Rajasthan Travel Blog – Your Complete Rajasthan Information Guide part-2
The Best Places to go to in Rajasthan
Rajasthan’s best better-known and loved destinations include Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Jaisalmer, and these are not-to-be-missed destinations on any Rajasthan itinerary. however there’s additional to Rajasthan than these colourful cities, with various destinations like Bikaner and Bundi being well worth a look for their history and old towns, Pushkar could be a must for the spiritually curious, and Bharatphur offers some nice wildlife-viewing opportunities. we cover all of these in this Rajasthan blog.
But to grasp Rajasthani culture is to glimpse the rich village life and tapestry of Rajasthan. Marwari culture is seen in all its color not in Rajasthan’s bustling cities, however in its quieter villages and desert camps. I learned more about the Marwari (Rajasthani) way of life from spending time at homestays and villages than I did from wandering the ancient Pink town of Jaipur. in this guide we’ll show you how to do the same, should you want to!
Part of the “Golden Triangle” and the capital of Rajasthan, travel in Jaipur was very different from how i thought it might be.
Famous for being the “pink city” and for its wonderful palaces, I’d developed a somewhat romantic vision of Jaipur. the reality could be a dusty, noisy and crowded city (even by Indian standards) that is used to tourists with plenty of cash and little time to negotiate. The hustle starts on arrival at the train station where you can expect to be met with persistent offers of transport from the moment you have one foot out of the train.
A stay in Rajasthan’s holiest city, Pushkar, was one of the highlights of Rajasthan trip.
A visit to Pushkar is that the kind that turns from one night into two, into far longer than expected. Pushkar doesn’t have any eco/responsible travel qualifications as such, however it’s an excellent way to experience some of the culture of religious India in Rajasthan. Pushkar Lake – around that the city shaped – is said to have been formed once a lotus flower fell from the hands of Lord Brahma. It’s additionally the only place in India wherever you’ll be able to notice Brahma temples. aside from the odd temple visit, there’s additionally not a large quantity to try and do in Pushkar, that I found to be one among its charms. Seeing as its a Hindu pilgrimage city.
An early morning or evening walk around city and soaking up the atmosphere by the lake can offer you all the introduction required to this place. The cafes at Jaipur staircase are a great spot to sit with a chai and watch the sunset, or morning goings-on.
Pushkar is famous for its camel fair each year, that depending on your love for crowds and dust you will wish to come for or avoid. The town gets incredibly full during the festival so book well in advance. Ajmer is the nearest giant city with train and bus connections, trains run frequently from here to Jaipur.
The “City of Lakes” or “Venice of the East” is branded as India’s most Romantic town. I conjointly found it to be Rajasthan’s most touristic.
Visiting in january 2017, i think I got lucky because the crowds were elsewhere. The centre of town round the lake has been set up almost entirely around tourism (with most buildings being a agency, hotel, shop, restaurant), however that doesn’t mean Udaipur should be overlooked. watching the morning mist clear over the mountains beyond Lake Pichola from the battlements of town Palace is a memorable sight. My best advice? Do get up earlier than everyone else for some moments of solitude.
Udaipur is well connected by bus and rail – I arrived by train from Ajmer (5 hours). There are no trains between Udaipur and Jodhpur – the bus journey is 6-7 hours.
Things to do in Udaipur
The City Palace and a boat trip on Lake Pichola are the most attractions of Udaipur.
Boat trips: the city Palace arranges boat trips from the grounds, however a cheaper option is to go yourself to the booking office on the tip of Lal ghat, from where boat trips also operate.
The City Palace: reports are that it gets unpleasantly crowded later in the day, therefore go for opening time (09.30am). I walked in through the gates at 09.15am and pretty much had the place to myself.
The Blue town has a real local charm that leaves many travellers smitten. Despite being a preferred spot, that doesn’t appear to trouble the locals who seem as friendly as can be. I didn’t go to Jodhpur with particular expectations, however found that there’s one thing special regarding this place. Even the travel industry heavy weights like Conde nast have put Jodhpur on their hotlist.
The Mehrangarh Fort is as dramatic as forts come – even in Rajasthan. towering over the city it’s visible from where you are, and many hotels and guest homes in Jodhpur have extraordinary views of the fort. Jodhpur’s charms reach on the far side its fort however. Once you’ve seen as many blue houses as you can manage in Jodhpur’s old blue city, or reached your looking limit within the bazaars, there’s lots a lot of to check outside of Jodhpur. and about an hour’s drive away is the remoter city of Osiyan that boasts some brilliant religion Temples and a chance to experience the Thar Desert away from the crowds of Jaisalmer.
