In the collective imagination, Rajasthan is one of these mythical places to see at least once in his life. From colorful cities where the spirit of maharajas continues to the Thar desert, each step takes place between a dream and a reality. The geographical situation, the multiple cultural influences and the predominance of the Rajpout monarchy have shaped the Rajasthan landscape, and its soul is understood. This arid region of northwestern India offers an incredible array of colorful cities and architectural treasures nestled between desert and sacred lakes… Over the course of the kilometers, the «country of the Kings» reveals its heritage of citadels, strong and maharajas palaces, of the remains so beautiful that no one comes back entirely as before.


The Taj Mahal: early journey

The best way to travel from Delhi is to rent a car with driver. The first stage of this valiant epic will be Agra, a city known for its emblematic monument which makes the whole nation proud: the Taj Mahal. This beautiful white marble building, encrusted with semi-precious stones and decorated with inscriptions from the Koran, is a mausoleum built out of love. The Moghal Emperor Shah Jahan made him build in the seventeenth century for his wife who died by putting their fourteenth child in the world. In order to take full advantage of the magic of the site, we will go there in good morning, at a time when the sun rises, for the light first but also to avoid the hordes of tourists. There is also a visit to the Red Fort, located near the Yamuna River. Less reputable, yet equally majestic, this sixteenth century red sandstone palace is still the country's greatest strength. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the Emperor Akbar's architectural work blends Hindu and Moghol styles perfectly.

250 kilometers and 50 hours later, the "rose city" finally appears. Jaipur's capital of Rajasthan is a city that doesn't show up right now. On arrival, the visitor is first seduced by the fort d 'Amber, then entering the city he can tear. Loud, dusty and overcrowded, Jaipur deserves attention. Here, cows wear flower necks and monkeys live in peace. Temples are hidden between shops and shops, sheltered from indiscreet eyes. Jaipur's visit begins with the City Palace, a landmark monument, and continues in the bazaars and old town where the walls are painted in pink. The accommodation panel is wide. Royal Palace converted into a luxury hotel or cheap guesthouse for small budget, there are all tastes and awards. This stopover is the perfect opportunity to taste the joys of rajasthany life that will start with a massage in an ayurvedic center, and then continue with a tasty churma-bati - full meals made of lentils, a ball of bread blown and a dessert from flour, ghee and sugar. -before you indulge in the swimming pool at your hotel's pool and finally, ladies and gentlemen, offer a jewel with semi-precious stones…


Sweet living in Jodhpur, the blue city

The kilometers go, the days pass but do not look alike; Surely because the cities are in the image of the country: diversified, contrasted, mixed… After the "pink" and "white" cities, place Jodhpur the blue. The latter owes its nickname to its countless houses with blue facades. To admire the city, the best point of view is Mehrangarh's gigantic fort, which, from the top of its promontory, seems to be watching around. The lower, near the clock tower, the activity blows up, the animation is at its height and it is difficult to strangle a path. Every day, the market attracts crowds; inhabitants and merchants intermingle in an endless mess.


Jaisalmer the open-pit museum and Udaipur the serene

After the towns and their maharajas' palaces, their charming hotels and, we must admit, sometimes also their lot of inconveniences - noise, pollution, agitation - the time has come to take the wide reaches of the Thar desert. A hundred kilometers from Pakistan, Jaisalmer is an unrivaled destination in this state with unparalleled charm. Majestic, the golden city uses its charms with brilliance, and it is probably its fortress of the twelfth century, one of the oldest in the region, that wins the favors of visitors. Anyone who has the chance to enter will be offered a trip in the past on the traces of the rajous dynasties. By surveying his maze of labyrinthic alleyways, one finds a royal palace and seven Jaïns temples. At the end of the day, when the sun closes, the citadel boasts beautiful golden reflections and one can contemplate the magnificent panorama that extends infinitely. Impossible here to miss the havelini, these traditional houses cut into the rock, with finely carved balconies. Some have been converted to hotels, others still belong to individuals.

Another city in the desert, Bikaner, preserves a real curiosity: the Temple of Rats in Deshnoke where thousands of rodents welcome the sweet offerings of the devots. But maybe you'd rather meet the king of the jungle, the tiger, on a Jeep on the Ranthambore reserve. However, discovering the desert of the camel or Jeep is an incredible experience that would be a pity to deprive itself.

And for the rest, Udaipur is the ideal place. Magical, romantic and enchanting, this city, called the «Venice of India», could boast of being the capital of Love. By letting yourself be held on the shores of Pichola Lake, lovers will be at the height of happiness.


Get out of the beaten tracks

In order to discover in depth this vast state on the winding roads, strewn with splendid monuments, nothing like a car with chauffeur it is true. However, there is a second unavoidable option in this country where the rail network is the most important in the world: the train. Luxury fans will opt for the Palace on Wheels, a train that allows you to discover the main Rajasthan sites in a week, while taking a maharaja or maharani! To get away from the "traditional" circuit, set the course to Bundi, this small town in the east that inspired the novelist Rudyard Kipling. It is easy to understand why, when you walk through the fort overlooking the city, playground of monkeys and bats. It offers a striking view of Bundi, where the blue houses of the Brahmanes are squeezed, near a small lake.

Before leaving, you must once venture into one of the countless cinemas. An experience of necessity, because spectators participate in the show singing, applauding the gentiles and hugging the villains! On the plane, we already dream of returning to this world of colors, where beauty has so many avatars as Shiva or Vishnu. 


Smart News


When is it? The fresh season, which extends from October to March, is the best time to travel.


Go there. To discover Rajasthan, it is advisable to land in Delhi (8 hours flight).

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