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Jaipur

The state of Rajasthan reminds you of vast expanse of desert, drought and camels. Does it also remind you of women adorned with typical bangles carrying pots of water? Now that does not speak much about the mystic beauty of the place, does it? How much do we know about the state apart from this? It would surprise many of us that besides the popular tourist destinations in Rajasthan, the folklore, cuisine and the sand dunes have an innate beauty, which sometimes remains unearthed.

Jaipur

Jaipur is definitely not one of the lesser discovered places of Rajasthan. It is a prominent tourist destination and popular the world over. Rightly termed the pink city, Jaipur is a very well-known city and has the distinction of being one of the first planned cities of India.

The places to visit while you are in Jaipur are as follows:

City Palace Jaipur

This beautiful palace was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. It stands out from the rest of the monuments by virtue of its unique architecture. The palace is in fact a complex covering a huge area, which is divided into series of gardens, courtyards and other buildings like the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani's Palace, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

As you enter the first square you will be greeted by the Mubarak Mahal which was built by Sawai Madho Singh, in the 19th century mainly to entertain guests. It stands as a reception area before you actually enter the main palace. Presently it is converted to a costume gallery. You will get to see a display of royal clothing of the kings. Benaras saris, sanganeri prints and folk embroidery are native to this land. The exotic pashmina shawls are seen here.

There is a Maharanis Palace which is now converted to museum showcasing weapons of the 15th century. It is quite a paradox that the one time palace of the queen and ladies of the royal family, now houses weapons. Notable among them is the scissor-action dagger. This is the lethal weapon, which could lead the victim to assured fatality. Pistols, swords festooned with ivory, a belt sword, small and assorted cannons, guns, protective chain armors, poison tipped blades and gun powder pouches are the other armaments seen here.

As you walk into the second courtyard you will see the Diwan-I-Khas and Diwan-I-Aam. The Diwan-I-Khas was exclusively for private audience while the Diwan-I-Aam which was meant for public audience is now converted into a museum and here you will find miniature paintings of the Bhagwat Gita. The Diwan-I-Khas has two sterling silver vessels which are among the largest silver vessels in the world accounted by Guinness Book of Records. It is interesting to note that the Maharaja carried water in the vessels from River Ganga on his trip to England.

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The Chandra Mahal is apparently the most beautiful. It has seven stories. At thetop most floor is the Mukut Mahal which is bedecked with delicate paintings. You can see mirror work on walls, and the delicate floral decorations make it a must see. The palace is the present residence of the last ruler.

There is a palace right opposite to the Chandra Mahal known as the Baadal Mahal and while crossing the path you come across the Govindji temple. The tour of the palace might take long as you would not be able to take your eyes off the exclusive work. To top it all there is a multi cuisine restaurant where you may taste some authentic Rajasthani delicacies.

A trip to Jaipur is almost incomplete if you haven’t been to the City Palace. Time and again there have been tourists coming from all over the world to visit the City Palace which is proof in itself, that the palace is one of its kind in vibrancy and opulence.

Hawa Mahal: It is one of the most distinct edifices in Rajasthan so much so that it almost defines the splendor of Rajasthan. Built in the year 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh this palace of winds is a popular tourist destination. Your visit to Rajasthan is incomplete if you have not been to the Hawa Mahal. The whole structure is built in red and pink sandstone and is meticulously outlined with white border and motifs, adding to the beauty of the opulent building.

The Hawa Mahal is five storied tall and has a characteristic bee-hive appearance. There are several casements, and each of them has a tiny window with arched roofs. Hawa mahal in actuality does not look like a dwelling place. It appears to be a screen like structure, which is fifty feet tall, with around 900 niches. The thickness of the wall would be less than a foot. You will see semi octagonal bays festooned with grills that are made of carved sandstone. This attributes to the unique façade of the Hawa Mahal. Interestingly the rear side of the Mahal lacks any kind of ornamentation and is embedded with chambers that are less ornate.

The Hawa Mahal was constructed with an idea to let the Purdah clad women of the Royal family view the processions and other happenings on the street. True to its name the wind palace is an airy place and as you climb the stairs you will feel light breeze brush against your skin. This high ventilation is due to the unique architecture of the place. The openings or the windows found here are very tiny peepholes that are partially blocked by fine lattice work or webbed design in lime plaster. You will also see this ornate structure being complemented with plain wooden windows.

