Right from the magnificent forts and palaces to the impressive havelis and amazing temples, all add to the grand monumental heritage of Rajasthan. The monumental tour of Rajasthan remind tourists of the romance, culture and glory of the bygone era. These monuments are a treat to the jaded eyes of a traveler, traveling in search of architectural treasure presenting the amazing mixture of Mughal to Rajput to European style of architecture.
The monuments of Rajasthan are the heritage sites that forms the prime attraction of the state. Each seem to whisper the story of erstwhile Rajas and Maharajas before the tourists visiting Rajasthan. They are standing testimony of the bygone era that was marked by the charm of Rajputs.
Almost each and every city in Rajasthan is dwelled with ornate forts and places. Apart from beauty and architecture most of the monuments in Rajasthan were built for defense, security and religion. Some of the well known monuments in the state includes : -
Hawa MahalBuilt in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh the 'Hawa Mahal', Palace of the Wind, is one of the major landmarks of Jaipur. It is an integral part of the City Palace, an extension of the Zenana (women's chambers) standing away from the main complex. This five storey building of unusual architecture designed by Lal Chand Usta, is a stunning example of Rajput artistry made of red and pink sand stone, beautifully outlined with white borders and motif's painted with quick lime. The monument with a spectacular view of Jaipur city with road avenues, intersections and colourful crowds in the market, was originally conceived with the aim of enabling ladies of the royal household to watch the everyday life and royal processions in the city without being seen by others.
Jantar MantarThe architectural astronomical instruments of 18th century Rajasthani king named Jai Singh contained in an amazing, three-storey-high complex known as Jantar Mantar
Amer Palace (Fort )Amer Fort and Palace was originally built by Raja Man Singh and subsequently developed by Sawai Jai Singh. The major attractions are Sheela Devi Temple, Sheesh Mahal ( Hall of mirrors), Jai Garh Fort a few kilometres from the city centre was built for the defence of the towna and has one of the world`s biggest cannons on wheels and a rich collection of arms and weapons
Jaigarh FortThe Western skyline is dominated by the extensive parkotas (Walls), watch-towers and gateways of Jaigarh.It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intactcontaining palaces, gardens, open and covered reservoirs, a grannary, an armoury, a well planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon the Jai Ban the largest in the Country.
Nahargarh FortBeyond the hills of Jaigarh, stands the fort of Nahargarh like a watchful sentinel guarding Sawai Jai Singh's beautiful capital. Much of the original structures are now in ruins, but the lovely buildings added by Sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II in the 19th century are preserved in a good condition. Some of the rooms provide the most spectacular view of the city below.
Sisodia Rani Ka BaghAlong the road to Agra through a narrow gorge in the south-eastern corner of the walled city, several landscaped gardens were constructed by the kings and important courtiers in the 18th and 19th centuries. The largest and the most famous amongst these is a garden built by Sawai Jai Singh II for his Sisodia Queen - The Sisodia Rani-ka-Bagh. It consists of tiered multi-level gardens with fountains, watercourses and painted pavilions. Amongst others, the best-preserved one is Vidyadhar-ka-Bagh, constructed by the builder of the city, Vidyadhar, with shady trees, flowing water, an open pavilion and suites of living rooms
City Palace- JaipurThe city Palace is a historic landmark. The Carved arches are supported by grey-white marble columns studded with floral motifs in gold and coloured stones. Two elephants carved in marble, guard the entrance, where retaineers whose families have served generations of the rulers are at hand, to serve as guides.
Vijay StambhIt was built in 1440 AD. by Maharaja Kumbha, a powerful ruler of Mewar, to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat. It is 37 metre high structure with nine storeys, covered with exquisite sculptures of Hindu deities.
Palace of PadminiBuilt beside a large pool with a pavilion in its centre. Legend relates that, as Padmini sat in this pavilion, Alaud-din was permitted to see her reflection in a mirror in the palace. The bronze gates in this pavilion were carried off by Akbar and can now be seen in the fort at Agra.
Jaisalmer FortJaisalmer Fort is the most alive of any museum, fort or palace that you are likely to visit in India. It was built in 1156 by the Rajput ruler Jaisala. About a quarter of the old city's population resides within the fort walls. The fort is entered through a forbidding series of massive gates leading to a large courtyard.
HaveliThe impressive mansions built by the wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are known as havelis, and several of these fine sandstone buildings are still in good condition.
Salim Singh-Ki-HaveliThis haveli was built about 300 years ago and part of it is still occupied. Salim Singh was the prime minister when Jaisalmer was the capital of a princely state, and his mansion has a beautifully arched roof with superb carved brackets in the form of peacocks. The mansion is just below the hill and it is said, once had two additional wooden storeys in an attempt to make it as high as the Maharaja's palace, but the maharaja had the upper storeys torn down.
Patwon-Ki-HaveliIt is one of the largest and most elaborate houses in Jaisalmer. It is five storeys high, extinsively carved. It is divided into six apartments, two owned by the Archaeological Survey of India, Two by families who operate craftshops here, and two private homes.
Nathmalji-Ki-HaveliThis late 19th century haveli was also a prime minister's house. This haveli was carved by two brothers, one working on the right side and the other on the left. Yellow sandstone elephants guard the building, and even the front door is a work of art.
Junagarh FortJunagarh Fort in Bikaner is considered one of India's most impressive fort complexes. It's exquisitely decorated interiors are in an excellent state of preservation. Built in 1588 by Raja Rai Singh. The complex consists of palaces, courtyards, pavilions, and balconies. The walls are adorned with carved stones, marble, paintings, and inlaid semi-precious stones. Each palace in the complex was built by a different ruler over the centuries. The most recent additions were made in 1943.
Lalgarh PalaceThis grand palace is an architectural masterwork in red sandstone, and was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji in 1902. Sir Swinton Jacob designed this oriental fantasy. This architecture is a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. The exterior contrasts dramatically with the oriental interiors and amenities. The palace has beautiful latticework and filigree work, which are hallmarks of a great craftsmanship. The Palace has an amazing collection of well-maintained paintings and hunting trophies. Sprawling lawns with blooming bougainvillea and dancing peacocks make a visual extravagance.
Mehrangarh Fort |Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India. The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures. Inside the fort, there is a series of courtyards and palaces.
Umaid Bhawan PalaceBuilt of marble and pink sandstone, this immense palace is also known as the Chittar Palace because of the local Chittar sandstone used. The only palace built in 20th century under the famine relief programme, has now been converted into a hotel with some parts being retained as a museum.
Kumbhalgarh Fort |Kumbhalgarh, a two hour drive from Udaipur, is famous for its 15th century fort and a game sanctuary. Approachable by road, the huge stone bastion stands atop a hill and allows access through spiked gates. The fort wall covers miles over the hillside and a walk on it can be invigorating. The fort lies 1,100 metres above sea level and enclosed within its fortified ramparts are palaces, temples, fields, water sources and farms fully self-contained to withstand a long siege. Kumbhalgarh provides an excellent view of the countryside where many fierce battles were fought. It also has its significance of being the birth place of Maharana Pratap
Lake PalaceLake Palace or Jag Niwas was built in 1754 by Maharana Jagat Singh II who gave his name to this elegant white building. The Lake Palace Udaipur is a palace on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola girdled by hills, was the summer residence of the rulers of Mewar. Today this pleasure palace is a luxury hotel like none other in the world.