Travel fills our mind and soul not only with happiness but with great changes in us. It gives us valuable experiences and teaches lot.
Our trip to Rajasthan was one such trip that prove how travelling to new places could refresh our minds and body.
Rajasthan- The Land of Kings at the heart of India, makes every visitor to stay back at least for coming couple of days extending to their own planned days. It has lots of forts to explore, sand dunes, camels, cultural festivals, lakes and not to forget the shopping lanes. Every part of the state is beautiful and promising. You would be inspired by the uniqueness of each district or place of the state. Let it be Jaitsar or Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Ajmer and of course Rathambore National park.. and so on.
Our tour was for 6 days. We wanted to cover the main attractions, which was very difficult to sort because every place in Rajasthan is, must visit and probably main attraction.
So, we booked flight to and fro Jaipur from New Delhi. We pre-booked cab to avoid last minute hassle. We booked hotel in Jaipur. The experience in Rajasthan of us was like this now:
Day 1: Jaipur
It is also called ‘Pink City’ for the houses here in painted in light pink colour which looks magnificent. This place has lot to cover. We started with Hawa Mahal. A beautiful fort and an identity of Jaipur. This monument is built with red and pink sand stone which gives it beautiful pink colour. Hawa Mahal is five level monument which gives it majestic look. It resembles a honeycomb when seen from far. Though Jaipur is a hot place, this monument will blow your mind off with its cool and heavy breeze.
Then the next stop was City Palace. It’s a complex with big area and courtyard. It includes Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Pritam Nivas Chowk, Diwas-e-Khas where you can find two jars or vessels and Diwan-e-Alam.
With these there are other two main attractions that is Maharani Palace which was the residence of Royal queens, now a museum and Govind devji Temple which is dedicated to Hindu deity Krishna.
Then we came out to have our lunch of Rajasthani Thali consists of Dal Batti, three varieties of sabzis, dal chawal rayta with malpuas in desserts at a restaurant which had Jhulelal Temple at the opposite.
After the delicious food, we travelled towards Amer Fort. This place also was a huge palace with many sections like Diwan-e-khas etc.. The courtyard again was notably large. There were four courtyards. I must say, visit this palace only if have enough time to give to each detail. For example the magical flower fresco carved on a marble near Sheesh Mahal is one of the main attractions here.
It was evening when we had finished the tour of Amer fort and time to be back at Hotel. The dinner at the courtyard of the hotel was an amazing experience. The weather in Rajasthan surprisingly changes with day and night. At night it is really a cold place to stay.
Day 2: Ajmer
Next day, we started early to Ajmer. It was quite a long journey driving in the scourging sun. Though, the landscape at the both sides of the road was very much pleasing. It took us around three hours to reach Pushkar.
Pushkar is one of the holiest places in India. It is also a pilgrimage site. So, people from all over India, mainly Hindus and around the world gather here for the poojas and special darishans. There are many temples here in which we headed towards Brahma Temple. This is among the only few temples built for Hindu deity Brahma. We went inside the temple. The contrast colours of the temple ie; Red at the top and Blue at the pillars will give you a good feeling. We offered a pooja taali and got Prasad from the pujari. The place will give you an immense joy and peace inside. We sat at the sitting area for while and after that we set for Pushkar lake. We were mocked by many guides and sale people for their own reasons. We found it difficult to reach the lake. But, anyhow we reached. The lake was a relief and we took a dip in the lake. We could see some foreigners near the lake doing meditation.
We then travelled to Ajmer. Ajmer is widely famous for Dargah Shariff of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. It is frequently visited by muslim people for Namaaz. So, for non-muslim it is not right to visit this at Namaaz time as you may have to perform Namaaz. This place also gets crowded during the namaaz times. There is strict rule to wear only Kurtas for men and salwar kameez for women. The clothes are also available at the shops nearby for those who are wearing others clothes.
We stayed at a hotel near the Dargah as it was getting evening. And we don’t prefer late evening travels.
Day 3: Udaipur
Udaipur is a beautiful city again. Full of forts and temples. The floating palace or lake palace is world-famous hotel here. We first visited to Jagdish Temple. It’s a very large temple. It is dedicated the Hindu deity Shiva. A wide tourist attraction.
