Rajasthan: An Ethical Travel Guide & must See Tourist Attractions
Welcome to the “Land of Kings”. Rajasthan is a true state of contrasts, and Rajasthan travel reflects that!
Wander through the Royal Ruins! Rajasthan is the life of India, essence of our country. The colorful, lively and traditional state of India has rich culture and history. Rajasthan has more history than the rest of India put together. There is a reason it’s called the “Land of Kings”, it is indeed a fabulous realm of maharajas and their majestic forts and lavish palaces. It has a romantic past which reminds us of heroism, honor and chivalry. Legend says that Rajasthan is home to Rajputs who have ruled Rajasthan for 1000 years and the fascinating part is that they claim to have originated from the sun, moon and fire. The Mughal Empire faced a lot of difficulty in controlling this part of India. Hence, they gave up and Rajasthan was ruled by its kings until the British Raj.
Here is our guide to ethical travel in Rajasthan, covering places to stay, attractions and activities. This covers different ethical tourism efforts that are being made, from improving environmental sustainability, to sharing the economic benefits of tourism with the local community.
Amber Fort, Jaipur
The mighty Thar Desert, the adventurous wild forests, camel safari and glimpse of tigers, shimmering jewels, traditional delicious cuisines, flamboyant art and vibrant culture, famous colourful fairs and festivals – You name it and Rajasthan has it!. The dazzling fairs and festivals in Rajasthan will give you a chance to explore the art, culture, traditions, history and people. The most famous ones are Pushkar fair and Jaisalmer Desert festival.
In the month of January and February Jaisalmer is at its best, with a 3 day show on sand dunes, desert blooms with the riotous colours, the traditional folk dance and music. The amusing turban tying competition, Mr. Desert contest coupled with camel race and acrobatics add a touch of excitement to the celebrations. Taking a camel ride with a view of mesmerising sunset and the background music will take you on a euphoric trip.
The Pushkar fair takes place between the months of October and November. It is a traditional event in Rajasthan with activities such as musical events and cultural activities, thrilling camel safari tours and staying in the traditional camps. Pushkar has the only Brahma temple in the world. It is believed that taking a dip in the holy lake of Pushkar washes away all your sins. Blend in the culture of Rajasthan and witness the unique rituals, it’s a fascinating and peculiar sight. The fair’s sole aim is to trade cattle like cows, goats, sheep, camels etc. Once the trading is completed, they deck up the animals with dazzling ornaments and beautiful clothes for public display.
The famous cities of Rajasthan are worth a visit. Jaipur, the City of Victory also known as the Pink City is famous for its hilltop forts, glittering bazaars and glorious palaces. You would not want to miss the Lake Palace and City Palace of Udaipur. It’s called the Venice of the East. Well, it should be! The place looks like a wonderland, like from those romantic fairytales. While in Udaipur, don’t miss the Great wall of India – Kumbhalgarh Fort. The thick wall encompassing the fort stretches around 36 KM and is wide enough to take eight horses abreast. The fort offers some of the stunning views of surrounding areas.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Said to be right out of an Arabian Nights’ fable, Jaisalmer and Bikaner, are remarkable sandstone cities that rise magically from the sand dunes of the Rajasthan Desert. Jodhpur, the Blue City of Rajasthan is worth your time. Enjoying the bird’s eye view from the mighty Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur will make you realise the city is literally blue!
Blue City, Jodhpur
This sprawling complex is the largest palace in Rajasthan. It was first built by Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur in the 16th century, and expanded by successive rulers. Today, the palace is divided into several museums for which you can get a package rate at the City Palace’s entrance in Badi Pol. The City Palace museum is the first of these, and comprises of a series of mahals, courtyards and private chambers, connected by narrow passages. You’ll find traditional Mewari paintings, colourful mosaics, stained glass windows and beautiful mirror-work everywhere, with occasional breathtaking glimpses of the city and the lake outside. In the Fateh Prakash Palace next door, the Crystal Gallery provides proof of the ruling dynasty’s love for luxury. It exhibits an array of crystal objects such as glasses, dinner sets, and even furniture pieces such as beds. These were made by the British manufacturer FC Osler & Co. and commissioned by Maharana Sajjan Singh between 1878 and 1881. The palace’s opulent Durbar Hall has glittering chandeliers, royal portraits and arms. Your ticket also entitles you to a cup of coffee and snacks in this palace hotel’s restaurant. Further away from the City Palace, the Vintage and Classic Car Collection exhibits vintage cars from the royal family’s collection. Highlights include a 1939 Cadillac convertible and a 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom II. These are housed in the former Mewar State Motor Garage. The tour also includes a boat ride and visit to the Jagmandir Island Palace, which has a heritage exhibition and an all-day café.
City Palace, Udaipur
Kumbhalgarh Fort: Built in 15th Century by Raja Kumbha, the fort is situated in the midst of the thick forests of Kumbhalgarh town and has seven gateways. The fort gives a magnificent view of Aravalli Hills in Kelwada district. The mastermind behind this huge palace was Samprati, a Jaina Prince of the second century BC. Inside the fort, one can find several groups of temples (total of 360) divided into Hindu and Jain. Additionally, the fort consists of several monuments including Badal Mahal, Kumbha Mahal, Birth Place of Maharana Pratap and ancient bunds, etc. Visitors can feel the cool winds blowing from the Aravalli Hills that surrounds the fort. One of the unique features this fort is that it has second- longest wall after The Great Wall of China.
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan
Wildlife Safari: Wildlife photographers will fall in love with the wild side of Rajasthan! You could get lucky and spot the majestic tigers on a wildlife safari.
Ranthambore National Park is full of history, having witnessed many battles played out on its land, and the rise and fall of many rulers. The chances of spotting a tiger in the wild at Ranthambore are amongst the best in India. The place is a paradise for a wildlife lover.
It will be thrilling to explore Rajasthan in different and adventurous ways!
Hot Air Ballooning: Feel the calmness and excitement at the same time! Fly over the magnificent forts and palaces and enjoy the bird’s eye view of Rajasthan! Take some of the amazing shots from your camera to cherish them later. Flying high with the beautiful view of colourful Rajasthan will be one of the most enchanting experiences of your life.
Hot Air Baloon, Jaipur
Self-Drive Tours: Traverse Rajasthan on your own terms. The biggest advantage of a self-drive tour is that you can wander on your own with your choice of car or motorbike and take in the beauty of the place with all the time you need. Dune bashing will be a thrilling experience in the Thar Desert at Jaisalmer.
Cycling: Cycle through the vast deserted landscapes and pass through small undiscovered villages. Sign-up for cycling tours in the most beautiful places like Udaipur and Kumbalgarh and cycle along the sturdy Aravalli mountain range.
Desert/Camel Safari: Don’t miss to hop on the Ship of the Desert. Camel Safari will be a life time experience for you. The desert safari will take you to some of the unexplored and remote places of Rajasthan. Explore the ruins and listen to the fascinating stories by locals.
Elephant Ride: The most breathtaking way of taking a tour of Rajasthan is by Elephant Ride. Do as the Royals do it!
You would want to travel here time and again, exploring this magnificent state by all these means and still you would not get enough of Rajasthan!
Amber Fort, Jaipur