When we were asked, ‘what’s the first destination you would like to explore in India’, our instant response was Rajasthan! Nowhere inspires wanderlust quite like Rajasthan. A state that bursts with colour, royal architecture, mouth watering food, history & grandeur. Whether it was escaping reality in the jungles of Ranthambore, drinking in the views of ‘the blue city’ of Jodhpur as we zip-lined across Mehrangarh Fort, gazing at futuristic time machines at the Jantar Mantar (for that era, no doubt) or stuffing our faces with the legendary kachoris at Rawat Mishtan Bhandar, visiting Rajasthan surely sparked a lifelong love affair.
The Pink City – Jaipur
Rajputs associate the colour pink with hospitality. The city was daubed with pink by Maharaja Man Sigh II in preparation for a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1876. As we strolled through the vedic streets and vibrant bazaars of Jaipur, we realised how welcoming the city is to its regular stream of visitors. Perhaps amongst the most famous of Jaipur’s architectural wonders, the Sheesh Mahal, a pavilion in the Amber fort (known for its intricate mirror work) had us fascinated and awe-struck.
Craving for cultural immersion? Look no further than Jaipur, as it offers enduring sights and experiences like roadside ‘tapris’ selling masala chai alongside ghee-dripping ghewar. Beautiful hand painted frescoes, on city walls old and new, narrating stories from the 8th to 18th century. Truly a city that’s devoted to celebrating its arts and aesthetics, from block printed textiles and miniature paintings to finely-crafted jewellery and blue pottery. Not forgetting the sounds of street performers playing traditional Marwari folk music. You can savour it all!!!
The Blue City – Jodhpur
Honestly, we didn’t have any high expectations from Jodhpur. We thought it would be far less opulent than Jaipur with not much to show case. The picturesque Mehrangarh Fort and world famous indigo-dyed houses were all that we had heard about. But we were taken by surprise! The crooked and narrow lanes of the old city transport you into a world of kitschy charm. Local culinary temptations in the form of makhaniya lassi, mawa seets and doodh phirni certainly add to the experience. While interacting with locals, we were told that the colour blue marked the distinction of the city’s Shaivite Brahmins, which was then adopted by many.
Despite lying on the edge of the Thar desert, the city can be found with sprawling palatial gardens (like the ones seen at Umaid Bhavan Palace), stepwells and bustling bazaars that make you believe that, with faith, one can surely thrive in the desert.
The Land of Tigers – Ranthambore
There are few places on earth that combine a profusion of wildlife with valuable historical heritage. The Ranthambhore National Park is one such place. Situated between two iconic hill ranges, the Aravallis and the Vindhyas, the park takes its name from the formidable fortress of Ranthambhore. Sitting at the pinnacle of a hill, surrounded by forest. A place where fierce battles were once fought with swords. A new breed of warriors (tigers), defends this majestic landscape now. It is one of the finest places in the world to encounter wild tigers that roam the dry deciduous forest.
A variety of wildlife thrives across the national park’s spectacular landscapes and diverse ecosystem, including the leopard, bear and a large number of prey species. Tourists flock to the area for the abundant bird life that resides within, or migrates to Ranthambhore across the many seasons.
Have exciting stories about your trip to Rajasthan? Share it with us in the comments section below 🙂