Culturally lit and historically magnificent, Rajasthan is truly the land of maharajas. This largest Indian state stuns the travellers with its larger than life charisma depicting in its splendid forts and palaces. Numerous stories of chivalry, fidelity and romance still echo in the historical memorials of the state, which make this land a true beguiler.
Deeply rooted to their cultures, the locals of Rajasthan take pride in their history. They come from different castes and tribes making this state a multicultural land. Rajasthani women can be seen wearing flowing cotton ‘ghagras’ (skirts) with rainbow colour dupattas and chunky silver jewellery. Local men carry twirled moustaches that add splendour to their colourful turbans. Rajasthanis have great fascination towards their folk music and dance. Local craftsmen are known for making beautiful artefacts out of stone, leather, glass, wood, clay, ivory, brass, silver, gold and textiles. Rajasthani textile is world renowned and comes with tie and dye, block printing, embroidery and silver and gold work on fabric.
Rajasthan is renowned for its majestic forts and palaces having numerous legendary tales buried in their walls. They are ideal exemplar of the architectural heritage of Rajasthan. Jaipur is home to more than its fair share of forts. Amber Fort is a highly popular fort palace of the city crowning the crest of a hill. The fort presents a panoramic view of Maota Lake and charms the travelers with its majestic appeal. Other popular forts of Jaipur include City Palace, Jaigarh Fort and Hawa Mahal - each having its own unique charisma.
Udaipur also attracts numerous travelers with its charismatic range of palaces including City Palace and Lake Palace. Where the City Palace offers a mix of Rajput military architecture and Mughal-style decorative techniques, the Lake Palace is a pearly white dream reflecting in the clear waters of Lake Pichola.
Other than these, Jaisalmer Fort, Chittorgarh Fort Junagarh Fort, Mehrangarh Fort and Umaid Bhavan Palace are other key historical edifices adding grandeur in the skyline of Rajasthan.
Though the forts and palaces of Rajasthan keep the travellers hooked during their holidays, this royal state also houses some beautiful lakes and gardens which are worth a visit. Kishore Sagar Lake is one of the most popular manmade lake which looks like an oasis in the deserted land. The lake presents some breathtaking views of the Jagmandir Palace and its surrounding areas. Nakki Lake in Mount Abu also remains popular due to its jaw dropping vistas. Pushkar Lake is a sacred lake of Rajasthan in which devotees take dip to wash away their sins in its holy waters. Pichola Lake in Udaipur is another artificial lake set amidst lush green hills. Do not miss visiting the Jaisamand Lake which is known as Asia’s second largest artificial lake.
Apart from these, one can also spend some moments at the beautiful gardens of Rajasthan which are perfectly adorned with abundance of nature. Sar Bagh is a popular garden featuring a collection of royal cenotaphs. Samode Bagh, spread over an area of 20 acres, is known for its marble arches, raised pavilions, fountains, beautiful lawns and tents.
The royal state of Rajasthan is perfect to treat your senses with some great adventure activities. Traverse the golden soil of the deserts by hopping on a camel safari or partake in a night desert camp to stare at millions of stars.
Rajasthan’s unique topography makes it a perfect destination for numerous wild animals. The state houses some bewildering forms of flora and fauna that one needs to see to believe. Being home to some popular national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, one can discover enough wildlife attractions here. Ranthambore National Park and Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary are the most popular destinations to spot tigers. Keoladeo Ghana National Park is known for housing hundreds of birds. Travellers often look for wildlife tours to Rajasthan to spot animals like tigers, panthers, sambar, chinkara, bison and black bucks.
The locals of Rajasthan are extremely religious. This is the reason why the state houses numerous spiritual pilgrimage places visited by thousands of devotees all year long. The Brahma Temple of Pushkar is the only shrine of Brahmaji ‘"the creator of mankind" on the planet. Edging the banks of Pushkar Lake, one can see uncountable temples including Varah Temple, Mahadeva Temple, Gayatri Temple and Raghunath Temple, etc. Dargah Sharif of Amjer is another highly visited mosque. This most sacred Muslim shrine in India is the tomb of a Sufi saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. Millions of pilgrims visit this Dargah every year during the annual Urs fair.
