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Rajasthan

Photo © Sairajs

Travel Guide Asia India Rajasthan

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Introduction

Curious Children

Curious Children

© All Rights Reserved Ardy

Rajasthan is your typical India and is one of the most visited regions of the countries. With opulent Maharaja Palaces, gigantic Forts, some great wildlife, crumbling but delightfully painted merchant havelis and even a pink and blue city, you won't be disappointed when travelling around this fascinating area in the northwest of India.

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Brief History

Rajasthan , known as “the land of Kings” is the largest state of India by area. It is located in the west of India. It comprises of the area of the large, Thar Desert, which is also known as the Great Indian Desert. Rajasthan is also bordered by Haryana to the northeast, Gujarat to the southwest , Madhya Pradesh to the southeast and Punjab to the north. Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state.

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Geography

The main geographic features of Rajasthan are the Thar Desert and the Aravalli Range, which runs through the state from southwest to northeast, almost from one end to the other, for more than 850 kilometres. Mount Abu lies at the southwestern end of the range, separated from the main ranges by the West Banas River, although a series of broken ridges continues into Haryana in the direction of Delhi where it can be seen as outcrops in the form of the Raisina Hill and the ridges farther north. About three-fifths of Rajasthan lies northwest of the Aravallis, leaving two-fifths on the east and south direction.

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Sights and Activities

Thar Desert

Ship of the desert.

Ship of the desert.

© All Rights Reserved daveh

The Thar desert is arid region in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent. It covers much of Rajasthan, extending from here into the southern Haryana and Punjab states and into northern Gujarat state. Apart from India, it also covers the astern Sindh province and southeastern Punjab province in Pakistan. The Sutlej and Indus Rivers and Aravalli Range and Rann of Kutch form its natural boundaries. It is a hilly desert, with large areas of sand dunes, athough the central part is more of a plain with no dunes at all. Unlike much of India, it hasn't got a monsoon season as wet as other parts of the country, although also here the wetter months are from July to October. It's also a good region to see lots of animals typical for this part of India and there are some interesting cities within its boundaries as well, including Jodhpur and the 'capital' of the desert Jaisalmer, where camel rides into the desert are one of the more popular trips.

Other Sights and Activities

Jaisalmer - safari camel sunset vertical

Jaisalmer - safari camel sunset vertical

© All Rights Reserved Camerowska

  • Jodhpur Flying Fox
  • City Palace
  • Hawa Mahal" Palace of the Winds
  • Galta Monkey Temple
  • Jantar Mantar Observatory
  • Monsoon Palace
  • Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake
  • Jaswant Thada
  • Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park
  • Clock Tower and Old City Markets
  • Chittorgarh Fort
  • Jaisalmer Fort
  • Mehrangarh Fort
  • Ranthambore National park
  • The Painted havelis of Shekhawati - The havelis of Shekhawati region - comprising of many small villages/towns- transports you back in time. The region had immense wealth in years gone by and the rich merchant families made big, palatial houses comprising some of the finest wall paintings you will find in India. The region is famously known as the biggest open art gallery in India. Unlike the biggest cities of Rajasthan, which bears imprints of one maharaja or another, Shekhawati was a region made and decorated by the people. Amongst the region, the best havelis lay in the towns of Churu, Ramgarh and Nawalgarh though a number of other towns also have few havelis worth visiting. While several of these havelis are now renovated into heritage hotel properties, most are unattended and are disintegrating fast. Address: North west of Rajasthan

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Events and Festivals

Pushkar Festival

The Pushkarfestival is one of the biggest camel fairs in the world, held in Pushkar. Thousands of people during this day go to the banks of the Pushkar Lake where the fair takes place and where livestock livestock, including camels, cows, sheep and goats, is sold. A camel race marks the start off the festival, and music, songs and exhibitions are held throughout the day. Although the dates of Pushkar Fair depend upon the movement of the moon, traditionally it mostly falls in November. It falls on the day of Poornima (full moon night) in the month of Karthika. On this day, according to legend, the Hindu god Brahma sprung up the lake, so thousands of Hindu devotees take dip in the Pushkar lake, washing away the sins. The water of the lake is believed to have healing properties.

Desert Festival, Jaisalmer

The Desert Festival is organized in Jaisalmer, usually in the month of January or February. The duration of the festival is three days and it comes to an end on Poornima, the full moon day. The main purpose of the Rajasthan Desert Festival is to display the rich and colorful culture of the state. Dressed in vibrant and colorful attire, the people of Rajasthan dance to the tunes lingering ballads of heroism, romance and tragedy of the local heroes.

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Weather

The coolest, driest time over most of the country is from December to February, when light northerly winds bring clear skies and little rain, and nights can even be chilly. Rajasthan is extremely hot from March to May, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 50 °C, and averages are well into the 40's.
From June to October temperatures drop a bit but it stays hot and humid, with sometimes severe showers, though not the extreme rainfall compared to many other parts of India.

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Getting There

By Plane

  • Jaipur International Airport (Airport code JAI) is located around 13 kilometres from the city and has a number of flights linking the city to all the major cities of India. Recently the airport has been upgraded to an international airport and to begin with flights are available to Sharjah, Dubai and Muscat. Other destinations include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar. The airport can be easily reached from the city centre by taxis, autorickshaws and city buses.
  • Domestic flights are available from the Jodhpur airport (JDH) which is located around 5 kilometres from the city. Regular service carriers like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, and Kingfisher Airlines operate flights from the airport to cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
  • Udaipur Airport, known as Dabok airport is located around 23 kilometres from the city centre and has a number of flights linking Udaipur to Delhi and Mumbai. Recently the airport has been upgraded to an international airport but is yet to begin international flights. Unfortunately there is no public transport from the airport to the city centre and taxis cost around 200-300 Indian rupees.

By Train

Rajasthan has 4600 km of railway track. This railway network connects Jaipur and other major cities with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The head quarter of North-West Railways is based at Jaipur.

By Car

The state has length of 8627 kilometres of state highway and 5655 kilometres national highway. Four lanes NH8 passes through the Jaipur and Udaipur and Agra is connected to Jaipur through a four lane road.

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Eat

What not to miss in Rajasthan?

  • Mawa KachoriI - A Indian Kachori with sudar syrup and mawa. Available at all sweet shops.
  • Ghewar - Ghewar is a deep fried dish. Try having it at Johri Bazar and Rawat Sweets
  • Mirchi Bada - Green chillies dunked in besan and are deep fried.
  • Rajasthani Subji - Rajasthani curry, Pakodi, Ker Sangri and Gatte ki Subji

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Sleep

Malji ka KamraHeritage haveliChuru, ShekhawatiHaveli28.3074.96

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Health

See also Travel Health

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Safety

See also Travel Safety

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Post

India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost 50rs to 200rs. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.

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This is version 30. Last edited at 12:33 on Dec 23, 13 by Utrecht. 19 articles link to this page.

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