Rajasthan’s rustic and royal settings attract visitors who have a penchant for grandeur and opulence. This land of palaces, forts, lakes, wildlife and diverse geographical terrain, is steeped in history, culture and architecture literally at every turn. While the popular tourist locales here are easily accessible and replete with modern amenities, offbeat locations still retain their old-world appeal, enable travellers to better experience and appreciate the local lifestyle and culture, sans the crowd!
Here’s just but a sample of offbeat tourist destinations in Rajasthan.
The town of Barmer in the Thar Desert, just off Jaisalmer is home to historic structures such as the Siwana Fort and host of other temples, including the ruins at Juna. Decent accommodations, including few with air conditioning can make the trip to this desert town comfortable. This is indeed a great place to catch up desert safaris, as well as local music and dance, especially during festivals.
This oasis in Thar is home to a multitude of Hindu and Jain temples that stand testimony to local craftsmanship. The architecture and sculptures comparable to famed Khajurahu, Camel Safaris and opulent Desert Camps are the highlights of this ancient town, just off Jodhpur.
Located in the Aravalli ranges, protectively nestled by 13 peaks, and set amidst the Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary, the imposing Kumbhalgarh fort is sure to prove an awesome getaway from the nearby Udaipur. This fort is bound by one of longest walls in the world measuring over 36 Kms, second to none other than the Great Wall of China. A horse / jeep ride through this scenic locale is a great way to explore the terrain.
Travellers can experience the best of local culture, architecture and artistry at Mandawa where traditional homes aka havelis have their inner and outer walls adorned with handmade paintings spanning a range of themes. Several havelis such as Jhunjhunwala Haveli are open to visitors and the Mandawa palace, now converted into a heritage hotel offers an opportunity for tourists to experience the grandeur of this setting.
Just 26 kms away at Mahansar, tourists will be treated to a visual feast of yet another well-preserved example of local creativity.
Highlight of Mahansar is the Sone –Chandi Ki Dukan (The Gold-Silver Shop) dating back to the 18th century. This haveli houses three vaulted ceilings – the left one decorated with beautiful paintings of Ramayana scenes, the right one sporting paintings depicting life of Lord Krishna and the one in the centre adorned by paintings of the different avatars of Vishnu. The multitude of colourful local motifs inlaid with gold and silver leafs add life to the entire space. Art lovers are bound to cherish this experience forever.
Visitors interested in the architectural splendour of the region will find stone carvings at Baroli quite impressive. The Baroli temple complex on the banks of the river Chambal is yet another example of fine craftsmanship and build, maintained in great shape by the Architectural Survey of India. The nearby Dara Wildlife Sanctuary and Pratap Sagar Dam usually figure as a part of the trip to this town.
The impressive, deep and large stairwell Chand Baori at Abhaneri is rumoured to be built overnight by ghosts. The catch is that we cannot use the same step twice when navigating this structure! Up to this challenge? There sure is more in store. Simply find a suitable Rajasthan Tour Package that covers offbeat places of your interest and get going. Note that not all off-beat locations offer a luxurious accommodation or international cuisine but with historic structures slowly transforming into royal heritage hotels you may not be deprived of such comforts after all!