14 TIPS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW DURING YOUR RAJASTHAN TOUR
While scanning a touristic guide of Rajasthan, you feel like you need to stay over at least few months to be able to get a bit of the spirit of the place: indeed the listed places are over a million. But actually, even with way shorter time (10 or 15 days), following a well scheduled itinerary and trying to leave the more touristic trails, it’s possible to relish well this incredible land. The Italian Eye processed an itinerary with 10 halts that will give you the best panorama, in the shortest possible time, on Rajasthan and India. To plan the best Rajasthan Tour.
Because it’s the Capital and the place where old traditions melts with absolute modernity. New Delhi and Old Delhi, two worlds light years away, but that, you’ll see, are more similar than it seems. For our Delhi Insider City Guide click here.
Very touristic but there’s the Taj Mahal. Do you need other reasons?
Because with more than 2 millions inhabitants it’s the capital of Rajasthan State. To explore this region is right to start from here. Many attractions are very touristic, others much less. You just need to follow our Jaipur city guide.
Because there is the most stunning fort of India and the only one that you really cannot miss. And for the Flying Fox, on of the best experience of the journey! To know more about Flying Fox and to see our City Guite to Jodhpur click here.
Because it’s Rajasthan’s most romantic city with its lake surrounded by green mountains. Because everyone falls in love with the city. And because you can sleep in James Bond Room.
Because time doesn’t pass in this little village. Because of the moon landscapes of the mountains all around. Because you’ll feel to be in India at Forster’s times. To know more about Narlai and to read our guide, click here.
Because it’s the summary of stereotypes on India. One of the holiest city for Hindu religion where you breath profanity at every corner. For our guide on Pushkar click here.
Because before to arrive you could not even imagine a place like this to really exist. Because this rats temple will give u strong (and maybe loathsome ) impressions.
Because when you arrive you see the city rising from the desert with it’s stone that seems gold lighted by the sun. Because of the excursions in the desert around the city. Because it’s less touristic than what people think.
Because if you travel to India and you skip Varanasi you’ll never understand anything about this country. Because it’s the proper end of a travel in India. And cold be for somebody the proper start for a travel in life. After visiting Varanasi you will never be the same. The only real unmissable of the journey. For our city guide of Varanasi click here.
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR TRIP IN INDIA
Rajasthan Tour: #1 Hotel
In Rajasthan the hotel choice is very wide. You can stay in big chain hotels, like Taj and Oberoi that have western 5 star standards (and prices), in dirty hostels for few rupees per night or in marvelous and charming Heritage Hotels. The last category is for us the best choice. The Heritage Hotels are a circuit of hotels often obtained from the reconversion of palaces once belonging to maharajas or aristocracy. They are spread all over India (for the complete list www.indianheritagehotels.com). They are architectonically stunning and they kept the Indian charm that many big luxury hotel lost because of too shining restorations. Prices are quite competitive if compared with same category hotels in the West. We hardly not recommend to take too modest accommodation in the vain hope of savoring real India: that’s pure illusion.
Rajasthan Tour: #2 Transports
Distances in India are really challenging and Public transport is something to really avoid. The only way to conveniently save time is to hire a car with a driver. It’s possible to do that with an international tour operator or directly with an Indian Agency (there are many serious agencies in Delhi and Jaipur. We suggest India Karni, from Jaipur, cheap and efficient). You have to ask for a van with reclining seats, because some transfers are very long and you definitely need to stay comfortable. You might keep the driver for the entire length of your stay but, if there is a airplane connection between two places, you might take the plane in order to save time and send the driver with your luggage by car.
The driver always becomes a travelling companion so, when you book an hotel, make sure that they have staff accommodation for him (all good hotels have staff accommodation for the drivers). We recommend the experience to take a train (maybe just for a short shift) because it could be a strong but enriching experience. For the time when you’ll be visiting it won’t be hard to find a taxi or a touk touk, but the best way to explore a new place is always walking.
Rajasthan Tour: #3 What to Visit
India is a country with a continent size and it’s so normal the plenty of touristic attraction. However a journey through this incredibly rich land should give the traveller the chance to enjoy slowly the spirit of his trip. So, unless you don’t really want to stay in India couple of months, we suggest not to do the tour de force between temples, cities, forts and so on, staying barely 24 hours in every place: that’s the perfect way to have a nightmare trip and a really low uptake of the country. There’s definitely the need of cutting the program and linger in some places. Moreover, even it’s not so good to say, many forts, temples and so on, result to be very similar so to hurry up to see them all is a definitely not convenient idea.
Rajasthan Tour: #4 What to buy
The idea of going to India to make great deals it’s merely a commonplace. Indeed Rajasthan is very touristic and sellers have got crafty from decades. Low prices of some artifacts simply denote low quality that you’ll note immediately back home (clothes that tighten or loose colors, opacification of jewels and so on). By now, in India, high quality products have prices very similar to western countries. Hence our suggestion is to refrain to buy thousand of things in bazar or markets and rather indulge in buying few good things in a good shop. In India, more than everywhere, who spends more, spends less.
There is a separate discussion about jewels: if you are not experts, don’t buy expansive jewels because the swindle is behind the corner. And where’s no swindle, prices are very similar to the ones in Europe or Usa.
WORDS BY Federico Sigali
PHOTO BY Federico Sigali