The Land of Kings, Rajasthan, continues to fascinate the world for many reasons. Some of the more obvious ones include its rich tradition, vibrant colours, music and dance, food, venerable history, forts, fortifications, palaces, step-wells and old towns, and rich textile tradition. Its more like open air art gallary. Every reason to be one of the best tourist places in India. The traditional lifestyle and welcoming locals add great charm to this tourist destination. Rajasthan also brings to mind the vast tracts of golden desert to its north-west and west, juxtaposed by the scattered green and dust-mantle clad valleys, plains and hills of itssouth-east and east, with their rivers and rivulets and lakes.
My family and I being avid travelers always look up to new destinations to explore. And this time, we wanted to visit Rajasthan which happened to be our first choice for the above given reasons. Frankly, we were quite willing to witness the majestic palaces and forts in Rajasthan that we’ve always seen in photographs, movies and heard numerous stories. Moreover, we were extremely exceptionally excited for Camel safari.
We decided to travel Rajasthan in the month of November as we know summer month is not good for traveling to Rajasthan because the weather is very hot during these days. In November month the weather of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer and Jaisalmer will be amazing and we were more than right. The climatic conditions were pretty much good and it wasn’t boiled hot in the day.
We decided for 7 days, 6 nights trip but we did not book the returning tickets because we wanted to keep our trip a bit flexible and open that ways. Our journey started from Delhi and we decided to go Jaipur by road.
Jaipur : The Pink City
After 7 hour journey that included our mid way meal that we took in Behror, we reached Jaipur. The very first sight of Jaipur was very warm and welcoming before entering into the city we slipped into Rawat for Onion Kachori, a famous delicacy in rajasthan. Well, although it’s nicknamed the pink city, it isn’t really pink. The buildings are actually more of a peach or orange colour. But, it’s beautiful all the same. Jaipur, the biggest city of Rajsthan is the capital and it’s a busy, bustling city that is spread out over the old and the new. Rajputs ruled Jaipur for many centuries and developed it as a planned city in the 17th century AD. With the old city surrounded by walls and gates decorated with drawings on the backdrop of a beautiful pink hue, Jaipur, the pink city, successfully retains its old-world charm. The city also hosts the Jaipur Literary Festival, which is Asia’s biggest festival of its kind.
The old side definitely has more culture but the new also provides some of the 21st-century comforts like shopping malls, bars, and clubs etc.
When we reached jaipur it was late evening. We went in our hotel which was in the middle of town, took evening tea, refreshing shower and went out for a self guided heritage walk and saved the itinerary for second day that includes Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar, city walk, johari Bazar, and Bapu Bajar.
The next day to avoid the traffic we started early for Jantar Mantar to understand the geometric concepts at Jantar Mantar. Then we stroll around the Hawa Mahal and also spent some time around Jal Mahal. Hopping in Jaipur is incomplete without a visit to Johari Bazar or Bapu Bazar. The place is famous for its handmade art, craft, fabrics, hand block printed fabrics, and jewelry among other things. We bought some bed sheets, sarees, some dresses, and hand made Mojaries. After that we had our Rajstahni dinner and returned back to our hotel .
The next day we started for Jodhpur.
The Blue city of Jodhpur:
We decided to reach Jodhpur from Ajmer after visiting the holy city of Pushkar by the local taxi.
Jodhpur is the second largest city in the state of Rajasthan and is called the “sun state” because it has fantastic weather all year round. Jodhpur is very much a place of tradition. The people and the home decor are all bright with vivid colors. One of the specialties of this metropolitan city is that almost all the houses based around the fort of Mehrangarh are painted in blue color, due to which the city is even known as the “Blue City”.
There are many explanations for the unique blue color of this city. Some theories suggest that because Jodhpur is located so close to the Thar desert, the climate is hot all year round, so people paint blue to make it cooler and more pleasant.
Some have suggested that it is related to Balamonism and even that it was once a city cursed by priests, so King Rao Jodha rebuilt the city in the hope of a fresher color by painting it blue as a color of hope.
Although there isn’t a ton of attractions in the blue city of Jodhpur like the neighbouring cities, it’s actually nice just to be able to relax and explore a few places each day.
If you were to stretch it and you’re willing to sacrifice a few bits; you could even cover the blue city of India in just one day! We spent two nights there. When we reached we were totally exhausted by day long travelling, we retired in our hotel room early so that we may start early for city tour the next day.
The next day we started for Mehrangarh Fort for the very obvious reason. Of course to take a bird’s eye view of blue city, the showcase attraction which you can see above from all over the city is the must-see. Then we went Jaswant Thada, it is around a kilometre away from the fort, and is the royal cemetery of kings. After JAswant Thada, we visited Umaid Bhawan palace. This living palace is 20% residence of Jodhpur royalty, 10% a museum, and 70% a 5* luxury hotel. It’s worth bringing your camera as the views from here are breathtaking.
The next day we started for Jaisalmer. We took train for Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer: The Golden City – My long awaited destination .
This place is truly something that you cannot miss in India. As soon as I pulled in, I was dumbfounded and my heart stood still. It was like I’d gone back in time by a few centuries. Really amazed!!
I was in awe of the honeycombed buildings, getting lost in the ancient market streets, and the plethora of colours in the sarees and turbans.
Jaisalmer was founded by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD Jaisalmer means the Hill Fort of Jaisal. Jaisalmer is sometimes called the “Golden City of India” because the yellow sandstone used throughout the architecture of both the fort and the town below, imbues both with a certain golden-yellow light.
Tourists often choose to come to Jaisalmer by the attraction of camel riding tour into the Thar desert, or shopping for accessories, signature rugs, and handmade products made from sheep and goat skin at very cheap prices.
Sand Dunes: After reaching Jaisalmer our main attraction was Sand Dunes. One should not miss a trip to the dunes and stay there in camps while having a royal treatment. We booked a night at dunes when we were in Jaisalmer. We needed to travel to our pick-up point and from there we get to ride the camels or a jeep safari to reach the place where our camps are set. There we got live music and freshly prepared foods, just for us around the campfire. It’s enjoyable to spend the night under the raw sky with moonlight and stars. This lets us accomplish the camel ride and as well the feeling of staying at a campsite on dunes.
There are many more things one can do while staying in Jaisalmer like sightseeing, fort visits, ancient market visit – a long list indeed.