The Hawa Mahal offers a striking view of the city and the Jantar Mantar. It is not just the beautiful view but also the unique Mahal or more appropriately, an ornate front wall which has lured tourists from all over the world.

Jal Mahal

This beautiful palace is set amidst the backdrop of Nahargarh hills and is surrounded by water on all sides. Agreed that it is impossible to build castles in the air, but have you ever wondered how this castle was built on water? It epitomizes the luxurious life of the erstwhile kings of Jaipur. It was built in the year 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh on the Man Sagar Lake, a man-made lake.

The palace is a perfect example of the blending of two main schools of architecture namely the Indian and the Moghul. The first four floors of the palace are submerged in water while the top floor is above the water. There are delicately designed balconies and beautiful arches. The palace almost appears like an iceberg with only 1/10th of the structure exposed.

This is one of the most romantic palaces of Jaipur, built of red sandstone. The intricate architecture casts a beautiful reflection in the calm waters of the Lake surrounding the palace. Though the palace is ancient it is well preserved.

The palace used to be reached by a causeway which is also an architectural delight. Later ferries were arranged. There is an entrance garden which is enclosed by domed passages. A semi octagonal tower seen at each corner is capped with an elegant Cupola.

Initially the palace was built as a pleasure resort. Duck hunting used to be organized. The king invited guests aboard to witness the game and relish the duck meat. The royal cenotaph is right opposite to the lake. The lake, apart from having a rich ecosystem of its own is also a haven to a number of migratory as well as resident birds. On the eastern side of the lake there is the Mansagar Dam which provides an excellent view of the lake and the valley.

It is undoubtedly one of its kinds and besides being an architectural extravaganza is vibrant with the wide variety of birds flocking here. A visit to this picturesque palace is indeed a must while you are in Jaipur.

Jaigarh Fort Jaipur

Jaigarh Fort is the fort of victory in the literal sense and was built in the 1700s by Sawai Jai Singh. It is perched atop Cheel ka Teela (hill of Eagles) about 15 km from Jaipur city. This is a time honored structure and is about 400 feet above the Amber Fort. The victory fort is atop the hill while the Amber fort is at the bottom. Many regard the two as one complex. There are two entrances to the fort the Doongar Darwaza and the Awani Darwaza.

The Rajputs built the fort so it could protect their kingdom. The tall and sturdy appearance of the fort is the evidence behind the thought. Since the main purpose was to tighten security for Amber and Jaipur you may not find elaborate designs on the fort wall. Within the fort there are several medieval-India structures that are worth exploring. There are palaces, granary, cannons and a tall tower. You will be surprised to know that there are several temples and shrines within the premises. It also served as the center of artillery production during the Rajput rule.

The main highlight of the fort is the massive cannon Jaivan which has the distinction of being the largest cannon in the world. Despite the lack of delicate carvings and elaborate designs you will be astounded by the architectural planning of the fort which has many water channels that act as rainwater harvesting system. There are 3 underground tanks which can store up to 60, 00,000 gallons of water.

The armory and museum are worth visiting. At the armory you will see war weapons, shields, muskets, and other arsenals. There is a 50kg cannon ball which was used in warfare in the past and speaks silently about its overwhelming aftermath. The museum has a vast collection of coins, puppets and a pack of cards. There are pictures of the royal kings, the royal buildings, and the various processions. The meeting hall of the warriors or the Shubhat Niwas has sedan chairs and drums which are bound to take you back in time. Besides these collectibles the fort offers a beautiful view of the city below. The fort is open from 9 .00 a.m to 5.00 p.m. There is a minimal entrance fee which can be exempted if you have visited the City Palace at Jaipur on the same day and produce the same at the entrance.

So if you are interested to see the majestic past of India beyond books, then a visit to the Jaigarh Fort is a must.

The Nahargarh Fort

The Nahargarh Fort, constructed by Jai Singh way back in 1734 AD, still stands tall today and is one of the most spectacular buildings in Jaipur. Standing atop a rugged ridge of the Aravalis, the historic Nahargarh fort was used as an excursion place during summer by the royals. It was also used as the personal treasury once, which was inaccessible to even the highest state officials of the King. In case of emergence entry was allowed but only after being blindfolded. The fort designed by the eminent Bengali architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya was the first fort to be built by the kings of Jaipur. Though it was built in 1734, yet further extensions were made to it in 1868 by Sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II.

