Places to visit

Wildlife

RA

The immense variety of flora and fauna that is found here, even amidst the harsh climatic conditions, is a question of great curiosity to many. The tourists never fail to enjoy the ethereal beauty preserved here.

Wildlife

Sita Mata Sanctuary

Sita Mata Sanctuary
Set amidst a landscape of lush and dense vegetation, the Sita Mata Wildlife Sanctuary juxtaposes diversity and beauty, adorning the district of Pratapgarh in a glistening habiliment of ornate surrealism.
The gargantuan sanctuary spreads across and expense of 422.95 sq.km, sweeping away a huge area of the developing district. The region experiences extremities of temperature variation, the winter temperatures dropping to 6 to 14 0 C, in summer, the mercury level soaring up to 30 to 45 0C. The vegetation mainly comprises of dry deciduous forests, as the region receives only 756mm of rainfall over an annual term. The trees that particularly dominate the region include Sheesham, Saalar, Dhaak, Dhonk, Kadamb, Mahua and Imli. A number of rivers, namely Jakham, Karmoi, Sitamata, Budhho, and Tankiya slither their way through the forest, complementing the magnificent beauty of the landscape with their rippling exuberance.
The sanctuary manifests a plethora of rich biodiversity that includes trees of high building value, shrubs and herbs having high medicinal value, a variety of species of migratory as well as resident birds and much more. In fact, many more species of medicinal plants are yet to be discovered in the region, and hence it is an alluring destination for many researchers, and even ornithologists, who are attracted to the diverse avifauna of this place.
The highlight of the sanctuary is the vegetarian mammal flying squirrel, which can be best observed gliding from one tree to another during the February- March period, when the trees shed most of their leaves. The sanctuary also plays host to a number of mammalian species that include the Chousingha, leopard, hyena, jackal, fox, jungle cat, porcupine and many more.
The historical essence of the Sita Mata Wildilfe Sanctuary is of great importance in Indian culture as the place is considered to house the Valimiki Ashram- the birthplace of Luv and Kush, the sons of Lord Rama and Mata Sita.

Royal Rajasthan invites you in its sanctum of solace to experience the joy in its tranquil vigour for yourself, to leave momentarily all the hustle in life and to rejoice in the spirit of living.

Sariska Tiger Reserve

Sariska Tiger Reserve
Despite the rough and arid conditions prevailing in the state of Rajasthan, it is home to some of the most magnificent and rare flora and fauna. Rajasthan holds in its heart some of the most exotic national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, where the animals and plants rejoice in their natural habitat. Besides providing a scenic beauty that is elegant and wondrous to all, the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries also make our Royal Rajasthan a popular tourist destination.
Spread over a massive area of 866 sq. km, the Sariska Tiger Reserve,in the Alwar district of Rajasthan is an Indian National Park, formerly a hunting reserve,that was granted the status of a tiger reserve in 1978, post its recognition as a wildlife sanctuary in 1955. Regality prevails in the air of Rajasthan, and this is showcased well in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, which is known all over the world for its grand Royal Bengal Tigers who have been successfully relocated, as is clear from their growing population in the reserve.
Apart from nurturing a plethora of flora and fauna, the Sariska Reserve dates back its story to some of the fascinating anecdotes in Indian history. The Kankwadi fort, originally built by the then king Jai Singh II is centred near the heart of the park. It is said that the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb imprisoned his brother Dara Shikoh in the fort, in order to attain the throne, by hook or by crook( which is obvious!). The place is also said to be the retreat of the mighty Pandavas, the sons of King Pandu of Hastinapur, when they were exiled. The Neelkanth temple, the buildings associated with the kings of Alwar, such as the Sariska Palace, a royal hunting lodge of Maharaja Jai Singh.
Coming back again to the point in which we concentrate our discussion, the wildlife and botanical elements of the park, Sariska is home to a variety of exquisite creatures. Starting with the leopard, jungle cat, striped hyena, sambhar, nilgai , chinkara- the list just goes on and on. The diverse vegetation that includes the Dhok tree,Sal,Kadaaya,Ber,Gol,Dhak compliment the fauna pretty well.
The spectacular scenic beauty and the calm and tranquil environment is sure to make anyone fall in love with Sariska!!