Rajasthan is a heaven for shopping enthusiasts. The local markets of the state are as colourful as its cultures. Some of the common displays at the street markets of Rajasthan include jewellery, pottery, leather items, paintings, textiles, stone items and wooden furniture. Jaipur is the perfect destination for gratify your shopping cravings. Visit Rajasthali, Johari Bazaar, MI Road, Nehru Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Chaupar Stalls to bag local jewellery, gems, semi-precious stones and kundan work artefacts. Local markets of Bikaner such as Kote Gare and Station Road are great to buy exquisite crafts made of camel and sheep skin.
Shopping in Jodhpur also offers immense pleasure. Buy a pair of mojris at Kapra Bazaar or look for quilts, carpets and wooden furniture at the National Handloom Corporation and the Salawas Durry Udyog. Udaipur, the multihued city, gives immense opportunities to buy folk toys, bandhini textiles, beadwork, mirror work, puppets, wooden and metal craft. Do not miss visiting the local textile outlets selling fascinating Lahariya Bandhni saris, dress material, block-printed quilts and hand woven carpets.
Known for presenting a variety of dishes, Rajasthan is the best place to relish mouth-watering food. Being the land of Kings, the state’s food also comes with a royal touch. Made of locally found spices, Rajasthani food is presented in a beautiful manner which adds great appeal to the dining experience. Dal Bati Churma (flaky round breads baked over firewood and dipped in ghee) is the most common item cooked in every household here. Laal Maas (meat cooked with fiery red chillies) is a charmer for the lovers of non vegetarian food. For a perfect kingly dining experience, Mohan Maas (meat cooked with milk and mild spices) is also a must try.
The locals of Rajasthan are also mad over Rajasthani Kadhi (spiced yogurt) that leaves a pungent and spicy taste on your tongue forever. Churma Ladoo (whole wheat flour balls) is also a dish to die for. In addition to this, Mawa Kachori and Pyaaz Kachori are also delectable snacks of Rajasthan.
Fairs & Festivals add vivid colours to the landscape of Rajasthan while showcasing the legacy, colourful artefacts, lip- smacking delicacies, Rajasthani attires, folk dance and music of the state. The Summer Festival celebrated in Mount Abu rejoices the warmth and joyfulness of the locals of the hill station. The festival starts with the singing of a ballad followed with an exciting boat race.
Mewar Festival is another famous festival of the state showcasing the culture and tradition in Udaipur. The celebrations include numerous cultural events and activities flaunting the vibrancy of Rajasthanis.
Another most awaited event in Rajasthan is the famous Pushkar Fair. This mega event greets thousands of camel owners who visit Pushkar city to sell and buy cattle. The fair paints the skies of Rajasthan with multihued colours and sees numerous camels adorned with cloths, jewellery, silver bells, etc.
In addition to this, the Ajmer Sharif Festival often known as Urs fair also draws thousands of pilgrims seeking the blessings of the Sufi Saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti. Apart from this, the Desert Festival of Jaipur and International Camel Festival of Bikaner are other great retreats to dig into the local festivities.
The best time to visit Rajasthan is months between November and February. Summer months (April to June) in Rajasthan can be hot and humid making sightseeing difficult. However, Mount Abu, the only hill station of Rajasthan is ideal for planning summer holidays in the state. Monsoon (July to September) transforms the state into a beautiful ecstasy when the dry and sandy landscape of Rajasthan gets drenched with showers of rain. Udaipur is perhaps the best place to explore during monsoon reason as rain adds to the beauty of this majestic location.
The main airport of Rajasthan is situated at Jaipur that serves both domestic as well as international flights. Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur have domestic airports that connect with all the major cities in India. Train is also a good option to reach Rajasthan. The state has a wide railway network that offers direct links to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
In addition, road travel is also a preferred choice among travellers planning holidays to Rajasthan.
Travelling is Rajasthan is a piece of cake. There are abundance of buses, cycle-rickshaws, auto rickshaws, taxis and urban trains available which connect all the major attractions.
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