- City Palace:-The City Palace is one of the best tourist places to visit in Rajasthan. It is a palace complex in Jaipur that houses the famous Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. The Chandra Mahal is one of the most popular tourist places in Rajasthan. It was once the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur and was built between 1729 and 1732. The construction of the palace was started by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber and later on, additions were made to the structure by successive rulers till the 20th century.The main entry gates into the City Palace complex are the Virendra Pol, the Udai Pol and the Tripolia Gate. Commoners and tourists can enter the City Palace only through the Virendra Pol and the Udai Pol. The most famous tourist spots within the palace complex are the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal.
- Amber (Amer) Fort and Palace:-The Amber Fort, more generally known as the Amer Fort, is one of the most popular and is situated at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. The Amber Fort and Palace are some of the most popular tourist places in Rajasthan and attract crowds by the score from both within and outside the country. Overlooking the Maota Lake, the fort is best known for its artistic representation of Hindu elements. The fort is built with red sandstone and marble and consists of the Diwan-e-Aam or the Hall of Public Audience, the Diwan-e-Khaas or the Hall of Private Audience, the Sheesh Mahal and the Sukh Niwas. Remarkably, the Sukh Niwas has a very indigenous form of air-conditioning wherein artificial winds are blown over a water cascade to cool the surroundings. The Amer Palace served as the royal residence of Rajput Maharajas and their families. At the entrance of the Amber Fort, there is a temple dedicated to Sila Devi, who is a goddess of the Chaitanya Cult.
- The Jantar Mantar Observatory:- in Jaipur is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments. The Jantar Mantar was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who served as a commander to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is architecturally based on the one that is present in New Delhi. Both of them were built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The king constructed five such structures in different places including Delhi, Ujjain and Mathura. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the best preserved among all these structures and has been included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.The Jantar Mantar attracts a number of astronomers, students of Vedic astronomy and tourists from all over the world. Local astronomers still use it to predict the weather for local farmers. The Jantar Mantar can be called the single most representative work of Vedic astronomy.The Jantar Mantar houses a giant sun dial called the Samrat Yantra and other astronomical instruments such as the Nadivalya Yantra, the Jai Prakash Yantra and the Laghu Samrat Yantra.
- Kumbhalgarh Fort:-The Kumbhalgarh Fort is situated in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. The fort is best known as the birthplace of one of the greatest warriors of India, Maharana Pratap. The fort was built during the course of the 15th century, and further additions were made to it in the 19th century.The fort is now open to the public and is lit up in decorative lights every evening for a few minutes. The Kumbhalgarh Fort is the next most important fort in Mewar after the Chittorgarh Fort. The fort was built by Rana Kumbha and his dynasty, which belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs.The entrance of the fort is through the Aret Pol or Gate. There are other entry gates such as the Halla Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ram Pol and Vijay Pol. The Hanuman Pol is important as it enshrines an image of Lord Hanuman which was brought to the fort from Mandavpur by Rana Kumbha. The Kumbhalgarh is a must-visit destination among the tourist places to visit in Rajasthan.
- Lake Pichola:-Lake Pichola is one of the most popular tourist places in Rajasthan. It is an artificial lake which has been named after the Picholi village and was created in 1362 AD. It is one of the several contiguous lakes in Udaipur, which were primarily developed to meet the irrigation and drinking requirements of the local people. There are four islands on the lake and palaces have been developed on these lakes to provide a better view of the expanse of the lake. The four islands and the palaces built on them are:
- Jag Niwas – the Lake Palace is built on this island.
- Jag Mandir – the Jag Mandir is built on this island.
- Mohan Mandir – a palace was built on this island and it was used by the king for watching the annual Gangaur festival celebrations.
- Arsi Vilas – the Arsi Vilas is a small island which has an ammunition depot and a small palace. This palace was used by the kings to view the sunsets.
