A road trip from Delhi doesn’t always mean a hill station, high mountain passes, and valleys. Sometimes it means colourful cities, royal havelis, and a vast desert. The proximity of Rajasthan from Delhi even makes it an easy weekend getaway. The state is brimming with ancient architecture, culture, art, and landscapes. If you want more convincing, we’ve listed out the reasons for you:
1. The Royalties: With umpteen forts and palaces in Rajasthan, the whole environment of this place is majestic. The famous heritage hotel, Neemrana Fort Palace, and the other major forts of Jaipur like Amer, Hawa Mahal are just a few hours from Delhi. Explore these forts on a misty winter morning and experience time travel.
- Mehrangarh (Jodhpur) – The grand Mehrangarh Fort is well known for its Daulat Khana (museum) where you can find artefacts from the Mughal period. You can explore Mehrangarh in a unique way by ziplining here.
- Vintage car rally (Jai Mahal, Jaipur) – For the history and vintage car aficionados, winters in Rajasthan has one more delight – the annual Vintage and Classic Car Rally in Jaipur (January). This event brings together the most iconic vintage car models from around the country.
- Ranthambore Fort (Ranthambore) – This fort lies inside the Ranthambore National Park which is famous for its tigers. You can occasionally hear the tigers roaring in the background while touring the fort.
- Kumbhalgarh (near Udaipur) – Birthplace of the famous Mewar ruler Maharana Pratap and a World Heritage Site, Kumbhalgarh is the most important fort in Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. It has the second longest wall in the world after Great Wall of China
2. Thar Desert (The Great Indian Desert): Other than the royal palaces if there is anything that describes Rajasthan, it is the vast ocean of sand. Jaisalmer is the most famous starting point for a desert safari. But if you prefer something closer, Bikaner is a great option too. Cruise through the desert in a jeep or on a camel and explore the sand dunes, desert animals, and mud houses.
3. Art and Culture: Rajasthan is brimming with cultural history – and the art and handicrafts here reflect the same. Immensely famous for its textile industry, folk culture, handicrafts, and jewelry; Rajasthan tests your shopping capacity!
- Winter Festival Mount Abu – Held in the last week of December, this festival celebrates the Rajasthani culture and winters. The fair exhibits local art, folk dance performances, music concerts, and lastly fireworks.
- Pushkar Camel Fair (2nd – 17th November): Pushkar Fair attracts the most number of tourists in Rajasthan. Even though a livestock fair, you will find all kinds of stalls here; right from art to food. Don’t forget to check out the handmade Mojaris and Kathputlis.
- Jodhpur International Kite Festival (January): One of the most colourful festivals Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great enthusiasm at the Jodhpur Polo Ground. Kites of all colours and shapes adore the sky. People from all over the country come to the festival; some to boast their skills and some to watch.
4. Wildlife: A perfect destination for all the nature and wildlife lovers; Rajasthan has a number of national parks and bird sanctuaries.
- Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur): Just a 4 hour drive from Delhi, Keoladeo National Park is famous for the rare migratory ducks like Marbled Teal, Greylag Goose and attracts tourists from all over the world in winters.
- Sariska Tiger Reserve: Sariska Tiger Reserve had lost all its Royal Bengal Tigers once. Though not as abundant as the other national parks around, it has managed to relocate 14 tigers back again. It might be a little tough but spotting tigers amidst Aravalli hills here, is absolutely worth it.
5. Food: If you think it all ends at the culture, architecture and the art, you will be surprised to see what the Rajasthani cuisine has to offer you. Be it a meat dish (Rajputana) or a vegetarian dish (Marwari), this place has something for everyone. When in the state, try the Rajasthani Thali and the spicy Rajputana meat dishes like Laal Maas (Fiery Mutton curry), and Bhuna Kukda (Dry Chicken). The food here will keep you coming back for more.
A perfect contrast from the snow capped mountains, Rajasthan doesn’t even worry you about the blocked mountain passes. Also, what a lovely way to escape the biting Delhi cold! The plethora of options are there for you, the question is – which one are you road tripping to first?
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