India has an unrivalled heritage influenced by a history that is several millennia old; the palaces are part of this cultural wealth. The palaces of Rajasthan (North West India), with their idyllic romantic setting, are the most famous; there are, however, several other ‘palatial treasures’ scattered here and there throughout the Indian continent … Here is my personal selection, Read More
The story of Chittorgarh (or Chittor) fort is steeped in heroism and the pride of the Rajputs. It stands as a symbol of courage and sacrifice. This “city of strength and devotion” as it is sometimes called fits that description well : Chittor has known many battles but the echo of the poetess Meerabai’s songs, Read More
Overlooked by its imposing fort (called “the magnificent”), the blue city makes the most of its heritage with a number of top rank cultural festivals. The stunning landscapes of the Thar desert all around and the busy streets of the colourful old town will bring you back to Jodhpur again and again.
Organised tours often bypass the Shekhawati region in northwest Rajasthan, yet in the 18th and 19th centuries it was one of Rajasthan’s richest regions. Wealthy Marwari merchants built huge mansions there, decorated inside and out with sumptuous frescoes in which Hindu mythology mingles with scenes from daily life. These masterpieces have earned the region, Read More
Rajasthan state is in northwest India, on the Pakistan border. This is the India of picture postcards, very popular with tourists and wonderfully colourful, from the pink of Jaipur to the blue of Jodhpur and the gold of Jaisalmer. Bounded by the Thar Desert in the northwest and crossed by the Aravalli hills, this “land, Read More
The city of the supreme god Brahma, spread out around its sacred lake, exudes the heady scent of spirituality that emanates from all leading pilgrimage centres. In October the peaceful town comes alive as pilgrims and camel drivers gather in their thousands for the Pushkar Fair.
Gateway to the Thar desert, the hamlet of Osian – 70km from Jodhpur – takes us back in time to the days when camel trains trudged endlessly along silk road. Osian (oasis) was known in ancient times as a Vedic centre and in the days of the Gupta kings (320-550 CE) as an important halt, Read More
Bikaner is a place apart. It is not yet touristy but it holds some wonderful surprises. The magnificent fort should make the one in Jodhpur green with envy and the old town is like an oriental tale that envelops you in a whirlwind of colours and fragrances.
Rajasthan’s bustling capital, designed according to Vedic concepts, has a lot to offer. From the “palace of winds” to the “floating palace”, the pink city has no close rival except neighbouring Amber, the Jaipur Maharajas’ previous capital.
Jaisalmer is a diadem of gold and sand set gracefully down in the arid wastes of the Thar desert. The beauty of this honey-coloured city is matched only by the luminous desert all around it, where camel caravans laden with precious goods once tramped across the dunes.
Udaipur, city of lakes, an oasis in the arid wastes of Rajasthan, a sweet dream where majestic palaces are reflected in sparkling water. Yes, Udaipur is certainly one of India’s most romantic towns.
“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” (A. St Exupéry,The little Prince). The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is a large, arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent, Read More
The town of Nagaur, halfway between Jodhpur and Bikaner, is clustered around the Ahhichatragarh, a massive fortress that has seen many a battle in its time but is now devoted to culture. Nagaur is an old city. The Mahabharata, India’s great epic, mentions it as the kingdom of Ahichhatrapur which Arjuna conquered and gave, Read More
This corner of paradise on earth is the only hill station in Rajasthan. Not only is it blessed with lush landscapes, it also boasts numerous fascinating temples with age-old legends. Mount Abu is a popular hill station tucked away in the Aravalli hills, near the border with Gujarat. Its top is a rocky plateau, Read More
On the road between Udaipur and Jodhpur, tucked away in a magnificent valley in the Avaralli hills, there stands a gem of architectural virtuosity: the Jain temple of Chaturmukha, one of the largest and finest Jain temples in India and an architectural marvel.The building is so richly and densely decorated that the gaze pans, Read More
India’s Great Wall of China! On the road to Jodhpur, 80km from Udaipur, an imposing construction stands on a hilltop 1100m above sea level. This is Kumbhalgarh fort, a World Heritage site. Its boundary wall, extending over 36km, is the second-longest continuous wall in the world after China’s Great Wall, and also the second largest, Read More
Bundi is one of those small Indian towns that have particular charm. It is an ancient city, dressed in blue like Jodhpur. Its many bazaars are an invitation to idle strolling and, like any town on a human scale, Bundi makes it easy to meet people. The royal palace stands majestically above the town, reminding, Read More