Rajasthan - Pushkar Tourists
Pushkar - Just 11 km from Ajmer, Pushkar has a lake which is
believed to have been created by Lord Brahma and has the same sanctity for the Hindus as the
Mansarovar Lake in Tibet. Today there are 400 temples in this small city, the
most famous being the Brahma Temple, and the lake is girdled with 52
ghats built by different kings and princes. Hindus are supposed to visit
Pushkar at least once in their lifetime.
Most foreign tourists visit
Pushkar at the time of the cattle fair (famous as the Pushkar Fair) in
November. Thousands of animals and visitors take over the city and when one is
not haggling over the price of a camel or a cow, it is time for fun and frolic.
One of the sports is to see which camel can carry the most passengers. Twenty
or thirty people mount the camel, some hanging on to its tail and others to its
underside! It is a comic sight as the colourfully turbaned peasants slither and
fall off. However, it is not so funny for the camel.
Ranakpur - some 90 km from
Udaipur, Ranakpur is one of the five holy places of the Jains. The 500-year old
Ranakpur temple complex has been preserved in near perfect condition. Its main
shrine, the three story high Chaumukha Temple dedicated to Adinath, the
first Jain saint, has 80 domes, and 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars! Covered
with the most intricate carvings, no two pillars of the temple are
Images of 24 tirthankaras are carved on the 'mandaps' or
porticoes in a corridor around the shrine with each mandap having a 'shikhar'
or spire adorned with little bells on the top. The gentle breeze wafting
through the corridors move the bells creating celestial music all around the
complex. Rising in three storeys, the temple has four small shrines with 80
spires supported by 420 columns.
Two temples, dedicated to the Jain
saints - Parsvanath and Neminath, face the main temple. The temples have
beautiful carvings similar to that of Khajuraho.
Another temple worth
visiting is the nearby Sun Temple, an 8th century A.D. temple dedicated to the
Sun god. The temple has polygonal walls, richly embellised with carvings of
warriors, horses and solar deities riding splendid chariots.
Deeg The summer resort of the
rulers of Bharatpur, it is known for its Jat architecture and for the coloured
fountains and pleasure pavilions that are contained within a fortified
DUNGARPUR A Bhil stronghold in the foothills of
the Aravallis, this fertile region was created into a state in the 13th
century. Since the natural protection afforded it isolation, a highly
decorative style of architecture developed.