Get to know Rajasthan
By Martha Hales
Rajasthan is the India of Maharajahs. From the bustle of Delhi to the serenity of the Taj Mahal and the romance of Udaipur, the regal history provides classic images of India everywhere you go. Monumental forts and palaces are scattered throughout this northern state, each uniquely charming and distinctly memorable. Combine sightseeing in the great cities with some time spent in rural Rajasthan and you will see the area through local eyes, giving you a greater understanding of the way of life in this fascinating part of India.
Reflecting its grand culture of riches, the cuisine of Rajasthan is a delight for the senses, and well known throughout India and beyond. Typical dishes use complex spices and plenty of ghee, creating flavoursome combinations you won’t want to miss. The region is arid and traditionally foods are prepared with milk and buttermilk instead of water, lending them a delicious creamy texture. The culinary heritage of the area is predominantly vegetarian, but there are some meat dishes which reflect the Rajput influence. An acute lack of water means that there is not much scope for cultivating fresh vegetables, so Rajasthani cuisine is reliant on pulses and grains for much of its bulk.
All the beautiful towns in the area have their own specialities, and to experience these with a local twist, why not participate in a cookery class? Our local experts in India can arrange for you to learn some classic recipes of Rajasthan by cooking them yourself under the guidance of a local chef. If food is your major interest, have a look at the inspirational culinary tour, which can be adapted to suit your priorities and preferences.
Rajasthan is a masterclass in Indian culture and heritage and many of the iconic sights in the region are known the world over. Once you have enjoyed the splendour of the Amber Fort, soaked up the magic of the Taj Mahal at dusk and strolled through the delightful blue city of Jodphur, why not get a flavour of local culture by enjoying some time away from the main tourist draws?
There are plenty of unique and wonderful experiences on offer in rural Rajasthan which help you get under the skin of this unique part of the world. Spend time in small villages, explore the backwaters by bike and visit the mainstay of local economy - the bustling markets.
As well as rickshaw rides and street food tours, Rajasthan is a brilliant place to try your hand at some local skills honed over generations. Perhaps you would like to understand the processes used to create the famous blue pottery of Jaipur, or learn how to inlay intricate marble designs like those on display in Delhi? There are opportunities for learning new skills in many of Rajasthan’s premier destinations, such as a rug weaving demonstration in Jodphur or a block printing workshop in Jaipur.
With newfound insight into the local handicrafts, take your expert eye on a shopping spree at one of the many bazaars and markets famed for their colourful goods and large range of crafts for sale at incredible prices. All of these activities can be incorporated into your tour of Rajasthan, and you can add in other options too, such as safaris, horse riding or cycling.
Rajasthan is storybook India, ripe for discovery and bursting with incredible sights. To begin to create your bespoke itinerary, get in touch with our experts who will use their local knowledge to make your dream Rajasthan trip into reality. If you are looking for advice or would like to chat about your travel plans, give us a call in office on +44 (0) 117 325 7898.