Located on the northwest borders of India, Rajasthan stretches out into the Thar Desert. Rajasthan, literally translated as the land of kings and princes, is the ultimate confluence of history, chivalry, romance, rugged natural beauty, art and crafts and color. Against the backdrop of the dull desert landscape and the once impregnable sand colored forts. It is the land of colorful people and attire, who narrate amazing legends of heroism and romance. Legends, which still resound from its equally amazing architecture standing erect, a witness to a glorious bygone era.
The magic of Rajasthan is unequalled in the world for its heritage, culture, safaris, sand dunes and lush green forests with its wildlife. Rajasthan is often expressed as huge open-air museum with relic so well preserved for the travelers and the curious of the day. It is action-packed with outdoors too; take a safari on horses, camels, elephants or even jeeps with the Aravalis - India's oldest mountain range in the backdrop, or caress your eyes on the sloppy sand dunes, or trail a tiger or just watch birds on wetland. Or you can choose to pamper yourself in the lavish heritage properties. Take part in the vibrant dances with swords and swirling skirts, with lamps and horses. Buy exclusive craft of mirror work embroidery, metal and leather craft. Exalt the beautiful miniature and pichwai paintings. Taste the distinct cuisine. Rajasthan has something for everyone, just choose your activity. Live like a prince in the land of kings and princes.
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Bikaner is the royal fortified city, stands on a slightly raised ground, and is circumscribed by a 7 km long embattled wall with five gates. The magnificent forts and palaces created with delicacy in reddish-pink sandstone bears testimony to its rich cultural heritage. Bikaner, more popularly called the camel country is renowned for the best riding camels in the world. Situated at a height of above seven hundred feet above sea level, the Junagarh fort in Bikaner towers over the city and can be seen from a distance. The fort and its palaces are profusely decorated with magnificent stone carvings. The Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum situated in Bikaner is one of the best museums in Rajasthan, the Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum has one of the richest collections of terracotta ware, weapons, miniature paintings of Bikaner school and coins dating back to Harappan civilization and Gupta and Kushan era.
A valiant sentinel inthe desert, on the eastern fringe of the Thar Desert has the distinction of neither being a part of the Thar Desert nor out of it. At best it is a doorway to the wonderland of sand dunes and shrubs, rocky terrain and thorny trees. It is the home of the Rathors - the awesome princely state of Rajasthan, who conquered Marwar or Maroodesh, land of the sand after the fall of Delhi and Kannauj. The peculiar slant of the sunset lends the desert landscape an awe-inspiring glow and the people, a chivalry undaunted.
Arising from the bosom of the Thar Desert like a golden mirage is the city of Jaisalmer. A commanding fort etched in yellow sandstone stands with all its awesome splendours, dominating the amber-hued city. The perfect time to visit the golden city is during the Desert Festival held in January or February every year, when the city reverberates to the sound of melodious tunes and rhythms. Folk dances, exciting competitions and contest, especially the turban-tying contest.
Settled in the rugged hills of the Aravalis, Jaipur is the pristine jewel in the desert sands of Rajasthan. Jaipur is as remarkable for its marvellous architecture and town planning as it is for the lively spirit of the people who inhabit it. The city presents a unique synthesis of culture that has to be experienced in order to be appreciated. Widely known as the 'Pink City', Jaipur is colour washed pink to welcome Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England who visited India in 1883 A.D.
The lively spirit of fanfare, festivity and celebration of the people adequately match the colorful and intricately carved monuments. Even today, one can find weather beaten faces with huge colorful turbans, fierce moustaches and lips that spontaneously crease into a heart-warming smile. A city like Jaipur, where modernity and tradition live hand-in-hand, is truly rare. Perhaps this is what makes it an attractive destination for tourists who flock to Jaipur, year after year.
Rajasthan's weather conditions are too terrific during summer. It reaches a peak 45-50 degree Celsius during that period. The Rajasthani monsoon, which lasts from June to September, adorns the state with greenery all around and tourists are now coming in to see Rajasthan at her beautiful best while taking advantage of monsoon discounts from the hotels and resorts. Winter dips the mercury below 5 degrees and it will be too chilly during that period. Often Loo occurs in deserts during the winter season.