Why You Must Visit Rajasthan!
This post will showcase the beauty of Rajasthan and tell you why you need to immerse yourself in the lap of luxury at least once a year.
In India, Rajasthan is known as The Royal State. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, known for its historical hilly forts & palaces.
The grand ambiance of Rajasthan is beautifully restored by some of the biggest players in the tourism industry. Ancient palaces belonging to the Rajas & Maharajas have been converted to gorgeous hotels, still having that classic primeval charm.
The Taj group is my favorite here. They have taken over palaces in some of the most remote & stunning locations in Rajasthan and their impeccable hospitality is to die for. Yes, I am sure most of us have stayed at fancy 5 & 7 star hotels in big cities and thoroughly enjoyed our visits, but when you come here, I guarantee you will have more than a memorable experience. The Taj staff is a class apart and what I appreciate the most in them is that each one of them is gracious, caring & attentive to finer details. They will do everything possible to treat you like royalty and ensure that your smallest needs are taken care of without you having to ask for it. They study their guests and their individual requirements, while also being amazingly friendly and great to talk to.
Well, by now if you know me, I prefer travelling to places where there are few people and therefore always choose a period thats off-season. I first visited Pushkar, which is a town bordering the Thar Desert, in the north-eastern part of Rajasthan. If you are religious, then you could visit a number of temples that are part of this town. The most famous of them all is the Brahma Temple which is the only temple in the world, dedicated to Lord Brahma. Each of these temples have their own mythological story to tell.
I stayed at The Gateway Resort by The Taj, a property situated in a picturesque green oasis, set against the backdrop of the magnificent Aravalli Hills. The decor is warm, elegant and serene, the rooms are exceptionally comfortable, with a traditional Jhoola facing the mountains and providing much privacy. The bed feels like you are sleeping on a cloud! It is soo soft and cosy, you can peacefully sleep for hours and wake up to the calls of several peacocks strutting with their open plumes. You will also find annoying and adorable monkeys here who will pay you a visit at your balcony.
The foyer is decorated with fresh flowers arranged in a mini pond, that get you mesmerised the minute you enter. The pool side is my favourite! Surrounded by mountains, this open space is unusually peaceful. I would go there and sit for hours reading my book, listening to some soothing music or just gathering all my million thoughts. Well time flies here, as the saying goes, the good times end faster.
The property also has indoor games like table tennis, snooker and air hockey, another good way to pass your time if you are somewhat restless like me. There is also a steam, sauna & massage room which you must try!
The food is brilliant and the buffet spread for breakfast, lunch and dinner is divine! They give you all you want and all you can eat. There isn’t a lack of anything. For each meal there are at least 3 cuisines laid out from which you can choose whatever you want. There’s no stopping.
I was pretty disappointed to leave this property and the people after my 3-day stay. I was soo in love with the place, but to the least of my expectation, this trip just got better and better.....
The next stop was at the Taj Ramgarh Forest Lodge , in an actual forest. This heritage property built in 1933 by a Spanish architect, was the hunting lodge of the royal family of Jaipur, Maharani Gayatri Devi & Maharaja Mansingh. Royal and renowned people like Queen Elizabeth, & Jacqueline Kennedy have also visited this place.
The property is secluded on a hill surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains on one side and a valley on the other. This valley was first a beautiful man-made lake that supplied water to Jaipur city. The lake also hosted the Asian Games rowing competition in 1982. It dried up about a decade ago due to the lack of rain in the region. This is what it looks like now.
This property has a distinct retro charm. The ambiance of the lobby is cosy & cave-like which reminds you of a bygone era when the royals went on hunting expeditions and exhibited their kills across the palace walls. The rooms are huge, with a forest view from every window. The beds and bathrooms are exceptional. I could lay in both places for hours, especially the bathtub which faces the heavenly valley and mountains, right up close.
This boutique hotel is an exceptional blend of unmatched traditional hospitality with contemporary efficiency. They make you feel like royalty. Only the most experienced and seasoned butlers and chefs from the Taj group are placed here to serve you. You will not find any young staff here, and that speaks a lot about their experience in service that is provided to you.
This is the ideal getaway for some alone time and rejuvenation. It’s great for senior citizens and families as well. Here too there are enough outdoor activities to keep you busy, badminton, table tennis, billiards, a spa, a library, a lovely pool and most importantly, a breath-taking view.
You can find endless ways to recharge and unwind, all you need is 6 days to get rejuvenated and get back to your mundane routine city life.
Some Travel Tips :-
Visit during off-season, that's during the monsoons for the most peaceful experience.
Per person room tariff is approximately INR 25,000 for 6 nights at the Taj. Air Fare from Mumbai to Jaipur is approximately 6,000 per ticket.
From Jaipur airport you can hire a taxi to take you to Pushkar. Its a 3 hour drive. Bike rentals are also available for the adventurous lot.
Explore Pushkar on a Camel.
Stop by at The Pink City - Jaipur to get a glance of some of its iconic structures like the Hawa Mahal, City Palace. Jantar Mantar etc.
Definitely visit the Rambagh Palace, the most beautiful heritage hotel in Jaipur. You can go there for a luxurious meal or if possible even stay there. (Images below)
There are a lot of handicraft shops that sell beautiful home decor and utility items, which can also be used as great gifts. Don't forget to pick up some.
In the evenings you can ask your hotel to arrange tickets for you to see the light and sound show that takes place in Amer Fort, Jaipur, for a fantastic learning experience of the history of the Royal Rajputs and the land of Rajasthan.
A lot of people think that Rajasthan is a huge chunk of barren land, let me clear this misconception through some of the images that I have been able to capture in this beautiful land.....
Once a year at least, travel to a luxurious destination, not to escape life but for life not to escape you.
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