Samode is around 40 kms northwest from Jaipur with its splendid Samode Palace set amidst fairy tale surroundings. Its history goes back more than four and half centuries. Prithviraj Singh Ji of Amber, the seventeenth Prince of the house of Kachhawaha Rajputs, had awarded Samode to one of his twelve sons, Gopal Singhji, along with the hereditary title of Rawal Saheb. Nestled picturesquely amidst rugged hills, Samode Palace with its stately grandeur and frescoed walls is one of the most impressive small palaces in whole of Rajasthan. The palace is full of architectural delights – the paintings on the walls of Sultan Mahal, the dinning room with its stained glass windows, the Durbar Hall with its painted ceilings and intricately carved walls. The chandeliers give the palace its Old World charm. The Palace has a front lawn, terrace and boasts of hosting number of incentives every year. Encircled by hills, it is a refreshing treat with spectacular landscapes. The 400-year-old palace has a wealth of frescoes, many of them depicting religious subjects. The ornate interiors are a fine example of the Rajput haveli architecture.
Samode Bagh was built more than 400 years ago by Rawal Sheo Singhji, it is modelled on the geometric style of the Mughal Garden. Members of the Samode family came here to enjoy rare moments of privacy and relax in the airy pavilions, surrounded by rippling water fountains. A special feature of the stay here is the accommodation being provided in the tents. Meeting point at the Bagh is the elegantly furnished Durbar tent. Dune coloured tents, all luxuriously furnished with every comfort, the lawns; fruit trees, grapevines, and the flowering shrubs make the stay here a memorable one. Evenings come alive with local folk music and dances in the magic of a campfire. One can swim in the private pool or take camel rides to explore the countryside. Other entertainment activities available here include camel safaris, a visit to the village and the Samode Palace, which is just 3 kms away.
The history of Samode Palace goes back to more than four and a half centuries. Prithviraj Singhji of Amber, the seventeenth prince of the house of Kachhawah Rajputs, had awarded Samode to one of his twelve sons – Gopal Singhji alongwith the hereditary title of Rawal Saheb. Set cosily in the scenic rocky hills, Samode Palace with its stately majesty opens a grand journey into the glorious past through its frescoed corridors. The palace is full of architectural delights. The birds, animals and flowers painted on the walls of the Sultan Mahal, the dining room with its stained glass windows and its collection of old family portraits, the Durbar Hall with its painted ceilings and intricately carved walls and beautiful chandeliers, give this palace its ethnic charm. Each room is done up in traditional Rajasthan style and the antique furniture blends well with the surroundings. A traditional welcome with camel carts, buggies, elephants and local musicians is organized on preference. Camel safaris are available.
How to reach Samode :
» Air – Jaipur 40 km is the nearest airport.
» Rail – Jaipur, the nearest railway junction, is well connected with Delhi, Bikaner, Jodhpur and a host of cities around.
» Road – Samode is an hour’s drive from Jaipur, which is 45 kms away.
Lying on the main Delhi Mumbai railway line Sawai Madhopur is the gateway to the world renowned Ranthambhar National Park-the famous tigers reserve, just 12 km away from here. Ranthambhor has been a witness to the rise and fall of many rulers and a series of battle scenes.
In the 13th century A.D., Govinda, the grandson of Prithviraj Chauhan took over the reign of the land. Later his successor Vagbhatta beautified the city and built a noteworthy temple at Jhain. In the middle of 15th century A.D., Rana Kumbha captured the fort and gifted it to his son to be occupied later by the Hada Rajputs of Bundi and Mughal Emperors Akbar and Aurangazeb.
Mughal emperor Shah Alam gifted it to Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh 1 of Jaipur in 1754 and since then it was mainted as trhe hunting preserve of the Maharaja sawai madho Singh queen wlizabeth II and the duke of edinburgh were part of the royal part of hunting parties who stayed here.
