Which places do you immediately think of when you think about visiting India?
It wouldn’t be surprising if you list a whole bunch of places without Rajasthan being among them. It simply isn’t all too well known amongst the majority and against India’s more famous states such as Goa, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, despite Rajasthan being the largest. This amazing place has a wealth of treasures to be discovered and experienced; below is just a small selection of the best.
The Land Of Kings
Located in the west of India and with Jaipur as its capital, Rajasthan is also known as India’s ‘Land Of Kings’ and its name literally means The Land of the Rajas (The Rulers). The state has a turbulent and eventful history stretching back to 2000 to 3000 BC and was an extremely powerful influence over the rest of India, hence its name.
Because of this, Rajasthan is packed with some amazing architecture including palaces, temples, forts and old cities, some of which are in ruins whilst others survive intact. With all this rich history, the exploration opportunities here are endless.
From Deserts To Mountains…
…and everything in between. When it comes to attractions and locations, Rajasthan has a diverse range that will keep even the shortest attention spans engaged for an entire trip. If you get tired of the vibrant and historic cities there are peaceful mountains to explore and elephants to ride, if you get tired of mountains there are deserts and sand dunes to traverse, if you get tired of the desert there are lush forests to investigate and countless exotic animals to find and observe. The terrain of Rajasthan is also perfect for all types of sports and activities such as golf, horse-back riding, boating, hot air-ballooning and hiking.
Jawai Leopard Camp
If you are among the many wildlife enthusiasts looking for something truly special, Rajasthan can offer an experience to satisfy this, and in style too.
Just minutes out of the rest of Rajasthan in the peaceful and remote Aravalli Hills lies the Jawai Leopard Camp. Here you are met with the perfect combination of rugged terrain and luxurious comfort. Fully furnished tents comprise the accommodation, complete with traditional decorative artifacts, a dining tent and even a spa tent. When you’re not relaxing and being pampered you are being taken on a safari by expert trackers to seek out the elusive leopards in the area. If you’re lucky you’ll also get to see Sloth Bears, Antelopes and Indian Wolves. What more could you want?
Taj Lake Palace
Seeking even more luxury and some romance? Well, the Taj Lake Palace takes this to another level; situated on Lake Pichola and appearing to float serenely upon it, this location is described as being magical, heavenly and dreamlike. You cross the lake in a boat and step into a marble world of opulence and elegance, you are greeted with rose petals and a wealth of things to do and wonderful things to eat. With 4 restaurants each offering a different cuisine and experience, your palate will never be bored, and then there are the cruises, the bars and the driven tours of Udaipur in vintage cars complete with champagne for when you feel like leaving the palace for a short while. It goes without saying that the rooms match the rest of the palace in luxury and beauty, each one modern and elegantly decorated and each with its own story to tell. As if all this isn’t enough, there is the added bonus of the palace having played a role in the James Bond film ‘Octopussy’. Fame and Luxury in one beautiful place, ideal for a romantic getaway and lots of stories to tell upon your return.
Heading back into the very heart of Rajasthan, Rambagh Palace is situated in the centre of the capital and is the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur – already off to a good start. You may think that, because it is in the busy city that it would be noisy and bustling, but you would be wrong. The 47 acres of the property are so quiet and serene you would think you were up in the Aravalli hills with the leopards, but with a whole lot more luxury. There are historical suites offering an experience of times gone by, royal suites with silks and artwork in abundance and grand royal suites restored to preserve their style and history. To keep you occupied there is the indulgent tent encampment-inspired Jiva Grande spa, an indoor and outdoor pool, a fitness centre, croquet and even a Polo Ground. Not forgetting food, there are 3 restaurants each offering a different style of cuisine and surroundings. From the grandeur of royal cuisine and decor, to relaxing informal all-day dining, to a champagne tea on the Verandah, there’s something for everyone and every occasion throughout your stay. There really is no better way to experience and explore this vibrant city and it’s royal past in the midst of the Land of Kings.
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Have you been to Rajasthan? What was your favourite thing about it? What is your top tip for visiting Rajasthan.