For almost 35 yrs of my life the synonym to desert was Rajasthan. I happened to cover the entire state of Rajasthan in small stints. 2014, 16 and 17. The first time on my tour to Ladakh. I remember we were driving from Chittorgarh to Abohar over the Mega Highway. It was mid June, the temperatures were around 47 deg cel. and stepping out of the car was unthinkable. Yet we had to pull over a couple of times to address natures call. After a stretch of almost 4 hours, the heat and the desert started taking a toll. We were thirsty, hungry and tired.
Like a mirage, somewhere around Kishangarh we had spotted at a plush restaurant which served us great lunch. I still remember, The AC, Ker-Sangri, clean washrooms and awesome service. We wondered who would build a magnificent structure like this in the mid of the desert? Unable to find the answer then, we continued further. I had never imagined what I would be witnessing next. I still get goosebumps just with the thought of crossing the Rajasthan border into Punjab over the Mega Highway.
Approximately two hours after lunch, there came a huge canal and just as we crossed it the Golden landscape turned Green. Behind you is the desert and right in front the lush Green and Yellow Sarso. If I had a drone, this was the exact place to click a photo from high up in the sky. For now, I am sharing how my travel partner google shows this place.
As my passion for travel and photography increased, my knowledge about the Geographical conditions, cultures and people of India got better. By 2016, I had discovered that the state of Rajasthan is the most colourful state in India(IncredibleIndia). The Eastern borders are Green(Ranthambor, Bharatpur, Sariska). The Western borders are Golden(Jaisalmer). In between them you find Pink(Jaipur), Blue(Jodhpur) and White(Udaipur).
In one of Meera’s bhajan she says, “Apne hi rang mai rang de chunariya”. Well the people of the state are submerged in the colour of the state. Vibrant and colourful they are.
They share a special bond with the animals and treat them
with respect. Elephant is a sign of richness, horse a sign of strength and Camels are domesticated and treated as buddies. They are the lifeline of the state. The fondness for animals does not stop here. They worship Rats and Langurs(Monkey).
Their food again is no different. Ghee and Oil is consumed as if its free. Medium spicy and with some beautiful flavours. Gatte ki sabji, dal bati churma, dal kachori, so on and so forth are just amazing. If you ever go to Pushkar, you can skip your visit to the Bramha Temple and Ajmer Dargah, however if you don’t have Shikanji and Malpua, then you have no place in Heaven.
Get some 20 to 25 days blocked on your calendar and visit the following places. You will need at least 3 visits so that you can cover the state with ease. Road trip is a good way. You can start from Delhi, Jaipur or Jaisalmer and then plan your rout appropriately. Here is what I recommend.
Best time to visit, First week of November to 2nd Week of March.
Places to cover.
Ranthambor (Feb and March)
Bharatpur (Jan and Feb)
Jaisalmer, Barmer (Dec and Jan)
Pushkar, Bikaner, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Chittorgarh, (Nov to Jan)
This state is a paradise for photographers. Please try to click beyond wrinkled old faces and smoking people. The state offers much more and much better. The way you cannot cover the state in a single visit, you cannot write about it in a single blog. Stay tuned…