Kheechan Bird Sanctuary, located in the village of Kheechan, is a residence of migratory birds. This natural sanctuary serves as home to three types of birds called Kurjan, Karkara and Kunch that migrate from South West Europe, Black Sea region, Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, North and South Africa and Mongolia.
These birds can be seen in large numbers at this bird sanctuary between October and March as they migrate to India during this time to avoid the cold winters of Europe. A large number of these birds visit India every year, however, only about four to six thousand come to the bird sanctuary at Kheechan.
Kurjan, which makes a typical 'kur-kur' sound, weighs 4 to 6 kg and has a height of about three feet. It is for the typical sound they make that they are called Kurjan in the local language. The bird is capable of flying long distances at speeds varying from 40-60 km per hour.
Kurjans have typical features which make their appearance quite attractive. Kheechan Bird Sanctuary is quite popular among nature lovers who visit this place in large numbers every year to watch these birds.
Neemrana Hill Fort, located at Kesroli is a 14th century fort that has now been converted into a heritage hotel. The fort lies on the top of a hill overlooking the village and the surrounding agricultural fields. It was built around six centuries ago by the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who are believed to be the descendants of Lord Krishna.
The fortress was constructed with an intention to provide defence and warfare. With the passage of time, the fort went under the control of different rulers. It was conquered by the Mughals, followed by the Jats before finally coming under the control of the Rajputs in 1775 at a time when the princely state of Alwar was founded.
This fort, which has seen several dynasties thrive and perish, has now been given on lease to the company, Neemrana Heritage, by wing CDR Mangal Singh. The fort has been subsequently restored and converted into a heritage hotel. The hotel, known for its turrets, ramparts and arched verandas, is considered to be one of the best heritage hotels in India.
Ashoka Shilalekh is an old rock edict of Emperor Ashoka and is located at a distance of 100 m from the main road in Virat Nagar. This is an isolated place with great scenic beauty and immense historical significance.
Ashoka, the emperor of the Maurya Dynasty ruled India from 269 BC to 232 BC. He engraved his announcements and laws on various rock edicts, found at different locations in India.
Bagar is a town in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan which is famous for its painted havelis. Most of these havelis were built in the 20th century by the Marwari merchants of Shekhawati. Some of these havelis are even painted in pure gold at many places.
The Havelis of Rungtas and Piramal Makharia are two major attractions of the town which have been converted into heritage hotels. Other popular tourist delights of Bagar are the Fatehsagar Water Tank, Dargah of Miya Saheb and White Gate.
Barmer Fort, located on top of a rocky hill, stands as the witness to many historical events. Despite being in a dilapidated condition, this fort has still not lost its pride and glory and continues to be a popular tourist attraction.
Bhanwar Vilas Palace was built in 1938 by the then ruler of Karauli, Maharaja Ganesh Pal Deo Bahadur, and served as the royal residence. The palace is designed in a colonial style and furnished with furniture of art deco period. The palace has now been converted into a heritage hotel and has 45 rooms laden with all the modern-day amenities.
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, or BITS Pilani, which was established in 1964, is considered as one of the premier educational institutes of the country. It was founded by the Birlas in accordance with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's vision of nation building through science, technology and modernisation. The BITS Pilani campus is a splendid example of the combination of science with traditional heritage, and it has a number of structures celebrating modernity and ethnicity at the same time.
A great place to see inside the campus would be the iconic BITS Tower, a part of the main building of the institution. People can enjoy the local food in the dhabas around here. The best time for outsiders to visit the campus is during the three annual college festivals, when one can best experience the exciting student culture in the youthful atmosphere.
Chand Baori, located in the village of Abhaneri in Rajasthan, is a famous and arguably among the most beautiful stepwells in India. The stepwell was built in the 9th century by the then ruling king of the region, Raja Chand. Baoris or stepwells in the old days served as reservoirs to store water for summers or parched days.
Built on a square plan, Chand Baori is a 100-feet-deep stepwell that has 3500 narrow steps in 13 storeys. The well is surrounded by steps from three sides, while the fourth side has a set of pavilions that are built one atop the other. The side having pavilions is characterised by niches having beautiful sculptures and religious carvings. There is also a stage for performing arts and several rooms for the king and queen.
Chand Baori is now being managed by the Archaeological Survey of India. There is no fee charged for visiting the monument. The place has also been shown in various movies like The Fall and The Dark Knight Rises.
Chittorgarh Fort is a mighty and splendid structure depicting the glorious past of Chittorgarh. It is a major tourist attraction of the city. According to a folklore, the Mauryans built the fort during the 7th century. This magnificent structure rests over a 180 m high hillock and sprawls over an area of about 700 acres.
It is an epitome of architectural mastery that has survived through several devastations in the past. The way to the fort is not easy; one needs to walk a mile passing through steep and winding thoroughfare to reach the fort.
The fort has seven huge iron spiked gates that are named after Hindu deities. The magnificent palaces of Rani Padmini and Maharana Kumbha are situated inside the fort, along with many beautiful temples. There are several water bodies inside the fort that are fed by natural catchments or rainfall.
City Palace is one of the most beautiful palatial buildings in Udaipur. It is considered the largest amongst its kind in Rajasthan. Maharana Udai Mirza Singh constructed the palace in 1559 as the capital of the Sisodia Rajput clan. It lies on the banks of the Pichola Lake.
