Welcome to the land of the kings. Lavish with luxury and rich with royalty, Rajasthan is a state laden with heritage everywhere you go. Known for its hospitality, the princely state has always had tourists wanting to return to the land long after they’ve left it. Rich in culture, Rajasthan leaves a strong impression on those who have experienced it. Its charm lies in its pure soul and simplicity. The cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Ajmer will have you enchanted within no time. Aao kabhi, haveli pe!
Jaipur is the pink city, as we already know, and is also a gateway to other destinations such as Jaisalmer and Ajmer among others. The city is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Amber Fort and Jantar Mantar. Apart from these, there are numerous forts all across Pink City, including the stunning Hawa Mahal and superb City Palace. There is also a fort on water (Jai Mahal) and a fort on a hill (Nahargarh Fort). The heritage list can go on.
While you explore all the heritage around the city, why not stay at a mansion yourself? With an indoor swimming pool reminiscent of the Roman baths, steam, sauna and jacuzzi, you’re sure to be relaxed by the end of your stay at Krishnalaya Mansion. Surrounded on three sides by lush gardens, it offers you a swing, barbecues, and bonfires to make the most of your getaway. The central, posh location is quite a USP, so, difficult as it may be to leave the luxuries of this home, do head out for some shopping to build up an appetite for the traditional Rajasthani meal they serve! Mayur Villa is also ideal for lovers of history and heritage, where luxury emanates from the subtle riches of bespoke solitude. Located near a shooting range, the villa is built with traditional Indian and Makrana marble, while the furniture is reminiscent of the royal past that the city boasts of. Airy bedrooms, arched doorways, massive lawns and a stunning mountain view welcome you to this sanctuary.
While Jaipur is known as the pink city, Jodhpur is known as the blue city. Second to Jaipur, Jodhpur is also a mighty popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts, and temples across the desert landscape. The old city circles the Mehrangarh Fort and is bounded by a wall with several gates, but has expanded greatly outside the wall over the past several decades. The Mehrangarh Fort & Museum and Umaid Bhawan Palace are a must-visit, in addition to the lakes of Kaylana Lake and Bal Samand Lake.
Like an oasis in the desert, An Oasis of Serenity is one of the best properties to stay at while you’re in Jodhpur. Its location makes it a great home base for those who wish to explore all parts of the city, and not just the touristy ones. Once you’re done exploring the interiors of the house and enjoyed your time in the pool, head out for the village safari that unveils the hidden gems of Jodhpur. Another option is Colonel’s Cottage, which is tucked away in its own peaceful spot in the city. Offering spectacular views of the hills all around, the cottage comprises comfortable, homely interiors that offer a sense of familiarity and warmth in the otherwise arid landscape of the region. Its huge lawns are perfect for outdoor games, although during the afternoon you’ll find yourself chatting, lazing, or snoozing inside with the AC on, a nice cup of tea and some snacks.
Next is Udaipur – the city of lakes. It is located in the southernmost part of Rajasthan and is surrounded by the Aravali Range, which separates it from the Thar Desert. No wonder it is surrounded by lakes. Like the rest of Rajasthan, it also offers history lovers with forts, palaces, museums, temples and more. Take a cruise on Lake Pichola or trek to Tiger Lake. The Taj Lake Palace and City Palace are sublime too.
While you explore all these places, stay at The Wild Orchid which is just a stone’s throw from the famous Badi Lake. The location transforms into a rich palette of nature’s colors in monsoons and winters as you look out to spectacular views of the Aravalli hills from the gardens. Avaanti Home stands tall with all the contemporary amenities you may need. The Bohemian decor, neatly furnished spaces and bright interiors make this villa look beautifully spacious. Unwind in the lawn or gather around the fireplace to embrace the pleasant weather, every experience here is meant to stay with you for a long time to come. Although it’ll be hard to leave the indoors, the outdoors await you for a pleasant time in the city.
Located in the far west of the state, Jaisalmer is the golden city! It is situated on a ridge of yellow sandstone and is crowned by the Jaisalmer Fort, which comprises a royal palace and several Jain temples. As it lay in the heart of the Thar desert, the town is well known for its offbeat desert safari and other adventure activities. Badi Sagar Lake, which has temples in the water, is worth a visit. Other noteworthy places include Tazia Tower, Patwon ki Haveli and Salim Singh ki Haveli.
Lastly, but not least is Ajmer. Located the closest to Jaipur, it also has Pushkar in its vicinity. Ana Sagar lake should be the first on your list in Ajmer. It may be artificial, but its vibe is natural, and perfect to go boating on. There is an island in the lake as well as a garden named Daulat Bagh outside the lake, amongst the Baradari. Next is Taragarh Fort, which is possibly the oldest hill fort in India. Then comes Nareli Jain Temple, Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra, Jagat Palace, Mayo College, Akbar Palace & Museum.
Do check out the room listings for the properties above, in case you’re looking to travel in smaller groups. Make sure that wherever you visit, you have figured out the logistics beforehand. The spontaneous explorer in you might need to be prepared for 2020. We hope you have a great time exploring Rajasthan. Stay smart, stay safe!