February 4, 2009
The much-awaited new luxury train Royal Rajasthan on Wheels – RRoW – has just successfully completed its trial run during the weekend; with its first inaugural journey slated to start from Delhi on January 11, 2009. The train has the capacity to carry 82 passengers at a time; the fare for a suite of super deluxe saloon costing a hefty US$2,000 per person per night (there are just an envious 2 of these suites in the entire train), while a deluxe saloon (there are 13 of them) would cost you a tidy US$800.
With an itinerary of 7-8 days, the journeys would start from Delhi. Initially, the train was supposed to travel via Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bikaner, Bharatpur and Agra. However, because the broad gauge railway track to Bikaner is fit for the movement of train, the RRoW would continue on the same route to Sawai Madhopur as Palace on Wheels,
October 23, 2008
[The Sorcerer and the Rajah; in the Hall of the Winds]
The Crown of Krishna
In the City Palace, is the chamber of the Harem, its original intention was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, also known as Hawa Mahal, or better known as “The Hall of the Winds.” Our story takes place in Jaipur, India, in the year 1799, within these walls, they were constructed of red pink limestone, and is five stories tall, the palace has the most beautiful face in the world for a structure.
(AD 1799) Baklha, the adopted son of the Sultan of Jaipur, had a ruthless disposition by nature, was not impressed either with the luxury that his father surrounded his youthful life with. Cruel and deviant and malicious, he was, and was despised by his country men, for that very reason; and was to the contrary of his step-father, who was wise as an owl, and his son foolish like a lamb. As a result, his two sons far from complimented one another, and all the more put emphasis on the others flaws.
Rajah Baklha, like King Solomon, ruler of the Jews of a bygone era, the Rajah was a lover of wine, women, song and twilight: and let us not forget the deep roots of enchantment arts, or those mystic and ever possessing black arts better known as Necromancer. His step-father in spite of all his efforts to tame his son’s spirit, he left him alone to content with them herself, to continued and suffers on his rocky course of mendacity, and invidious behavior.
At about this time there came a soothsayer: a necromancer (he was said to have learned his black arts from an ancient Mu-man of the old continent of Lemur, in the Pacific), he came into what is known as The Pink City, for the city was all painted pink, as well as the legendary Palace of the Winds, with its beautiful façade for all to adore in the mornings, and at nights, all to curse as one stepped over beast and human bodies sleeping on the grass and roadside; for poverty was prevalent.
And so it was, the sorcerer made his presence known throughout the city, as he showed his skill in spells and enchantments, in fortune telling, and herbs, healing and philosophy, in prophecy of future events to be for; and so this was how he made his living, his, money and goods, a barter he was to included; all throughout India no other city had such a man of quality, in those far-off days. He traveled from Delhi, to Agra to Lucknow Jaipur, on an elephant’s head, and when he made his appearance, he was greeted with the most respected.
The Rajah, hearing of his arrival within the city, made haste to have his company, sending a servant to find him, and set up a meeting. The sorcerer was in his own right a warlock of a supernatural demonic class, or so it would appear, whom bore no fear of Sultan or Rajah in all lands of India, lawless or not, and he knew of the Rajah, and so he would meet his match perhaps, that is to say, the Rajah would equally be matched, in a diabolical way.
-The servant having cast his eyes upon the sorcerer, simply could not digest this, in essence, he could not fathom what a great man of his status would look like, that this is what a great man would did like, in reality for with only an imagination to go by, one builds such images, no man could live up to them: he, the sorcerer being short and plump, humble and soft spoken, with a curve to his smile, thin legs holding up that chunky torso, and a eeriness to his composure, although it was relaxed, too satiate, and astute, one might say.
With little uncertainty, the servant now within his presence, knew he was the necromancer, oh yes, yes indeed, without a doubt, it was all in his laughter, his eyes of amber, warlock eyes, vanishing as you looked at him, vanishing as if a flame inside of them were blown-out. There was also a needled coldness to his presence like a glacier-taken hold of his hand, as they greeted one another.
Said the servant, “I am the servant of the Rajah Baklha, and he has sent me here to make arrangements, and payment if need be for your services. He wishes to know what lies ahead, the future, if it be destruction or promise.”
“Oh yes! Awa, yes, I wish to serve him if infect I can; I have heard of his scarlet runaway temper, and his pan-like strains of malefic-behavior…much like mine when I was young and foolish. But I am an old prophet of long forecast and I can help him now, perhaps better than before, before being in my youth.”
Like a serpent gliding by, they withdrew to see the Rajah immediately.