The complex of the City Palace comprises around 11 palaces. The structure displays a perfect combination of the Mughal and the Rajasthani style of architecture. It is built on top of a hill and offers an aerial view of the entire city. There are several domes, courtyards, corridors, rooms, pavilions, towers, and hanging gardens in the palace, which add to its beauty.
There are many gateways in this palace. The Bara Pol or the Great Gate is the main entrance gate to the palace. There is a triple arched gate too, which is called Tripolia. Close to this gate, there is a field where elephant fights used to take place.
In the middle of these two gates, there are eight toranas or marble arches. The kings were weighed here against silver and gold, which was later, distributed among the poor. The antique furniture, beautiful paintings, notable mirror and ornamental tile work enhance the elegance of the interiors of the palace.
The Manak Mahal or the Ruby Palace is adorned with amazing crystal and porcelain statues. The Bhim Vilas is decorated with miniature paintings presenting the life of the Hindu deities, Radha and Krishna.
The other palaces inside the City Palace include the Krishna Vilas, the Sheesh Mahal or the Palace of Mirrors, and the Moti Mahal or the Pearl Palace. The Jagdish Temple, known as the biggest shrine of Udaipur, is a part of the City Palace complex.
City Palace, also known as the Vinay Vilas Mahal, is a magnificent palace in the city of Alwar giving a glimpse into the resplendent lifestyle of Maharajas. The grand monument was built by Raja Bakhtawar in 1793 AD. The palace has a vibrant history. Many illustrious Mughal kings, like Babar, Jahangir, and Rajput kings, like Maharaja Pratap Singh, have spent time at the fort. The glorious structure is famous for its central courtyard that has a marble designed lotus tower.
The colossal palace is a viewer's treat with its mirror and murals work, as well as its splendid range of miniature paintings. The palace treasury has an ornate gold and velvet throne and a priceless drinking cup cut out of a single emerald. The stables feature a mammoth and a double-storeyed, four-elephant carriage. The palace now houses a museum preserving the royal memorabilia, historic exhibits, prized pieces and some rare manuscripts.
Dargah Sharif, the most famous pilgrimage centre in Rajasthan, is the place were Khwaja Moin-Ud-Din Chisti was buried. He was a Sufi saint who dedicated his life to the service of the poor and the downtrodden. This site is revered by people of all religions and is visited by millions of pilgrims every year.
The dargah with silver doors was constructed in several stages and houses the original tomb of the saint in a silver railing and a marble screen. Every year ‘Urs’ is held here for a period of 6 days in remembrance of the great Sufi saint. This duration of 6 days has special religious significance as people largely believe that when the saint was 114 years old, he locked himself inside a room for 6 days to pray and left his mortal body in solitude.
According to legends, Emperor Akbar offered the cauldrons when he was blessed by a heir to his throne by the saint. The tomb, which was built by Humayun, is located on the foot of a small and barren hill in Ajmer. It is built with white marble and has 11 arches along with a Persian inscription.
Dilwara Jain Temples, built between 11th century and 13th century, are one of the must see tourist attractions in Mount Abu. The temples are beautifully carved out of white marble. These temples consist of five exquisitely carved Jain temples and are considered to be the most beautiful Jain temples in all of Rajasthan.
All the five temples are quite different from each other, with each one of them named after a village in Rajasthan. The five temples are the Vimal Vasahi Temple, the Luna Vasahi Temple, the Peethalhar Temple, the Khartar Vasahi Temple and Shri Mahaveer Swami Temple.
A large number of Jain devotees visit here to pay their respects to the Tirthankaras (saints). Tourists in large numbers visit here to witness the architectural excellence of these temples. To know more about these temples, one can hire the services of tourist guides. Dilwara Jain Temples are situated about two and half kilometres away from Mount Abu and can be reached by road.
Fort Pokaran, popularly known as Balagarh, is an ancient fortress built in the 14th century. The monument stands in the middle of the Thar Desert. It is historically situated on an old trade route through which spices, salt and silk were exported to Persia and other countries. It is the premier fort belonging to the chief of the Champawat of the Rathore clan. The glorious past and the history of the fort attract a number of tourists from different parts of India and abroad.
Travellers can see the beautiful red sandstone palaces, the conventional jharokhas and grand towers here. At present, Thakur Nagendra Singh Pokaran along with his spouse, Thakurani Yashwant Kumari Pokaran, have happily opened the gates of the fort for visitors. The fort is a splendid example of the Mughal and the Rajput styles of architecture.
There is a museum in the fort displaying the royal collection of weapons, clothes, paintings and handicrafts. In addition, there is the Grand Library with a rich collection of classic books about the great Rao Bahadur Rajshree Thakur Chain Singh Ji Pokaran.
Hawa Mahal is a renowned monument constructed by Sawai Pratap Singh, the poet king of Jaipur in 1799. The five-storeyed building located near the Johari Bazaar is made of red and pink sandstone. The structure was designed by Lal Chand Usta and has more than 950 windows. The palace was built for the women of the palace so that they could enjoy the view of royal processions through the jali screens. There is an archaeological museum located in the building.