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve
India’s pride, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is one of the most famous tiger reserves in the whole of India. Viewed as a pioneer for proffering the issue of the conservation of tigers in the aftermath of a rapid decline in their numbers, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is inundated by tourists throughout the year. Located in the eastern part of Rajasthan in Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is made up of three parts- the Ranthambore National Park and two sanctuaries viz the Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary and the Keladeo sanctuary.
The Maharajas of Jaipur (in the later part of the 20th century) sported a very royal hobby: hunting. Their idea of a day well spent was the hunting down of a ferocious carnivore, tigers being their favorite. But with the number of tigers falling steeply, they realized that their ‘game’ was in jeopardy. Their desire to preserve the game in these forests, galvanized them to take concrete steps towards the protection of tigers until the launch of Project Tiger in 1973. The main objective behind launching the project Tiger was to put a check on the dramatic decrease in tiger population all over India by identifying the major reasons for the steady fall in their numbers and taking steps to mitigate the same. The effort has had a very positive effect on the tiger population in India.
The Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, famous all over the world for its tigers flaunts an amazingly rich flora and fauna. Much of the landscape is a tropical dry deciduous forest, with ‘Dhok’ tree being the most ubiquitous tree in the reserve. The Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is most famous for its tiger. They can be easily spotted here, cooling themselves off beside a water body or resting under tree shade. Apart from the tiger which lends fame to this place, other animals found here are striped hyenas, common or Hanuman langurs, rhesus macaques, Black aped hare, caracals, blackbuck, jackals and a good population of leopards. Also, a staggering 272 species of birds (recorded thus far) is something this place boasts of.
Today, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve covers an expansive 1334 sq. km. Now if you are a wee bit perplexed as to how to go about covering such a large area, do not worry. Safari rides have been made available to take you on a sometimes smooth and sometimes bumpy ride though the reserve so that you can spot the wandering tigers and soak in the breathtakingly amazing flora and fauna of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. So take a deep breath and fill your heart with the enchanting beauty this place offers.
So, the next time you are planning your vacation, make sure you spend it in Rajasthan and once here make sure that the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is somewhere at the top on your ‘To Visit’ list. Get ready to get wowed!

Keoladeo Ghana National Park

Keoladeo Ghana National Park
The famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is now adorned with a new name, the Keoladeo National Park.But its enticing synopsis remains unblemished and glistening. Declared a world heritage site,post its recognition as a protected sanctuary in 1971, the Keoladeo National Park is a sanctum for the birds where they rejoice in their joie de vivre. The rich avifauna of the sanctuary is renowned world over, as one of the most illustrious places hosting one of the largest bird population, common and rare species alike.
Amidst the severe and arid climatic conditions, the park is the only region which has significant vegetation in its vicinity. Spanning over an expanse of 29 sq.km, the reserve acts as a shield to Bharatpur, protecting it against frequent floods. The park is an abode of numerous bird, floral, lizard ,snake, amphibian, turtle and a variety of other species. As already mentioned, the sanctuary is one of the richest zones for all species of migratory birds, its resident birds and also some of the endangered avian species. Every winter, thousands of migratory birds flock the sanctuary, making the place an alluring destination for ornithologists and tourists alike.
The region receives scarce to moderate precipitation and hence, the vegetation of the region mainly comprises of tropical,dry deciduous forests and small shrubs and trees. The trees that particularly dominate the region include Kadam, Jamun, Babul,Kandi,Ber and Kair. The highlight of the park for which it assumes a highfalutin status lies in the facts that it is a staging ground for the migratory waterfowl and also winter habitat for the critically endangered Siberian Crane.
If you are on a visit to this park, you are likely to encounter some of our beautiful avian folks that include Common Teal, Gadwar, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Cotton Teal,Indian Shag, Ruff, Painted, so on and so forth, the list seeming to stretch upto ad-infinitum.
Moving forth to the mammal count, the park flaunts its mammalian assets with pride. The 27 species of mammals,comprising of the Blue Bull,Feral Cattle, Spotted Dear, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Common White Sambhar and many more, present a luculent picture of biodiversity.
Concluding on a synopsis,the Keoladeo National Park welcomes you to its province with open arms and an experience that will leave an indelible impression in your minds.

