The ancient-est of lands of an ancient country, Rajasthan has many magical secrets to discover. Welcome to the Estate of the Rajahs, a mythical empire of kings and their imperial fortresses and extravagant bastions.
India is scattered with marvellous ruins and crumbling castles, but nowhere will you see citadels as glorious as the ones here, rising domineeringly from the desert backdrop like fabled illusions of a yesteryear.
From the sweeping desert Thar in the West which is home to Banjaras, the first nomadic tribe of the world, to paragliding and off-roading in an ATV in the desert for the adventure junkies, to tiger and elephant safaris in forest for photography lovers, and listening to Banjara musicians by a bon fire in the desert, experience the famous Rajasthani hospitality.
With tens of forms of art unique to Rajasthan (some nearing extinction) vibrant colours, and gems glittering in the sun, to tons of dance forms and hundreds (literally) of festivals, Rajasthan has it all.
Read: Festivals of Rajasthan
where to go
Must see in Jaipur is the Jal Mahal (palace on water), Amber Fort and the little known Nahar Garh Fort. Melancholy solitary town.
Read Jaipur: The relic of a bygone era
From Jaipur, go to Pushkar, where although the main attraction is the Brahma Temple, you must not miss the temple of Savitri Devi, wife of Brahma, who sits on a hill overlooking the temple of Brahma in a rage that has lasted centuries.
Read The camel festival of Pushkar
16 Hours to the West of Pushkar, at the beginning of Thar desert, lies Jaisalmer. Take a camel safari into the desert here, ride into the sand dunes and listen to Rajasthani Banjara (nomadic) musicians sing sad, solitary love songs that echo into the silent sunset of the desert.
Read Jaisalmer & the Thar desert
Udaipur, with its five beautiful lakes, and Jodhpur, 'The Yellow City' are also great places to visit in Rajasthan.
Read Udaipur: The city of lakes
Read Jodhpur: The Blue city of Rajasthan
In colourful Rajasthan, find the heartiest and scrumptious-est meals, the traditional-est dances and the curious-est customs
You will find many budget guest houses at Pushkar. My personal favourites are Namaste & Peacock House.