- Fateh Prakash Palace:-The Fateh Prakash Palace is a great choice for visitors. It was built in the early 20th century and is named after Maharana Fateh Prakash, who was the king during the construction of the palace. The palace was used as a venue by the kings in earlier days and has now been converted into a hotel. The palace is still owned by the Mewar Royal Family of Udaipur.The Fateh Prakash Palace has won five tourism awards in the ‘Heritage Grand’ category and is one of the two authentic palace hotels in the Udaipur City Palace Complex. The palace’s counterpart is called the Shiv Niwas Palace Hotel which is quite popular with tourists visiting Udaipur.The most appealing feature of the Fateh Prakash Palace is the old world charm it has retained, which makes it stand apart in a crowd of imitation palace hotels which is becoming a new trend in Udaipur.
- Haldi Ghati:-Haldi Ghati is a very popular tourist place in Rajasthan. It is a mountain pass in the Aravalli Range and connects the Rajsamand and the Pali districts. The pass gets its name due to its yellow coloured soil, which has been compared to the colour of turmeric.Haldi Ghati has great historical significance as it had stood witness to the war between one of India’s greatest warriors Maharana Pratap and Raja Man Singh of Amber, who was a general to Mughal Emperor Akbar. Today, a bronze statue of Maharana Pratap on his favourite horse Chetak has been installed at the Haldi Ghati by the Government of India. The region is also famous for its charity rose product and the mud art of Molela.
- Mehrangarh Fort :-The Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India, situated at an elevation of 440 feet from the city. The fort is enclosed by high and sturdy walls and encloses several palaces and temples within its complex. The Mehrangarh Fort is quite popular among tourists visiting Jodhpur and attracts tourists from all over the country and the world.The walls of the fort still bear the imprints of cannon balls from attacks during the reign of the Rajput rulers. On the left of the fort, you can find a chattri dedicated to a soldier called Kirat Singh Soda who fell on the spot while defending the fort. Handprints can still be found on the walls and for this reason, the fort attracts a large number of tourists.
Besides the palaces, the Mehrangarh Fort also has a museum which is one of the most well-stocked museums in Rajasthan. The Mehrangarh Fort is a must-visit destination among all the Rajasthan tourist places.
- Umaid Bhawan Palace:-The Umaid Bhawan Palace, originally called the Chittar Palace, is one of the world’s largest private residences. While a part of the palace is still used by the Jodhpur Royal Family, another part has been leased out to the Taj Group of Hotels and it is now being run as a heritage hotel by them.The palace has about 347 rooms and is divided into three parts. One part of the palace is the royal residence, the other part is a heritage hotel and the third part is a museum. The Umaid Bhawan Palace museum showcases the 20th century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family. The museum also has a gallery which showcases the automobiles owned by the royal family.The Umaid Bhawan Palace was initially called the Chittar Palace due to its location on the Chittar Hill, which is the highest point in Jodhpur. The construction of the palace was done in 1929 to provide employment to thousands during the famine.
- Jaisalmer Fort:-The Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest forts in the world. It is called the Sonar Qila in the local language as it is made of yellow sandstone. The Jaisalmer Fort takes on a yellow hue in the sun rays and turns a beautiful honey gold colour at sunset. The golden yellow colour of the fort makes it camouflaged in the sandy stretches of Jaisalmer. Furthemore, the Jaisalmer Fort is the only living fort in the country.It is home to a number of people and is noted for the palaces, Jain temples, Laxminath temple, massive gateways and merchant havelis that are enclosed within its walls. Of late, the Jaisalmer Fort has been facing issues due to seepage problems. Water from the restaurants and hotels within the fort is seeping through the walls and is causing it damage.
- Sam Sand Dunes:-The Sam Sand Dunes make for one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Rajasthan. It is the point where one can completely lose oneself in the mesmerizing beauty of the Thar Desert. From this point there is only a vast stretch of sand dunes with sparse or no vegetation.There are several camps at this point which can offer you a Desert Safari on a camel. In the months of February and March, the region turns into a cultural hub. The Desert Festival is organised here and several cultural programmes such as puppet shows, folk dance performances, competitions and general festivities are held here. This attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world.
