Hear about travel to the northern India state of Rajasthan as the Amateur Traveler talks to Dr. Pankaj Jain about his native region.
Dr. Jain says, “Rajasthan is from my perspective, if not the most colorful state of India, certainly one of the most colorful states of India. Every small town and city has a huge palace, fort. There were a lot of kingdoms for centuries in Rajasthan. Even after India got its independence in 1947, it continues to flourish with those palaces, forts, festivals, songs, music, food. Every part of Rajasthan is vibrant with color.”
Dr. Jain takes us on an itinerary that starts in New Delhi and then heads to the capital of Rajasthan in Jaipur. He then takes us to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and then back to Jaipur.
Rajasthan is in the north at the westernmost part on the border with Pakistan. It is a desert region.
Jaipur is known as the pink city because of the color of the buildings. In Jaipur, he recommends a visit to the Palace of Wind (Hawa Mahal), as well as the UNESCO site of Jantar Mantar which is a site with large astronomical instruments including the world’s largest sundial. Both of these sites as well as the City Palace are downtown. He also recommends a visit to the Amer Fort (UNESCO) which is a large opulent fortified palace outside of town. Not far from Jaipur is the Galta Ji Temple which is also called the monkey temple.
Between Jaipur and Bikaner is the town of Ladnu which has the only Jain University in India. There is also a wildlife sanctuary in between these two cities.
As we get to Bikaner we enter the desert. So you probably want to avoid visiting in the heat of the summer. Bikaner has another huge palace and fort. Near Bikaner is the famous “rat temple” Karni Mata.
Jaisalmer is on the border with India and Pakistan. The fort palace in Jaisalmer is called the Golden Fort. It is large, a city in a city. You have to take a guide when you go inside. There are markets, Hindu temples, and an ancient Jain temple as well. Many tourists take a ride out into the sand dunes where they hear traditional music.
Jodhpur, which is Dr. Jain’s mother’s hometown, is called the Sun City. Jodhpur has a separate large palace (Umaid Bhawan Palace) and fort (Mehrangarh Fort). There are also a number of lakes and palaces built by the rulers to preserve water in this dry region. It is a great place to shop for traditional saris and other crafts.
Udaipur is the Lake City, again with lakes built by emperors and kings. It, like many of these cities, has heritage sites like the Lake Palace which have been turned into high-end hotels. A lot of traditional painters and artists can be found in Udaipur.
Dr. Jain gives us some ideas about what to eat and what restaurants to visit in Rajasthan.
Give this show a listen and then book a ticket to visit this vibrant colorful Indian state.
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Jaipur, Ragisthan Location
Palace on Wheels
Ram Niwas Garden
Galta Ji Temple
Karni Mata Temple
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
City Palace, Udaipur
Indian Cuisine Map
Apple podcasts review by Senor-Droolcup
Been using this podcast for several years and it’s given me wonderful travel ideas. The host is smart and easy to listen to. The guests are invariably interesting. I have literally used this podcast to plan travel to specific sites and been inspired to look at locations that I never knew existed. One issue: you want the iTunes enhanced version that comes with photographs and maps. This version has never worked on my iPhone for some reason, so I often have to listen to the podcast on my web browser which is not convenient. I’m not sure if this is the podcast’s fault or Apple’s fault so I’m not dinging them a star for it. Give this podcast a try!
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