‘Dream your life in colour, this is the secret of happiness’, Rajasthanis seem to have taken these wise words of Peter Pan in a literal sense. The whole of Rajasthan is a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours and contrasts; be it art, culture, cuisine, people or places. These stunning contrasts can even be seen in the beautiful cities of this state- Blue City Jodhpur, Golden City Jaisalmer, White City Udaipur & Pink City Jaipur flaunt colours of Rajasthan. From the lively bustle of its colour-charged cities to the luminous splendour of its sun-kissed desert, Rajasthan is romantic India wrapped in colorful royal robes. Here the fearsome Rajput warrior clans ruled with gilt-edged swords, accumulated wealth and chivalrous codes.
A vast and wonder-laced state with treasures more sublime than those of fable, the Land of the Kings paints a bold image. Compiling a must-see list in Rajasthan can be quite interesting for a fussy traveller: Meherangarh looming over bright blue Jodhpur, the giant gold sandcastle at Jaisalmer, the palaces and pageantry of Udaipur, Pushkar’s reverent yet carnival charm, the storybook whimsy of Bundi and the havelis sprinkled through Shekhawati – see them all and you’ll see a month fly by faster than the Rajdhani express. Like a miniature of Mother India, there’s also abundant wildlife and warm people, glitz and camels, soulful music, glittering saris, tottering turbans and a surprisingly rich cuisine. Plan your stay in a luxurious palace hotel and you would have a taste of living life king size.
A week long escapade in the beautiful state of Rajasthan would make you admire the feeling it gives of a rustic but divine revelation of sorts. Every different city in Rajasthan that you explore has a native yet interesting niche that makes it a tad different from every other city within the state. The museums, the forts and the cultural expose that you see makes you believe in a grand heritage that actually tells a lot of stories.
Here is a peek at some of Rajasthan’s sought-after cities:-
Jodhpur:- Glorious Meherangarh Fort expands from beneath a huge rocky cliff to dominate the once indomitable Blue City. At dusk you feel a part of a real-life movie, as the camera-shy palace peeks over awesome stone walls and citizens mill about in the hemmed-in chaos below. Jodhpur, known as the Sun City, stretches beyond the 16th-century border, but it’s the immediacy and grandeur of the old city, once a stop on a vital trade route, that has more and more travellers raving.
Jaisalmer:- Jaisalmer is a giant sandcastle with a town attached, an emblem of honour in a land of rough and tumble. The fort is a living monument to long-lost desert might, a Golden City of dreams that exceeds expectations of the most travel-sick tourist or hardened history buff. Rising high from Trikuta hill, 99 enormous bastions hide havelis of crumbling beauty. Like a wonderland, the enclosed palace is carved from the same golden sandstone. The must-see tourist attraction of this city is its sand dunes. There is simply no point coming to the Thar Desert if you don't go for the Desert Safari. The Sam sand dunes is the closest place from where you can lose yourself in 'the Great Thar Desert'. Sam has a truly magnificent stretch of sweeping dunes, with sparse or no vegetation. The best way to get there, of course, is on camelback.
Udaipur:- Watermarked by whimsy and splendour, the Venice of the East holds stage as one of India’s truly seductive cities. Udaipur is an international destination unto itself, with splendid Lake Pichola lapping against shimmering white buildings, and the Aravalli hills closing in to savour the view.
The centerpiece of the city is the floating Lake Palace – brash enough for a Bond film yet refined enough for his majesty’s pleasure. Packed with princeliness and passion, Udaipur is raw Rajput dreaming, with palaces, havelis and temples at every turn. Formerly known as Mewar, Udaipur was founded in 1559 when Maharaja Udai Singh II took flight from the final sacking of Chittor by the Mughal emperor Akbar. As Udai Singh and his contemporaries resisted Muslim might, the city grew a reputation for patriotic fervour and an aching love of independence.
Jaipur:- Jaipur, the City of Victory, has a habit of tickling travellers pink. Stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces fit like footprints from a rich royal past, candyfloss-bright turbans blaze a trail through brilliant bargain-filled bazaars and fluttering saris catch the eye like butterflies. Jaipur beams boldest at dusk – when it’s well worth walking to Amber – and, much like its founder, Jai Singh II, the Pink City is both proud and resilient.
Rajasthan is certainly one of those destinations which thrills, surprises and allures with its extraordinary wealth of sights, art, culture, cuisine and people and it most definitely beckons the tourists world over not just once but again and again… Have you painted yourself in the colours of Rajasthan yet?
Team Veena World