The most interesting place you are bound to like in this fort is the Madhavendra Bhawan. It was built by Sawai Ram Singh II and has a head suite for the king and 12 identical suites for his queens. All the rooms here are linked by corridors, still retaining some delicate frescos, western styled toilets and designed kitchen fireside. It is said that the king could reach the suite of any of his queens without the others knowing about it. For his convenience, each queen had her name inscribed above her door! Thakur Fateh Singh, an engineer in the Raj Imarat helped in the design of the queen’s apartments.

The cannons across the Hazuri Burj were supposed to protect the fort but as the city never faced an attack from either the Mughals or the armies of other Rajput kingdoms, they were usually fired to signal the time to the city below. The queens used to come for a stroll here and the royal treasure were kept in the palace until Man Singh II moved it in the 1940s to Moti Doongri.

There is an interesting legend related to this fort. It goes that the spirit of a dead Rathore prince created havoc during the building of the fort, as he was not happy with its construction at that particular place. The spirit would destroy the work done and this led to delays. Finally, a Tantrik offered prayers and the spirit agreed to comply with the work but only on the condition that the fort be named after him. Hence, the fort was named Nahargarh after the name of the prince, Nahar. Later a shrine was also added where the prince could be worshipped.

The fort is opened for tourists from 10 am till 4.30 pm. We suggest, you visit the fort in the evening, as the view of the fort at nightfall is spectacular. Though visit is allowed only till 4.30 pm you may enjoy the view while you are here.You have to walk past the quiet streets at the base of the hill and then trek 2km upward, through a winding path to reach the top of the fort. Once at the top, you could have a view of the Jaipur city from here, with its lush green gardens at the backdrop and shimmering blue waters of Man Sagar Lake nearby. The palatial duck blind in the middle looks mesmerizing and was built by Jai Singh II for his shooting parties.

The Nahargarh Fort, which stands as a symbol of the royal past and reminds you of the glory of the erstwhile rulers, is worth a visit.

Eating out

While visiting the Nahargarh Fort, you may try the RTDC’s Durg Café.

The Padao Café too is a great place to chill out but it opens only in the evenings. It has a breathtaking view of the city and is an extremely popular sunset point.

Amber Fort

A visit to the Amber fort is a visual treat for tourists who simply adore old monuments. The fort is situated 11 km from Jaipur on the Delhi - Jaipur highway and is a handiwork of three rulers namely Raja Man Singh and Jai Singh I and II. It is believed to have been erected in the year 1592 AD for the first time, though the present day fort was completed during the reign of Jai Singh II.

At the foreground you will see the Maotha Lake. The image of the fort on the crystal clear water is spectacular. Never judge the fort by it’s outwardly appearance as its craggy outer image defies the exquisite interiors.

The décor within the fort will take you back in time as it is a perfect blend of Hindu and Muslim embellishment. You will also see pictorial representations of the hunting scenes of the ever so adventurous Rajputs.

The intricate carvings on the walls and ceilings, bedecked with mirror work are bound to astonish you. The strong walls speak volumes about the protection that it might have provided against invasions.

The fort is mainly divided into sections with premises for each one. You would have to climb up through the stairway or take the broad aisle. Before you enter the fort to your right hand side is the Kali temple or the Shila Devi Temple.

The Kali temple is popular for a mysterious history and large silver lions. As you get down from the temple the main stairways lead to the second courtyard which houses Diwan-I-Aam or the hall of public audiences. It is decorated with a pavilion of double row of columns each capped by an elephant figure. You will be amazed to see a lattice gallery too.

The Ganesh gate leads to residential apartments of the Maharaja. The hall of Victory which is well known for its stunning mirror ceiling has deteriorated with neglect.

On the other side you will see the Sukh Niwas or residence of pleasure as the name suggests. The characteristic feature is that the palace has an inlaid sandalwood door with an inventive system of cooling.

From here the reflection of the amber fort on the Moata Lake is a picturesque sight to behold. The fourth and final courtyard has the ‘Zenana’ or the palace of the women. Though the rooms are connected through a common corridor each of the rooms has been so constructed that there is ample privacy.

You may also enjoy the exclusivity of the fort with an elephant ride which has attracted tourists in the past. Not merely for the exclusivity but also for the purpose of musing over the glorious past of Rajasthan, a visit to the Amber fort is highly recommended.

