My photos from Rajasthan
Bhundi palace I Bikaner fort I Chittorgath fort I Dungapur fort I Eklinji temple I Jaipur I Jaisalmer fort I Jodhpur fort I Kota palace I Mount Abu - Jain temple I Nathadwara temple I Osian temples I Pokaran temples I Puskar festival I Ranakpur Jain Temple I Udaipur I Vasistha asram
Population: 50 million
Area: 342,000 sq km
Literacy Rate: 39%
Best time to visit: mid-October to March
Main Languages: Rajasthani and Hindi
Rajasthan is one of the most interesting and most visited states in India. Rajasthan means “Land of the Kings.” It is the home of the Rajputs, the warrior class who were famous for fighting to the death against all odds.
The southeast area of Rajasthan is hilly and rough. Western Rajasthan is for the most part a big desert with no shortage of camels and interesting people. In the northwest there is the Thar desert, which until you get past Jaisalmer, is mainly dry land that is full of shrub. Beyond Jaisalmer going into Pakistan, there are some sand dunes.
There are some excellent places to visit in Rajasthan, including great forts and palaces. Jaisalmer, in the extreme west of Rajasthan, has a romantic, medieval fort built on top of a hill. Jodhpur has a dramatic fort on top of high hill overlooking the city, with a beautiful palace inside.
Udaipur has a fantastic palace and some beautiful, peaceful lakes. Jaipur, the capital, has the deserted Amber Fort outside the city and a newer palace inside the city.
There are also good wildlife reserves in Rajasthan: Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Sariska National Park, and Ranthambhore National Park. In southeast Rajasthan there are several outstanding forts at Bundi, Chittorgarh, and Kota. Pushkar is a peaceful little holy town in the middle of Rajasthan. There are many towns in the Shekhawati area, north of Jaipur, where there are many old beautiful havelis (houses). Rajasthan is packed with interesting and exotic sites.
One of the main highlights of Rajasthan is the local people. Visitors are enchanted by their colorful dress. The people are hard working, friendly and religious. As a class, they are helpful to tourists and will often not tolerate non-Rajasthanis coming to Rajasthan to take advantage of the tourists. So Rajasthan is relatively hassle-free after you get out of the big cities.
There are several major festivals in Rajasthan, the most famous being the Camel Fair in Pushkar. Other important festivals are the Dussehra Festival in Jaipur, the Jaisalmer Desert Festival in Jaisalmer, the Camel Festival, and the Nagaur Fair.