Travel Guide to Rajasthan & the North
Wild Frontiers’ Jonny Bealby presents a travel guide to Rajasthan and the north of India.
For Wild Frontiers Rajasthan and the North consists of the north-western states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the Punjab, with Delhi and Agra thrown in for good measure. Over half of all first time travellers to India visit Rajasthan and for good reason. With a plethora of magnificent monuments, its vibrant cities and fairy-tale heritage of Rajput palaces — now converted into some of the most atmospheric hotels anywhere in the world — Rajasthan is arguably India’s most colourful state.
First and foremost there is the Golden Triangle; a natural routing that takes you from Delhi, with its great flight connections, through Agra and the essential Taj Mahal to Jaipur, the states capital and one of the most lively and evocative towns in the whole region. From here you can travel southwest through Pushkar, with its famous camel fair, Jodhpur, the Blue City, and on to Udaipur and the Venice of the East. Or you could head out on the more remote but every bit as romantic desert routing, heading due west our of Delhi on what was one of the southern branches of the Old Silk Road to take in Bikanir, Nagaur and the most famous of all the desert town, Jailsalmer. But there’s also another way to go, to travel on a slower routing through the Rajasthani countryside, staying at some of the States most romantic rural palaces such as at Ramathra, Bhensrorgarh, Deogarh or Castle Bijaipur — which is where I am now. This really is quintessential India; the India of our childhood imagination, a calm quiet land where little of modern India appears, a place that is perfect for walking, cycling, riding or just relaxing.
Further afield there is the very under explored and deeply fascinating state of Gujarat. This is a region of fabulous temples, such as the amazing world heritage site at Palitana — where I was two years back recceying our new trip to the region. Gujarat is also home to some extraordinary landscapes and wildlife and some of the most diverse and interesting people in the country. Those of you a that are interested in textiles should make a special effort to come here as they are among the best the country, if not the world, can offer. And finally another fascinating place to squeeze into this region is Amristsar.
Holy city to the Sikhs, it is home to the amazing Golden Temple, the infamous Jahwallah Barg and the peculiar but utterly captivating, closing of the gate ceremony at the border with Pakistan. Which is something that has to be seen to be believed! As I said at the start, most people coming to India will visit Rajasthan and the North — and for very good reason. It offers everything the first timer or committed Indophile needs to have an amazing Indian experience.
Wild Frontiers has a number of small group tours to Rajasthan and the North, including our classic Taj, Temples and Tigers, our Desert Forts and Palaces and our more offbeat India in Slow Motion and with our experts in our office in London we can design bespoke travel to the region as well. So come and see this amazing part of India; it’ll stay with you forever.