India is blessed with cultural diversity. All the 29 states are unique in their own way and offer different cultural background, scenic beauty, food delicacies, etc. I know many of us are enthusiastic travellers, but I would definitely say that before planning to visit any foreign location; do check out all the beautiful cities our country has to offer.
In today’s post, we are going to pick up one such state that is very famous for its palaces, forts, wildlife and yes their food delicacies. You got me right; I am talking about the “land of the maharajas”- Rajasthan.
Before I get into the details of all the things that makes this state so popular amongst the local and foreign tourists, let’s look at its history.
History of Rajasthan: The Rajasthani history is almost 5000 years old and hence getting into its details right now is not a very good idea. But if we talk about it briefly, the history of Rajasthan can be categorised into 3 main parts:
- Ancient period- that is up to 1200 AD. The Rajput clans emerged from the 700AD, before that Rajasthan was a part of several republics. It has seen the reign of various rulers over the years. But mainly the Chalukyas, Parmars and the Chauhansstruggled for supremacy.
- Medieval period– that is from 1201-1707 AD. This was the time when Rajasthan came under the rule of the Muslim rulers. But, during the beginning of 13th century AD, the most prominent and powerful state was the Mewar.
- Modern period- from 1707- 1947. Until, the Mughal emperor Akbar ruled over Rajasthan, it never had been politically united. Later, it was invaded by the Marathas and then finally the British took over the state and until 1947 when it got its freedom.
Having such a glorious past has definitely left its mark over the state. The state has a number of ancient buildings, palaces and forts. These have constantly been attracting the tourists over the years.
Now let’s see some of the main reasons why Rajasthan is so popular amongst the tourists. Or, may I say let’s take a look at the list of things that one must do when visiting the “land of Rajputas”
- Ranthambore Safari-A safari is basically an expedition to observe animals in their natural habitat. The African safaris are very famous and it is very exciting for every wildlife enthusiast. Well, Rajasthan brings to you Ranthambore tour packages. There are different packages to fit your pocket. So, this is something you just can’t miss when you are visiting Rajasthan.
- The BhangarhFort– This is a 17th century fort that was built by Raja Man Singh I for his younger brother. Now there are various theories relating to it. But the one that is the most attractive is the fort being haunted. It has also been declared so by the archaeological survey of India. Many of you out there who actually wish to have a spooky experience visit the fort with the hopes of catching some paranormal activity? If you are in for something spooky, then this is the place for you in Rajasthan.
- Visit the Pink City– Jaipur is known as the Pink City. Maharaja Ram Singh painted the whole city pink because according to him pink was such a warm colour and it denoted hospitality. Hence, the whole city was painted pink to welcome all guests. The view of the whole city is absolutely charming and something you just won’t want to miss. Also, the City Palace that is located in Jaipur itself is a complex that consists of Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal and other structures. You get to see the architecture of the olden times and it is truly beautiful.
- Camel ride in the Thar Desert– The Thar Desert is known as the Great Indian Desert and acts as a natural boundary between Indian and Pakistan. Also, it comes in the top 20 list of world’s largest deserts. Rajasthan itself composes of more than 60% of the desert. It is the largest desert in the country. It also spreads out a little to Haryana, Punjab and Gujarat. But even though it is a semi-arid region you might be surprised that it is the most densely populated deserts in the world. The main means of transport in the olden times used to be the camel rides which were also called the ship of the desert. If you visit Rajasthan, you can’t miss onto the Thar Desert and the camel ride over there.
- JalMahal– the literal meaning of the word would be “Water palace”. This magnificent palace is located in the middle of the Man Singh Lake in the Jaipur city. The place has an amazing lighting system during the night and gives a very grand look to the palace. Apart from the architectural beauty, the place is also home to so many birds. So, get ready with your cameras because you have a lot of clicking to do.
So, this was the list of the top 5 things according to me that you just cannot afford to miss on your visit to Rajasthan. Apart from these, do make sure to enjoy the culture and traditions of the place. Go to the local markets because you will find some of the most colourful and beautiful mirror work. You can pick up these in jackets, saris or salwar suits as you may like.
The mirror work has been a part of their rich culture and heritage over thousands and thousands of years now. And they still take pride in continuing these traditions. Also, do not forget to try the Rajasthani cuisine that has some of the most interesting items. You may get more variety in vegetarian dishes because most of the population is vegetarian. But, just in case you are non-vegetarian lover, then you have nothing to worry about. You can try some of the dishes that have been coming down since generations now.