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Royal Rajasthan – A cultural escape

Royal rajasthan - a cultural escape

An amalgamation of historic enigmas and colorful souks, Rajasthan is a state where one could deep dive into the magnificence of its Royal culture alongside a taste of wildlife. While we have extensively covered a plethora of wildlife destinations in Part 1 (Royal Rajasthan – A Wildlife Escape), it is time to discover the cultural facet of this mystical state.

In this blog, we shall go over some of the major cultural attractions in Rajasthan.

 

  1. Jaipur

  2. Jodhpur

  3. Jaisalmer

  4. Udaipur

  5. Pushkar

 

Cultural Hotspots in Rajasthan

1.  Jaipur

The famous pink city of Rajasthan, Jaipur is dripping with colors of valor and royalty. From ancient forts to the lip smacking Rajasthani cuisine, Jaipur has something to offer for every travel enthusiast.

Planned by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India. Renowned globally for its coloured gems, the capital city of Rajasthan combines the allure of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

The story goes that in 1876, the Prince of Wales visited India on a tour. Since the colour pink was symbolic of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city pink. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold. Jaipur rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Garh Ganesh Temple.

 

Amer Fort Jaipur

 

Jaipur traces back its origins to 1727 when it was established by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber. He shifted his capital from Amber to the new city because of the rapidly-growing population and an increasing water scarcity. Noted architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya used the established principles of Vastu Shastra to build the city.

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Things to see in Jaipur:

  • Amber Palace
  • City Palace
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Hawa Mahal
  • Albert Hall Museum
  • Jal Mahal
  • Anokhi Museum

 

Best time to visit Jaipur:

November – February

 

How to reach Jaipur:

  • Train: You can travel to Jaipur by trains such as Shatabdi Express which is air-conditioned, very comfortable and connects Jaipur to many important Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jammu, Jaisalmer, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Haridwar, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Goa. Some of the popular trains are Ajmer Shatabdi, Pune Jaipur Express, Jaipur Express and Adi SJ Rajdhani. Also, with the advent of the Palace on Wheels, a luxury train, you can now enjoy the royalty of Jaipur even when you are on the move. Operating to, in and around Jaipur, this luxurious ride for a train leaves you in awe.
  • Air: Air travel to Jaipur is the most convenient way to reach the city. The Jaipur airport is located at Sanganer, which is 12 kilometers from the heart of the city. It has both international and domestic terminal and is well connected to most of the cities across the globe with a number of airlines operating on a regular basis.
  • Road: A road trip to Jaipur is a lot of fun. The Delhi-Jaipur National Highway offers a smooth ride (260 kilometers) with plenty of restaurants and amenities on the way. The road leading to Jaipur is well-connected by National Highways 8, 11 and 12.

 

2. Jodhpur

Jodhpur, Rajasthan’s second largest city, is also known as the Blue City. The name is apt because the majority of the building — forts, palaces, temples, havelis, and even residences – is constructed in vibrant blue hues. The sturdy fortifications that soar over this lovely city add up to a show you won’t want to miss. The scenery of Mehrangarh’s huge, intimidating fortress dominates a rocky ridge, with the fortification’s eight gates leading out. The new city is situated on the outskirts of the construction. Jodhpur is also known for the Marwari or Malani horses, which are a rare breed found solely in Jodhpur.

 

Jodhpur

 

The city of Jodhpur was founded in the year 1459 AD. The Rathore clan is essential to the history of this rich city. Rao Jodha, the Rathore Clan’s head, is credited with founding Jodhpur in India. The city is said to have been established in the place of Mandore, the historical capital of the state of Manwar. As a result, the people of Jodhpur and its environs are known as Marwaris. At addition, it is thought that Mandore’s relics can still be seen in the Mandore Gardens.

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Things to do in Jodhpur:

  • Mehrangarh Fort
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace
  • Khejarla Fort

 

Best time to visit Jodhpur:

November – February

 

How to reach Jodhpur:

  • Train: Jodhpur railhead is well connected by Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Even the luxurious ‘Palace on Wheels’ also visits the city of royal splendour. Some of the popular trains that run from the Jodhpur railway station are Rajasthan Sampark Kranti, Howrah Jodhpur SF Express, Chennai Jodhpur Express, Suryanagari Express, Jaisalmer Delhi Express and Yesvantpur Bangalore Jodhpur Express.
  • Air: Jodhpur has its own domestic airport which is just 5 kilometers from the city centre. This airport is well-connected to other major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur and Jaipur. Once you reach the airport, you can hire a cab which will charge around Rs. 100. In case you are looking for an economical option, you can hire autos. The nearest international airport to Jodhpur is IGI airport in New Delhi which is well connected with different cities across the globe.
  • Road: Jodhpur is well-connected with national and state highways that connect cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Udaipur and Jaipur. The journey from Delhi to Jodhpur is 14 hours long (nearly 600 kilometers), but nothing can compare to the drive along the rusty countryside crossing hamlets and small towns.

 

3. Jaisalmer

If geology is something you’re interested in, Jaisalmer is the place to go. The Wood Fossil Park, also known as Aakal, is around 15 kilometres from the city. Here, geologic catastrophes that occurred 180 million years ago in the Thar Desert can be discovered and traced. Jaisalmer also serves as the guardian of Rajasthan’s (and India’s) western border. This ‘Golden City’ is close to the Pakistani border and the Thar Desert. The Jaisalmer Fort, popularly known as Sonar Qila, is the city’s most notable feature (Golden Fort). Jaisalmer Fort, unlike most other forts in India, is more than just a tourist destination. It is home to stores, hotels, and centuries-old havelis (houses) where families had lived for generations.

