Why is Rajasthan a wondrous destination
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There is probably no state in India that evokes as much grandeur and opulence as does the state of Rajasthan with its long history of Rajput rule, the remnants of which are the countless palaces and forts in Rajasthan which are no less than royal wonders from the past. The state is teeming with culture, from art and traditional handicrafts and music to authentic cuisines and a history consisting of conquests and chivalry and heroism. Rajasthan’s famous and historically significant forts and palaces which are also extremely lavish and magnificent are places that tourists to Rajasthan must see if they want to explore the royal wonders of the state. Here is a list of some of the best forts and palaces and even lakes that you absolutely cannot miss out on when visiting Rajasthan on a holiday in India. Check these places in your next visit to Rajasthan.
City Palace, Udaipur
On the banks of Lake Picola, standing on tufts of green grass, Udaipur’s City Palace was built in 1559 as the main palace where the Maharaja of the time held his court and administered power in his kingdom from. It is the largest of such main palaces in all of Rajasthan after successive rulers adding on to the original structure so that now it is full of numerous Mahals, courtyards, pavilions, corridors, terraces, rooms, and gardens. Made of granite and marble, its architecture includes medieval, European, and Chinese influences. There is also a museum within its premises where you would get to some of the best Rajput artwork and artifacts.
Fateh Sagar Lake
Located north-west of Udaipur, Fateh Sagar Lake is the second largest artificial lake in Rajasthan. It is popular not only for its magnificent beauty but also for the vast array of things that tourists can do there. Other than driving by the Moti Magri Road to view the stunning lake in its entirety you can also go for boating in the lake, which is even more fun because the lake consists of three separate islands where different activities are available. The largest island on the Fateh Sagar Lake, Nehru Park, consists of a boat restaurant and a zoo for children and is great for a picnic on a day with nice weather. Another island has a public park with water jet fountains and yet another has the best solar observatory in Asia, Udaipur Solar Observatory.
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For a slight change of scenery you must visit Mount Abu in Rajasthan, the only hill station in Rajasthan. The Dilwara Temples there are Jain temples from the 11th to 13th centuries. There are a total of 5 shrines each of which are dedicated to different gods and all of them have certain sections inside, including a central hall, an innermost sanctum where the deity resides, and heavily decorated ceilings. All the temples look quite simple and sober from the outside but they are all intricately designed with patterns on the roofs, walls, pillars, and archways inside. This would be a place to visit in Rajasthan that’s completely different from any other usual tourist destinations, so if you want something unique, this would be a good idea.
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This fort in Jodhpur, built in 1459, is one of the largest forts in all of India. Situated on top of a hill, entrance to the fort can be gained from any one of the seven huge gates that guard it, all of which have their own names, known as Victory Gate, Fateh Gate, Gopal Gate, Bhairon Gate, Dedh Kamgra Gate, Marti Gate, and Loha Gate. All of these walls were built for different purposes, some have been hit by cannon balls, others have spikes on them to prevent attacks from elephants and other animals, and yet others were built to commemorate certain battle wins. They are all intricately carved which adds to the charm of the place. There are such lavish palaces as Sheesh Mahal and Phool Mahal also inside the fort, as well as museums and galleries. It’s one of Rajasthan’s biggest tourist attractions.
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Junagarh Fort, or Old Fort, in Bikaner, is a fortified city dating back to 1470s when its foundation as simply a stone fort was laid and then over the centuries it was built over by other rulers and dynasties to finally make it the grand imposing structure that it is today. Its architecture is marvelous, mostly with Rajput influences, but also certain Mughal and even Western influences. Its structure is beautiful and regal on the exterior as well as interiors. Inside the fort there are numerous palaces, gardens, balconies, and even temples. There are seven major gates. There’s also a museum inside with paintings, jewels etcetera, that depict life in the fortified city at the time of Rajputana rule.
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