This year, travel gods have been very kind to me. Not only have I visited many new destinations, but also got the opportunity to rekindle my love for a few. Rajasthan is one of them.
Rajasthan never ceases to amaze me. Its history and culture are the main motivations attracting me to the state, closely followed by the local cuisine. From ker sangri, kadi to bajre ki roti, Rajasthan brings out an aspect in me, even I didn’t know existed.
Soon I drift towards its geography, architecture and of course, history. The state is essentially divided into nine regions— Ajmer State, Hadoti, Dhundhar, Gorwar, Shekhawati, Mewar, Marwar, Vagad and Mewat. And it goes back 5000 years through many eras of conquests and rulers. From the Mauryans, Rajputs, Mughals, Marathas to the Pindaris, each period has left its mark on the land.
In northern Rajasthan or Shekhawati, I have only been to the capital of the state, Jaipur. Someday I hope to traverse along the beautiful trail of Churu and Sikar. These destinations interest me solely because of their historic ornate havelis and brilliant architectural elements.
Very recently I revisited Jaisalmer and Bikaner (both after 12 years) on the west of the state. I discovered new aspects of these cities. Jaisalmer’s Thar Desert and Silk Route exploration were exceptionally gorgeous, even with the strong sun dehydrating me. And Bikaner’s intricately designed havelis (mansions) have etched themselves in my memory.
Jodhpur’s Umaid Bhawan and I met many years ago. The youngest palace in India was the first in Rajasthan to impress me with its grand architecture and subtle magnificence.
Even though on Rajasthan’s popular traveller’s trail, I have not been to Udaipur yet. And whenever I see photographs of the Lake Palace and other Udaipur hotels, especially lit up at dusk, I wonder when I will actualise this plan. Invariably I start looking for flight tickets booking but somehow haven’t got myself to finalise it.
Rajasthan is India’s largest state. Exploring only the highlights of each region will require multiple journeys. And so I have told myself that slowly, steadily I will walk the trail, because all good things take time.
Which aspect of Rajasthan do you like the most?
Note: This post has been sponsored by Cleartrip.