Rajasthan Yet AgainDelhi - Sambhar lake, Ajmer, Pushkar, Osian (Jodhpur), JaisalmerTotal No of days - 6Dated - Jan 2011
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A nutshell of the places we visited
Sambhar lakeThe Sambhar Lake- India's largest inland salt lake. It has produced salt for more than 700 years. Three small towns of Nawa, Sambhar & Gudha are located on the banks of this lake & all are engaged in producing salt. Sambhar lake located 80 kms away from Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan lies streched for 22 sq km. Many ancient folklores glorify the lake and the Goddess Shakumbari is said to the diety of this barren land.
During the monsoon the fresh water of the rains attracts a lot of migratory birds. But they fly away once the weather starts getting hotter and the lake water starts becoming salty. Sambhar village is known for feenees which is a sweet dish. There are small dhabas in the bus stand area but it is better to carry water and some light snacks.
AjmerIt is the most important place in Rajasthan in terms of the Islamic history and heritage. Home to the tomb of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisthi, a great Sufi saint. People of all religions may their homage at the dargah. There is also an amazing Jain temple here. Apart from all, Ajmer is very near to Pushkar which is a very sacred place for the Hindus.
In Ajmer one can visit the Anna sagar lake. The river Luni stretches along with the green parklands of Subash bagh and Daulat bagh. Lots of birds are seen in the lake, marble pavilions give the gardens an impressive look, boating is done here. The Ajmeri Sherif dargah is entered through the Nizam gate which is reachable by a flight of stairs, the Akbari masjid is the green and white mosque is a school now. The next gate is the Buland darwaza which leads to the courtyard of the dargah. The entrance has two huge couldrons donated by Jehangir and Akbar. Inside is the tomb of the saint on a marble platform, it is believed that whatever you wish for with a true heart comes true.
Pushkar11kms from Ajmer, and having the snake mountain or Nag pahar inbetween them its a prominent Hindu pilgrimage town. Home to the Bhrama temple (just a few in India) there are numerous bathing ghats and temples all around. The markets are vibrant with all sorts of nick knak items.
In Pushkar being a temple city its all temples and bathing ghats around. The Brahma temple being the main followed by Saraswati temple and the Gayatri temple .All ghats have an historical imporatnce, like the Gandhi ghat where Ghandhiji's ashes were immersed, Brahma ghat is the ghat where Lord Brahma bathed and so on.
The ground where the Pushkar fair is held in November can also be seen.
Osian65 kms away from Jodhpur the small town in the Thar desert was once a wealthy trading centre. The Maharvira temple is a beautiful temple to visit, here the 32 inches high, Golden colored idol of Bhagawan Mahavir Swami in the Padmasana posture is seen. There is a entry fee of Rs 10/- and camera for Rs 50/-. It is open from 6am to 8.30pm.
The next visit can be planned to Sanchiya Mata temple which is a beautiful temple, well maintained. You can take a tour to the Bishnoi villages nearby like Kakani, Salawas, Gudha etc. Visit http://bishnoivillagesafari.com to know more about these tours which starts from Rs 750/- onwards.
JaisalmerThe fort of Jaisalmer, the living fort encompasses bright shops, royal palace, a teeming markets for tourists. Commercialism has hit the fort hard but still the narrow streets and ancient havelis speak a lot about the ancient heritage. One of the most sought after tourist destination in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer celebrates its Thar desert festivalin Jan-Feb each year with many contests as turban tying, camel polo, snake charmers, folk music, dance etc.
The fort palace in the Jaisalmer fort is a 7 storey palace with the mirrored and painted Rang Mahal and a gallery of sculptures. The 360 degree views from the rooftop are spectacular.
Jain temples entry is Rs 30/-camera Rs 70/- The 15th & 16th century temples are built on yellow sandstone and are rivals to the temples in Ranakpur and Mt Abu.
Laxminarayan temple is also in the fort. Havelis worth seeing are Patwa ki haveli, Salim Singh ki haveli and Nathmal ki haveli. All havelis have a entry fee of Rs 20/- and is open from 8am to 7pm.
Museums to see are the Thar Heritage (private museum) with a entry fee of Rs 40/-and Desert Cultural centre next to the Tourist Reception centre and has a entry fee of Rs 20/- and a camera charge of Rs 20/-
Gadi sagar lake, have a boat ride here.