Ranthambhor National Park : The 392 sq.km park comprises of dry deciduous forest sprawling over the undulating terrain of the Arvalli and Vindhaan ranges. The park is one of the finest tiger reserves in the country under the project tiger. The majestc predators assured if protection roam freely during the day times and can be seen at close quarters. Ranthambtor sanctuary has large number of sambhar, chital nigai chinkar langur wild boar and peafowl. A system of three pretty artificial lakes padam talsb rajbagh and Milak talab alongwith a number of anicuits are part of the biosphere. Beside enhancing the scenic beauty of the park, they are an important source of water for the inhabitants of the park. While deer congregate here to drink water fresh water cocodile can be seen basking in the winter sun to regulate their body temperture. The lake also attracts a large number of migratory and local birds.
The local fauna of the park includes leopard hyena jackal jungle cat sloth bear and a little population of pythons. The lovely jogi Mahal overlooking the pretty Padam Talab at the foot of the fort has a forest rest house.
Other accommodation outside the fort also ensures a comfortable stay. The best time to visit is between November and April. Jeeps are available to take you around the park.
The Fort : Ranathambhors royal past manifesests itself in the wel presered imposing fort, built in 1994 A.D. atop a steep high creek 200 metros above sea level ruined pavilions walls chatris and splendid monuments are interspresed within the majestic fort, An 8th century A.D Ganesh temple on an open land attracts thousands of devottes and id the venue for an annual fair held on Bhadrapad sudi Chaturthi fouth day of the bright half in the month of Bhadra.
How to reach Sawai Madhopur :
» Air – Jaipur 158 km is the nearest airport.
» Rail – Located on the Delhi Mumbai main railway line, it is well connected with Jaipur and other major tourist centres. Some important train conections are : 4005 expess (hazarat Nizamuddin Sawai Madhopur-Shamgarh); Golden Temple mail(Mumbai-Sawai madhopur jammu)avadh Express (Mumbai-Sawai Madhopur-Gorakpur); Dehradun Express (Mumbai-Sawai Madhopur-Dehradun
» Road – A good network of bus services connect Sawai Madhopur with many places.
» Local Transport : Un-metered taxis and auto-rickshaws and tongas.
The city of Dawn,Udaipur is a lovely land around the azure water lake,hemmed in by the lush hills of the Aravallis. A vision in white drenched in romance and beauty, Udaipur is a fascinating blend of sights, sound and experiences and inspiration for the imagination of poets,painters and writers.
Its kaleidoscope of fairy-tale palaces,lakes,temples,gardens and narrow lanes strewn with stalls,carry the flavor of a heroic past,epitomizing 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 meditations on a hill overlooking the Lake Pichhola. The hermit blessed the Maharana and advised him to build a palace at this favorable located spot with a fertile valley watered by the stream, a lake,an agreeable altitude and an ampitheatre of low mountains. Maharana followed the advise of the hermit and founded the city in 1559 A.D.
Overlooking the aquamarine expanses of the Lake Pichhola stands the splendid City Palace-a marvel in granite and marble.Of the original eleven gates of the Udaipur City,only five remain. The Suraj Pol the original or Sun Gate on the eastern side is the main entrance to the city.Exquisite lake palaces of Udaipur shimmering like jewels on Lake Pichhola are overwhelming in splendor.
Several places of interest around Udaipur, including the majestic, Chittaurgarh,the mountain fortress of Kumbhalgarh, beautiful jain temple of Ranakpur,Ekligji and Nathdwara and the cool retreat of Mt. Abu, make the visit to Udaipur a memorable one.
City Palaces, the Suraj Gokhada, Pratap Memorial, Ahar, Sajjan Garh, Gulab Bagh, Fateh Sagar, Pichhola Lake, Jagdish Temple, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir, Saheliyon-ki-Bari (Garden of the maids of Honour).
How to reach Udaipur :
» Air – Udaipur is well connected to all the major cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Jodhpur, Jaipur.
» Rail – Udaipur is connected to many major cities of India. There are daily trains from Delhi, Jaipur.The best train between Delhi and Udaipur, the daily Chetak Express. Trains take around 12 Hrs from Jaipur to Udaipur.
» Road – Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe & air conditioned buses from Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad to Udaipur. The roads are very good, and it takes around 8-9 hr. from Jaipur. You can also come by taxi from Jaipur and Ahmedabad.