Some places in the world are an absolute must-see. Rajasthan in India is one of them. A trip to this exotic destination is incomplete without a visit to the famed ‘Golden Triangle’ but it is also worth taking yourself off the beaten track. If you’re headed to Rajasthan soon, get ready for a trip to remember, you are about to tick something major off your bucket list…
AT A GLANCE
For centuries sightseers have journeyed to the pastel-coloured cities and ancient forts of Rajasthan, India’s largest state. Located in the northwest of the country, few places can lay claim to so many spectacular cultural sights in one place.
From wild desert to luxurious, vibrant cities, this vast expanse of land offers experiences and activities as diverse as its landscape. Starting in bustling Delhi and ending in blissed-out Ranthambore, this suggested trip takes in the breathtaking sights, and we also recommend staying in one of India’s most opulent hotels; after all, Rajasthan is known as ‘the land of kings’, so it makes perfect sense to act like one.
WHAT TO SEE
To immerse yourself instantly in India’s culture, start in Delhi, an epicentre of art and fashion. Its sprawling backstreets are home to some of the greatest museums and galleries, as well as traditional havelis (elaborately carved mansions). Next up is a stop off at the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, where sacred tradition and modern westernisation collide. Hang out in the numerous squares within this walled city for a cup of the local chai, stewed with cardamoms and other spices, and get to know the friendly locals. Explore the rows of market stalls and sharpen your haggling skills, then escape the crowds with a trip to The City Palace, where turban-wearing guards stand watch by the blush coloured buildings.
Whilst you’re in Agra to see the Taj Mahal, take the opportunity to sample the riot of flavours in the locally made curries. Your typical Tikka Massala these are not…the city is famed for its fresh, simple, often vegetarian, dishes.
After early starts and crowded cities, we reckon you’ll be craving a relaxation period. Step in, Udaipur…with rolling hills, jumbles of cream-coloured buildings and a lakeside setting, it’s straight out of a Bollywood film. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, it is also home to Mandir Island, whose palace is said to have inspired the Taj Mahal. A boat ride or, if you prefer, private yacht, will take you around the lake and to the island.
Rounding off this impressive holiday, you can take in the views at Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site known for its bird life, followed by the Ranthambore National Park, where you can see tigers, leopards and wild boar in their natural habitat.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT
With the perfect blend of tranquil havens, vibrant cities, cultural hotspots and fantastic food, there is something blissful for everyone in this vast province. Add in unforgettable experiences and top-notch hotels, and Rajasthan has more than enough to give you a serious case of wanderlust.