Travel to Rajasthan, the land of kings

  • A Group of Women in Colorful Traditional Dresses, Rajasthan, photo by Varun Gaba
  • Junagarh Fort Bikaner, Photo by Pushkar Yadav
  • Man Holding traditional String Instrument, photo by Guduru Ajay Bhargav

Rajasthan, the land of the Rajas, or great kings –  better known as maharajas, is one of the most visited Indian states and its territory extent is more or less equal to that of Italy. Rajasthan is generally regarded as the image of India most foreigners have in mind: that of ancient palaces, forts, splendid residences. These are the testimonies left by the Rajput warriors at the time of feudalism. These warriors dominated the political scene of northern India starting from the 7th-8th century and were owners of fiefdoms and palaces which they defended strenuously from the Arabs, to whom they eventually had to succumb in the 11th century.

Man Holding traditional String Instrument, photo by Guduru Ajay Bhargav

Although the Rajput artistic history began several centuries earlier, it was in this period that a new unique architectural style was born, the result of the mingling of Rajput and Moghul art. This art characterised the magnificent buildings erected between the 13th and the 19th centuries that we still admire today. The great Moghul dynasty, of Turkish-Mongol origin and descendants of Genghis Khan, began in the 16th century. This ethnic group was destined to merge with the Hindu ethnics of the maharajas, the same ones who, with some exceptions, would later enter into alliances with the British who colonised India from the 17th century. Even at that time, Rajasthan remained divided into fiefdoms, and only after the departure of the British in 1947 did it become part of the new Indian Union.

Junagarh Fort Bikaner, Photo by Pushkar Yadav

Rajasthan is a land that includes the arid area of the Thar desert, which extends north-west towards Pakistan, and the hilly area of the Aravalli mountains (800 mt above sea level), which reach as far as Delhi and Udaipur and which, older than the Himalayas, supplied the maharajas with the granite used for building their splendid mansions. The caravan routes that reached India through Rajasthan have contributed to enriching the history of this magical state and its settlements, as evidenced by the beautiful golden city of Jaisalmer, full of havelis (traditional townhouses) beautifully built by wealthy merchants who profited from trade.

People Riding Elephant in Jaipur – Photo by Parv Choudhary

Many of the most beautiful cities of India are to be found here, as intact as in the past: Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, each with its own beauties and connected by roads on the sides of which the slow life of every day flows. These ancient roads cross villages, cultivated fields, cool hills or areas burned by the sun. In India, moving from one place to another also enriches the journey.

Rajasthan offers accommodation of all categories, even in historic buildings that have become heritage hotels. The state can be visited all year round, though the best period is from October to April when the climate is pleasant. Rajasthan also has lot to offer to nature lovers . The Ranthambore Park is home to tigers and to many other animal species and it is open from October to June. The Keoladeo National Park, known for its many varieties of migratory birds, is also certainly worth a visit. There are several possible itineraries for a trip to Rajasthan, a state that offers its intact traditions.

This article is taken from – your gateway to India

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About the author

Thomas has a university background in the UK and in Latin America, with studies in Languages and Humanities, Culture, Literature and Economics. He started his Asian experience as a publisher in Krabi in 2005. Thomas has been editing local newspapers and magazines in England, Spain and Thailand for more then fifteen years. He is currently working on several projects in Thailand and abroad. Apart from Thailand, Thomas has lived in Italy, England, Venezuela, Cuba, Spain and Bali. He spends most of his time in Asia. During the years Thomas has developed a great understanding of several Asian cultures and people. He is also working freelance, writing short travel stories and articles for travel magazines. Follow Thomas on

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