Road to Rajasthan

rajasthan_map

Our Route by Car in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is on every travelers list who adventures to India. Rajasthan is one of India’s larger states and full of history, colors, palaces, and FORTS. We took a car through the desert from one town to the next for 16 days. Traveling by car was beneficial with insufficient railway lines and long bus journeys irradiated. It also gave us the advantage of getting to “off-the-beaten-track” destinations.

MANDAWA: A VERY small village in the middle of no where. One main dirt road leads in and out. It is the perfect place to stop, break up the drive, and spend a day walking around the quiet back streets, exploring the old haveli buildings. (Haveli’s are old homes dating back to before the 1900s. The walls are beautifully painted and the home is built around an outdoor courtyard.)

Indian Puppet

'Hanging Around' a Mandawa Haveli!

BIKANER: One of the many cities in Rajasthan built around a fort. The red sandstone giant sits in the center of the town towering over the market. It could be dubbed “The Red City” with red rock heavily featured in the city’s structures.

Color Festival

Caught in Bikaner's Color Parade

JAISALMER: Significantly more desert-y city than the previous. The 8 hour drive from Bikaner to Jaisalmer slowly showed a dramatic change in the landscape to the flat nothingness of the Thar Desert. Coined “The Golden City”, all the buildings are made of bright yellow sandstone, mirroring the desert floor. The fort at the center looks like magnificently ornate sandcastle with golden havelis dotted around the town. Our Camel Safari into the desert for a night was a highlight.

Camel at sunset

Sizzling sunset on safari

JODHPUR: Yet another city dominated by a single color & a fort, “The Blue City” gets its name from the bright blue roofs & walls of this old town. Wandering through the tight nooks & crannies of the city streets is an intimate experience & the fort’s audio tour is pretty awesome, even if it is geeky.

Jodhpur

The Blue City Sitting in the Shadow's of Jodhpur's Mighty Fort

UDAIPUR: A change of pace from the dusty desert towns of Northern Rajasthan. “The City of Lakes” has an overbearing presence of water & instead of a fort at the heart, it’s a palace. A proud fame emanates from the filming of the James Bond movie, Octopussy, filmed at the city’s “Floating Palace” which sits on a tiny piece of land in the middle of the lake.

Udaipur Palace

A Peak Inside the Palace

PUSHKAR: Also centred around water, Pushkar’s lake is surrounded by ghats full of bathing Indians. The story goes that Brahma dropped a lotus flower to earth & where it landed the holy waters of Pushkar were formed. A vibrant market encompasses the ghats, giving a great vibe to this small but bustling town.

Pushkar Lake

Krishna Watching Over Pushkar's Holy Lake

RANAKPUR: One of Rajhasthan’s other one-trick ponies, but its a bloody good trick, Ranakpur’s Jain temple is an exquisite piece of ancient architecture. The rich innocence of the white marble pillars, all 1444 of them, is almost flawless but for 1 pillar that is slightly slanted to remind you that nothing on earth is perfect & only God can achieve complete purity.

Ranakpur Temple

Pillars of near perfection

KUMBALGARH: Probably the most impressive fort in the state, which is an achievement considering the competition, Kumbalgarh’s age-old city is enclosed by an antiquated wall 36km in length. The ruins in the distance from the fort’s summit are impressive, as are the temples within the grounds. A much fuller experience than its smaller city counterparts.

Kumbulgarh Fort

The fortified fossil of Kumbulgarh

JAIPUR: Our last & final stop! Jaipur is the state capital & full of hustling streets crowded with people, dogs,  fruit wagons, elephants,… anything and everything! It’s called the Pink City, but not really that pink. The ladies retreat of Hawa Mahal was impressive, but the highlight for us was looking out from Nahagarh Fort onto the bustling city below that seemed to go on for miles in every direction.

Hawa Mahal

The Woman's "Secret" Lookout Point

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Comments
2 Responses to “Road to Rajasthan”
  1. The Rambler says:

    Great photos and city info!! Rajasthan is high on my to-go list.

    • Nicky says:

      Thanks– a cool place to travel around but be prepared. It is one of the filthiest places on Earth and the touts and sellers can get fairly aggressive with travelers, as long as you’re ready you’ll love the sites there!

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