Atri Ashram. Once, Jayant, the son of Indra pecked at the feet of Sita Ji to test the might of Sri Ram. Thereupon, Ram, sitting in the veerasan Posture, released an arrow at him. Jayant could not find anyone who could protect him against this arrow and ultimately sought shelter with Lord Ram himself, who pardoned him after taking one of his eyes as punishment. The rock bears the foot prints of Sri Ram, Sita Ji and Jayant. 

ATRI-ANASUYA ASHRAM: This Ashram is situated about 15 Km. to the south of Ramghat in a dense forest area. It is dedicated to Maharsi Atri and his wife Sati Anasuya. Sati Anasuya transformed the three supreme gods-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to small babes by her miraculous powers earned by penance. She is also believed to have brought down the Mandakini which is believed to be a streamlet of the river Ganges. The Ashram has an idol of Anasuya, her husband Maharshi Atri, their sons Duttatreya, Durwasa, Chandrama and various other gods and sages. The famous Paramhans Ashram is nearby. The Ashram gets its name from the late Paramhans Parmanand Ji who was believed to have attained the highest spiritual status and was the founder of this Ashram. The disciples of Paramanand Ji have established a chain of Ashrams mainly in North India.

MAYURADHWAJ –ASHRAM: About 10 Km. to the south west of Chitrakoot near the village Pathra Pal Deo, this Ashram is situated amidst the hills. It is a beautiful place with water falls worth seeing. 

GUPTA-GODAWARI: This place is situated at the foot of a hill about 12 Km. to the south west of Chitrakoot. Actually, it is an incessant stream flowing between two rocks which is known by the appellation of Gupta-Godawari. Beautiful and natural carvings in varied designs enhance the attraction of the caves many a time. A number of local legends are associated with this place.

RAM-SHAIYYA: This place is near the Bihara village about 3 Km. to the west of Pili-Kothi Ashram. It can be seen even from the Parikrama Marg. During the exile Sri Ram with his consort Sita Ji used to sleep on a huge rock here, which even now carries imprints which are made, as it were by lying down on a mattress. These are believed to be due to Sri Ram and Sita Ji lying down on them. Beside the two marks, another mark made by placing the bow is also very clear. 

LAKSHMAN-CHOWKI: About 100 Mt. away from the Ram-Shaiyya rock, and overlooking it there is another rock which is known as Lakshman-Chowki. It is believed that Lakshman used to be on guard here to protect Sri Ram and Sita Ji. This beautiful rock bears a mark resembling the head side of a bed. It also has imprints which are believed to have been made by Lakshman sitting down with his bow by the side. The Ram-Shaiyya rock is clearly visible from here.

HANUMAN-DHARA: This is about 4 Km. to the east of Ramghat at the beginning of the Vindhyas. A stream of cool and clear water originating inside the mountain falls on the idol of Hanuman Ji and loses itself in a kund below. It is a popular belief that Hanuman Ji came here to cool down the heat after burning Lanka. 

VALMIKI ASHRAM: About 18 Km. from the district headquarters on the Allahabad road, the Valmiki Ashram is situated on a lofty hill on the bank of the Valmiki river. Sita Ji gave birth to and nursed her sons—Kush and Lava here, after she was deserted by Sri Ram. Sri Ram, Lakshman and Sita Ji had also passed through this Ashram on their way to Chitrakoot.

SARBHANG ASHRAM: This Ashram is situated at a distance of about 20 Km. to the south east of Sati Anasuya Ashram. There is a Ganga-Kund and a Shiva Temple here. Beside the Ashram, there are 108 Yagya Vedikas at the foot of the hill. Sri Ram accorded darshan to the sage Sarbhang here during his forest sojourn. Bathing in the Ganga-Kund of this Ashram has a special religious significance. The saying is that one dip in the Sarbhang Ashram equals repeated bathing in the sacred Ganges. 

BHARAT KOOP: About 20 Km. to the west of Chitrakoot, there is a huge well near Bharatpur village which is known as Bharatkoop. Today, the residential area surrounding it is also known as Bharatkoop. Bharat brought from Ayodhya water from all the holy places (teerths) to annoint Ram as the King during his exile. When Ram did not agree to this, Bharat, at the behest of Maharshi Atri, poured all this holy water into this very well.