Within the palace guest chamber, sat the Sorcerer and the Rajah, across from one another-it was as he, the Sorcerer liked it-wanted it to be, commented to the Rajah, in a thanking manner, that it was set up as he would have wished it to be, for it was dark and gloomy in the room, as he recited incantations, in a peculiar tongue uncommon for the understanding of the Rajah; chants that seemed to sew together spells in the air, tying vapors that appeared out of nowhere, and shifting shadows as if someone or thing was shape-shifting amongst them, ghosts perhaps, therefore, thought the Rajah: what is my future, but says nothing.
The Sorcerer seeing the uneasiness, the impatience of the Rajah, said in a smooth, slow, and calming voice:
“Three diamonds, two rubies, and one large gold coin, which will do for my payment.”
The Rajah looked strange upon the Sorcerer, for he had asked exactly what was in his pockets, and so without any a due, he pulled out the items and handed them to the seer, fascinated that he knew exactly, perfectly the correct amount and items, for he had told no body, nor given any clues to his servants on what he had in those deep pockets of his.
Moreover, both remained seated, facing one another, as they had continued in a silent manner for several minutes, watching and listening, meditating the Rajah in particular, observed a shape-shifting ghost as it fled from one corner of the chamber to another, and onto another, as it went in circles, thinking: why did this warlock bring a ghoul with him? Looking images came and left, looking images that looked out at him, and then reburied themselves within themselves.
Of the other images, he saw people being killed, city walls falling, wars going on-all such images were coming out of the vapor the ghost had seemed to produce as it went in its so called circle, producing imagery upon descriptions of future time.
But the Rajah did not manage to decipher these images, and again said nothing as if he were bored and waiting for a translator. But this was his future, had he looked hard enough.
“The shapes you’ve seen are locations within the sub-continent of India who have come and gone and to be;” said the Sorcerer with a tangy tone to his voice, waiting for the Rajah to say something. Then suddenly (again) a vapor appeared, and molded into a thulium-shadow, with forms that were-seemingly-trying to grab at the Rajah, with a shadow of a knife; it was appeased when the young Rajah leaned back into his chair, as if he was no threat. At this moment, the prince gave the seer his grievances and demanded he focus on him and his future, his empire to be. Yet the images kept coming in the form (now) of animals-attacking.
Now the sorcerer stood up, presented his petition: that should he let the Rajah live he would do a big injustice for the city, his step-father, the Sultan, of whom was to become ill, and the throne given to him, for the Sorcerer had seen this within the empires that had come and gone within the vapor-shadows the Rajah did not want to acknowledge. They were his doings, the wars to be, the turmoil in the city. Hence, the Sorcerer pulled out a knife from his tunic, unexpectedly, and he stabbed the Rajah to death; at that very moment the old Sultan had walked through the door and said, “Job well done,” and paid him a handsome sum.
And you could see instantly, the absolutely rigid body, of the Rajah, he died absolutely stiff, as if he was dead already, had been dead, as if he had died over night, laying on the floor, his legs drew up. The young Rajah, should never had known what was to be, had he not requested the Sorcerer, for the old Sultan, learned as well his legacy, should he pass it on to his son, he was watching from an unnoticeable distance, in the darkest place of the chamber,
September 17, 2008
Once renowned as the Land of Kings – Rajasthan is a place of glory and splendor welcomes its visitors to unfurl its awe-inspiring monuments, vibrant traditions and vigorous customs. The state has gained its identity in 1949 with Jaipur as its capital. The state was known as the place of Rajputana, very much popular among the global tourist as a place of valor, courage and heroism. Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Ajmer and several other historically loaded cities of Rajasthan are majestically contributing in making the place a major travel destination in the world.
To talk about the treasures of Rajastan is to elaborate its royal palaces, rocky forts, dazzling deserts, woody hills, relaxing lakes, busy towns, silent villages, amazing forests and its vibrant inhabitants. In your travel across the popular tourist destinations, don’t forget to make a visit to its local fair or the bustling bazaar and the awesome architectural wonders. As far as the handicrafts are concerned, Rajasthan is the richest state in India. Here the mood and rhythm of the countryside alters from one region to another. An exotic land, Rajasthan, the home of Rajputs, is characterized among the worldwide travelers as a land of art, architecture, bravery and chivalry.
Tourism opportunities of Rajasthan are tremendous. Jaipur- the pick city is an extremely liked place for its marvelous architectural buildings as Hawa Mahal. The city presents a unique synthesis of culture and tradition and thus a major magnetism of Rajasthan. Udaipur, the lake city was once the capital of Ranas of Mewar, celebrated for its fairytale palaces. Ajmer is a highly venerated spot for both Hindu and Muslim pilgrims, as the place hosts mausoleum of the Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Bikaner, Jodhpur and a part of the Jhunjhunu are also successfully making travelers way into Rajasthan.
