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Rajasthan Tourism
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Rajasthan Itineraries
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Travel Rajasthan Destinations

Rajasthan Cities

Ajmer - About 130 km west of Jaipur, Ajmer is an important pilgrim centre for Muslims from all over the world. The great Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, was laid to rest here. The sick, t troubled and the childless visit the Dargah Sharif seeking a boon or just peace of mind. There is an endless flov of visitors to the Dargah. The street leading up to it is lined with shops. At the Dargah, thousands of coloured threads have been tied seeking a boon. When the wish is granted, those blesse will come back to fulfil their vow - perhaps spread a 'chaddar', or sheet, o the Dargah or serve a meal to the poor and destitute who hang around there.
Ajmer City - Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Dargah
During the annual Urs, observed the day the saint died, lakhs of pilgrims visit the shrine (lakh = 100,000), forming long queues of several kilometres to pay homage. The Dargah has two massive cauldrons which are filled with rice, dry fruits and condiments. This rice is cooked and served to the visitors as sanctified food.

The other notable monument of Ajmer the Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpara, the mosque which is said to have been constructed in two and a half days. It is embellished with ornate calligraphic inscriptions.

Alwar, 170 km south of Delhi is Alwar, which became a princely state in 1771. Today it is a growing industrial district and one of Delhi's satellite towns. Alwar has ancient temples, medieval forts, palaces and gardens and Sariska wildlife sanctuary, just 42 km away. Bala Quila (fort) is on a 300-metre steep cliff and provides a breathtaking view of the city below. However, the fort is desolate since not many people visit it; its main claim to fame is that the first Mughal emperor Babur spent a night here.

Below the fort is the City Palace. Though government offices now occupy the courtyard and several rooms of the Palace, it is still worth a visit. A lot of Alwar's legendary treasures are kept in the Museum here. Just outside the Palace is a tank lined with several temples on one side and a cenotaph on the other, of a royal mistress who committed 'sati', the ancient practice of a wife immolating herself on her husband's funeral pyre.

Barmer - A 13th century fortified town, Barmer is in the heart of the desert and is known for the quality of its wood and stone carvings. Earlier fortifications reveal the far limits where the Rajputs raised defense outposts.

Banswara - Ribbed with streams and covered with dense forests, Banswara lies off the conventional tourist circuit. Aftificial lakes and dams, and the ruins of ancient temples make this an exciting place to discover.

Bharatpur - The only Jat kingdom in the state, the rock-hard mud fortifications of its fort proved invincible even under repeated siege. The fort houses early remnants of artifacts and sculpture, while the modern palace outside is a sprawling. Equidistant from Delhi and Jaipur, Bharatpur is famous for its bird sanctuary (Keoladeo Ghana National Park). It is a must for bird watchers and ornithologists. (Details in the section on natural heritage and sanctuaries.) Bikaner's Fairs & Festivals

Bikaner - Founded by one of the scions of the house of Jodhpur, Bikaner's 15th century history combines adventure with enterprise. In later centuries, as an ally of the Mughals and the British, it was able to develop as a modern state, though its architectural attractions remain splendidly Rajput. One of the principal outposts of the desert, it is also a major centre for camel breeding.

Bundi - Nestled in a fold of the Aravalli hills, Bundi bristles with medieval enchantment. Its fortifications house palaces and apartments, aftificial lakes and waterside pavilions. Ruled by the Hada Rajputs, Bundi is renowned for its Rasleela frescos.

Chittaurgarh - The former capital of the Sisodia rulers of Udaipur, Chittaur perches atop the scraggy spine of the Aravallis. Sacked by allaudin Khilji in the 14th century, by the sultans of Gujarat in the 16th century, and finally by the Mughal emperor Akbar's forces, it was abandoned by its rulers who vowed never to return unless they could avenge their defeat. The few remaining palaces and towers are part of its stirring history.

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