I have always been in love with Rajasthan. The moment you enter any part of Rajasthan you feel like a royalty. There is something in the air – chin up, chest out, grace and dignity personified – Padharo Maro Desh Re. This blog is my khatta-meetha opinion on Rajasthan cities from a travel blogger’s lens.
I remember my first visit when I boarded a vistara flight from Delhi and reached Jaipur and this cultural cauldron city swept me by the feet. It was love at first sight. Food, shopping, architecture, history – there was so much to do that a 2 day weekend trip was just not enough. Needless to say, I came back again, and over again. One of my bucket list wish was to attend Jaipur Literature Fest and I ticked that away too. The winter charm of January, group of fun-loving friends, the magic of literature, the awe of inspiring writers – Jaipur was etched in my memory for ever. We stayed in Ramada hotel and they left no stone unturned to make us feel pampered. Buffet breakfast was my favourite. We would eat like hell let loose and stock up for the day (like a camel) only to lose our resolve to the hot frying mirchi pakoda of a roadside mithai shop. That’s Jaipur for me!
P.S – Planning to visit Jaipur again this year with my parents who haven’t yet been here. Outrageous, right? This year we tick it off too.
It is not city to visit in a typical Rajasthan tour itinerary. However, hardcore travellers, photography enthusiasts and history buffs never miss visiting Bikaner. Simply put, Bikaner is real Rajasthan – the untouched, uncommercialized version of Rajasthan. The Rajasthan that will make us fall in love to it antique and rural charm. I have stayed in Rajasthan for 2 years courtesy hubby being in Army and let me tell you Bikaner is pure gold in terms of tourism. Did you know movie featuring Sonam Kappor, Khubsurat was shot in Laxmi Niwas Palace of Bikaner. The grandeur of palaces like Gajner Palace, Laxmi Niwas, Laal Niwas is spelli-binding. Beautiful photo opportunity with contrasting colours and Nature’s texture, Biakner has a lot to offer for a keen eye and enthusiastic soul.
Tip – Do try to attend Camel festival organized in January to soak into the cultural charm of Bikaner.
Who won’t know of Pushkar mela? However, what you might not know is that to enjoy pushkar mela to its optimum you must plan the visit properly. Owing to good marketing over the years, Pushkar is quite crowded during the peak season. If you, like me want prefer less of dram and of quiet then choose the time of visit carefully.
The first word that comes to my mind when we say “Jodhpur” is sand dunes. Stay in a camp, gaze at the stars, dance by the bonfire, talk to the locals, take a camel ride – that’s how you enjoy Jodhpur. Desert as far as you can see is a thrilling experience.
A little expensive, cortesy destination wedding and Bollywood movie setup, Udaipur is a completely different experience. This city of lakes is surreal. I always thought I need a lot of money to enjoy Udaipur and kept postponing visiting this gorgeous city. It was like the dream city. However, my myth was soon broken by a friend and fellow travel blogger who said you just need to plan properly and Udaipur has everything for everyone. Who is asking you to stay in Lake Palace. Take a cheaper hotel on the other side of lake where you get complete view at much lesser price. Why do you need a shinning white car with a uniformed chauffer to show you the city. Just get into an auto, book him for the complete day or even better – complete tour- and enjoy the lanes and bylanes of the city. Raj Shekhar, a budding photographer and blogger shared his experience:
“I booked an auto and soon the autowallah became my friend. He showed me 22 places in Udaipur and I can bet that some of the places were not even known by locals. Offbeat locations, laden with stories – thanks to this mast autowallah my trip to Udaipur was not only the most exploratory but in budget too.”
Well, I am inspired for sure. I am yet to visit Udaipur. Travel ki kasam, this year it shall be ticked off.
I am in such love with Rajasthan that I also curated for @WeAreRajasthan Twitter handle.