Jantar Mantar

It is located beside the City Palace and was built by Maharaja Jai Sawai Singh in the year 1727 and 1733. It has the distinction of being the largest stone observatory in the world and is a must visit for tourists. The ruler Jai Sawai Singh had an astronomical bend of mind and was extremely knowledgeable about astronomy which is why he was commissioned by Emperor Muhammad Shah to evaluate the data available.

This observatory has the distinction of being the largest stone observatory in the world which makes it all the more important as a tourist destination. The founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Jai Sawai Singh took nearly 7 years to finish the Jantar Mantar.

There are fourteen different instruments in various geometrical forms for calculating the time of the day, heights of heavenly bodies and forecast of eclipse. The Jantar Mantar also houses a collection of astronomical instruments.

You will see a depiction of experiments of the ancestors, who showed interest in gaining knowledge of celestial bodies. It is quite incredible that this ancient monument provides accurate information on astronomy which can be compared with modern day instruments. This stands out as a credible example of Medieval Indian Astronomy.

The observatory is constructed with stone and marble and the instruments at display are a major tourist attraction. The instruments include Jaiprakash Yantra, Ram Yantra and Samrat Yantra. There is a Composite instrument, which contains a sundial and a vast hemisphere on the northern wall.

There is a sun dial known as Samrat Jantar and is 90 feet high. The shadow of this instrument is observed to tell the time. There is a dome at the top, which is used in prediction of eclipses. The Sun Dial is a major tourist attraction for visitors.

The Jantar Mantar was renovated in the year1901 and declared a national monument in 1948.A visit to Jaipur is almost incomplete if you haven’t visited this observatory. It is open to visitors daily from 9 am to 4.30pm.

Albert Hall Museum

The Albert Hall Museum has the distinction of being the oldest museum in Rajasthan. It is located in Jaipur and was initially built to greet King Edward VII, the then Prince of Wales on his visit to India. So if you want to be taken back in time, then a visit to this museum of historical significance is a must. You may first visit the famous Ram Nivas Garden where the museum is housed.

There is a beautiful collection of rare collectibles like paintings, pottery, miniature paintings of various sub schools of Rajasthan, wood crafts, and textiles. Persian garden carpet along with running water streams is a must see at the museum. It is believed to have been bought by Mirza Raja Jai Singh I, all the way from Persia which makes it all the more special. Did you think that mummies were found only in Egypt? Well you will be astonished to find one here at the museum. An Egyptian mummy of the Ptolemaic Epoch is preserved at the museum and has taken many a visitor by surprise.

There are galleries on the ground floor as well, which was remodeled and renovated since 1959.It takes you though a splendid journey of various tribes, their culture, attire and jewelry .Lifestyle of tribals like Meenas, Bhopas, Bhils, Gadoliya Lohars and many more are categorically depicted.

The art of Mehendi body art is well depicted at the Museum. There is a Mehendi Mandana where exhibitions of typical Rajasthani designs are held. Puppets and phad paintings which depict the life of Pabuji Rathore who was a great folk –hero make up another gallery of the museum.

On your visit to the museum, you should not miss the central gallery which is almost exclusively devoted to the Rajasthani music and dance forms and is the main highlight of the museum. So if you want to take a tour into the ethnic past of Rajasthan and temporarily bask in its glorious past then you must visit the Albert Hall Museum.

Gaitore

This is the royal cremation site with cenotaph built in honor of each Maharaja of Jaipur. The cenotaphs are known as Chhatris which are festooned with typical Rajasthani carvings.The name is derived from the Hindi phrase 'Gaye ka Thor' which means resting place of the departed souls.Among the chhatris the one dedicated to Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II is the most appealing .It is made of pure white marble and decorated with intricate carvings. This artistic splendor attracts tourists from all over the India as well as abroad.

Statue Circle

It may not be an architectural masterpiece but has time and again lured visitors. It is a major hangout spot in Jaipur. On your visit here you may relish the delicacies offered by the street hawkers.

Other than the places that you may visit within Jaipur there are several excursion destinations.

Sanganer

This place is located about 16 km from Jaipur and is famous for handicrafts. It is one of the most popular excursion sites from Jaipur. On your way to Sanganer, you would have to pass two tripolias or triple gateways.

The place is also well known as the largest center of the handmade paper industry. Hand printed textiles made of block and screen printers are also seen here. There is a Kagazi Mohalla which is famous for expert artisans. The artisans are known as Kagazis and to observe their work is a pleasure.

