The Royal Review: All You Need To Know About Rajasthan
Rajasthan, the land of vibrant colours, timeless traditions and immense beauty invites you for a royal experience. Here’s everything you need to know about this enchanting state…
Home to the majestic Great Indian Desert and the largest state in India, Rajasthan is known for its rich history, vibrant culture and dramatic landscapes. Rajasthan, which translates to the ‘Land of Kings’ has many legendary tales of the chivalrous Rajput rulers, who built resplendent palaces and imposing fortresses here. In fact, this royal heritage is a large part of what draws people to this harsh frontier state today.
Places You Should Visit In Rajasthan
The capital city is famously called ‘The Pink City’ with the most notable buildings here tinged in this pink/saffron colour. The city is a sought-after destination for its historic and royal architecture as well as its vibrant handicrafts. The City Palace, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors), Jantar Mantar (an 18th century astronomical observatory), and Amber Fort are some of Jaipur’s main attractions.
Set in the heart of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is called the ‘Blue City’ since most of the buildings here are painted a bright blue. Jodhpur is sometimes also called ‘Sun City’, since it is sunny and bright all through the year. On your next visit here, shop for locally woven textiles, glass bangles and jewellery, intricate carpets and marble products. The imposing Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jaswant Thada Mausoleum, and the Mandore Gardens are the most popular destinations to visit in the city.
Known as the ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur has a rich cultural background and stunning locations. The City Palace, Jag Mandir island on Lake Pichola, Bagore ki Haveli, are famous places to visit in Udaipur. ON your next trip here, enjoy a boat ride in the lake, visit the Vintage Car Museum and take a cable car ride. The relatively lush green environs of this city is a welcome respite from the desert and is a great way to end your trip to Rajasthan.
4. Ranthambore National Park
This 1,334 sq km of wild jungle in Rajasthan is one of the best places to spot a tiger. Ranthambore is also home to several other wild species and over 300 species of birds. The most famous landmark here is a 10th century hilltop fort, surrounded by ancient temples and mosques, hunting pavilions, crocodile-filled marshes and vine-covered chhatris (burial tombs). A must visit if you ask us!
Food & Flavours Of Rajasthan
Fiery meat dishes, ghee-doused spicy vegetarian fare, mouth-watering sweet dishes and dry snacks, Rajasthan is a foodie’s delight. Thanks to the desert climate and scarcity of water and vegetables, the food includes a lot of lentils and beans, milk, butter milk and ghee (clarified butter). If you’re having a Rajasthani meal, don’t be surprised if you’re served the sweet dish before the main course.
Currency In Rajasthan
Ever since the Indian government’s demonetisation drive in November 2016, many vendors and establishments have started to offer digital payment options like e-wallets and credit/debit cards. There are several ATMs if you run out of cash, but lower denomination notes may be hard to find. So restrict your use of local currency as much as possible and use online payment options whenever available, especially for transactions below Rs 2,000. In case of emergencies, however, all major banks have dedicated currency exchange sections if you need local currency.
Travel Tips For Your Rajasthan Visit
- This is one of the most amazing places for street shopping, but remember to haggle with the vendors. If you get it right, you could end up paying 30-40% less. For the more expensive shawls and other items, stick to government authorised shops and outlets.
- Avoid travel during the harsh summers. Always carry a mix of light cotton clothes for the days, and some warm ones for the cold nights.
- The best transport is local transport, including cabs, buses, tuk-tuks and autorickshaws.
- Rajasthani cities are pretty far away from each other, so be prepared for a long bumpy ride if you want to cover this distance by road. However, if you choose to travel by the Deccan Odyssey, you’ll wake up in a new city, every morning, without the travel stress and aches!
Useful Rajasthani Words And Phrases
Hello/Good bye: Khamma-Ghani
How much money? Kitto peeso?
Do you speak English? Thane English ave he/che?
Help: Madad karo
Good morning: Su-Prabhat
Good night: Shubh-Ratri
Fun Trivia About Rajasthan
- Jaipur got the name ‘Pink City’ when the Maharajah Ram Singh painted the entire city pink to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria in 1876.
- Most homes and buildings in Jodhpur are painted bright blue to ward of the harsh sun and keep the interiors cool.
- The desert scenes from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises was shot in Jodhpur.
Important Facts About Rajasthan
Location: On the north-western part of India, bordered by Indian states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab (on the South, East and North), and Pakistan (international border on the West).
Connectivity: Well-connected to the rest of India,with state and national highways; regular flights at Jaipur International Airport and 3 other domestic airports; regular express trains run through a well-developed rail network.
Languages: Hindi (official), English, and numerous local dialects.
Currency: Indian Rupee
Time Zone: GMT +5:30
Climate: Tropical desert climate. The summer months (March-June) are very hot and dry, making monsoon (July September) and winter (October-February) the ideal time to visit.
Food & Drink: Spicy cuisine, Nimbu Shikanji (lemonade), Bael juice (bilwa fruit).
Come explore Rajasthan aboard the Deccan Odyssey.