Circuit RAJ/01: Jodhpur(3)-Jaisalmer(3)- Bikaner(2) 8 Nights/ 9 days Distances Access Points for Jodhpur Udaipur - 260 kms, Jaipur - 317 kms Jodhpur – Jaisalmer 285 kms – 5 hours Jaisalmer – Bikaner 333 kms - 6 1/2 hours Bikaner to Other Access Points Bikaner - Delhi 470 Km., Jaipur - 354 kms Access: Nearest Station: Jodhpur From Mumbai to Jodhpur Arr. Days Of Run Train Name Origin Dep.Time Destination Time M T W T F S S RANAKPUR BANDRA 15:00 JODHPUR JN 10:05 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y EXPRES TERMINUS SURYANAGARI BANDRA 12:50 JODHPUR JN 06:50 Y N Y N Y N Y EXP TERMINUS JODHPUR *VASAI EXPRESS ROAD 22:45 JODHPUR JN 18:10 N N N N N N Y JODHPUR *KALYAN 21:45 JODHPUR JN 18:10 N Y N N N N N EXPRESS JN Bikaner to Mumbai Days Of Run Train Name Origin Dep.Time Destination Arr.Time M T W T F S S RANAKPUR EXPRES BIKANER JN 09:45 BORIVALI 10:41 Y Y Y Y Y Y Y For Accommodation option visit: www.nivalink.com/rajasthan Jodhpur: (3nights) Jodhpur is a typical Rajasthan city with Havelis, Palaces and Cenotaphs all over which stand testimony to the imperial grandeur. Sightseeing within Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort 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. Umaid Bhawan Grandeur of this 20th Century palace, now a heritage hotel is so imposing that its become a landmark in Jodhpur Jaswant Thada The 19th century royal cenotaph is built in white marble, in commemoration of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Some rare portraits of the rulers of Jodhpur are also displayed here. Mandore Gardens Just at the outskirts of Jodhpur lies Mandore Gardens which also has a ancient temple. Sardar Samand This is the royal summerhouse, now a heritage hotel Palace located on a man-made lake. Shopping At the Sadar Market near the Clock Tower Look for the tie & dye textiles, embroidered leather shoes, lacquerware, antiques, carpets and puppets, textiles, clay figurines, miniature camels and elephants, marble inlay work and classic silver jewellery. Festivals Mewar festival: Duration The festival is held in the month of Ashwin (September-October) in Jodhpur, for two days during the full moon of Sharad Poornima. Significance : Originally known as the Maand Festival, this festival features folk music centred on the romantic lifestyle of Rajasthan's rulers. This festival is devoted to the music and dance of the Marwar region. Attractions: It offers a good opportunity to see the folk dancers and singers who assemble here and provide hours of lively entertainment. These folk artists provide a glimpse of the days of yore, of battles and valiant heroes who still live on in their songs. Other attractions : Camel tattoo show and Polo. Excursions from Jodhpur : 1. Osiyan Jain Temples: These are a group of Jain Temples located at couple of hours drive from Jadhpur enroute to Jaisalmer. Some of the temples are in ruins and others restored. There is also an abandoned Sun Temple. There is also a Devi temple at Osiyan which is very popular among locals. 2. Barmer: Barmer is known for its rich crafts, dances and music. Once on the ancient camel trade route, the town in now the centre for wood carving, pottery, carpets, intricate embroidery work, block printed fabrics and multi- hued traditional costumes. Especially famous are the geometric Ajrak prints in dark shades of red and blue, ideal for protection against the sun. The most interesting part of a trip to Barmer is the journey through rural Rajasthan. The small villages with mud-walled houses decorated with delicate folk motifs and colourfully attired people on the way, offer a fascinating sight. Festival Every year in March, the desert town is at its colorful best during the exuberant Barmer festival. The festival is the best time to plan a visit to Barmer Other Attractions in Barmer Kiradu Situated on the foot of a hill near village Hathma in Barmer tehsil is Kiradu. The inscription dating back to 1161 AD reveals that the place was called Kiratkoop and had once been the capital of Punwars. The ruins of five ancient temples-one dedicated to Lord Vishnu and other four dedicated to Lord Shiva are of interest to archaeologists and art lovers, alike. The biggest of these temples is the Someshwar Temple. 3. Bishnoi Villages: Bishnois are tribes who believe in protecting the environment. Bishnoi Villages are an hour drive from Jodhpur. A Bishnoi weavers are known for their colorful rugs. There is also a deer sanctuary enroute where you may spot a bucks, reindeer, Sambars etc. Jaisalmer: (285-km From Jodhpur )(3 nights) Jaisalmer is best known for its access to Thar Dessert sand dunes. Besides that there are Jain Temples, Cenotaphs, Jaisalmer Fort and hordes or heritage monuments to savour. Shopping Jaisalmer is also famous for mirror work, embroidered articles, woollen pattu and other items made of good quality, locally produced wood, wooden boxes, trinklets, silver jewelry and curios. Sightseeing Options around Jaisalmer The 800 year fort stands almost 30 metres over the city and Jaisalmer fort houses an entire living area within huge ramparts. Walking through the narrow lanes is an experience worth savouring Jain temples This group of fine Jain