Rajasthan “The Land of Kings” – India Holidays
Rajasthan, India’s largest state, is famous for being one of the most glorious holiday destinations in all of India. Rajasthan is held dearly in the hearts of all tourists who have passed through this “Land of Kings,” being a very romantic destination full of diversity and adventure. Visitors from all around the world are captivated by this region’s varied geographic features, stunning palaces and monuments, rich heritage and fascinating culture. From the extraordinary wildlife, to one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, to the windswept sand dunes – Rajasthan is a destination you’ll never forget.
The unique and interesting cities of Rajasthan
Each city in Rajasthan has cultivated its own important part of Indian history, its own charms and its own attractions. While visiting these cities of Rajasthan, let yourself become immersed in the history of these enchanting destinations.
Jaipur – The Pink City
Jaipur is the city where many visitors to Rajasthan choose to begin their journey, as it is the city’s capital state and one of the easiest to fly into. This city is the main business center of the state, which contrasts with the traditional culture and charm of the region making the city all the more interesting. Jaipur is often regarded as being The Pink City – take a look around and you’ll see why. Jaipur’s skyline is peppered with pink structures, and the scene is very captivating. A number of palaces and forts are among Jaipur’s major attractions, including Amer, Nahargarh, and Moti Doongri. When traveling around Jaipur, it’s wise to take into consideration that the majority of Jaipur’s tourist locations shut down in the evening hours.
Udaipur – Venice of the East
Udaipur is a unique and interesting city of Rajasthan, sometimes regarded as the Venice of the East, or “The Lake
City”. Udaipur’s situation is interesting – the major attraction of The Lake City is the fact that it was built in the 17th century in the midst of a large lake. The city has taken care to preserve the rich culture of Rajasthan. Udaipur has become one of the most idealistic and fascinating destinations along the Rajasthan tour due to the numerous palaces, forts, and lakes that make up this impressive Indian city. Udaipur is home to a fascinating solar observatory, a museum as well as a national zoo.
Jaisalmer – The Golden City
The hostile terrain of this desert region is reflected in its nickname, the Golden City, as it stands on a ridge of yellow sandstone in the heart of the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer was named after a Rajput king, Jaisal Singh, who founded the city in 1156. The Golden City’s nickname evokes the magic and essence of the desert lands in which it stands. The city is quite different from any other in the country, and the major attraction to Jaisalmer is the Jaisalmer fort, which was constructed in the 12th century. This desert city of Rajasthan also sports an impressive number of awe-inspiring havelis or Indian mansions, which were built by the wealthy merchants who formerly took up residence in these desert lands.
Take an exciting camel safari through the Thar Desert on your Rajasthan tour – for four days and three nights, you can depart Jaisalmer and venture into the Thar Desert on a Rajasthan desert adventure. You’ll get to know your camel by name! You’ll reach your campsite by jeep and arrive to a hot breakfast waiting for you. By 8 am you’ll be on the back of your camel, riding through a traditional Rajput village, and Ki Dhani – village of Tribal people. Eat your lunches under the shade trees of an oasis, and embark once more with your camel from village to village, taking in the scenery and viewing wildlife and native villages through the sand dunes of Khayala.
Returning to your camp to sleep, you’ll watch the sunset, enjoy a delicious fireside dinner, and rest for the following days’ journeys. Travel by camel to the villages of Khayala and Megha, come across strange insects, vegetation and wildlife of the desert, and see Rividi, the village of Paliwal Brahmin people and the sand dunes of Sajeet as well as a number of others over the next few days, always stopping for meals and returning to camp in the evenings. For information on this Rajasthan tour contact: http://www.thrillophilia.com/tours/desert-safari-jaisalmer
Jodhpur – The Sun City
In the periphery of the vast Thar Desert stands the second largest city in all of Rajasthan, the city of Jodhpur. The great fort of Mehrangarh is one of the major attractions to this city, which is truly a marvel of architecture and an inspiration for many photo opportunities. There are several large forts here, which always catch the eye of anyone traveling through Jodhpur.
The Palaces and Forts of Rajasthan
Amber Fort: This fort has the oldest inscription, dated 954 A.D. This glorious structure was built from white marble and red sandstone. Amber Fort is the most famous Rajasthan fort, and it’s situated eleven kilometers from the Pink City of Jaipur. In order to reach this fort many travel by elephant, which adds a touch of charm to this attraction.
Chittorgarh Fort: Chittorgarh Fort is the largest of all of the forts – not only in Rajasthan but in all of India!
Since it’s the largest fort it attracts a lot of visitors and has great historical importance. There are seven large gates to the fort, and the towers Kirti Stambh and Vijay Stambh, which are all part of the immense attraction this structure has. The palaces, temples and reservoirs add a very unique touch of character to the Chittorgarh Fort.