Our next stop was City Palace. What we saw when we reach there was standing a majestic palace with awe architecture. We went to ticket counter. We got even more amused with the list of options the palace have. There is option of visiting palace complex alone or visiting palace museum, boating, tours etc. plus parking and camera charges. We bought tickets for museum + camera + parking. We got inside and saw the great beauty of Udaipur. The pillars, the walls, each part of the palace will stun you. Every detail would speak the story of Rulers of Mewar Dynasty. The paintings in Rajputana style with use of gold silk are other major attractions. We would take lot of time to give attention to each detail but worth one. Each section has its own beauty. We praised the minds behind the architecture and came out.
When we came out it was already late afternoon. So, we rushed to Paantya Restaurant, which was a nearby one. It was again a grand hotel with grand decor. We ordered a typical Rajasthani meal.
After the delicious spicy food we started towards Rathambore.
It was dawn when we reached Bundi. We spent that night in a hotel.
Day 4: Bundi
This day was saved for shopping. So, we planned to go to visit Taragarh hill fort and Jait Sagar lake and then to shopping. After breakfast of Makke ki roti with sabjis we started off to Taragarh Hill fort.
This fort is another phenomenal example of perfect architecture. From here we can see the beautiful Kota city. The Entrance itself was huge with grand carvings. There are three gateways to this fort. Each with different names like: Lakshmi Pol, Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki Phatak. But these are getting destructed. This fort was also famous for its tunnels, but for that time we were restricted permission.
So, we moved forward to Jai sagar lake. The lake was very calm and the climate very soothing. We spend some time at the bank of the lake. The place with breeze and the cool waters made the surrounding even more beautiful. The scene from the lake will you the panorama of giant hills surrounded.
Then, our main part came when we had to go for shopping. We hold at a restaurant to have lunch. After that, we went to main bazaar. It was sectored into small lanes and crowded. But, to us every shop has something to buy. We bought some kota designed sarees, some accessories, a rajputani painting and a carpet.. which took us 2 and half hours to meet.
It was evening when we started towards Ranthambore. We reached Rathambore and called our manager who had booked us a tent in Sher camp. The tent was clean, spacious and attractive to stay.
Day 5: Ranthambore
The next morning we had to reach Ranthambore National Park. So, we woke up very early as we had booked 6 o’clock morning jungle safari. Our room boy woke us up very early and in time. We reached the National park at 5.30 am and saw a huge line waiting for the tickets. We were happy that we had already booked a jeep safari for us (which has to be done well before 90 days). If you have not booked one, you may have to wait in line for long and sometimes you may not get a chance. The guide, with jeep and the driver were very punctual and received us at 5.45 am. After the usual checking process and giving out instructions, we started moving into the park. The park was divided into many zones. We were given zone 3 to explore. Any zone, but we were very much excited about spotting Tiger. The vehicle was moving slowly into the jungle. Our hearts were pounding. We dint a miss a single spot to be left to capture into our lenses. We initially spotted some birds like tree Owl, Woodpeckers, Cuckoos, Pigeons and Doves, Sparrows and Mynas. There were other some birds which were hard to remember names. Our guide was very informative in this regard. He kept saying about the place, the flora, fauna and others. There were dry trees everywhere but we can also spot some Banyan trees and others..
Then, we spot some deers, langurs, squirrels, a mongoose, some bats, a hedgehog.. But our heart was in spotting Tiger. After some an hour, we spotted a big cat at a distance. Our hearts were beating fast. The more the tiger came near us the faster our heart beat gets. Our guide called a Tiger by a name and said it was its territory. We were very excited. After all seeing a tiger in its own territory was not an easy thing. We spent some time there just staring at the tiger when our guide reminded us that we still has to cover other parts so we kept going.
The safari came to an end after a thrilling 3 and half hours. This was the best thing in entire trip.
We came out the park and after having our food we started towards Jaipur again from where we had to take our flight.
In all, this trip was amazing. Rajasthan holds it all for all.