- Gadsisar Lake:-Gadsisar Sagar Lake is situated to the South of the city walls of Jaisalmer. The Gadsisar Lake was once the main source of water for the people of the region and is surrounded by shrines and small temples. The temples have elaborate archways and the lake looks extremely beautiful flowing by the side of these temples.In winters, the lake looks even more picturesque and the tranquillity of the place is broken only by the chirping of a variety of birds that flock here. There is a very interesting legend regarding the construction of the arched gate near the Gadsisar Lake.It is believed that a beautiful courtesan offered to fund the construction of the arched gateway. However, the king refused to take the money from the courtesan as he considered it to be beneath his dignity. The courtesan however got the archway built when the king was out of town and had a Krishna temple installed there so that the king could not break it.
Ajmer and Pushkar
- Pushkar Lake:-The Pushkar Lake is situated in the town of Pushkar in Ajmer. The Pushkar Lake is an important site of pilgrimage for Hindus. It is believed that a dip in the Pushkar Lake can cleanse sins and cure skin diseases.Furthermore, the Brahma temple situated near the Pushkar Lake also attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world. There are about 500 Hindu temples situated on the banks of the Pushkar Lake. The lake has about 52 bathing ghats and hundreds and thousands of pilgrims throng these ghats to take a holy dip, especially during Kartik Purnima.The Brahma temple is one of the main attractions near the Pushkar Lake. The present structure dates back to the 14th century, while the original temple is believed to be more than 2000 years old. The Pushkar Lake has been referred to as Tirtha Raj in scriptures and is believed to be the King of all pilgrimage sites.
- Nizammudin Dargah:-The Dargah Sharif in Ajmer is one of the most popular tourist places in Rajasthan. It is the maqbara or grave of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinudeen Chisti and attracts hundreds and thousands of devotees, pilgrims and tourists from all over the country and the world.The main entrance to the shrine is the Nizam Gate. Following this is the Shahjahani Gate, which was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The next gate that follows the Shahjahani Gate is the Buland Darwaza, which leads to the shrine. The Urs flag is hoisted on the Buland Darwaza and marks the beginning of the shrine.The dargah is managed by the Dargah Committee, appointed under The Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act of 1955. The committee takes care of the maintenance of the shrine, manages donations and runs charitable institutions such as guest houses for pilgrims and dispensaries.
- Pushkar Camel Fair:-The Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the main attractions of Ajmer. This five-day annual cattle and livestock fair attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country and the world. Apart from the trade of camels and livestock, a number of interesting competitions such as Matka Fod, Longest Moustache and Bridal Competition are held here.The Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the largest camel fairs in the world. As per the Imperial Gazetteer of India, as many as 1,00,000 pilgrims participated in the fair in the 1900s. To attract more tourists, the state tourism department has also introduced a friendly cricket match between the local club members and random tourists.However, the main attraction of the Pushkar Camel Fair is the competition of camels. Camels are decked in jewellery and rallied to the grounds. The camels participate in a number of competitions such as camel dance, tug of war, camel races, and many others. These activities, in particular, are extremely popular with tourists. The Pushkar Camel Fair is undoubtedly one the most unique and must-visit.
- Dilwara Jain Temples :-The beautiful Dilwara Jain temples are situated at just 2.5 km from Mount Abu. The temples are known for their beautiful architecture and intricate carvings. The temples were built between the 11th and 13th centuries by Chalukya. There are five temples in the complex that exhibit excellent architectural styles and exquisite carvings.The Dilwara temples are considered a sacred place of pilgrimage and also the most beautiful among all Jain temples. Pilgrims visit the Dilwara Jain temples and perform puja. Devotees are required to take a bath and dress accordingly to perform the puja. The temple administration has made arrangements for the bath, changing rooms and warm water for devotees to bathe and change clothes for the puja. Water is heated using solar power in these temples.
- Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary:-The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Aravalli Range of Rajasthan and was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1980. The wildlife sanctuary sprawls on a plateau and measures 19 km in length and 6 km in width.The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary abounds in flora and fauna and is home to about 112 plant families, 250 species of birds and a large number of wild animals such as hedgehogs, porcupines, Indian hares, mongoose, pangolin, bears, wild boars, langurs, and many others. The sanctuary provides an ideal habitat to sloth bears too.
