Rajasthan Revisitied!


Rajasthan is one of the most travelled tourist destinations in India. And why wouldn’t it be! It happens to be the largest Indian state that is famous for its diversity and heritage. From its royal charm to its natural reserves with abundant wildlife and its colourful markets to its seemingly endless dunes and desert safaris, the land of the kings seems to have it all! Of course, it may not be possible to cover all the famous districts like Jaipur – the Pink City, Jodhpur – the Blue City, Jaisalmer – the Golden City and the blissful town of Pushkar at one go; yet, if you pick and choose wisely, it is possible to cover a lot so that you can explore the rich culture and offbeat hotspots that Rajasthan is known to offer its visitors. It’s one of those places we wouldn’t recommend missing out on visits to the tourist-thronged, century-old majestic palaces, complete with mesmerising mirror work and stained glass windows, forts that tell stories of erstwhile times and the hard-to-miss havelis, distinct to this state. They are not worth a miss. When in Rajasthan, you should also couple these sightseeing trips with some unconventional activities that are bound to leave you stunned. Stray away from the overdone tourist trail and embark on a trip into the heart of the desert.

Into the wild
Even though a national park safari may seem like the most common thing to do during a holiday in Rajasthan, we suggest you go do it all over again for the sole reason that you may just get to spot the ever-elusive big cat! It might be your lucky day if you happen to spot a tiger, considering the diminishing count of this near-extinct creature. The Sariska Tiger Reserve is a must visit, as is the Ranthambore National Park. As you are driven through these natural spaces in a jeep you will get to see all kinds of flora and fauna that are intrinsic to Rajasthan. A leopard spotting here and there, along with glimpses of wild boars, crocodiles, beautiful peacocks, striped hyenas and many varieties of deer is sure to up the excitement levels of the day. This is one day trip that you wouldn’t want to leave your camera behind at any cost!

Up, up and away!
Literally soar the heavens by embarking on a thrilling flight of fancy on a hot air balloon. You are sure to see much more than you would generally see on land, taking the term desert exploration to a whole new level! These hot air balloons operate from Jaipur, Pushkar and Ranthambore National Park. You can expect to fly over towns and villages, experience the magic of forts and palaces from above, and get a bird’s eye view of endless stretches of desert and much more. That’s not all, if you happen to be in Rajasthan during the Pushkar Camel Fair, you can be sure of getting a rare and unique perspective of this colourful festivalwith the swarming crowds and heavily-adorned camels. Sky Waltz, India’s one and only fully-licensed hot air balloon operator can provide you with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a price of Rs. 11,060 per person.

A room with a view
Literally be one with nature at the Tree House Resort, nestled in the picturesque Syari valley that offers a majestic view of the Aravalli range and many other beautiful things. It may be hard to imagine living atop a tree and simultaneously enjoying the luxuries of a five-star hotel, but it’s true! Here, you’ll get the best of both worlds. To top it all, this resort is just a short drive away from the bustling city of Jaipur. Since the tree houses are surrounded by creepers, tall trees, waterfalls and duck ponds, it almost feels like one is in the midst of a tropical rainforest! And, if you happen to be sceptical about the presence of lush greenery given the fact that Rajasthan is known for its barren infertile land, don’t be. The soil in this area has been enriched through constant manure provisions coupled with rain water harvesting. Indeed, it is a must-visit place for nature lovers! Interestingly, the first tree house on this property was envisioned by the keen naturalist and wildlife photographer Sunil Mehta, who also happens to be the company director. Today, the resort has six different types of tree house rooms to choose from, with rates that start at Rs. 12,000 (four persons). Floating water cottages are expected to be the resort’s next offering! For those times when your feet are firmly planted on the ground, visit the 400-year old peacock bar, take a dip in the emerald-green pool, indulge in a game of archery or simply enjoy the sights and sounds of the night around a campfire!

Rajasthani regale
Rajasthani food cooked in the royal kitchens of Rajasthan as well as the humble local preparations are said to be something out of this world and known to incorporate different kinds of spices. Sample the delicious daal- baati, a local dish that comprises baati (Rajasthani hard bread) and daal (lentils), as well as Laapsi, a sweet dish made of broken wheat, ghee, nuts, raisins and dried fruits. Interestingly, each region in Rajasthan is distinguished by its famous sweet. Don’t miss the Malpuas from Pushkar, Rasogullas from Bikaner or Jodhpur’s Mawa Kachori!

High tea in the dunes

Now, here’s something that most of us don’t get a chance to do every day. Journey into the vast desert on the back of a camel and explore nearby villages where you can get acquainted with the local traditions, culture and lifestyle. You’ll also get a chance to experience the charm of the sand dunes. Taking care of any form of weariness that you might experience thereafter is a specially-organised high tea. Just in time for the sunset, you will be led to a semi-open tent, complete with a table and seating cushions. In the midst of the sand dunes, this set up will almost seem like a mirage, we kid you not! Along with freshlybrewed sweet or spiced tea, enjoy Rajasthani delicacies like the crunchy Masala Mathari, flavorful samosas and the famous Bikaneri Bhujiya. All this, while you take in the beautiful hues of the sunset coupled with the melodic sounds of a serenading Sarangi player. It’s a sensory feast in the midst of the desert!


A road trip through Rajasthan is a fantastic idea if you really want to get a glimpse of the state’s diverse culture, heritage, natural beauty and other sights! This way you’ll really get to experience a lot more than you generally would if you had to travel by air or train.

Palace on Wheels

Match the luxurious feel that Rajasthan exudes with an 8-day trip that will take you around Rajasthan on the equally luxurious Palace on Wheels train. Each of the 14 coaches is named after former Rajput states like Bundi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota. Plus you can enjoy a drink or two at the train’s bar, pick a good book to read from the lounge’s fantastic collection of books and dine at the Maharaja or the Maharani restaurants. Retire to your luxurious chamber that offers all the plush facilities you would generally get to experience at a grand hotel.

Volume 1 Issue 6


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