 

Jaisalmer

 

The city of Jaisalmer dates back to the 12th century. Rawal Jaisal, the Rawal of Deoraj’s eldest heir, was passed over for the throne of Lodurva, and a younger half-brother was made king, according to legend. When Rawal Jaisal was looking for a new location to establish his capital, he met sage Eesul. The sage informed him of Krishna’s prophesy, according to which a descendant of his Yaduvanshi clan will start a new empire at this location. Rawal Jaisal built a mud fort, called it Jaisalmer after himself, and declared it his capital in 1156.

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Things to do in Jaisalmer:

  • Light and Sound Show at Gadisar Lake
  • Jaisalmer Fort
  • Desert National Park
  • Kuldhara

 

Best time to visit Jaisalmer:

November – February

 

How to reach Jaisalmer:

  • Train: Jaisalmer is well connected with a wide network of trains covering most of the Indian cities like Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur and others. Some of the popular trains are Delhi Jaisalmer Express, Jodhpur Jaisalmer Express, Howrah Jaisalmer Express and Lalgarh Jaisalmer Special.
  • Air: Jaisalmer Airport is a military airport and supports only chartered flights, hence is sparingly used by travellers. Although air travel is generally not considered an ideal mode of transport for travelling to Jaisalmer, some people do travel by air to save on time. Jodhpur Airport is the closest domestic airport that is functional throughout the year. Major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Udaipur have regular flights to Jodhpur. The airport is approximately 5 to 6 hours’ drive from the city. You can either hire a prepaid or a private taxi from the Airport to reach Jaisalmer.
  • Road: If you intend to drive your own vehicle or hire a taxi to travel by road from Delhi to Jaisalmer, make sure that you break your journey in Jaipur or Ajmer. Accommodation in these towns will be easier to find than at other remote places en-route.

 

4. Udaipur

The city of lakes is often referred to as the “Venice of the East.” Udaipur is surrounded by azure water lakes and enclosed in by the Aravallis’ lush green hills. One of Udaipur’s most magnificent attractions is the famed Lake Palace, which is situated in the midst of Lake Pichola. It also has Jaisamand Lake, which is said to be Asia’s second largest man-made sweet water lake. The magnificent City Palace and Sajjangarh (Monsoon Palace) add to the city’s architectural splendour. The abundance of zinc and marble in the city is also well-known.

 

Udaipur

 

Solar observatory in Lake Fateh Sagar is the only observatory in India located on an island and has been made on the pattern of Big Bear Lake in Southern California. The ten-day Shilpgram Festival which starts from 21 Dec to 30 Dec pulls in a large number of people interested in arts and crafts. Udaipur was founded in 1553 by Maharana Udai Singh II as the new capital of Mewar Kingdom. It is located in the fertile, circular Girwa Valley to the southwest of Nagda, which was the first capital of Mewar.

 

Things to do in Udaipur:

  • Lake Pichola
  • Jag Mandir
  • Monsoon Palace
  • Vintage Car Collection

 

Best time to visit Udaipur:

November – February

 

How to reach Udaipur:

  • Train: Udaipur lies on a vast network of rail that connects it to major cities in India such as Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Mumbai and Kota. Some of the popular trains that run daily are Mewar Express, Gwalior-Udaipur Express, Bandra-Udaipur SF Express, Chetak Express and Annanya Expres. In fact, the famous and luxurious Palace of Wheels also makes a scheduled stop in Udaipur.
  • Air: The nearest airport in Udaipur is called the Maharana Pratap Airport which is situated about 20 kilometres away from the city center. It is well-connected by air to all major cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Jaipur.
  • Road: Udaipur is connected to Delhi and Mumbai by National Highway 8 (NH 8). The drive is about 10-11 hours long and covers a distance of roughly 700 kilometres from both the cities. Many tourists visiting Udaipur prefer to drive on their own. If you do not wish to use your personal vehicle, there are several tour operators that provide vehicles on hire. Alternatively, one can also hire chauffeur-driven vehicles for travelling to Udaipur.

 

5. Pushkar

Pushkar is one of India’s oldest cities. The calm city of Pushkar, located northwest of Ajmer, is a popular destination for thousands of tourists and pilgrims visiting Rajasthan. Pushkar is bordered on three sides by hillocks at a height of 510 metres. Between Ajmer and Pushkar, the ‘Nag Pahar,’ or Snake Mountain, forms a natural barrier. The essence of the famed Pushkar rose is transported all over the world, earning it the nickname “the rose garden of Rajasthan.” Pushkar is a wonderful city with an amazing mythological history and a legacy of ageless architectural heritage.

 

Pushkar

 

According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.

 

Things to do in Pushkar:

  • Pushkar Lake
  • Brahma Temple
  • Pushkar Fair

 

Best time to visit Pushkar:

November – February

 

How to reach Pushkar:

  • Train: You will need to take a train to Ajmer and then take a 30-minute drive to Pushkar. The Ajmer railway station is well-connected with major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bhopal, and Bangalore. Some of the most popular trains that run daily on this route are Ajmer Shatabdi and Ajmer Rajdhani. Apart from these, other trains are Chetak Express, Ali Sdah Express, Aravalli Express and Bsb Express
  • Air: The nearest airport to Pushkar is in Jaipur, which is 140 kilometres away. The airport is well-connected to major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, kolkata. Once you reach at the airport, you can hire a cab to reach Pushkar. The journey from airport to the city will take approximately 3 hours.
  • Road: Driving is a good idea if you live nearby, like in the cities of Delhi and Jaipur. Vehicles are allowed inside Pushkar only in certain areas.

 

Explore the wilderness of this wondrous state with us. Write to our team on [email protected] for a custom wildlife tour package of Rajasthan.

 

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