Things to try and do in Jodhpur
As well as being one in all the most spectacular, the Mehrangarh Fort is also one in all Rajasthan’s best organised once it involves tourism – the included audio tour is of very high quality.
On the way down from the Fort, don’t miss Rao Jodha desert rock park. In 2011 this eco tourism project opened. the former wasteland has lovingly been remodeled into a desert garden, planting species native to the region that need very little water. There are different paths / trails to wander on and appreciate the landscape with the view of the fort and town below as a scenery. Best enjoyed outside of the mid-day heat!
I took a half day tour with Virasat Experiences of the Blue city. it was nice to see the old part of Jodhpur through the eyes of a local and discover wherever the best tea and snack stands were. What left the best impression on me was the friendliness of the locals who all had time to speak, exchange greetings or just a smile. further as completely different town tours, Virasat are able to organise responsible tourism visits to little villages near for the day.
Osiyan is that the near gateway to the Thar / nice Indian Desert. From here it’s possible to travel on a multi-day desert safari up towards Bikaner or Jailsalmer, or to fancy being in the desert in Osiyan for a number of days. I stayed with HACRA, an eco tourism project set up by a village community.
Often represented as showing out of the nice Indian Desert like a mirage, my personal experience with Jaisalmer was less romantic. despite the fact that it did begin with a sunrise overlooking the city.
Jaisalmer Fort appears like a large upside down sandcastle. It’s a unique kind of fort than others in Rajasthan therein it’s still a living fort. The old town of Jaisalmer continues to be home to a few, and homes many visitors: unfortunately the town inside the fort is these days one large tourist trap. The tourism business is also taking its toll on the sandcastle as more and more guesthouses open and more water must be pumped inside, the old fort (it dates from 1156) is not able to address the volume of water that has to be drained away. resulting in issues of abrasion and subsidence, and also the fort slowly ‘sinking’. Britain primarily based charity Jaisalmer in risk has been raising awareness of the matter and also the would like for conservation.
The main business in Jaisalmer is tourism, and of that camel Safaris play an important role within the area’s economy. for many operating within the tourism business it’s all concerning selling camel safaris and rides. I didn’t choose to continue a camel expedition on Jaisalmer, having already had my desert expertise in Osiyan close to Jodhpur (see above). you will notice that if you return to Jaisalmer not attending to do a desert trip there’s not that much to do – though some guests appear happy to remain and wander for some days.
Due to the high levels of traveler hustle here, Jaisalmer was my least favorite spot on my travels around Rajasthan.
Things to try and do in Jaisalmer
Camel rides aside, the Fort is that the main attraction. The museum / fort palace could be a rather poor relation compared to those in Jodhpur, Amber and Bikaner but, and you’ll get a flavour of it simply by walking round the town within the walls, that are free to walk around.
There are variety of pretty Havelis you’ll visit like the Patwon Ki Haveli.
Take a leisurely walk to Gandisar Lake to observe the native goings-on or fancy some quiet time.
Ranthambore is the best option for seeing tigers in Rajasthan and attracts swarms of tourists every year. It’s one in every of the only Tiger parks during this a part of india (for better and less crowded choices head towards Madhya Pradesh) and is known for its ruined temples that are a spectacular scene for the tigers, should you be lucky enough to see one.
Ranthambore has recently come under criticism for allowing too several tourists in (tiger parks have strict quotas set by the biology Department that they have to adhere to) and for overdevelopment on its land – of new resorts. That said, tiger parks in india are very important to the conservation of this majestic animal and generally allow for a responsible experience. All tiger safaris are conducted in vehicles, at a distance from the tigers and sightings are never guaranteed.
Bikaner & Bundi
I hadn’t planned to travel to Bikaner, however thanks to train delays / re-routings I got to pay a day here. And I’m glad I did! Not several individual travellers create it here (which could be a reason to go to in itself) however the Junagarh Fort has a number of the most effective preserved rooms within that I saw on my trip. There’s additionally a beautiful old town to explore likewise as a very vibrant jain Temple – Bhandasar Temple. Bikaner is a nice different to Jaisalmer, with many camel safari alternatives with fewer crowds.