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Rajasthan

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© Lonely Planet Publications
163

Rajasthan
From the cackle of its colour-charged cities to the luminous splendour of its sun-kissed desert,
Rajasthan is romantic India wrapped in gaudy royal robes. Here the fearsome Rajput warrior
clans ruled with gilt-edged swords, plundered wealth and blood-thick chivalrous codes.

Yet Rajasthan’s largely rural population has grown tired of its own backward-looking image.
Jaipur, the dusty pink capital, has rapidly become a fast-paced, modern Indian city, and
literacy has made a rapid rise in the region. While the land is invariably harsh and droughts
are a constant menace, imaginations are now fixed firmly on the future.
The state is diagonally divided into the hilly southeastern region and the barren northwestern Great Thar Desert, which extends across the border into Pakistan – now accessible
via train. The highest point is reached at the pleasant hill station of Mt Abu.

HIGHLIGHTS
„ Get gobsmacked at Meherangarh (p234),

the majestic fort of Jodhpur, the bluetinged city
„ Marvel at beautiful Udaipur (p217), then

wander beyond into the Aravalli hills
Shekhawati

„ Go west and get lost in golden Jaisalmer

Fort (p245)
„ Kick back in Bundi (p199), a picture-book

Jaisalmer

Jaipur
Pushkar

Jodhpur

town by a storybook palace
Bundi

„ Relax in Pushkar (p192), a mystical small

town around a holy lake, with one of India’s
fabulous fairs
„ Shuffle around Shekhawati (p185) and

track down it’s frescoed havelis (traditional,
ornately decorated residences)
„ Think pink: sightsee till you can’t see and

shop till you drop in captivating, chaotic Jaipur (p165)

Udaipur

RAJASTHAN

A vast and wonder-laced state with treasures more sublime than those of fable, the Land
of the Kings paints a bold image. Compiling a must-see list in Rajasthan can cripple the fussy
traveller: Meherangarh looming over bright blue Jodhpur, the giant gold sandcastle at Jaisalmer,
the palaces and pageantry of Udaipur, Pushkar’s reverent yet carnival charm, the storybook
whimsy of Bundi and the havelis (traditional, ornately decorated residences) sprinkled through
Shekhawati – see them all, and you’ll see a month fly by faster than the express bound for
Pakistan. Like a microcosm of Mother India, there’s also abundant wildlife and warm people, glitz
and camels, soulful music, glittering saris, tottering turbans and a surprisingly rich cuisine.

164 R A J A S T HA N • • H i s t o r y

lonelyplanet.com

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RAJASTHAN

150 km
90 miles

The external bou...
RAJASTHAN
From the cackle of its colour-charged cities to the luminous splendour of its sun-kissed desert,
Rajasthan is romantic India wrapped in gaudy royal robes. Here the fearsome Rajput warrior
clans ruled with gilt-edged swords, plundered wealth and blood-thick chivalrous codes.
A vast and wonder-laced state with treasures more sublime than those of fable, the Land
of the Kings paints a bold image. Compiling a must-see list in Rajasthan can cripple the fussy
traveller: Meherangarh looming over bright blue Jodhpur, the giant gold sandcastle at Jaisalmer,
the palaces and pageantry of Udaipur, Pushkar’s reverent yet carnival charm, the storybook
whimsy of Bundi and the havelis (traditional, ornately decorated residences) sprinkled through
Shekhawati – see them all, and you’ll see a month fly by faster than the express bound for
Pakistan. Like a microcosm of Mother India, there’s also abundant wildlife and warm people, glitz
and camels, soulful music, glittering saris, tottering turbans and a surprisingly rich cuisine.
Yet Rajasthan’s largely rural population has grown tired of its own backward-looking image.
Jaipur, the dusty pink capital, has rapidly become a fast-paced, modern Indian city, and
literacy has made a rapid rise in the region. While the land is invariably harsh and droughts
are a constant menace, imaginations are now fixed firmly on the future.
The state is diagonally divided into the hilly southeastern region and the barren north-
western Great Thar Desert, which extends across the border into Pakistan – now accessible
via train. The highest point is reached at the pleasant hill station of Mt Abu.
R aj as t h an
HIGHLIGHTS
Get gobsmacked at Meherangarh ( p234 ),
the majestic fort of Jodhpur, the blue-
tinged city
Marvel at beautiful Udaipur ( p217 ), then
wander beyond into the Aravalli hills
Go west and get lost in golden Jaisalmer
Fort ( p245 )
Kick back in
Bundi ( p199 ), a picture-book
town by a storybook palace
Relax in Pushkar ( p192 ), a mystical small
town around a holy lake, with one of India’s
fabulous fairs
Shuffle around
Shekhawati ( p185 ) and
track down it’s frescoed havelis (traditional,
ornately decorated residences)
Think pink: sightsee till you can’t see and
shop till you drop in captivating, chaotic Jaipur ( p165 )
Bundi
Jaipur
Shekhawati
Udaipur
Jodhpur
Pushkar
Jaisalmer
163
© Lonely Planet Publications
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