Besides the ten paper industries and the typical Sanganer prints made of bright colors on white background the place is also famous for remains of medieval temples. Shri Digambar Jain Temple of Sanganer is an attraction to visitors with its fine carvings. The temple is often compared to the Dilwara Temples of Mount Abu.

Sanganer is rightly an important tourist destination made colorful with handicrafts and temples of historic importance.

Ramgarh

Ramgarh is located at a distance of 25 km from the city of Jaipur. The main attraction here is a lake which is about 4 km in length and 2 km wide. There is an ancient fort here and a hunting lodge of the Royalty which is now converted to a gateway hotel. Though the ancient structure is in ruins this makes a very good picnic spot.

>Samode

On the way to Shekawati in Rajasthan and about 42 km from Jaipur is the place that stands for beautiful havelis and forts. Samode is a place of immense interest for people who value heritage art.

The Samode palace is around 400 years old and interestingly the palace belonged to Rawals of Samode who were not actually a part of the Royal Family. They were the wealthy noblemen.

The present form of the palace is a work of restoration and the palace is now converted to a heritage hotel after making numerous additions to it. The interiors of the Palace are synchronized with warm colored walls, intricate marble work, vibrant patterns and traditional art work.You will also be delighted to see stunning walls showcasing mirror work and enamel work of "Minakari"

There is a fort known as the Samode fort which lies above Samode Palace. The fort exhibits lavishness and style. The fort offers a spectacular view of the town below. The Samode bagh is also a must see while you are here.

Abhaneri

It is located at a distance of 95 km form Jaipur on the Jaipur Agra road. This place is especially famous for the step wells and Harshat Mata Temple. The original name was Abha Nagari or city of brightness.

Though the city is in ruins the step wells are an attraction. Among them the most famous one is Chand Baori. It is located in front of the Harshat Mata Temple. It is not only the steepest and the deepest step well in India but also ornate with delicate carvings.

The Harshat Mata Temple is another important tourist attraction and was built in the 10th century. Though it is in ruins, the remains do speak about the past grandeur. Harshat Mata is the goddess of happiness and the temple is worth visiting for the architectural splendor as well.

Tonk

Located at a distance of 96 km from Jaipur and the town is known as the “Lucknow Of Rajasthan�?. Well known for its mosques, mansions and havelis the place was ruled by the tribes of ‘Pathans’ from Afganisthan.

The Sunehri Kothi or the golden mansion is the highlight of Tonk. Located near Bada Kua or Najar Bagh road in Tonk City, it has a plain exterior that defies the elegant interiors. The walls are golden polished and there is a big hall known as the Shish Mahal. The walls are highly ornate with glass work, flower paintings and the ever so exquisite 'Pachhikari' and 'Meenakari'.

In addition to huge buildings that served as British offices there is a library which has a huge collection of Arabic and Persian manuscripts. One of the biggest mosques the Jama Masjid is another attraction here. The massive doors in Mughal style of architecture and the gigantic minarets are quite spectacular.

Tonk is also famous for its leather industry and you can shop for nice leather items and accessories at very reasonable prices. It makes a good holiday destination with its elaborate havelis, monuments and shopping centers.

Bagru

A small village located at a distance of 30km from Jaipur. It is very popular for the Bagru Prints. It makes use of wooden blocks for the process of printing. The three century old tradition of block printing is kept alive by the artisans of Bagru. All the colors used are of vegetable source and therefore eco-friendly. The craft is so spectacular that it has created a niche for itself in international fashion.

Bairath

This is a place of great historic importance. Panadavas are believed to have spent a year here. At that time the place was known as Virata Nagar.It is located at a distance of 86 km from Jiapur. The ruins of circular Buddhist temple and the mint built by Akbar are seen in Bairath. Bhim-Ki-Dungri and Bijak-ki-Pahari are the other places of interest. The famous Banganga Fair is also held here.

Karauli

Located at a distance of 182 km from Jaipur this place is famous for the Madan Mohanji temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna. This is a fortified city which still boasts of six gates and eleven posterns though the fortified walls are in ruins. There is a 600 years old fort which is also the main attraction here. There is a Kaila Devi temple which is frequented by the devout. An annual fair is celebrated with much zeal at this place. The fair lasts a fortnight and devotees come here to pay their respects to the Goddess.