Desert National Park

Desert National Park
A visit to Rajasthan can never be complete without experiencing the magic of the desert. And when you can have the pleasure of desert as well as animal reserve at the same place, the joy simply proliferates. Situated near the town of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, the Desert National Park is spread around a massive area of 3162 sq.kms. The park presents a panoramic view of the desert ecosystem and plays host to a wide variety of flora and fauna. The park is one of the largest in India and flaunts one of the most spectacular characteristics of the Desert Region- sand dunes.

Despite the climatic conditions, the park witnesses a multifariousness of avifauna. It serves as an abode of migratory birds and resident birds of the desert. Eagles, Harriers, Falcons, Buzzards are some of the bird species. The park also houses some fossil records, almost 180 million years old and dinosaur fossil records which date back their origin to a timeframe six million years ago.
Among the animal species, the Blackbuck, desert fox, wild cat, wolf etc are the common types. A particular attraction of the Desert National Park is a bird called the Great Indian Bustard, an endangered species found only in India. Hence, it plays its part well to attract birdwatchers and ornithologists from all over the globe.
The Desert National Park is definitely a treat to the eyes and it is absolutely not unnatural if you are gung-ho about visiting this magnificent epitome of desert ecosystem just after knowing about it.

Attraction

Handicraft

Handicraft

Rajasthan, being the largest producer of handicraft items in India can decor you as well as your homes with the radiance of its crafts. Markets in Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Bundi, Shekhawati, introduce you to the efforts of the village craftsmen whose toil create wonder. The traditional haats (bazaars) showcase hand-craft items made of wood, leather, ivory, lac, glass, marble, silver, gold and mud itself. The conventional use of colours in paintings and dyes, drawn from vegetables, minerals and insects reminds us of our age old heritage and its harmony with nature. Along with memories, why don’t you carry few articles to retain the flavour of Rajasthan? The lattice wood furniture, miniature gemstone paintings, intrinsically carved deities, authentic jewelleries and beautiful dress materials, blue pottery, Jaipuri Rajais (quills), carpets and durries, Mojaris or Juttis (footwear) and Marionette style puppets are items which enshrine the identity of the land. Textile- More than an industry, textile has resumed its place as a ‘tradition’. The block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagru prints, Sanganer prints, Zari embroidery, and the fabulous Bandhani form of cloth decoration sourced from places like Jodhpur, Pali, Jaipur, Udaipur and Nathdwara, offers variations and vibrancy into the desert landscape. The spell of colour mesmerizes everyone visiting a market in this glorious land. With the availability of raw materials and trained labour, Rajasthan has emerged as a promising textile hub.

Jewellery

Native crafts of kundan, meenakari and filigree hold the ethnic aura and can blend into your contemporary look. Gold, silver and metal jewels adorning your hands, neck, forehead, ears, nose, anklets, feet and waist, bequeath poise and elegance. Lac bangles keep the auspiciousness of the culture. Variegated designs uphold the workmanship. The dashes of relic over the shimmer of ornaments depict the magic of incredibility bestowed upon this part of India. If you are eager to be bejewelled with glittering gems, Rajasthan is a place to visit!

Pottery

Rajasthan pottery has a long lineage with fragments found in Kalibanga of Harrapan Civilization dating back to the 2500 BC. Jaipur’s famous ‘Blue Pottery’ industry brings forth different household items which you should not miss shopping for. Worth mentioning is Molela village, near Udaipur, famous for its terracotta plagues of votive images.

You can reach out the best deals of Rajasthani handicraft in fairs held in Shilpgram, situated 3 kilometres west of Udaipur, near Havala village, which is a Rural Arts and Crafts Complex exhibiting the lifestyles of the people. The pageant of weaving, embroidery, bead work, mirror-work and wood work, is an experience which shall augment your sight-seeing.

The grandiloquent history of this land of kings cannot be completed without the touch of soil and sweat embedded in every heart of commoners. From the pierce of needles while embroidering, to the pierce of a nose-ring, from the cut of a sculptor to the paint of a potter, from the chime of bangles to the rhythm of puppets, all seems unforgettable once you pay a visit to Rajasthan.