City Palace: Renowned as a wonder of Indian architecture, the City Palace was founded by Jaipur Sawai Jai Singh. A unique complex of structures consisting of courtyards and gardens around and inside of grand buildings, this immense and impressive feat of architecture is situated right in the centre of the Old City region of Jaipur. The outer wall was constructed by Jai Singh, and the inner regions of the palace have been changed and adapted as the centuries have passed. It’s truly a wonder of Rajasthan and a definite must-see when stopping through Jaipur.
Unique features of this palace are the different buildings that have been constructed over multiple eras – but despite the differing development, the palace in its entirety is a pleasing combination of Mughal and Rajasthan architecture.
Admission cost for entry to the City Palace includes entry to Jaigarh Fort situated on the Hill of Eagles, overlooking the Maota Lake and the Amber Fort. This admission will be valid for two days. Within the Rajasthan City Palace walls you’ll encounter the Diwan-a-Am, a lavish art gallery displaying a copy of the entire scripture of Bhagavad Gita, handwritten in miniscule scroll, as well as other tiny Hindu scriptures that were small enough to be easily concealed in the event that zealot Mughal armies attempted to find and burn the sacred documents. You’ll also come across the Diwan-i-Khas, an open courtyard known in Sanskrit as Sarvatobhadra and home to a white and pink marble gallery that was once used as the Hall of Private Audience, where maharajahs and ministers would consult. There are two large silver vessels over one and a half metres tall and said to be the largest silver objects in the entire world, which were used to transport water from the holy Ganges to England for Edward VII’s 1902 coronation.
Inside the City Palace you will also be pleased to discover the Armoury, a splendid room in the Anand Mahal Sileh Khana – the Maharani’s Palace – where one of the most impressive collections of weapons in India lay displayed before you. You’ll see how many of the ceremonial weapons have been majestically engraved and inlaid beautifully making them terrific works of art on top of tools of war. In addition, you can take a 45 minute tour of the Chandra Mahal – the private palace where the descendants of the royal family still live here in Rajasthan.
Getting Around Rajasthan
Every one of the major cities in Rajasthan has public bus transportation, and jeeps for hire – but be wary of the jeep drivers’ fares, they have a tendency to overcharge unwitting tourists. Private travel agencies can organize trips to Rajasthan and cars can be hired from Delhi International Airport. The Indian government also runs several luxury buses to certain cities within Rajasthan, leaving from the Old Delhi region.
Rajasthan outdoor activities, and other things to do in this marvelous region
- Hot Air Ballooning – Get a breath of fresh air and go on a magnificent hot air balloon ride over the heritage sites, and get an entirely different perspective of Jaipur!
- Jeep Safari – Take a jeep safari through the Aravalli Mountains! Visit some of the wildlife sanctuaries like the Sitamata, Kumbhalgarh and the Jaisamand.
- Night Safaris and Nature Hikes – The Aravalli Mountains are also great places for night safaris and walking along nature trails.
- Local Festivals – There are fairs and local festivals throughout the year in all cities of Rajasthan, where people dress in traditional finery, enjoy viewing camel races, and dance and play music.
- Go Shopping – Shop till you drop at the bazaars and local markets which can be found in most Rajasthan cities along the narrow alleys and lanes. Get some food, and take home traditional crafts, clothing, textiles and accessories.
- Travel in the Palace on Wheels -The Palace on Wheels is one of the most posh trains in the world, equipped with many luxuries and comforts. It truly is one of the most entertaining and pampered ways to explore Rajasthan, as the train is decked out in replicas of everything you would find in a king’s palace. The Palace of Wheels travels through Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ranthambore National Park, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur and Agra, before coming to an end of its journey in Delhi.
- Bird Sanctuary – Take a trip to see different beautiful species of birds at the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the wildlife park at Ranthambore, which also features an interesting tiger safari.
- Henna – Female travelers can have their hands or feet decorated in beautiful henna patterns.
- Horseback Riding – Try exploring Rajasthan on horseback. There are shorter horseback treks available for beginner riders, and longer safaris are available anywhere between two days to three weeks for more experienced horseback riders. Camp along with the horseback trek, or you can take up accommodations at the ranch and learn how to take care of horses, milk cows or bring a horse for a ride through the hills.
- Camel Safari – Many of the towns throughout Rajasthan offer camel safaris, taking you to villages and areas where wildlife are diverse and interesting.
- Bicycle Riding Tours – You can take part in a 10 day cycling tour through Rajasthan with Art of Bicycle Trips. Members of the bicycle tour will cycle through the beautiful Indian countryside, and indulge in the heritage, culture and cuisine along the way.
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