The moment you start visiting Rajasthan you will discover a lot of new facets of the place. Marked with the largest participation, Pushkar fair is the prime allurement of Rajasthan Tourism. Thus, the region is a true tourist paradise which hosts most of the fascinating wildlife sanctuaries, shrines for some ardent and pious natives. If you want to make your Rajasthan travel more comfortable and hustle free Palace on Wheels is the best means of transport. Adventure activities and imperial tours on Palace on wheels will make your vacation to the princely land more comfortable and relaxing that you ever think of. The delicious cuisine, the camel rides, the forts, castles add golden magnetism to Rajasthan.
So, just jump for a trip to the land of the exotic ethnicity and spend your vacation in the soil of the maharajas and the valiant Rajputs and change your life forever. Staying in Rajasthan is not at all a problem as there lays numerous facilities of lavish accommodation. Rajasthan heritage hotels, five star hotels and even the budget hotels are ready to welcome its guest with traditional amenities and services. From sand dunes to the massive forts, Rajasthan is a land of magical fantasies that remain a lifetime memory within the heart of global tourist.
August 21, 2008
Jaipur, also popularly known as the pink city is largely famous as a tourist destination. Last few years has seen a lot of developments in terms of IT/ITES companies entering the Jaipur market due to affordable labour and cost of operation. As a result Jaipur properties have seen a lot of developments in terms of property transactions.
As the ratio of demand to supply is deficit, there has been remarkable escalation in the Jaipur properties rates. The infrastructure is now powered by connectivity with the 8-lane expressway and proximity to international airport. This city is set to go up to 25-30% by 2010.
Jaipur real estate builders are of the view point that investors are ready to buy apartments in Jaipur but the demand has shifted from the Walled City or Old Jaipur to locations like Ashok Nagar, C-Scheme and Lal Kothi. Vidhyadhar Nagar, Vaishali Nagar and Mansarovar.
These upcoming residential locations are mainly on the outer fringes of city. New residential projects like Omaxe City, Sushant Lok, Parsvnath Narayan City, Amarpali and Vatika are coming along Ajmer Road, Tonk Road and Kalwar Road.
In the residential segment, Bani Park, Malviya Nagar and Raja Park have also witnessed a decent appreciation in the last two years. Jaipur Real Estate Developers are of the view point that recent trend is seen that most of the investors are readily buying apartments in Jaipur and converting them into serviced apartments.
As most of the tourists prefer these serviced apartments in comparision to hotels as it gives them a homely experience.
August 3, 2008
It will not be an exaggeration to call Jaipur the Jewel of India. This 300 years “Young” city is the first planned city of India. The main attraction of Jaipur is its forts and Palaces, its vibrant culture, its traditions. While the strategically built colossal forts remind you of the insightfulness of the jaipur rulers, the picturesque palaces, on the other hand are a good evidence of their artistic taste. In short we can say that travelling through Jaipur is like Traveling back to Royal Times. Beautiful palaces enhanced by magnificent artwork and intricate mirror work, vigorous weapons, astonishing collection of royal antiques, Colorful dresses, jovial people, lively festivals, pulsating markets and mouthwatering food are all what depicts Jaipur. Jaipur is the right destination for Shopping too with its specialized markets for various products like books, food items, cloth/readymade garments, jewelry, handicrafts etc. The must buy items from jaipur are handicrafts, cloth/Readymade garments with jaipuri bandej (Design), pottery and lots and lots of lip smacking rajasthani snacks and pickles to cherish the memories of Jaipur back home. In short we can say that if you want a soothing tranquil place amidst the tensions and chaos of the present world, Jaipur is the perfect place.
Below is given the must visiting places of Jaipur:
Famous For- Beautiful palace, picnic spot, exquisite paintings, elephant ride, intricate mirror work, hills, splendid architecture, royal ambience,
What to See- Shila Devi (Temple), Sukh Niwas (Pleasurable residence of Mahraja), Jaleb Chowk (main courtyard), Maotha Lkae, Diwn-e-Aam (Hall of public audience), Jai Mandir (the hall of victory) , Zenana (the palace of women)
Famous For -House of the present Royal Family of Jaipur, A perfect marriage of mughal and rajasthani architecture , Museum of royal collectible like cloth, folk embroidery, Rajput weaponry, Art gallery containing original manuscripts of hindu scripture, Miniature paintings etc.