Dance and Music

Dance and Music

Carrying a long legacy of folk dances, the tribes of Rajasthan have taken the verve of celebration in their veins against the morbid desert landscape. What fascinates the onlookers are the daring acts, commitment to culture and rituals, the joyous attitude of the people, inviting melody and movements, and not forgetting the colourful costumes. To get the taste of the art of Rajasthan, a glimpse of the dance forms is an appreciating step. The breathtaking performances, the tolerance of the gypsies pushing the boundaries of forbearance, the entertainment that keeps alive the merry living of the ancestors of rural people, is sure to overwhelm you. If you wish to make your trip more interesting, do not forget to watch the folk dances of Rajasthan, which assures you to tap your feet and swirl along the catchy tunes.

GHOOMAR DANCE

A major attraction of Rajasthan is the traditional dance form ‘Ghoomar’ which is derived from the Hindi word ‘Ghoomna’, meaning pirouetting. The clock and anti clock twirls of woman in circles, wearing colourful long ‘ghagras'(skirts) is a spectacular showcase of gaiety. Originating in the Bhil tribe and later percolating to other Rajasthani communities, this dance form involves graceful movements of hands and measured steps. It is usually performed during festivals like Teej and Gangaur, offering devotion to Lord Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva. A bride is expected to dance ‘Ghoomar’ after being welcomed in her husband’s house. The veiled faces of the women folk dancing to the songs indicate modesty. The whirling and free- flowing robes accompanied by the melody of musical instruments like ‘manjeera’ and ‘dholak’, stupefies the bystanders.

KACCHI GHODI DANCE

Originated in bandit regions of Shekhawati; this dance form depicts the confrontation of bandits of the Bavaria clan with the passing commoners. ‘Ghodi’ or horse is a symbol of royal power. In ‘Kacchi Ghodi’, the dancers ride a dummy horse tied on their waist and hold naked swords. Mock fights go along with the rhythm of drums and fifes. Songs of traders are sung in the background. The embellished costume with beautiful mirror work portrays the richness of the culture.

KALBELIYA DANCE

Kalbeliya or the ‘Snake Charmer Dance’ is another popular dance form of Rajasthan. Originated in the Kalbeliya community, this dance is now in UNESCO’s representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from the year 2010. This nomadic tribe is well known for their occupation of catching snakes and trading snake venom. As sensuous as the sinuous movements of serpents, the women dancers clad themselves in black apparels with red decorative laces and embroidery of silver threads symbolic of black snakes with white spots, and dances to the rhythms of ‘been’, a woodwind instrument traditionally used to capture snakes. The songs are sung in spontaneity, keeping with the oral tradition of the tribe and spreading stories of folklore and mythology. The charm of the dancers bejewelled in gleaming accessories is combined with stunts of bending and wheeling; something you should not miss to watch at all!

GAIR DANCE

Specially performed during festivals like Holi and Janmashtami, ‘Gair’ is a dance form of Rajasthan, originating in the Bhil community. The main attraction is the striking of sticks in a regular tempo by the man folk dancing in circles. There are many variations of this dance form; instances are ‘Dandi Gair’ found in Marwar region and Geendad found in Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. The long pleated tunics worn by men swirls with the sound of musical instruments like dhol and nagara. The proficiency achieved by the dancers is worth praising.

KATHPUTLI DANCE

‘Kath’ or wood and ‘putli’ or puppet unify into the term ‘Kathputli’, meaning string marionette. The puppetry dance is an indispensable art form of Rajasthan since the last thousand years. The puppeteer controls his dolls and shows his skills with strings. Swordsmanship, horse riding, dancing, acrobatics are performed by the dummies. A particular topic is chosen by the manipulator, generally centred on moral and social issues. Puppets are a medium to voice the problems of the society, create awareness and also unfold anecdotes of legends and mythology to its spectators. Dance is a form of expression and celebration in itself. The portrayal of Rajasthan is unfinished if you have dodged off without experiencing the dances of the gypsy community. The music emanating from sarangi, ghungroos, ektara, shehnai and dholak connects you to a pristine vagueness. What you shall carry home is a prick in your heart; muck alike the pricks of pebbles underneath the feet of the dancers who endeavour to carry the inheritance of the dexterous dance forms, from one generation to the other.

