Isolation Escapism – Rajasthan
The jewel in India's crown
- 22nd June 2020
Whilst we cannot physically transport you to our destinations themselves at present, we would like to offer you a little virtual escapism. We do hope that they will be a welcome distraction as we sit out these extraordinary times, and act as an inspiration for your next adventure.
In our fourteenth Isolation Escape we invite you to take a journey through Royal Rajasthan, India’s largest state by area state by area and the seventh largest by population. The jewel in India’s crown, Rajasthan is truly the ultimate land of maharajas, opulent palaces, elaborate medieval forts, and the majestic tiger. A kaleidoscope of colourful festivals and a daily life which assaults the senses, Rajasthan cannot fail to touch you deeply and will remain with you long after you leave.
We begin our travels in the chaotic, pink city of Jaipur, the state’s capital, brimming with colourful bazaars, mystery and romance. A collision of two worlds, the frenetic streets heave with herds of motorbikes, unhurried camels, rickshaws and hurtling buses, while Jaipur’s magnificent grandeurs quietly rest amongst the commotion arousing a gentle slowness as one takes in the likes of the City Palace, the honeycomb Hawa Mahal and the imposing Amber Fort.
Travelling west we arrive in Jodhpur, home to Rajasthan’s most spectacular fort, Mehrangarh, rising above the Blue City, protecting the humming sea of blue block houses it overlooks. Carved from the rock it sits upon, the natural, seemingly plain exterior of Mehrangarh hides an opulent interior of several palaces, renowned for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards. Below the fort, the blue block houses line an intricate web of streets and alleyways hiding bustling markets selling absolutely everything. Venture further outside the city and the desert and it’s Bishnoi people await with a warm welcome, keen to share their principles in protecting the wildlife and nature that surrounds them.
Moving south, Lake Pichola provides a sensational and tranquil centrepiece for the city of Udaipur. Dominating the lake’s eastern shoreline, the rambling City Palace, an architectural masterpiece, houses a museum, heritage hotels and the former royal family. At the lake’s centre, the Lake Palace, perhaps most recognisable as ‘Octopussy’s layer’ is as just as romantic as one would imagine, calmly rising, as if floating, on the lakes calm waters. Beyond the palace, deep in the city, myriad slender, twisted streets open to vibrant markets showcasing the states cultural wealth and colour. Nearby the surrounding countryside, Aravalli Hills and charm of old-world Rajputana, beg for exploration.
Our journey through Rajasthan concludes in Ranthambore, a wildlife sanctuary is known for its Bengal tigers (between 60 and 67 in 2018), residing in the park’s deciduous forests alongside Indian leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, striped hyena, sloth bear and more than 300 species of birds. Watched over by the daunting 10th–century Ranthambore Fort and punctuated by ancient temples and mosques, historical hunting pavilions, crocodile-filled lakes and overgrown cenotaphs, this is the best area for spotting a tiger in Rajasthan, with morning and afternoon jeep safaris, leaving from the beautiful camps surrounding the park.
If you’d like to start planning a holiday to Rajasthan while waiting for this storm to pass, please drop us a line and we’ll be delighted to send you further information on India’s truly majestic and opulent state.