Rajasthan travel guide
2 MINUTE SUMMARY
Some people say that Rajasthan is like walking onto a movie set. It is, in fact, like walking into a giant movie studio, with lots of different themes, players, props and dialogue. At first it’s surreal, seeing ornate palaces one minute, desert the next. Ancient pink forts alongside contemporary chic, luxury trains followed by camel trains. Consequently it covers all genres with comedy, dramatic, arthouse and adventurous moments all in a day. You will look on in awe at the temples and multicoloured cities, vibrant markets and elegantly dressed people, feasts and festivals, right up until credits roll.
Our Rajasthan travel guide hopes to share just a few of these worthy credits. If there was an Oscar for locations, Rajasthan would win again and again.
regal, regaling and will always give you a
right royal welcome
about beaches. It’s a desert state, but far from arid. Your thirst for culture will always be quenched.
Rajasthan map & highlights
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME
Rajasthan’s tigers may be elusive but, just like all of Rajasthan, beauty jumps out to surprise you when you least expect it. The blue buildings of Jodhpur glisten like sapphires in the desert setting. The pilgrims of Pushkar adorning the waterside ghats look like sacred sculptures themselves. An old town market stall selling natural dyes illuminates a smoggy day in modern Jaipur. The coloured saris of women working in the fields pop up like flowers between paddy. And the sight of a peacock displaying and dancing in Ranthambore National Park takes your breath away. Until you see the eye of the tiger that is. Then you’ll be displaying and dancing too.
Capital and gateway to the rest of the state, but so beautiful it feels like the gateway to heaven. In fact there are seven gates into its old, walled city bursting with flower markets and fortune tellers, artisans and animals. And not one palace, but two: Hawa Mahal and Jal Mahal. Everything pretty in pink, thanks to sandstone and a lot of paint. Amber and Nahargarh forts are also feisty feats of architecture.
A colourful stop on Rajasthan’s multicoloured magic carpet, this time blue. The mammoth Mehrangarh Fort oversees the city like a lion overseeing its pride, the ancient houses all painted blue seeming to worship at its feet. Delve deeper, and you’ll discover markets bursting with every colour of the rainbow. This is the gateway to the Thar Desert, inhabited by contrasting desert dwellers, the Bishnoi and Bhil.
A sacred town for Hindus, and spectacular, spiritual experience for all travellers. Pushkar Lake is considered holy water and, therefore, surrounded by over 400 temples, including the multi-coloured Brahma temple. There are ghats galore, steps that take worshippers into the waters. Pushkar is a place to be immersed in Rajasthani culture. You’ll be tempted to snap all day. But please respect the spirituality.
Ranthambore National Park
As well as being one of the top habitats for the precious Bengal tiger, this park is the veritable Jungle Book. Indeed, there are sloth bears (on which Kipling’s Baloo was based), nilgai antelope, sambar deer and jungle cats. Spend a few days on safari here, feasting your eyes on all of its fauna, tucked in amongst the wild array of tropical forest and ruined temples. It is definitely a ‘bear necessity’ on a visit to Rajasthan.
Think of this not simply as the natural backdrop to the artists’ dream that is Rajasthan, but also as its most beautiful blank canvas. Spend a few days in the sands and dunes to discover desert forts and villages, see black buck running wild across the semi arid zones and camels or cattle being sold at extraordinary vibrant markets. Jaisalmer is the main starting point for safaris into the sands.
Udaipur is called ‘Venice of the East’, as its complex lake system winds its way around palaces, temples, ancient waterside dwellings and a wonderful collection of heritage hotels. Stunningly romantic, the Aravali Hills proffer the perfect backdrop reflected in the city’s water, where you can saunter the City Palace on the bank of Lake Pichol or head to Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Palace on offshore islands.
If you'd like to chat about Rajasthan or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team
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