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  UDAIPUR  
 

The city of lakes and fountains Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure water lakes, hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravalis. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sounds and experiences - an inspiration for the imagination of the poets, painters and writers. Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls, carry the flavour of heroic past, epitomising valour and chivalry. Their reflection in the placid waters of the Lake Pichhola is an enticing sight.

Udaipur is the jewel of Mewar - a kingdom ruled by the Sisodia dynasty for 1200 years. The foundation of the city has an interesting legend associated with it. According to it, Maharana Udai Singh, the founder, was hunting one day when he met a holy man meditating on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichhola.

     
  JAIPUR  
 

Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra and forms the most chosen tourism golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance.

Jaipur is named after its founder the warrior and astronomer sovereign Sawai Jai Singh II (ruled 1688 to 1744). The decision to move out of his hilltop capital Amer was also compelled by reasons of growing population and paucity of water. Moreover in the early seventh century the power of the great Mughals was dwindling with its aging Monarch Aurangzeb and after several centuries of invasions the north was now quite and the wealth of the kingdom had become greater than before. Seizing upon this opportune time Jai Singh planned his new capital in the planes. Jaipur is a corroborative

     
  JAISALMER  
 
Jaisalmer: Its like straight out of an Arabian Nights fable. The name Jaisalmer induces a dramatic picture of utter magic and brilliance of the desert. The hostile terrain not with standing the warmth and colour of people is simply over whelming. One of the main draws is the daunting 12th century Jaisalmer Fort. The beautiful havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the desert city. And you can let your eyes caress the sloppy sand dunes while you ramble your way in a camel safari. The desert citadel is truly a golden fantasy in Thar Desert. Bhatti Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name, founded Jaisalmer in 1156. On advice of a local hermit Eesaal he chose the Tricut Hills as his new abode abandoning his vulnerable old fort at Luderwa just 16 kilometres northwest. In Medieval times, its prosperity was due to its location on the main trade route linking India to Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Africa and the West. The Bhatti Rajput rulers lined their coffer with gains from traditional taxes on passing by caravans and sometimes through illicit gains by rustling cattle.
     
  JODHPUR  
 

Jodhpur: This bustling desert city is the second largest city in Rajasthan after Jaipur and has landscape dominated by the massive Meherangarh Fort topping a sheer rocky ridge.

The old city is fenced by 10 km long wall with eight Gates leading out of it. The new city is outside the walled city. Rao Jodha, a chief of the Rathore clan, founded the city in 1459 and it is named after him.
The Afghans drove the Rathores out of their original homeland Kaunaj and they fled to this region around Pali a short distance from present day Jodhpur. A manoeuvre lead to marriage between Rathore Siahaji and the sister of a local prince that helped the Rathores to establish and strengthen themselves in this region. In fact they flourished so well that managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, just 9 km of present day Jodhpur. By 1459 a need for more secured capital lead to the founding of Meherangarh Fort on its rocky perch and Jodhpur was thus founded by Rao Jodha. The Rathores enjoyed good relations with the Mughals and Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1678) supported Shah Jahan in the latter's struggle for war of succession. Only problematic relationship they had was with Aurangzeb. After Auranzeb's death Maharaja Ajit Singh drove out Mughals from Ajmer and added it to Marwar.