From the simplest villages to the most imposing palaces, Rajasthan, the largest and also most touristic region in India , fascinates us with intense colors, intoxicating smells, hypnotic dances and cities you never imagined.
It is the India of the great lords, the Maharajas , who reigned from their great Fortifications and fought over their elephants and horses. A land where the desert conditions the lives of its people, humble peasants who cultivate the arid land and manage to survive the intense sun.
The incredible turbans, long mustaches, beautiful jewels, colorful saris, decorated animals, sacred offerings and beautiful smiles will make you fall in love with this mythical land of gypsies, nomads and incredible palaces.
The best places to visit in Rajasthan:
The capital of the region is chaotic, dirty and stressful . Maybe it is not the typical postcard that you had imagined of India and personally it is not where you would spend more time.
Can you imagine a city with thousands of cars, motorcycles, rickshaws, bikes, millions of people, in addition to cows, goats and everything mixed without too much apparent order except for the one that marks the constant horn of the vehicles? Well that’s Jaipur or any other big Indian city. However, the appeal of India is also that. See the beauty among the Chaos. In addition, the city has some attractions that definitely deserve to be visited.
The City Palace , built around the year 1730, is a complex of buildings and gardens that allows you to travel to the time of the Maharajas. It is adorned with beautiful columns, pink arches and shapes reminiscent of Arab architecture. Some walls also have several engravings in blue and yellow tones.
Next to the City Palace, the Hawa Mahal is the biggest icon of the city and a place where you will definitely pass on your tour of the pink city. It was created so that the women of the high caste could, without being seen, observe the street festivities. The visit to the interior is recommended, but in my opinion, the best part is the facade that can be seen from the street.
The temple of the monkeys is another interesting place, there is a small sanctuary where you can make an offering, in addition to having great views of the city which you can travel through the Palace on Wheels train.
By far, my favorite city in Rajasthan is the most opposite side to Jaipur. The most attractive area is located around a lake , which is accessed through 52 gaths, and which pilgrims use to bathe in the sacred water. It is said that God Brahma dropped a lotus flower on the earth and from there Pushkar was born.
In addition to several temples where the Hindus make their offerings as the Temple of Brahma , Vishnu or Hanuman, you can go to a restaurant or hotel to observe the city and the lake from a terrace. The view is priceless.
It is an area with many gypsies living in their nearby camps , and their clothes and accessories are, in my opinion, the most colorful in the country. I got to meet some of them and it’s worth talking to them and taking some photos.
It is a charming city, especially, the area around Lake Pichola . Here some scenes of the movie “Octopussy”, of the legendary “James Bond” were recorded.
In the center of the lake is the beautiful Taj Lake Palace , which was built more than two centuries ago and is undoubtedly the biggest attraction in the city. There are many gaths that give access to the lake where people bathe, wash their clothes or make their offerings. It is a place of contemplation.
If you visit the City Palace, which is also a museum that dominates the city from above, you can admire various clothes, artifacts and ancient weapons, while you walk through its large galleries.
The Jagdish temple is another place you should visit, and it has an impressive ornamentation consisting mainly of dancers carved in stone, in addition to elephants and other details.
In the middle of the vast Thar desert and at the foot of the majestic Merhangarh fort , Jodhpur has hundreds of streets and passages that create that maze where everything is blue and white.
It is a place of great aesthetics, each street seems taken from a story and its soft tones make it peaceful in the midst of that Indian chaos.
A visit to the fort is essential to observe the great blue city from above, and later, to lose yourself in its narrow alleys to feel that you are in a different world.
Famous for the Karni Mata temple , or temple of rats, the city has many more places to visit, such as the impressive Junagarh Fort, Largarh Palace or Shiv Bari Temple. It is also a good introduction to the desert and a good place to hire a camel tour.
Near the border with Pakistan, the most famous city of the Thar, it is also the hottest. On my trip through Rajasthan the thermometer arrived here at 50 degrees.
The Jaisalmer fort , also known as the golden fort, is one of the largest in the world and a mandatory visit. Other precise places are the Bada Bagh, the Gadisar lake and the nearby dunes, which are a great attraction for those seeking a Safari through the desert .
Before planning your trip, must check out the Palace on Wheels fares for the peak and lean season.