All posts filed under: Rajasthan

Rajasthan villages

Offbeat Rajasthan: 11 Awe-inspiring Experiences.

On a mustard farm deep in the interiors of Rajasthan’s Pali district, Pannibai pulls out weeds in the hot afternoon sun. A few meters away, next to a makeshift hut of wood and twigs, her husband and son cook lunch on a small fire. The family has been here almost 6 months, and come March, when the harvest is done, they’ll take their share of the crop and move. To another village, and another makeshift house. It’s the only way of life I know, she tells me; the real nomad, of the Rabari (gypsy) community of Rajasthan. The villages of Rajasthan are home to hundreds of years of fascinating traditions, many of which will get wiped away with the older generation. Partake of these awe-inspiring travel experiences while you still can: 1. Witness a tribal prayer ceremony. On a late winter night, I found myself sitting in the verandah of the village headman’s house, with men and women of the Rabari community. What followed was an hour of mesmerizing music as red-turbaned men sat in a circle, …

Lakshman Sagar: Add it to Your Bucket List!

Over the years, I’ve travelled to and stayed in many amazing places, in many countries across the globe. Even with such high expectations, sometimes a place comes along that completely takes me by surprise. A place that makes me appreciate my life as a travel blogger. A place that I know I won’t forget for a long time. Lakshman Sagar, in the Pali district of Rajasthan, was one such place. Once a 19th century hunting lodge on the banks of a lake (sagar), it has been transformed by a visionary man into the most gorgeous expression of eco-friendly luxury. I’m going to let these pictures speak their thousand words: *** 1. THE “0 KM” CONCEPT AT LAKSHMAN SAGAR implies that everything used to design the rooms has been sourced naturally or locally (from nearby villages). This is the living area of my room, with a chimney in the left corner, and so many colorful and innovative little touches to marvel at. *** 2. LOUNGING BY OUR OWN PRIVATE SPLASH POOL at Lakshman Sagar. Who needs beach …

monsoon

6 Long Weekend Getaways From Delhi to Rejuvenate You.

I think I’ve finally come to love the monsoon season in India. I’m mesmerized by the way the rains paint the mountains an emerald green, and provide relief to the parched desert. The way the clouds playfully flirt with the moon at night. The way the monsoon mist descends on lakes and waterfalls. The cool breeze, the raindrops on my skin, the smell of the earth, they are all subtle reminders of how travelling makes me feel – liberated.

In Photos: Jaisalmer in The Monsoons.

I’m no monsoon chaser. In fact, I’ve spent most monsoons running away from the rains. But when the luxury boutique hotel Suryagarh invited me for a bloggers’ getaway in the desert of Jaisalmer, on the pretext of experiencing its monsoon magic, I got curious. I had never, until then, imagined that the vast wilderness of the Thar Desert could be covered in green pastures and small oases, or that the clear blue desert sky could be engulfed with grey clouds on a terrain so flat, you could literally see them burst into rain at the far end of the desert. The rains in Rajasthan were magical alright, but you shouldn’t believe me until you get a glimpse yourself:

In Photos: Bhap Village, Rajasthan.

Late last year, I visited Bhap village, near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Despite being one of India’s most travelled states, Rajasthan harbors secrets that take long to find, and even longer to forget. Bhap village, surrounded by a serene village lake, gorgeous salt pans, massive sand dunes, and friendly people, is one such secret. This photo essay is a collection of fond memories from the days I spent there: *** 1. SOAKING IN THE SERENITY OF RAJASTHAN’S LAKES in Bhap village. Bhap itself is a typical Indian village with no proper sewage or drainage system, but after a disheartening walk through its narrow by-lanes, arriving on the pristine shores of this village lake is nothing short of amazing. Across the lake, we could spot several herds of camels trotting along in the desert. *** 2. LAUGHING WITH VILLAGE KIDS in a village near Bhap, where Dalit families are still discriminated against and not allowed to visit the village temple. The smiles of these Dalit children give hope that India’s future will be brighter than that. *** …

rural Rajasthan, Rajasthan life, Rajasthan farms

A Flavor of Rural Rajasthan.

Swarms of people greet me as I alight at the Jaipur railway station, some arriving in the pink city with royal expectations, some transiting through it to seek the desert culture of Rajasthan, and many slyly trying to identify first-timers to the city so they can put their touting hat on. I incessantly nod no to the constant soliciting of Madam auto, Madam taxi and Madam hotel, until I reach the exit of the station and someone’s Madam auto soliciting succeeds. I can see his bewilderment when I ask to go to Surya Vatika Road on the highway towards Chomu, and the fare negotiation is skewed in my favour for once, because he has no idea where we are going. We drive past the bustling city, past the resorts that line its outskirts, and turn off the main highway into a by-lane that winds along vast patches of dry land, barren even at the onset of spring. We occasionally see signs of the organic farm I’m heading to, and a few wrong turns & some …

Royal Rajasthan

The pages of Indian history textbooks spring to life in Rajasthan. My winter trip to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur transported me to the pre-Brit India of royalty, grandeur and power.  Despite the cold north, days are exasperatingly hot in Rajasthan, with frigid nights. Our road trips were filled with mirages, which tend to appear magical, despite tenth grade Physics. The sky was always a majestic blue, unlike I’ve seen elsewhere  in India. Even sunset in the state was different, more spectacular, with definite colors in sharp phases and a lingering after-sunset. The night sky was a sight I’ll never forget, especially in Jaisalmer; I have never seen so many stars twinkling in the pitch-black sky. Flooded with blue-painted houses, Jodhpur is known as the Blue City. It is home to one of the biggest forts in India, Umaid Bhawan, which took 15 years to build and is a proud glimpse into the luxury that our country could once boast. As a tourism-fed economy however, one half of Umaid Bhawan was bought by Tata and converted into the …