I am a foothill gal – mountains of Nainital, a district in the Kumaon foothills of the outer Himalaya have been my humble abode since childhood, located in Uttarakhand in the northern part of India.
To travel is my passion whenever I get an opportunity which takes me around to explore the unknown states of India. I am ready to reel in and pack my bags and discover. So here I am with one of my travel story which is very close to my heart, a cherished memoir of “land of kings”.
I have always been fascinated with the sand dunes of the Great Indian Desert, and coastal regions down South. The western part of the state consists largely of the Thar Desert. My trip to the state of the northwest frontier in India to Rajasthan, formerly composed of numerous princely states mostly under the Rajput rule, was integrated into independent India after 1947 and gained statehood in 1956.
Studying in an engineering college in Ambala, a very large group of college students with me covered almost half of the Rajasthan which started from Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan → Ajmer Shareef → Pushkar → HaldiGhati → Kumbalgarh fort → Udaipur in a weeks’ time.
Due to the dominant color scheme of its buildings, Jaipur is also known as the Pink City, a very animated vibrant town to visit. With a wonderful combination of ancient royal heritage populated with the forts and the palaces with mesmerizing ‘Rajputana’ style of living. Exploring Rajasthan and visiting all the places in one week was quite a task and moving around with the whole camaraderie with so much of lively vigorous expedition was something to ponder a way too reminiscent era.
We started our journey in the month of March 2016 which was so strikingly animated and vivaciously unbelievable. Our first stop was at Amer Fort, situated high up on a slope, made of red sandstone and marble, the appealing, lavish castle is spread out on four levels, each reaching out with a patio. The really intriguing place for myself was SukhNiwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace is something which gives you an understanding as to how the ancient architects’ built green spaces keeping in mind the non-availability of electric supply. Amerfort majorly consists of Diwan-i-Aam, the Diwan-i-Khas, the Sheesh Mahal, JaiMandir.
My other favorite place from Jaipur, which mirrors rich village cultural heritage and if you want to experience a real taste of Rajasthani food to dance to the hands-on tradition of rural life ChokiDhani and is a must-visit place for you to experience the exquisite rustic hamlet. We all enjoyed the spirited cheerfulness with our friends and danced like with total amusing heartfelt mischievous childlike light-hearted liveliness and absolutely overlooking the realm of mortal existence.
We then headed to Pushkar which is in center-east part of Rajasthan, on the western side of Aravali range. A very popular place for hosting fairs which continues for five days and is a period of relaxation and merry-making for the villagers. After sightseeing in in Pushkar we reached at 10.00 pm to Ajmer Sharif Dargah, a shrine of a Sufi saint, MoinuddinChishti and which was well-lit and gave us some sense of purity. I tied and secured a holy thread and made a wish which was a very rare experience for me. We had late night dinner at an interestingly popular place in Ajmer which consisted of Chicken Korma and roomalirotis, which was super delicious and I can still feel the nostalgic mouth-watering moment till today.
As we continued our journey we reached early morning and visited a very famous temple called Ek-lingji. It houses 108 temples chiselled out of sandstone and marble, was built in 734 AD. Enclosed by high walls, and is devoted to a form of Lord Shiva is very old and pious. It is quite popular amongst tourists’.
We started our journey for Haldighati, this recorded site saw the immense unbelievable fight battle between MaharanaPratap and the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1576 AD. Our trip would have been incomplete if we would not have experienced a camel ride which was super awesome.
Our next stop was at Kumbhalgarh, a Mewar rampart on the westerly scope of Aravalli Hills, in the Rajsamand area close to Udaipur. Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by MaharanaKumbha. The monstrous fortress, included a 36 km long divider, has seven great doors and seven ramparts, one inside the other making it an invulnerable structure. As per old folk stories, MaharanaKumbha used to light the fort that devoured fifty kilograms of ghee and a hundred kilograms of cotton to give light to the farmers who worked amid the evenings in the valley. When you drive uphill in the open jeep and that too with the bunch of cracked up friends, fun x 5 times of comprehensive all-encompassing of cheerfulness surrounds you. Blissful sound and dance shows are organized on a large scale to commemorate the occasion, with well-lit fort as the backdrop creating a folklore mood reflecting a twinkling night for the visitors. We headed to the camping site later and organized a bonfire and hummed and danced to Rajasthani folklore.
Our last stop was Udaipur also known as the “City of Lakes” because of its sophisticated lake system is a major tourist destination and is known for its history, culture, scenic locations, and the Rajput-era palaces.
A seven-day journey and I have tilts of moments wherein we randomly started dancing in streets of Udaipur which was one of the best experiences and bystanders and some of the far-off vacationers from foreign land joined us too.
I spent the whole vacation trying to capture the magical radiance of spirited Rajasthan through my lenses. Truthfully speaking perhaps the nostalgic memories or pictures clicked will not do justice to what you witness with your naked eye.