- Nakki Lake:-Nakki Lake is situated in Mount Abu. The lake derives its name from a legend that it was dug out using nails, which is called Nakh in Hindi and Sanskrit. The Nakki Lake is believed to be very sacred and is a popular pilgrimage and tourist destination.According to legend, the lake was dug by gods to stay protected from the Bashkali demon. Another legend suggests that it was dug out by a sculptor called Rasiya Balam to win the king’s daughter’s hand in marriage. However, the king refused to give his daughter in marriage to Rasiya Balam. A temple dedicated to Rasiya Balam and the Kunwari Kanya, the king’s daughter, is situated just behind the Dilwara temple.Another important tourist attraction in the region is the Toad Rock. The rock resembles a toad that is about to leap into the water and hence the name.
- Guru Shikhar:-The Guru Shikhar is one of the peaks in the Arabuda Mountains of Rajasthan. It is also highest point in the Aravalli Range in Rajasthan. Guru Shikhar rises to an elevation of 5,676 feet and is 15 km from Mount Abu. There is a temple dedicated to Dattatreya, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, at the top of Guru Shikhar in a cave. Very close to the temple, the Physical Research Laboratory operates the Mount Abu Observatory.
- Keoladeo National Park:-The Keoladeo National Park, also known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, was formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. The park plays host to a large number of migratory birds during the winters. An estimated number of 230 species of birds have made the Keoladeo National Park their home.The park was declared as a protected zone in 1971 and has also been included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Keoladeo National Park is man-made and was earlier used as a hunting ground for waterfowls. Today, the reserve protects the town of Bharatpur from floods, provides grazing ground for cattle and is home to a number of wild animals and birds.The Keoladeo National Park is one of the richest bird sanctuaries in the world and hence attracts a large number of wildlife enthusiasts, ornithologists and tourists from all over the world.
- Deeg Palace:-The town of Deeg is situated at a distance of 32 km from Bharatpur. It is one of the important tourist places in Rajasthan and is known for its palaces, temples and gardens. The Deeg Palace is situated in this town and is known for its architectural beauty. The palace was built by Raja Surajmal with the objective of warding off the scorching heat of the summers.There are several pools, fountains and plants in the Deeg Palace. There are two large water tanks called the Gopal Sagar and the Rup Sagar that help in lowering the temperatures during summers. The most interesting part of the Deeg Palace is the Keshav Bhawan. It is a single-storeyed baradari which has an octagonal base. Another interesting feature is the artificial rain and thunder atmosphere created in the palace. The water jets in the fountains create a monsoon like effect and heavy metal balls placed around the roof produce the thunderous sound.
- Lohagarh Fort:-Raja Surajmal created a number of palaces and forts in Bharatpur. One of these forts is the Lohagarh Fort, which is also among the strongest forts in the country. The fort was built in a manner so as to stand resistant to attacks from invaders.In 1805, the British, under the leadership of Lord Lake, laid siege to the fort. Despite repeated attacks, they could not penetrate the fort. They lost more than 3000 soldiers and the British forces withdrew from the attack. The British later had to strike a compromise with the ruler of Bharatpur. The fort has two gates facing the North and South directions. The one facing the North is called the Ashtadhatu Gate while the one facing the Southern direction is called the Chowburja Gate.Noteworthy monuments in the fort include the Jawahar Burj, Fateh Burj, the Kishori Mahal and the Kothi Khas.
- The Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India and the grandest fort in the state of Rajasthan. The fort, which is also called Chittor, was the seat of power of the rulers of Mewar.The fort was attacked three times between the 15th and the 16th centuries and was captured by invaders. The bravery and courage of the Rajput warriors, their womenfolk and children is what distinguishes this fort from all other forts in Rajasthan. After each defeat, the brave women and children of the Rajput warriors performed Jauhar or self-immolation.The fort is symbolic of the courage and values of the brave Rajput rulers who reigned over Mewar.
- Tower of Victory or Vijay Stambh:-The Tower of Victory or Vijay Stambh is one of the most prized possessions of Chittorgarh. The pillar is situated inside the Chittorgarh Fort and was constructed by the king of Mewar Rana Kumbha during the period from 1442 to 1449 AD.The tower was erected to commemorate his victory over the combined armies of Marwar and Gujarat. The tower is dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Vishnu and is a nine-storeyed structure. The Vijay Stambh has been constructed with red sandstone and white marble and the walls of the tower have the images of Hindu gods and goddesses carved on them. Each storey is marked with openings and balconies.
