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Forts and Palaces of Rajasthan

Duration: 14 Nights and 15 Days

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Sikar, RajasthanSikar is a part of the Shekhawati region, famous around the world for its mansions with frescoes or painted havelis. Sikar used to be the largest estate (Thikana) of the princely state of Jaipur.

The town of Sikar exists since the 17th century and has Rajput history attached to it. Raja Bahadur Singh Shekhawat, the Raja of Khandela gifted the village known as Beer Bhan Ka Bass to Rao Daulat Singh, the son of Rao Jaswant Singh of Kasli Thikana. Rao Daulat Singh laid the foundation of Sikar in 1687 and built its fort. His son Rao Shiv Singh in turn made several forts and palaces and developed Sikar into an important town.

Sikar is surrounded by a strong boundary wall that has seven gates called Pols. Its numerous temples have beautiful paintings. Temple of Raghunath Ji and Hanuman Ji is a major tourist attraction of Sikar. This temple has amazing murals and a portrait of Col. Boileau who was a keen astronomer and architect. Col. Boileau built the Observatory and the Christ Church in Shimla. The other murals include portraits of the rulers of Sikar and also one with a view of Jaipur city.

The Harashnath Temple here is from the 10th century. The Madan Mohan Temple here has paintings on its walls and dome. Similar is the case with the Govindji Temple. The walls of this temple have murals of wrestlers, a scene at a well and of the legendary love story of Dhola and Maru. The Jeen Mata Mandir is the venue for a fair held in April-May each year that attracts devotees in large numbers.

Sikar was an important trading centre. Its merchant princes demonstrated their affluence by building large and luxurious mansions (havelis) that are typical of Shekhawati region. The important havelis that a tourist can visit include Biyani Haveli made in 1865, Somani Haveli, painted in red and blue colors and the Chhotalal Sodhani Haveli built in 1884, that has an impressive entrance painted with dancing girls and panels from the Mahabharata inside.

Sikar also has cenotaphs of its royals; the important one is the Chhatri of Devi Singh from 1795 with nearly eighty painted panels. The market place here has a Clock Tower. Most shops sell tie and dye fabric that is a speciality here. The garments that can be purchased in tie & dye style include colourful long scarves for women and bright turbans for men.

Sikar is en-route to Bikaner when travelling from Agra on National Highway 11. 116 Km from Jaipur and 320 Km from Jodhpur, it can easily form a part of your itinerary from any of these places when touring Rajasthan.

Climate: Sikar has very hot summer with temperature touching 50 C. In winter, the temperature can be as low as -1 degree C. Winter months also see fog. The rainfall here is scanty. Bring light clothes for summer and heavy woollens for winter.

Connectivity: Sikar is connected by train to Delhi, Jaipur and other cities. It has excellent road network and is accessible by taxis and buses.

STD: 01572



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