Sambhar

This place has the distinction of having the largest saline lake in India. It is located on the Jaipur – Ajmer highway at about 60 km from Jaipur. The place is referred to as the Salt Lake City. There is a five km long stone dam that separates the lake into two parts. On the eastern side of the dam there are reservoirs where salt farming is done.

Sambhar has been recognized as a Ramsar site which is an international recognition for wetlands. This place also serves as a haven for migratory birds. When the water reaches medium salinity there is an abundance of spirulina algae. This is when birds flock here. You can spot birds like pelicans, Storks, sandpipers, redshanks, black-winged stilts, coots, and shovelers. Flamingoes are however the main attraction here.

While you are here make sure to visit the small radiant white temple which stands in a rocky projection on the southern bank of Sambhar Lake. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Shakambhari who is believed to have bestowed the lake for the benefit of people about 2,500 years ago.

Jaipur is not merely famous for the exquisite havelis but also the fairs and festivals which are quite prominent.

The Banganga Fair is held annually on the full moon day of Vaishakh. It is believed that visiting the fair and taking a bath at the stream and paying homage to the holy sites is considered very auspicious. Besides being a pilgrimage spot the Banganga is also famous for the fair that is held here with different articles like the rural ornaments, toys and household items being sold here.

People from different parts of the state and outside, gather at the Shri Radha Krishnaji's temple in the morning bathe in the ghats with the faith that their sins get washed.They then pay visit to the holy sites in the vicinity. Pilgrims come from Alwar, Behror, Jaipur, Bharatpur and many other places

The elephant festival

This is one of the most popular festivals in Jaipur and is celebrated annually in the month of March on the occasion of holi. It takes place at the Chaugan ground and commences with a parade of bedecked Elephants marching towards the ground. There are several games and sports organized namely the polo-matches and tug-of-war where elephants and men take part with equal zeal.

Since the elephants are well decorated the best decorated contest is also held and is an important feature of this cultural festival. The spectators are also entertained with the folk dance performances and music programs that are arranged here. Holi is celebrated and colors splashed with people on elephant back. The sight of highly ornate elephants and the splashing of colors add a new meaning to the festival. This is one of the most unique festivals and a must see if you are in Jaipur during that time. It is interesting to know that tourists mainly foreigners visit the place during holi to take part in the exclusive event.

Gangaur Festival

This festival is especially important for womenfolk. The word Gangaur is derived from the word Gan and Gauri which are synonyms of Shiva and his consort Parvati respectively. The festival lasts for two weeks. It begins with the custom of gathering ashes from the Holi fire and burying the barley seeds in it. The womenfolk await its germination.

Devotional songs praising Goddess Gauri are sung. The married women observe the festival for the wellbeing of their husbands and unmarried girls worship the goddess to get a suitor of their choice. Elders shower the womenfolk with sweets, gifts, ghee and cash.

During the final day of the festival a procession is carried out, Gauri is taken out in procession and is escorted by traditionally dressed camels, bullock carts, horses and elephants. The conclusion of the procession is marked by the breaking of pots and throwing the broken pots into a pond .The festival has an age old tradition in Jaipur and forms a major attraction for visitors.

Kite festival: The day of Makar Sankranthi which falls on the 14th of January is observed as Kite festival. This is a prominent festival in Jaipur and people from all age groups take part in the same. Kite flying happens on the terrace and people enjoy flying kites with loud music. Food is also served on the terrace during the festival.

The sky takes a festive look as innumerable kites of different designs, patterns and colors fill the sky. The celebration lasts for one day. As it is observed by people of all age groups this festival marks the confluence of families and friends.

Teej Festival: Though the teej festival is celebrated throughout, it has its own charm in Jaipur. Celebrated in the month of Shravan i.e. during the months of July-August, the festival lasts for two days.

The festival is especially important for married women and girls. During this festival goddess Parvati is worshipped and it is believed that Parvati was united with shiva on Teej after years of Penance. Married women pray for the welfare of their husbands and marital bliss.

Henna is applied and the women folk get dressed in their best attire. Songs are sung and women enjoy the rope swings. Married women receive gifts from their parents while the unmarried and engaged girls get presents from their future in-laws. Procession is held in the city and as if in affirmation to the festivities, there is a downpour on this day.

The city of Jaipur has so much to offer to tourists. Be it the market place, the handicraft items, the typical jewelry or leather goods; it is definitely a tourist’s paradise.