temples were built in the 12th to 15th century within the Jaisalmer Fort. They are beautifully carved and dedicated to Rishabdevji and Sambhavnathji. Havelis The beautiful mansions built by Jaisalmer's wealthy merchants are known as 'havelis' and several of these fine sandstone buildings are still in beautiful condition. Patwon ki Haveli is the most elaborate and magnificent of all the Jaisalmer havelis. Gadsisar Gadsisar Lake in Jaisalmer, the rainwater fed reservoir, was Lake built in 1156 AD and rebuilt in 1367AD by Maharwal Garsisingh. Gadsisar Sagar is a scenic rain water lake with numerous beautiful shrines around. There is also a museum. Govt Museum The large collection of wood and marine fossils in the museum - Jaisalmer gives an insight into the geological past of the area. Kailana Lake Located 11 kms off the Jaisalmer Road, Kailana Lake is a picturesque lake. One can witness the spectacular sunsets and cherish the beauty of the place. Festival Held in the months of January-February, the Desert Festival exudes a delightful spirit. For three days, the otherwise barren land of Jaisalmer comes to life and is clustered with hordes of colourfully dressed people. Attractions The famous Gair dancers and the traditional fire-dancers leave the crowds enchanted whenever they perform. The grand finale is a trip to the sand dunes where one can enjoy the pleasure of a camel ride and at times also view the musicians and dancers performing on the dunes. Excursions: Sam Sand Dunes(42Km.) Any trip to Jaisalmer is indeed, incomplete, without a trip to the most panoramic dunes of Sam where the wind is unceasingly carving out scenic patterns. Situated 42 kms from Jaisalmer, the sun-soaked Sam Sand Dunes bring to light a glided mirage. Truly the essence of the desert, the ripples of the wind-caressed dunes create an enchanting mirage. Khuri Village (45Km.) Khuri Village unlike Sam Dunes is more laidback and offers dunes of larger size. This is a popular spot for evening trip or overnight stay in one of the round traditional cottages. Desert National Park(40Km.) It preserves the Eco-system of the desert within its confines. The Monitor lizards, desert foxes, porcupines, occasional wolves and black bucks, and the Great Indian Bustard (a protected bird ) are found here, forming an ecological chain revolving around cacti and other hardy desert plants. Wood Fossil Park(17Km.) Wood Fossil Park at Aakal, is 17-kms from the city of Jaisalmer. Lying on the Barmer Road, this park transports you back to the Jurassic period, when the whole Thar region lay under the sea. The park with 180 million-year-old fossils that are the geological landmarks for the study of the Thar Desert is any geology enthusiast's delight. Akal(16Km.) It looks like a army frozen in its tracks, standing petrified in the forest of Aakal, in a bare hillside of mica, and red and yellow stone. It is a fossil park where 180 millions years ago stood a forest. The fossil trunks lie scattered in this part. Bada Bagh(6Km.) Only 3-km or so north of Jaisalmer, Bada Bagh is a fertile oasis, with a huge old dam on the banks of an artificial lake. The enchantingly scenic backdrop of a dainty lake and the dam in the middle of the plateau, add to the beauty of the place. Off-the-beaten Track Options Resort Rawla Resort Rawla is situated at a distance of 32 kms from the city of Jaisalmer. It offers you 10 ethnic desert huts and 12 luxurious Swiss Tents for accommodation. The resort offers Special Arabian Nights Theme Dinner in the vicinity of exotic Resort Rawla and sunset and sunrise on the Sand dunes in freezing winters is an experience worth going there for. Bikaner (2 Nights) This Royal walled city is a part of the desert tourist triangle and lies on the northern tip of the triangle. The city was founded in 1486 AD by the Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, hence the name Bikaner. Bikaner is known for good breed of riding camels, which are among the best in the world. The Camel Festival held every year is famous all over the globe. Bikaner has many magnificent buildings made of Reddish Pink sandstone that transcends the surrounding barren wilderness. Junagarh fort One of the most imposing forts of Northern India-- Junagarh Fort has remained unconquered till date. Lalgarh palace Designed by a Britisher for Maharaja Ganga Singh, this palace displays a magnificent blend of Oriental and European style. Bhandeshwar & Five kms from the city, these temples are the oldest Sandeshwar surviving monuments of aesthetic heritage.The mirror work Temples and the gold leaf paintings in the temple are noteworthy. The temples are dedicated to 23rd Jain teerthankar, Parsvanathji. Camel Breeding Take a ride on one or watch the calves gamboling, or Farms submit to a Raika or a Rebarifrom traditional camel breeder, over a cup of camel's milk at the camel breeding farms just eight kms away from the city. This farm is the only of its kind in Asia. Fort Museum – Ganga Mahal, the imposing halls added by Maharaja Bikaner Ganga Singh, now houses the Fort Museum. It contains a fine collection of antique Rajput weaponry, jade handle daggers, camel hide 'dhals' (shields) and inlaid handguns and camel