“Rajasthan”, typically means the “Land of the Kings / Kingdoms”. Given a look into the heritage of this state, one cannot but agree to this nomenclature. Being the largest state by area, (Rajasthan makes up to 10.4% of India’s total area), it is only fitting that this place has been home to several dynasties. The Rajputs broadly categorize themselves into Suryavanshi (Decedents of Sun), Induvanshi (Decedents of the Moon), and Agnivashi (Decedents of the Sacrificial Fire). Other Rajputana Dynasties include the Rathores of Marwar, the Sisodias of Mewar, Chauhans of Ajmer, the Kachhwahas of Ambar,the Bhatis of Jaisalmer, the Haddas of Jhalawar,the Shekhawats of Shekhawati Kota and Bundi.
Now, all these names could be rather overwhelming. It will be easier to relate to these if I said, Rajasthan still retains the charm of these bygone dynasties in every bit of nature, architecture, and culture that will come across your way, when you step out to explore this “Land of Kings and Kingdoms”. Rajasthan narrates the story of warriors, their valiance, majesticity, and their hardships.
THE PINK CITY – JAIPUR
The Forts and Palaces at Jaipur — The Pink City — echo the royalty that was once been. The complex construction style, multiple courtyards, intelligent natural ventilation, sanitary system, thoughtful acoustics are proof of supreme intellect of the Rajwads. The Palaces were homes of not just the Kings, Queens and the Royal siblings, they was also home to generations of extended families. This is also proof of the close-knit family system, a hard to come by in the present 21st century.
The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of wind with 963 windows, standing 50 feet above ground level is an architectural marvel. Amber (Amer) Fort, overlooking that Maota Lake, is famous for its tradition of sound and light show in the evenings, since 1070. The tradition continues to this day as well.
The Jantar Mantar Observatory, recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO is an astronomical wonder.
Built during 1727-1734, each one of the 14 structures has specialized astronomical significance. It track stars, predict eclipses, and the 90ft Sundial — Samrat Yantra — predicts time to the tee.
THE CITY OF LAKES – UDAIPUR
Udaipur, known as “City of Lakes”, “Venice of the East” is a must see place to those who seek tranquility. The Lake-Palace — Jag Mandir –, The Monsoon Palace — Sajjan Mandir — present a fascinating view of the Aravalli Range, and a lake-side-view, as well. A perfect setting to mediate early morning, or unwind during the late evening.
From the Kumbhalgarh Fort, one can see the sand dunes of Thar Desert that cover an area up to 36 km, houses 360 temples and is also documented to have the second largest wall in Asia.
The Pichola Lake is an artificial fresh water lake which latches on to four islands, namely the Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir, Mohan Mandir, and the Arsi Vilas.
THE BLUE CITY – JODHPUR
Jodhpur well known as “Blue City” is famous for Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. Sam Sand Dunes – inexplicable attraction takes you deep into Thar Desert. Rathanbore National Park the biggest wildlife reserve of North India is the house for largest population of Tigers.
Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India. Mount Abu is especially famous for Dilwara Jain Temples. These are remarkable temples built by Chalukya Rulers. The divine Pushkar Lake is belted with 52 bathing ghats. It is impending to around 500 Hindu temples.
Lake Pushkar is notably famous for one of the only two Bramha temples in the world. Shekawathi Region which is portrayed as “open air art gallery” is famous for its architecture and old Havelis.
Rajasthan offers something for everyone with its rich bequest, gleeful culture, breathtaking desert safaris, shinning sand dunes, and varied wild life. With its antiquity so well preserved it would be a pleasure to visit Rajasthan, and comeback with memories that will linger longer than you thought it would.