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Rajasthan – a guide to which areas to visit in the desert state of India

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<span>As the largest state in the whole of India, which originally comprised of 22 areas that have now been brought together to form the one state, Rajasthan can seem overwhelming to begin with. Fear not; this guide lays out the most prominent cities and towns to visit in this desert state and what they are known for. </span>

Shinod Lukose

My Destination local expert on

Rajasthan

Jaipur

 

The capital city of Rajasthan is also famously called the ‘pink city’. This is because the government ordered all of the buildings to be painted pink (which actually is more of a dusty light terracotta color) for the royal arrival of the Prince of Wales in 1853. The buildings have stayed the same ever since. Inside the pink walls are the integral bazars that hold the city together. Don’t miss the Amer Fort, one of the ancient hill top forts that make the city so iconic.

 

Jodhpur

 

To the west of the capital city is Jodhpur; the blue city which was founded in the 15th century, where many of the houses and buildings are painted blue. Similarly to Jaipur, the city has now out-grown its old city walls and seeped out further, but the old city is still considered to be the best part of the city. Its major attractions are the huge old Mehrangarh Fort perched on the top of a hill, the attractive white marble memorial of Jaswant Thanda and the Marwar Festival in October.

 

Pushkar

 

Pushkar’s name means ‘lotus flower’ and is named as the holy city as Hindu’s believe it is the former seat of Brahma, the creator of the world. The Pushkar Lake is famous and considered by Hindu’s to be as old as the earth. It has over 52 ghats (bathing areas) and many temples such as Chamunda Temple sitting on its holy water edges. However, Pushkar Temple is the only temple in the world dedicated to the important Hindu deity of Brahma, making it well worth a visit.

 

Udaipur

 

Found in the south of the state, Udaipur is known as the ‘city of lakes’, rather, un-surprising when you see just how many there are scattered through the region. Thanks to this, there are a number of places to view the sunset and sunrise over a watery backdrop. Roof top restaurants area also popular here and are great places to spend the end of the day relaxing. The Palace on the Lake put Udaipur on the map when the film of Ian Fleming’s novel Octopussy was filmed there in 1983. The Palace on a Lake is now a luxurious 5 star hotel.

 

Banswara

 

In the deepest south of Rajasthan is Banswara known as the ‘city of a hundred islands’ due to its numerous islands in the Mahi River which flows through the city. Just 165 kilometers south of Udaipur, its name literally translates into the bamboo country which accounts for its huge amount of bamboo forests. Banswara is more rural than other places in the popular state, visit for a slower pace of life amidst temples and history away from tourists.

 

Jaisalmer

 

Known as the ‘golden city’, is the city of Jaisalmer, a town built on a huge mound of sand otherwise called the Thar Desert. Golden turrets of the buildings loom over the kilometers of sand dunes, which makes up the biggest part of the city. The Great Thar Desert is the main attraction here and Jaisalmer is known as the gate to the Thar Desert where the famous camel treks begin.

 

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