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Top 5: Historic Sites of Rajasthan

by Akhil Kalepu

May 25, 2015

Temple on Gadi Sagar Lake in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India © Marina Pissarova | Dreamstime

Asia

Rajasthan, the “Land of Great Kingdoms,” is India’s largest state, located on the northwest border of the country and mostly comprised of the Thar Desert. The place was home to the Indus Valley Civilization, one of the world’s oldest, as well as numerous empires over the centuries, and what they left behind is spectacular.

 

Jaisalmer

India’s “Golden City” rises in glory from the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer was built in 1156 as a walled city of yellow sandstone, making it one of the state’s biggest forts. Today it thrives off historic tourism, with visitors coming to see its palaces, temples and royal havelis.

 

Pushkar

This holy city is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of the country. As one of the oldest cities in India, its origins are unknown. Thousands come to bathe on the shores of Pushkar Lake, which is believed to have been created by the tears of Lord Shiva.

 

City Palace of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India © Minyun Zhou | Dreamstime 23848519

City Palace of Udaipur © Minyun Zhou | Dreamstime 23848519

 

Udaipur

This “City of Lakes” has also been dubbed the “Venice of the East,” located in the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains. Numerous historic palaces lining Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lak, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar have been converted into hotels, allowing visitors to experience the opulence of the Mewar Kingdom.

 

Jodhpur

The “Blue City” of Rajasthan is the former capital of Jodha Singh’s Marwar Kingdom. Jodhpur is marked by its distinctive blue houses, set against the stark desert landscape. The imposing Mehrangarh Fort looming above is one of the biggest in India.

 

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India © Byelikova | Dreamstime

Hawa Mahal © Byelikova | Dreamstime

 

Jaipur

The state’s capital and largest city is known as the “Pink City,” founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The most popular site here is Hawa Mahal, the city palace made of red and pink sandstone. Its unique façade is made up of 953 bay windows, a fusion of Hindu Rajput and Islamic Mughal architecture.

 

Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India © Eterovic | Dreamstime

Amer Fort © Eterovic | Dreamstime

 

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