guns. Gold and silver 'howdahs', 'jhulas', 'palkis' and a First World War biplane are on view. Ganga Golden This small museum has a large collection of pre-Harappan, Jubilee Museum Gupta and Kushan pottery. The Bikaneri miniatures, which are displayed in a separate section for local arts, makes visit to the museum a must. Shopping The purses, slippers made from the camel hide are worth a bargain. The camel skin also ends up as cushions and lacquered lampshades. The local carpets and the woodwork are very popular among the tourists. Festivals Camel festival: Attractions The red sandstone backdrop of the Junagarh Fort, the festivity advances to the open sand- spreads of the grounds, followed by the best breed competition, the tug-of- war contest, camel dance and acrobatics, etc. The camels display amazing footwork, dancing gracefully to the slightest direction of their trainers. Bridal bridles, bejeweled necks, jingling anklets and long, lanky camel shadows on dusky sands cast a magical spell. The evenings close with a different tenor and tempo altogether: a traditional rendezvous of renowned artistes of Rajasthan and the local folk performers. The jubilant skirt-swirling dancers, the awe-inspiring fire dance, and the dazzling fireworks light up the fortified desert city of Bikaner. Jambeshwar Fair: The Jambheswar Fair is held in the village Mukam of Tehsil Nokha, Bikaner District, twice a year on Phalgun Budi Amavasya and Ashvin Budi Amavasya, in memory of the founder of the Bishnoi sect Jambheswar ji. Kapil Muni Fair : The Kapil Muni Fair is the largest fair of Bikaner district held on Kartik Purnima at Kolayat -- originally Kapilayatan -- named after the sage Kapil who is believed to have done 'tapasya' (meditation) here for the redemption of mankind. Karni Mata Fair : Karni Mata Fair is held twice a year at Deshnok, a small town near Nokha in Bikaner district. The first and larger fair is held in March-April during the Navratras from Chaitra Shukla Ekam to Chaitra Shukla Dashmi. The second fair is held in September- October, also during the Navratras, from Ashvin Shukla Ekam to Ashwin Shukla Dashmi. Off-the-beaten Track Options Khimsar : www.nivalink.com/khimsar ; www.nivalink.com/khimsardunes 1 1/2 hour drive from Jodhpur are the two WelcomHeritage hotels. Where following activities are possible. *Visit the inhouse, ancestral museum of miniature paintings and family memorabilia. *Walk into the handicraft shop with articles personally handpicked by the members of the royal family. *Ride into the village or the countryside on horse or camel back. Or if you so prefer, rent a bicycle. *Witness the revival of Rajasthan's ancient handicrafts by visiting the local cobbler, goldsmith, potter, weaver and stone mason. *Use the inhouse telescope to stargaze in the clear starlit night. *The piece de resistance at Khimsar is a candle lit dinner set in the ancient ruins of Fateh Mahal Excursions Apart from a camel/horse safari in the village or to the nearby sand dunes, a personalised jeep safari to the Black Buck Reserve (15 km away) is something not to be missed. Follow it up with picnic tea atop the famous Panchala sand dunes and watch the sun dip into the marvelous desert countryside. A day trip to Bikaner (150 km) enroute the Rat Temple at Deshnoke, Nagaur Fort, the 8th century Jain temples at Osian can be made comfortably. Rohet Garh : www.nivalink.com/rohetgarh Rohetgarh is located at Rohet, dist. Pali off Jodhpur (Rajasthan, India). It is now a heritage hotel but has remained a family home, where the members of the erstwhile ruling family welcome you personally as their honored guest. Activiities : o Village Safari o Horse riding & An extensive one to five day horse safari programme. o Picnics in the countryside. o A one day camel safari through neighbouring villages with picnic lunch. o A two day cooking workshop on traditional cuisines, including a visit to the spice market and cooking demonstrations by selected local chefs Fort Chanwa Luni : www.nivalink.com/chanwaluni Fort Chanwa Luni is located at Luni at 35 kms from Jodhpur. It is now a heritage hotel offering 23 rooms, swimming pool and other modern amenities. Activiities : o Village Safari o A one day camel safari through neighbouring villages with picnic lunch. Manvar Desert Resort and Camp – www.nivalink.com/manvar Manvar Safaris offer great outdoor adventure and a taste of the Thar Desert. Visitors can choose between camel and Jeep safaris. Visitors can visit tribal (bishnoi) villages, see desert wild life, watch local craftsmen at work and enjoy the beautiful sand dunes. The dunes around Manvar are untouched & not at all commercialized like Jaisalmer Accessibility Jodhpur via Balesar :115 kms,2 hours ( on the main road midway between Jodhpur & Jaisalmer) Jaisalmer via Pokhran :170 kms,4 hours Bikaner via Phalodi & Dechu : 225 kms,4 hours Resort Rawla (www.nivalink.com/rawlajaisalmer) is situated at a distance of 32 kms from the city of Jaisalmer. It offers you 10 ethnic desert huts and 12 luxurious Swiss Tents for accommodation. The resort offers Special Arabian Nights Theme Dinner in the vicinity of exotic Resort Rawla and Sunset/Sunrise Camel rides to Sand dunes.