Badal Mahal:-Badal Mahal is situated within the Taragarh Fort. The beautiful palace is known for its architectural grandeur and its beautiful paintings and murals. The palace is a major tourist attraction in Bundi and attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists because of its exquisite paintings. The paintings and murals of Badal Mahal are of particular interest as they depict the influence of China and Chinese culture on this little town.Opium, which was grown in Bundi and traded to China, was the connecting factor between the town and China. The paintings depict the faces, flowers and the general life of the people, and effectively portray the richness of life during those days.
- Taragarh Fort:-One of the best tourist places to visit in Rajasthan is the Taragarh Fort or the Star Fort in Bundi. The fort was constructed in 1534 AD on a hillside. The fort has three gateways called the Laxmi Pol, the Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki Phatak. Today, most parts of the fort are in a dilapidated condition. However, it still looks majestic and is the most impressive monument in Bundi.
- During earlier times, the Taragarh Fort had a number of tunnels running through the entire hill. These tunnels have now been closed for want of maps. The fort had impressive battlements, the largest of them being the Bhim Burj, on which were mounted huge cannon balls called the Garbh Gunjam.The fort also has huge water reservoirs, which were built to cater to the water requirements of the residents of the city. The other major attraction of the Taragarh Fort is the Rani Mahal, which served as a harem for the wives and concubines of the rulers. The fort also has Miran Saheb ki Dargah.
- Step Well of Bundi:-Bundi is best known for its step wells. These step wells, called Baoris in the local language, were the only source of water for the people of the region, till piped water was provided. There are more than 50 step wells in the region, but only a very few have been maintained.Most people abandoned the step wells after piped water was introduced and this resulted in their dilapidation. Some of these step wells unfortunately are now being used as dumpsters. The step wells of Bundi boast of exquisite beauty and architectural excellence. Several rich people constructed magnificent tanks and step wells and attached religious significance to the tanks. These people were considered to be noble and won the respect of the commoners.
- City Fort Palace:-The City Fort Palace is situated near the Kota Barrage and overlooks the beautiful Chambal River. The City Fort Palace has a museum which contains an impressive collection of artefacts belonging to the Kota rulers. The main entrance to the City Fort Palace is through the Naya Darwaza. The Maharao Madho Singh Museum lies to the right of the City Fort complex. The Maharao Madho Singh Museum has a very interesting collection of frescoes, miniature paintings, armoury and artistic items owned by the Kota rulers.The City Fort Palace is a must-visit for those interested in architecture, heritage and history. Overlooking the River Chambal, the city Fort Palace is a beautiful monument in Kota.
- Jagmandir Palace:-The Jagmandir Palace is another one of the tourist attractions in Kota. The Jagmandir Palace was built by one of the queens of Kota in 1740 and is situated in the middle of the Kishore Sagar Lake. The Kishore Sagar Lake is an artificial lake and is well known for its scenic beauty.It was built by Prince Dehra Deh of Bundi in 1346 AD. Built in red sandstone, the Jagmandir Palace is a monument of exquisite beauty and boasts of architectural excellence. The palace served as a pleasure palace for the kings of Kota.Today, the palace is open to tourists and they can enjoy boat rides in the Kishore Sagar Lake and enjoy the panoramic view of the palace and its surroundings from the lake. The Keshar Bagh is also situated near the Jagmandir Palace and is well known for its royal cenotaphs.
- Chambal Garden:-The Chambal Garden is situated on the banks of the River Chambal. The River Chambal is one of the major tourist attractions of the city of Kota. A number of palaces and temples are built on its banks and are a major draw for tourists from all over the country and the world.The Chambal Gardens are famous for its well-manicured layout and are frequented by locals and tourists throughout the year. The Chambal Garden has a beautiful pond in the centre which is replete with gharials. The Chambal Gardens also had muggers in the pool earlier. The pond can be crossed using a suspension bridge or a boat. A boat ride enables visitors to view these fish-eating reptiles from close quarters.
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