The Taj Mahal is the iconic symbol of India and is located in the state of Rajasthan. This area is known as the “land of kings” as it contains many palaces. Northern India, of which Rajasthan is a part, was ruled by the Mughal empire from the 1500s-1700s.
India is one of the world’s most populous countries with a long and varied history. To fully explore the entire country would take longer than the few weeks holiday that most people take. This post focuses on the state of Rajasthan.
The 5 senses of Rajasthan India
smog, vibrant colours of saris, various fabrics and the sacred orange in the Sikh temple
burning wood, sewage, urine
honking horns, musical tractors and the various sounds of worship
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE?
There is something teeming in the state of Rajasthan – about 73 million people! Many are Hindu while the remainder are of Muslim, Jain and the Sikh faith. The Caste system is still in effect in India.
WHAT IS IT?
Rajasthan is one of India’s states. It contains the nation’s capital Delhi while the capital of the state itself is Jaipur. The land is fairly arid and the Thar desert is contained here. Raj means rule and stahn means place.
India’s National Day is January 26th and the currency is the Indian rupee INR. Currency converter
WHEN TO GO?
This depends on weather and events. Festivals such as Holi and Diwali are festive, crowded and expensive while winter is typically cooler and less busy. Exercise caution if travelling during monsoon season and the oppressive heat of summer.
WHERE IS IT?
Rajasthan is located in the north-western region of India and is bordered to the west by Pakistan.
WHY GO THERE?
The main sights in this state are palaces, forts and wildlife. The arts, crafts and people unique to this area are also a draw. Famous sights and cities include: The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Amber Fort, city palaces and the Monsoon palace; Delhi, Jaipur; Udaipur; Pushkar; Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bundi, Ranthambore National Park…
Most tourist sights have a security check which usually consists of walking through a gate that usually beeps as you pass through. Sometimes your are frisked and there are separate lines and entrances for men and women.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Flying is your best bet. Delhi is the gateway city and you will fly into Indira Ghandi International Airport.
The infamous Delhi belly (traveller’s diarrhea) is something to be aware of. For a current list of required and recommended vaccinations, consult:
Health Information for Travellers to India
It is available but connection can be slow at times.
Both western and eastern (ie squat toilets) are available. Cleanliness and toilet paper are not always guaranteed and a flushing mechanism can sometimes be a luxury! Carry a roll of toilet paper and have some hand wipes handy.
Available in major cities. Each withdrawal carries a local bank charge (in addition to your own bank charges) and the amount available per transaction is limited (10, 000 rupees at time of this post, approximately $200 CAD/$150 USD).
*Information is accurate at time of original publishing (January 2016). Various sources used include guidebooks, tourism authority and local guides.