Rocky terrain, barren deserts , long days of relentless sun and aromas wafted over from the kitchens, gossamer heritage of Rajasthan is nothing less than magical kaleidoscope. Thinking of Rajasthan would always create a vision of the magic carpet flying over the desert outside the walls of the city with warrior traditions , hunting expeditions, ceremonial repasts. The shimmering sand, golden sandstone and parched trees creates sense of deja vu associates with this dry arid region.
Rajasthan’s travelling route helps one to identify that how cities here are colour coordinated like Jaipur is pink, Jhalawar is purple, Jodhpur is blue and Udaipur is white. As a tourist, there is always so much to do and check out here regardless of whether one has an inclination towards historical forts or handicrafts or local food or bars inside palaces. Rajasthan is thriving on tourism and hospitality industry. Last year, my trip to the majestic Rajasthan had unrolled some ecstatic experience. (Download the audio tour app TripMyWay to know more about these places.)
My imagination ran wild with its vibrant colour palette bursting through the desert in all possible shades of rust, blues, reds, browns and greens.
Like most of the tourists, I hopped on for a camel ride gloated in such vibrant attires. As we proceeded towards the destined location, we witnessed tunes of the kartaal and whirl swings of Ghoomar damsels that painted a vibrant canvas amidst of arid landscapes.
While I got down from the camel to check around, I saw some locals by the side of Paar that they use to store water. The rajasthanis have over centuries created their own ways of water harvesting to survive. The Paar is one of these ways used to secure the minimal water received annually. It is a catchment of water percolating into the sandy base. It links to small wells in the catchment area.
While scanning through the rugged south-eastern region and barren north-western, one could see that the locals are proud of their heritage. There is history echoing from all these war scarred forts and breath-taking lake palaces.
Always known as the land of the kings, boasting of its beauty, it seemed that the sand dunes are also soaked in legends and folklores.
But how with time, this arid zone blessed with extreme weather conditions has revamped itself into one of the most vibrant hamlet infused with cultural ethos.
While travelling around Rajasthan, gorging on the Rajasthani cuisine is a must for every traveller. To start with the royalty cuisines coming to the local daal baati and choorma, the state’s hospitality is steeped into art and culture. Here the local cuisine is influenced by many factors, such as the environmental, social, geographical, cultural and historical. Influenced by the state’s warring community, their food can be stored up for several days without heating. Geographically with the scarcity of water and vegetation, here the locals prefer using clarified butter, camel milk and buttermilk instead of water for cooking. They shared the trivia of how the bygone royal era of the Rajput rulers had invented chutneys prepared with mint, coriander and garlic. The community’s passion for hunting has shaped the culinary art of Rajasthan. At one of the palaces while dining, they shared the trivia of how the royals used to cook the hunted animals and served them to their guests with the spirit of Athithi Devo Bhava. Junglee Maas is still one of the most delectable item in the Rajasthani cuisines that tops every traveller’s to do list.
The vibrant bazaars of Jodhpur are set in narrow alleys. Both sides of the alley are lined with textiles in bright prints unique to this area –tie and dye leheriya as well as the majestic gota patti. The Johari bazaar of Jaipur houses shimmer infused precious stones and jewels to pick. These jewellers have been crafting jewellery and jewel encrusted accessories for the royals for centuries.
Its not just the clothes and accessories that have been infused with color and shimmer. The buildings too are heavily decorated with frescoes, handicrafts, miniature paintings, jewel encrusted pillars, facades, marble jharokhas—locals have no doubt created the brightest landscape.
Travellers to India expect Rajasthan to be all desert. But, I found all the colors of India to be brighter under the hot Rajasthan sun.
It is one of the best places to visit in India if you are looking for contrasts. Where barren lands are dotted with camels adorned with sparkling mirrors and women in colors that make up for the dry gold sands. With nature’s ignorance, no one could stop this arid landscape to create its own vibrant canvas. With its land and spirit soaked in splendor, it turns out like a tent of beauty, magic and endless poetry to which every traveler wishes to come back time and again.