He Said/She Said: Rajasthan Review

He Said/She Said: Rajasthan Review

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Rajasthan is considered the must-see state of India, creating a well-trodden travel infrastructure.  If you are planning a visit to this colorful and hot tourist mecca consider the pros and cons below.  Just like India most people love it or hate it.

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HE SAID…

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India’s most memorable experiences are smelling the festering piles of trash strewn about the streets and avoiding the ever-present cow-pies.  Take those trash littered, cow-pie ridden, streets and put them in an oven.  That is Rajasthan.  Sure, I spin those features into positives such as praising Rajasthani “cultural waste disposal differences” and “respect for where animals naturally choose to relieve themselves”, but I’d be lying if I sold it to you that way.  If you want to live and experience the inspiration for Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Dry and Crowded, by all means head directly to Rajasthan.

Does this want to make you visit? You can just imagine the smell when the temperature is over 100 degrees.

Why do people visit Rajasthan?  Because Rajasthan is visually stunning.  With its arid earth-tone landscapes contrasted by the richest array of colors humans wear anywhere it is a sight to behold.  People see photos in travel magazines and on TV, mediums which do nothing to convey the pizza oven temperatures, dirty streets, honking horns or dusty air.  This is a good thing for tourism, but surprising for tourists.

The good thing is that the downsides of Rajasthan are easily avoidable.  There are many high-end hotels and tours that shuttle visitors from five-star hotels to major attractions in air-conditioned luxury cars.  For those willing to pay the price to stay in restored palaces or the Oberoi, a tour of Rajasthan is everything one could hope for: all beauty, no India.  For those on a budget though, the reality on the street is a major letdown.

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SHE SAID…

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The Land of Kings lives up to its name offering a glimpse into the former playground of the maharajas.  The remnants of magnificent forts, luxurious palaces and grand estates lends a romantic feeling to the historically rich cities of Rajasthan.  The vibrant culture and vivid colors that surround you in the streets are uniquely Indian.  Even the proud and aggressive Rajasthani people add to the allure of India’s star state.

Maybe it was the relief of getting out of New Delhi, but I enjoyed our Rajasthan ramble.  It was dirty, uncomfortably hot and the people, men in particular, were more than persistent.  However, these same arguments can be made for the entire country of India, making it par for the course.  Therefore you can hardly present these things as arguments not to visit.

The beautiful blue city of Jodhpur, this is reason enough to visit Rajasthan.

Rajasthan offers a variety of attractions from the Great Thar Desert outside Jaisalmer and the Blue City of Jodphur in the west to the fairytale city of Udaipur in the south and chill out city of Pushkar in the north east.  There is something for everyone as well as a calendar full of festivals. If you can’t find something you like and a level of comfort that suits you in Rajasthan then travel in India may be tougher than you expected.

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YOUR TURN: Have you been to Rajasthan?  Did it enthrall or disappoint?  Share your experiences in the comments below.

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Comments

» jenny@atasteoftravel :
Jun 22, 2012

I love Rajasthan…the colours, the people, the food and even the smells excite me. I agree that you can’t fully appreciate it by staying in Oberoi hotels all the time but there so many great little reasonably priced havelis around that you do not necessarily have to go budget either! I’d go back tomorrow if I could!!
Read jenny@atasteoftravel’s awesome post Lunch at New York’s Eleven Madison Park

LOCAVORista Reply:

Jenny, there definitely are several options at different price points throughout India. I also would say that India is in your face no matter where you stay, obviously you won’t have the same experiences at the Oberoi, but you can’t escape all parts of India. I do enjoy that about the place, it is so colorful and crazy!

» Ayngelina :
Jun 22, 2012

I haven’t been to India yet, I don’t know if I have the stamina yet although I did hear it’s much better if you go with someone.
Read Ayngelina’s awesome post Why I’ll never be a hula girl

LOCAVORista Reply:

Ayngelina, you got it right- India takes a lot of stamina…and patience. I think it is much easier traveling with my husband here.

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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