TERAH TAALI DANCE

The eclectic dance forms of Rajasthan appeases the prevailing rigorous aridity. When we think of rhythm and cadence, what stirs us is the ‘Terah Taali’ dance. Predominately popular amongst the Kamada community of Pali and Nagore district, this dance is ritualistic and devotional. Tribes of Mirasi, Bhand, Dholi, Bhat, Nat and that of Pokhran and Deedwana practice this art form. Stories of Shri Ram Dev Babaji and couplets of Sant Kabir and Meera Bai encompass the central theme of the songs. ‘Terah Taali’ suggests thirteen different modes of cymbal clapping which is representative of thirteen distinct emotions. The female dancers wear ‘manjeeras’ or little brass discs (sometimes made of copper, bronze or zinc) tied to their waist, elbow, arms and wrist. With every spin of their hands, the ‘manjeeras’ evoke jingling sounds. The precision and concentration of the dancers to carefully blend their movements with the songs of the male participants playing ektara, is hypnotic. There is no doubt in the adroitness of the artists who succeeds to take you through a flight of divine intrusion. The dancers normally sit and hit the ‘manjeeras’ attach to their hands and feet, and they add into it stunts of holding uncovered knifes in their teeth and walking on broken glasses and carrying pots on their heads. With the up-surging speed of the dancers, your pulse is sure to elevate. What seems analogous to this rhythmic form of dance is the tempo of the traditional ground stone which is used in every indigenous Indian house. The sound of the cymbals enlivens the stillness of the desert and bestows upon the viewers a reason to rejoice, a reason to celebrate.

DRUM DANCE

A professional dance form of the Jhalore region, ‘Drum Dance’, is another folk dance of Rajasthan. It is a rousing performance of the men folk from a martial race. Drum or ‘dholak’ has both musical and social significance in India. Its pitch suits the folk culture and root deep down to the thread of liveliness. The mundane labour of the tribes is well settled by the variegated entertaining dance forms. In this type, usually five men beat drums tied around their necks and a dancer holding a huge cymbal in his hand accompany the drummers. Brass plates or ‘thalis’ are played by other performers; few juggle naked sword and hold them in their mouths. The colourful attires, the continuous beating of the drums until it reaches its crescendo, the beautifully tinted wooden sticks to play the ‘dholaks’, the music and the togetherness, is a pleasure to live through, that instant. India takes the pride of the creativity and colour of Rajasthani folk dances.

FIRE DANCE

Did you ever experience a state of trance? Or anything that seems to overturn the facts and facets and indulge you in a dilemma of belief and disbelief? No? Then certainly you should watch the fabulous ‘Fire Dance’ of Rajasthan. The ‘Jasnathis’ of Bikaner and Chum are renowned for their tantric powers. Large beds of flaming coal are spread in a spacious ground, where live wood and charcoal are piled. The performers jump on to the fire and make movements with the rhythm of the drums. They are ensured protection by their continuous practice and their utter submission to the omnipotent. Fire goes well with a chilling night, and so does the delight of this performance during late winter. The overpowering of fear and daring acts of the dancers shall amaze you, utterly. From the point of view of trance and conscious-unconscious surrender, the ‘Fire Dance’ goes in line with the ‘Deudhani Dance’ of Assam, in Northeast India. At times it seems bizarre and unearthly to the viewers who may wonder at the risk involved in such folk dances, but when it comes to devotion, there is only one thing that stands firm and that is ‘believe’; in God, in oneself and in the blessings of the ancestors. All these combine to keep an art form alive, and further retain the incredibility of India.

CHARI DANCE

The art of collecting water in a ‘chari’ or pot by Rajasthani woman who travels miles, balancing the water pots on her heads is the source of another dance form, named ‘Chari’. Originating in the Gujjar community of Kishangarh, this folk dance involves women dancing with brass pots placed on their heads with burning fire in it. Ignited with cotton seeds dipped in oil, the pots illumine as the dancers make graceful movements and impressive foot works along with the folk songs which talk about relationships and daily chores. The traditional jewelleries, big nose rings, colourful attires complete the visual splendour and add bliss to the marriage occasions, birth of male child or any other auspicious day. The flicker of the glowing pots doubtlessly works as a rhythm to dance in tandem with.

Dance is a form of expression and celebration in itself. The portrayal of Rajasthan is unfinished if you have dodged off without experiencing the dances of the gypsy community. The music emanating from sarangi, ghungroos, ektara, shehnai and dholak connects you to a pristine vagueness. What you shall carry home is a prick in your heart; muck alike the pricks of pebbles underneath the feet of the dancers who endeavour to carry the inheritance of the dexterous dance forms, from one generation to the other.

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