Just near Bharatkoop there is a temple of Mandvi, the consort of Bharat and there is also a Bharat Mandir nearby.

LAKSHMAN PAHADI: A small hillock, parallel to and to the east of the Kamadgiri, about half- way in the Parikrama, is known as Lakshman Pahadi. Lakshman used to guard Sri Ram and Sita ji from here, while they rested on the Kamadgiri. There is a Lakshman Temple here and also a Lakshman-Stambh. The visiting pilgrims embrace this pillar with the same reverence as if they were embracing Lakshman Ji himself. There is a flight of steps from the Parikrama Marg leading to this hillock.

SUTIKSHNA ASHRAM: This is one of the most beautiful and charming sites in Bundelkhand. Ram appeared to Maharshi Sutikshna here in compliance of the latter’s desire to have His darshan. A beautiful stream flows down from amidst the mountains falling in a kund below, probably giving its current name Dharkundi. this Ashram is situated about 4 Km. to the north of Sarbhang Ashram. One of the eminent disciples of Paramhans Parmanand Ji, Swami Sachchidanand Ji has his Ashram here. It is a place frequented by many persons in search of mental peace.

Though the place is not as developed as it should have been, many a hermit and sage is engaged here in various religious and spiritual activities. The devotees visit this place in search of spiritual peace.
PRAMOD VAN: About 2 Km. to south of Ramghat on the Satna road, there is a beautiful grovery on the bank of the Payaswini. Maharaj Vishwanath Pratap Singh Judeo, the King of Reewa got this built for his pleasure. It has a temple of Lord Narayan surrounded by numerous rooms. There is a celebrated place nearby which is known as Das Hanuman.

There is a celebrated tree in the Pramod-Van known as Putra-Jeeva or Putrada. Childless couples visit this tree with a desire of being blessed with a son. It is a popular belief that such visits bring the desired result.

BHARAT MILAP: About half way in the Parikrama Path, there is a place named Bharat Milap.It is reputed to be the place where Bharat and his mothers met Sri Ram, Lakshman and Sita Ji during their exile. It was such a touching occasion that even stones melted owing to overwhelming emotions and carry their foot prints to this day.

SARYU DHARA: There is a small streamlet above the fourth Mukharvind of Kamtanath Ji known as Saryu Dhara. It is believed that Hanuman Ji lives here and there is a popular legend that Tulsidas used to recite the Ramayan here everyday before him. The devotees feel spiritually charged after resting here a while.
THE SHABARI FALL: There is a beautiful spring at the origin of Payaswini near Jamunihai village , about 8 Km. to the south of Markundi, a frontier village of the district. One spring just below another, this fall is unique in the entire country. It is more glamorous and charming than even the Dhunwadhar Fall of Bhedaghat, Jabalpur or the Rupahaladhuwan Fall of Rewa Chechai. There is a huge water reservoir below which is very deep and is also known as the Mandakini Kund. This Fall was discovered by the District Magistrate-Chitrakoot, Sri Jagannath Singh during his tour on July 31st ,1998 and was named and dedicated by him. No one except the local villagers had reached this place earlier. Nor was it known to the people.

VIRADH – KUND: About 6 Km. to the east of the Shabari Fall and at the meeting point of Bambiha and Tikariya villages on the Amrawati Ashram road, there is a vast reservoir of water known as Viradh–Kund. According to a popular belief, this reaches down to the Patal Lok . There is a well accepted legend that a terrible monster Viradh used to live here and was later killed by Sri Ram during his exile. This Kund was the monster’s place of shelter and through it he could escape down to the nether world ( i.e. Patal ). Adventure-loving tourist, will definitely be attracted to this place.

KALI BARAH FALL: This fall is at a distance of about 1 Km. from the Tikariya village and presents a beautiful sight. It is a unique pleasure to walk along the flowing stream on the rocks and to bathe in it. There is a statue of Vanwasi Hanuman on a huge rock here. There is an annual fair attended by throngs of local people.