What to see -Mubarak Mahal,, Mahrani’s Palace, Diwan e Aam, Chandra Mahal, , Mubarak Mahal, Badal Mahal, City Palace, Museum, Govind Temple, Chandra Mahal, Diwan e Aam, Diwan e Khas, Sukh Niwas, Shobha Niwas, Chavi Niwas
Famous For -Remarkable Rajasthani architecture made of red and pink sandstone, arched roofs, lattice worked windows small balconies, spectacular view of Jaipur city, made for ladies of royal household to see the royal processions through lattice worked windows.
What to see -Five Storied building each storey worth seeing
Famous For -Cannon foundry, exquisite palace, several beautiful temples, collection of weapons, puppets, coins, largest cannon in the world, puppets
What to see -Dungar Darwaza
Famous For -Planetary Observatory, masonry equipments
What to see -Most famous of the five obsercatories built by Mharaja Sawai Jaisingh. Each and every equipemt is worth seeing also ask how each of them used to work
Famous For -Built to fortify the defense of Amer, The bird’s eye view of Jaipur City especially Mansagar Lake and the surrounding area
What to see -Though some part of the fort is ravaged, the newer additions are really eye-catching, don’t foret to climb up the terrace and have a bird’s eye view of the city
Pratap Mandir (adjoining Hawa Mahal)Museum
Famous For -Sculptural heritage
What to see -Virat Nagar Museum
The area was known as Matsyadesh during the Epic Period. Amazing collection of excavated materials.
Statues, exquisite weapons, coins of the bygone era, potteries, seals etc.
July 8, 2008
Built in 1799, the Hawa Mahal (the palace of Winds) is one of the Jaipur’s major Landmarks, although it is actually little more than a facade. This five – storey building, which looks out over the main street of the buzzing old city , is a stunning example of Rajput artistry with its pink, delicately honeycombed sandstone windows, of which there are 953. It was originally built to enable the women of the royal household to watch the everyday life and processions of the cit. The palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and is a part of the city palace complex.
Since the Hawa Mahal was built at a time when women of the royal families had to observe strict purdah, many believe that the Hawa Mahal was built, just so these ladies could watch the processions and various activities taking place on the streets. This does explain why Hawa Mahal has such tiny windows and many screened balconies. The royal ladies could look below at the people without showing themselves and thus enjoy a sense of freedom.
The Hawa Mahal is a popular place among visitors to Rajasthan because of the amazing view it offers of the city and particularly Jantar Mantar (another tourist attraction). Many insist that the best time to visit Hawa Mahal is in the early morning, right when the sun is rising. As the palace bathes in the golden light of the sun, it looks like a fantastic image conjured up by the mind in a trance. The palace glows like an impalpable dream, which makes you feel that even if you dare blink your eyes, it will quickly dissolve into thin air.
Most of the people come her to see the beautiful facade, but you can also climb the top for a view of the city below; peer through the latticed windows to experience the fascinating interplay of gazes set up by the structure. The entrance is from the rear of the building.
Time: 9:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M.(Daily)
May 15, 2008
Jaipur is considered by many urbanists to be one of the best planned cities. It has been claimed to be the first planned city in India. The city was planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra (Vedic or Pouranic Planning for the comfort and prosperity of the citizens). The directions of each street and Bazzar are east to West and North to South. The Eastern gate is called Suraj (Sun) Pol, while the Western gate is called Chand (Moon) Pol. There are only three gates facing in these directions, including the Northern gate which faces toward the ancestral capital of Amber, while many gates face South. Although the present city has expanded from outside of its walls, the original planning was within the walls. The gates used to be closed at sunset and opened at sunrise. Almost all Northern Indian towns of that period presented a chaotic picture of narrow twisting lanes, a confusion of run-down forts/temples/palaces and temporary shacks that bore no resemblance at all to the principles set out in Hindu architectural manuals which call for strict geometric planning. Thus, for Sawai Jai Singh II and the Bengali Guru Vidyadhar (who was a ‘Shaspati’ – Hindu Priest Architect), the founding of Jaipur was also a ritual and a bronze opportunity to plan a whole town according to the principles of Hindu architectural theory. The town of Jaipur is, in fact, built in the form of a eight-part Mandala known as the ‘Pithapada‘. Nine signifies the nine planets of the ancient astrological zodiac. It is also known that Sawai Jai Singh II was a great astronomer and a town planner, and hence the ‘Pithapada’. Also, the commercial shops are designed in multiples of nine (27), having one cross street for a planet
In the 19th century the city grew rapidly and became prosperous; by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The city’s wide boulevards were paved and lit with gas. The city had several hospitals. Its chief industries were in metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city also had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls’ school (1867) initiated under the reign of the enigmatic Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. There was also a wealthy and enterprising community of native bankers, particularly the Jains and the Marwaris.