The largest state in the country, spread across 3,42,239 square kilometres, Rajasthan literally translates to the “land of the kings”. Think of Rajasthan and the first thing one remembers is the world famous that desert. But, that’s not the only thing the place has to offer for its visitors. The place of the ancient Indus Valley civilization, Rajasthan has a number of majestic forts, magnificent palaces and world heritage sites to its credit. Be it the Aravalli mountain ranges or the only hill station in the state, Mount Abu, there is a lot to experience and take pride in for a traveller. The World Heritage site of Keoladeo National Park known for migratory birds and the two tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska add up to be stark contrasts to the vast stretches of barren desert land.
The royalty of Rajasthan lies in the culture and enormous history is brought into light only when one gets lost in the huge forts or takes a walk in the beautiful gardens of the palaces. The people, the food, the lifestyle, the terrain, the music, the art forms each one manifests themselves in all their grandeur and vibrancy to the traveller. Spend some quality time in Rajasthan, you will come back again wanting for more of this place. The hospitality of the people here is worth mentioning.
The state is vast and well spread out and has each place better than the previous one, here is the list of few places worth paying a visit to get the essence of all good things that make Rajasthan truly the land of the kings.
Go ahead and explore the places!! Happy royal tripping dear travellers!
The “pink city” Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan. Built by the erstwhile Maharaja Jai Singhji II in the year 1727. The magnificent architecture of the palaces, the gates or pols marking the city borders, the Hawa Mahal’s intricate design and unique structure, the Amer or the Amber palace’s serene beauty, the Nahargarh fort, the location of the Jal Mahal palace in the middle of the lake, Jantar Mantar, a centre showcasing the scientific and technological prowess of the times of yore are all a sight of bliss.
The rich cultural heritage is still intact even though the city is making rapid expanses in the modern times.
The city of Udaipur is known for its picturesque lakes throughout the city. Often referred to as the “Lake City”, Udaipur is popular for the City Palace overlooking the Lake Pichola, the Jag Mandir Palace and the Lake Palace are also amidst lakes.
The Moti Magri where there is the statue of Maharana Pratap Singh, the king of Mewar is a monument established to commemorate the victory in the battle of Haldighati. The Fateh Sagar Lake has a technology which uses the pressure of the water flow which makes rise to a natural fountain in the middle of the lake. The boat rides overlooking the majestic palaces, marble temples and palatial mansions is a sight to cherish and admire for the times to come.
The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is popularly known for the “Mehrangarh Fort”. The fort is surrounded by huge complex fort walls in which are houses painted in a striking blue colour built in small avenues. The “blue city” as it’s known as has to its credit that it’s one of the very few living forts in the world. Think of the words classy architecture, royalty at its best and grandeur all put into one and you get the most beautiful palace in the country, the Umaid Bhawan Palace!
Jodhpur, once the capital of the kingdom of Marwar is a rare combination of beauty, majestic scenery and strong forts all set in the background of the harsh Thar desert alongside the rugged Aravalli hills terrain. Also, the travellers are advised to visit a place called “Jaswant Thada” which is often missed out of the local sightseeing planners’ list. The place is a memorial ground of Maharaja Jaswant Singh which overlooks both the Mehrangarh Fort and the Umaid Bhawan Palace making it a wondrous sight.
The “Golden City” of India, Jaisalmer is a city in the midst of the harsh and brutal Thar desert. Nevertheless, the beauty and the architectural marvels of the place make up for it sublimely. There is a war museum dedicated to the warriors of the Punjab Regiment who fought fearlessly in the Battle of Longewala which is worth paying a visit to charge up one’s patriotism and feel proud of the country’s finest heroes.
The Jaisalmer Fort, which has a golden yellow tinge because of the sand colour in the region has stood the test of times and the attacks of the enemies on it. The boating rides in the Gadisagar lake will cool your nerves after the long and tiring, yet, exhilarating walk inside the fort. Do not pass the opportunity to visit places nearby like Pokhran, the nuclear testing site or the abandoned village of Kuldhara. The trip to the desert is never complete without riding on the camel’s back or crooning to the beats and steps of the rustic music and dance performances. The camel safari and jeep safari through the sand dunes are not to be missed at any cost. Pay a visit to the villages of Khudi (Kuri) and Sam and spend a night in the desert to get first-hand experience of the native lifestyle.
Rajasthan is best to be visited between October and February as the weather is pleasant throughout the state. The winters can be real cold in the deserts, but its far better than the sweltering summers when temperature soar up to 48°C-50°C.
The song “Kesariya Balam Aao Ni Padharo Ni Mhare Desh Re” which means “Oh! Traveller, please come to the land of the Rajputana, Rajasthan” is a true testament of the warm hospitality of the people here.
The terrain has mouth-watering cuisines to offer to the travellers. I hope that you break out of your comfort zone and try new things, be it in food or breaking into a jig to the tunes of the local music which wafts in the air along with the ever shifting sand dunes of the desert. The memories you carry back home from the trip to Rajasthan will be enormous and heart-warming.
Happy sojourns people!! To great journeys!!
9 April, 2016