What to see and eat in Rajasthan for the first time visitor
India, especially for the first time culinary conscious visitor, throws up many challenges on what to choose and what to leave as far as destinations and food are concerned. From the business and glitter hub of Mumbai to the inviting beaches of Goa there are hundreds of fascinating places to see and savour a delicious meal that it may take ages just to experience one particular region. On my first trip to India I was blown away by the food of Kerala but it has since left me hungry to taste more of India and I wait to explore more. Having only done a taster as such of India in Kerala I am rather keen to visit to the north of India especially Rajasthan for several reasons.
While there is no doubt that the Cosmopolitan cities of India, have gained the upper hand in wooing both local and foreign visitors to explore their sights and sample the varied cuisine in high class ambience, there are some places which are equally delightful to visit and relish the food at the same time. To truly experience India one needs to make several visits to get a true taste of the food, culture and history. After watching loads of Bollywood series I have come to realise that my next visit to India must include Rajasthan. Rajasthan for example, has much to offer in terms of a color and history and some hearty Indian dishes to go with the initial sensory and mystical experience. Having said that, the state itself is so large, that it can take months to see completely.The ideal itinerary,suggested here from Rajasthan Holiday Packages , covers all the top sights and the best dishes to enjoy. So lets get going and discovering why I can not wait to go here…..
Start with Jaipur
Jaipur, the Pink City of Rajasthan, is also it’s amazing capital and makes a perfect place to act as a base for your holiday. And as all my readers know I am obsessed with the colour pink so without a doubt starting here in Jaipur would suit me just fine. Right from the intricate architecture of the beautiful forts, palaces and princely Havelis to the labyrinth of shops of Bapu Bazar retailing in almost everything including precious and semi precious jewellery, Jaipur acts is a magnet to every tourist. Jaipur is indeed a feast for all your senses as you take a step back in time and discover
On the food front, both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes are an institution among themselves in Jaipur. Nowhere else can you taste the best Laal Maas or Red (goat) Meat than while sipping a drink on the lawns of the exclusive Rambagh Palace Hotel. Having watched hundreds of cookery shows on the cuisine of North India I am literally drooling at the idea of eating Laal Maas.. For veggies, the onion kachauri is a typical local dish and a common street food item available throughout the city.Street food features often in the cuisne of India with a variety of sweet and savoury dishes on every street corner along side cups of hot Chai.
Head next to Udaipur
Udaipur is also known as the Lake City of Rajasthan because of the many picturesque man-made water bodies which are found here. Even though the state sits on the Thar desert, the sight of looking at so much water in the lakes gently lapping on the walls of the palaces is quite incredible. As in most towns and cities of Rajasthan, Udaipur too has its own unique culture and distinct food habits than other places.
Udaipur is home to some of the best traditional shopping and the Bada Bazar and Hathipole markets are of world renowned fame.There are some iconic food outlets here selling authentic dal bati and churma making a signature dish which is totally quintessential with Udaipur and Rajasthan. To be mesmerised by some really good views and even better with food and beverages, pay a visit to UPRE, a unique rooftop restaurant for the perfect romantic setting.
Experience epic Jaisalmer
It could become quite hot and dry and sits on the desolate fringes of the Thar desert, but even then this is one city you can rarely give a miss. Set among sand dunes, Jaisalmer has earned the nickname of the Golden City due to the yellow stone buildings and the endless miles of sand surrounding them.The massive Jaisalmer Fort, located on the Trikuta hill, looms over the city and is a must visit spot. With 99 bastions and three layered walls, the fort was almost impregnable to say the least.
One of the most unforgettable experiences one can have in Jaisalmer is a night camel safari. This is one of the few places on earth where one can travel to the interior of the desert and camp under the stars. Back in the city, one can even today feel the laid back atmosphere of Jaisalmer as it is still untouched by rampant construction found elsewhere. The city is quaint and so is the food. While dishes from the world over are made here for the large number of foreigners, some truly authentic Rajasthani cuisine is available at The Trio. Sitting under a tent at the edge of a desert and having a royal meal in candlelight, is all about Jaisalmer. Do not forget to visit the Lassi Shop, the only authorised place selling really potent bhang or marijuana drink which is a big part of the culture of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is situated in North India and is historically famous for its forts and palaces which once served as princely homes to many a royal family. The epic architecture, wildlife, colourful festivals and exceptional food has made the state a real jewel in the Indian crown. It is often nicknamed the “Land of the Kings”.
The people of Rajasthan are famously called the Marwaris. The term Marwari has come to mean a canny businessman from the State of Rajasthan. The Birlas, Goenkas, Ruias, Singhanias, are among the top business groups of India. They are the famous marwaris from Rajasthan. The people of Rajasthan are of course, a lot more than the popular marwari. The term marwari is used rather sweepingly over a diverse set of people.
Equally famous are the Rajput chieftans of Rajasthan. These are the ones who built the grand forts, palaces and havelis of Rajasthan. History is replete with legends of their bravery, their romantic forays and their adventures. Local ballads sing songs of their valour and their sacrifices.
Rajasthan comes alive with exuberant folk dances, melodious music and spectacular festivities. Typically, men still wear twirling moustaches and women adorn themselves in multihued costumes. The people speak local dialects, and an old saying explains that the dialect and the men’s turban change every 24 miles. The group of dialects spoken in Rajasthan is called Rajasthani.
Traditional Rajasthani music is very typical. The folk music has a very melodious and typically local flavour. Bards sing ballads of local heroes in this musical style. This has also attracted the attention of modern day music composers. Music also received the patronage of the kingdoms of Rajasthan till recently. This led to the development of classical Hindustani music in the courts of the Palaces.
Rajasthan has a fair for every religious occasion, for every change of season and for every harvest. The people of Rajasthan work hard, are peaceful and law abiding and enjoy their culture, their music, festivals and fairs.
My 10 reasons to visit Rajasthan :
- To buy Rajasthani jewellery I am utterly crazy about the traditional silver jewellery worn by the women of Rajasthan. So yes I will be coming back with a heavy bag of silver jewellery.
- Take a million of pictures of my Pink city
- To stay in a Haveli and feel like Indian Royalty.
- Experience the Indian desert safari.
- To eat my way through this state.
- Experience the culture and history of the Rajasthani people.
- Stay at the Heritage Hotels.
- Shopping of course !
- Go on a safari in the jungle and see Tigers.
- Experience a luxury train journey.
I can think of another ten reasons but Rajasthan you have stolen my heart and I can not wait to explore, discover and taste your beautiful and vibrant state.