Exquisite desert tour of Rajasthan

The State of Rajasthan is known for its desert and camels. The renowned Thar Desert spans across Rajasthan and over the border with Pakistan.

A Desert tour is incomplete without Camel and Jeep safaris. The regions of interest in desert tours are Bikaner, Mandawa, and Jaisalmer which offer a visual treat of the sand dunes.

Camel Safari in Thar Desert

A mesmerising and thrilling experience awaits you in the region of Thar Desert where one encounters different culture, lifestyles, forts, castles, customs and experiences. The Thar Desert, sand is scattered with hillocks and gravel plains. Wildlife can be found in this region. Some endangered species like Great Indian Bustard, Chikara, Black Buck and Quail are inhabitants of this place. Migratory birds like geese, sand Grouse and ducks are also found here.

Mandawa-Bikaner

Mandawa was founded around mid of 18th century by Shekhawat Rajputs. Fort of Mandawa has painted arched gateway of Lord Krishna and his cows. Beautiful frescoes decked the castles of Mandawa. Here, you can find, painted Havelis like Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli. This region is known for its various havelis or mansions like Murmuria Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli and Aakharam haveli.

In Bikaner, one can visit the Junagarh fort and museum that provide insight into the bygone era of Maharanas of Rajasthan. Bikaner is located in the centre of Thar Desert and has a climate of the hot desert where one can find golden sand dunes with scanty rainfall.

(Image courtesy- commons.wikimedia.org)

Jaisalmer

known as the Golden city of India, due to its yellow sandstone architectures adds a golden horizon to the city and its environment. Jaisalmer is well-known for its leather messenger bags. Camel safaris in the sand dunes attract tourists as it is a wonderful way of rejuvenating from the chaos of the cities, in the quiet, adjoining desert. The best time to visit would be in January/February when there is a desert festival. You can witness the performing arts like Kalbelia dances, folk songs and music.

Khimsar

This village can be accessed only by jeep, camel or horseback as it is far-flung, rural and beautiful. Luxurious huts have been designed in an eco-friendly manner. The safari by jeep will take into the black buck reserve or you can have camel ride on its sand dunes.

Khimsar Fort built in 16th century is an exhilarant experience, as it is very rare in a desert to have such beautiful place with lush green gardens and variety of birds that add charm to this antique fort. It has been awarded the National Grand Heritage Award by Department of Tourism, Government of India.

Khimsar (Image courtesy- indovocations.net)
Khimsar (Image courtesy- indovocations.net)

Rohetgarh

It is splendid Rajput fort in the small village of Rohet. The Singh family resides here and runs the hotel which is situated south of Jodhpur. The rooms have pretty frescoes and hanging chairs.  The terrace offers a lake view with birds.

Jeep safaris can be taken to Bishnoi village from here or horse-riding to the nearby desert.  It is a perfect rural retreat.


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AMAZING MOUNT ABU

Mount Abu’, does this sound familiar to you? Do you know where is it situated? Well, it is a renowned hill station located in the Aravalli Range, district of Sirohi in Rajasthan state. It is on the border, with Gujarat, in western India. Positioned at a height of 1,219 meters above the sea level, it is like an oasis, in the desert area of Rajasthan. It is a world-renowned tourist destination for Delwara Jain temples and for its beautiful, natural, lush green, surroundings with waterfalls. A very pleasant climate, with its natural surroundings of coniferous trees and flowering shrubs. Many Indian and foreign tourists, throng this place every year, for its awesome natural surroundings, its flora and fauna and the Delwara Jain temple, made of marble.

Interiors of the Delwara Temple (Image courtesy-lh3.ggpht.com)

Delwara Jain Temple– It is one of the best Jain temples known for its rich architecture and magnificent stone carvings. There are meticulously carved ceilings and the pillars are simply incredible. It is told, that this was done in the era, when there was no proper infrastructure available at a height of 1200+meters. Gigantic blocks of marble stones were transported on elephant backs from Arasoori Hills at Ambaji to this far-flung hilly area of Mount Abu.

The temple is open to tourists from 12pm to 3pm with a fee. Photography is not allowed within the temple premises.

Nakki Lake (Image courtesy- indiamike.com)
Nakki Lake
(Image courtesy- indiamike.com)

Nakki Lake– There is an interesting legend, behind its creation in Mount Abu. The lake was dug up by Gods or ‘Devtas’, using their nails or ‘nakh’. That is, how the lake gets its name ‘Nakki’. According to the tribals, it is also a holy lake and they worship it. The lake is the only artificial lake in India, which is situated at a height of 1200 meters above sea level. The lake has boating, so one could spend time with one’s loved one, friends and family. It is an ideal place for spending the evening with loved ones. This scenic location with mountains, gardens and rock formations is an awesome location for photography. The evening sun is the perfect setting for a canvas.

Image courtesy- farm4.staticflickr.com
Wildlife Sanctuary, Mount Abu

Wild Life Sanctuary– It is around 7kms. long and 300 meters wide, where people throng this for sight-seeing. It is situated in Aravali Ranges which is one of the oldest mountain ranges of Rajasthan. It is created from igneous rocks that have made large cavities in many areas due to the wear and tear of the weather conditions of wind and water. The sanctuary is known for its rich fauna and flora. The forest consists of around 112 plant species. Many of them are rare and endangered. The sanctuary also boasts of a wide variety of fauna that is commendable. Here, the popular grey jungle fowl can be found with over 250 species of birds. It also, is a home, to leopard sloth bear, wild boar, sambar, chinkara and langur among several others. This sanctuary also plays a host to extremely endangered and rare species of animals.

5c84f-mount2babu2bwildlife2bsanctuary
Trevors-Tank

Trevor’s tank is a picturesque reservoir built by a British Engineer called Trevor. It is built by the man, to breed crocodiles. It is renowned picnic spot, for both tourists and locals. One should visit the place in the right season to spot the wild bear in its own habitat. It is a dream come true for ‘bird-watcher’ as there are a lot of bird species here.

All in all, Mount Abu, offers a lot to see and do. So, pack your bags and head to amazing Mount Abu.

Arambol is the Ultimate Beach in Goa

Arambol, also known as ‘Harmal’ in the local language is a long and wide stretch of beach in North Goa. This Beach is roughly 32-33 km away from Panjim. The route from Panjim to Arambol will set the mood to what lies ahead of you in Arambol. En route, you will find things quintessentially ‘Goan’. There are some narrow streets that are charming, soothing greenery all around and peek-a-boo with the beaches. If you are on a bike- even better so! Be sure to go to Morjim beach too en route to Arambol. It’s a lovely stretch and one of the lesser known secrets of North Goa! So, what can one really expect in Arambol?

Goa
Goa

Sun and sand and some more sun and sand! Yes, the beach is long, wide, and hygienic, alluring, fringed with coconut trees. While, on the beach, you will witness a rewind to the 60’s & 70’s ‘hippies’ era as the place attracts many backpackers. Some of the most beautiful places in the world were discovered and brought into the limelight by them- be in Goa, Manali, Thailand, Bali and so on. They definitely do have a taste. And so, you will see in Arambol. The beach is far better than its better-known cousins in north Goa like Baga, Calangute, and Vagator etc. However, there are few shacks on the beach and even fewer beach huts making this place kind of exclusive.

Baga at sunset
Baga at sunset From St Anthony’s Shack, Baga Beach, Goa. Image courtesy-Extempore

Cocks Town (Image courtesy- indiamike.com)

Cocks town offers some decent beach huts and has a lovely shack. The beach has some good waves during high tide and you will find an occasional surfer. This is the ideal place to just gaze, ponder, steal sweet nothings and discover your artistic side. You can do so with some great food at these shacks. The schnitzels and grilled fish are pretty good. Though, with each passing day, the place is getting discovered by people, I guess the beach is still huge enough to let you have the sense of space. You can spend a good 2 days at Arambol to get in touch with yourself.

The nearby beaches and Mandrem can also be easily visited. They too are lovely. The beach does not offer any watersports per se. So, you will have to keep yourself entertained. It’s really a place for nature lovers, solitude seekers and some plain pondering. However, don’t let me position this place as a bore- it really has a good party scene at night- albeit at a few available shacks.

Be prepared for- There are very few shops around so make sure you have the necessary things for a comfortable stay. Also, since it’s a relatively remote location, it would help to have personal transportation like a bike, scooter etc. The beach huts are extremely basic but clean. Some have common bathrooms and some attached- so do make all your inquiries before booking.

So, the next time you are in North Goa and are pretty bored of what the Baga types have to offer, so hop on to Arambol. It’s definitely worth the visit- even if for a few hours! Adios!

A TRIP TO INCREDIBLE INDIA

The first thing that comes to mind is why travel to India? What is so special about travelling to India? Well, India is a melting- pot of various cultures, cultural traditions, landscapes. Memories that will stay with you long after you have left the country.

Taj Mahal, Agra – Many tourists throng this place every year to catch a glimpse of this beautiful architecture. It is one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan as a monument to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The structure is designed in Mughal style and designs. It is surrounded by gardens, fountains and a reflecting pool that reflects Taj Mahal. The structure rests on a square plinth and has an arch-shaped entrance with a large dome. There are 4 minarets of 40 meters tall which resembles a mosque. Passages from Quran can be seen on the walls of the entire structure.

taj_mahal.jpg(enviro2b.com)

The Taj was chosen as a World Heritage Site in 1983 and looks perfect as when it was first created – though it underwent a huge restoration project in the early 20th century. While in Agra, one can also visit the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra- Akbar’s Tomb, Yamuna river and city of Mathura.

Udaipur, Rajasthan– This place has ornate Rajput palaces floating in the middle of two sparkling lakes.

lake_palace_udaipur.preview.jpg (easytoursofindia.com)

Bandhavgarh National Park Park is located in the interiors of the eastern tracks of Madhya Pradesh. The park is known for its tigers and leopards and is rich with other animals and birds.

(Supergreenme.com) Bandhavgarh National Park Tiger
Bandhavgarh National Park

Keoladeo National Park– it is close to Agra and Jaipur and is Asia’s most famous bird reserve, where one gets to see millions of migrants each year. It is situated in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. It has over 230 species of birds and is also declared a World Heritage Site.

Keoladeo National Park (Pinterest.com)1

 

Palolem, Goa If one likes to check out the beaches and relax then one should head for Goa. Palolem in Goa is the most exquisite crescent shaped beach in Goa with its renowned dolphins and if you like alcohol, then don’t miss out on their Feni.

Palolem Beach (panoramio.com)
Palolem-beach-Goa-India

Pushkar Camel Mela With the onset of November, more than 200,000 Rajasthani herders in traditional costume meet on the desert haven of Pushkar for trading and bathing in a lake which is considered sacred.

pushkarfair06

Kerala, God’s own Country- this is in the southern part of India and is known for its backwaters and greenery. Tourists enjoy boat trips which go through this tropical waterway. You can even hire a houseboat and enjoy the calm and serene backwaters of Kerala.

Kerala_Houseboat.jpg(Wikipedia)
Kerala.jpg(elatrip.com)

So, what are you contemplating on just go ahead and plan a trip to India?

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