Amazing fort, decorated palaces, mysterious sculptures, traditional dances and endless lakes. All this is Rajasthan, India’s state on the border with Pakistan, a place rich in history and art. Prohibitive to go there in the summer, but from November to March it becomes a place of unforgettable emotions and vibrations.
A trip to Rajasthan cannot complete without visit the Amber Fort, in the city of Amer, 11 kilometers from Jaipur. The visit lasts two or three hours and can be done in jeep or on the back of an elephant. The fortress dating back to the late 16th century is a real Hindu-style jewel, including walls, frescoes, sculptures, mosaics, inlaid glass ceilings, decorated doors, sacred temples (where ancient rituals were held until a few years ago), mysterious paths and secret passages.
Former residence of the Rajput Maharaja and his family, the palace is built in red sandstone and marble on four levels, each with a courtyard, comforted by the artificial climate produced by the winds that blow from a waterfall inside the building. The building, a UNESCO heritage since 2013, is visited by 5 thousand people a day, almost 1, 5 million visitors a year.
More ancient than the Fort Amber in Rajasthan, in the city of Jodhpur (reachable from Delhi: the Express train that leaves at 8.45 pm and arrives in Jodhpur at 8 am the following day), you come to Fort Mehrangarh, dating back to 1459 (but expanded in the seventeenth century), one of the largest Indian strongholds. A colossus that dominates the surrounding area from a hill 125 meters high, sheltered by walls 36 meters high and 21 thick. Inside the fort you can visit the museum that houses interesting collections of musical instruments and regal sedans.
Do not miss the City Palace of Udaipur (city at 680 kilometers from Delhi, reachable after an 8-hour train journey) architectural jewel of Rajasthan, a conurbation of 11 buildings, built, all in granite and marble, starting from 1553. The Maharana Udai Singh II, belonging to the Sisodia clan of the Rajput family, began and the work continued for over ten generations.
The facade of the City Palace in Udaipur is 244 meters long and is at least 30 meters high. Its inhomogeneous design is the most obvious architectural feature. Inside there are wonderful balconies and then domes, tower, worked mirrors, wall paintings and polychrome glass. All the buildings are connected by evocative zigzag corridors.
Another important stop in Udaipur is the Bagore Ki Haveli, a palace built in the 18th century by Amir Chand Badwa, Prime Minister of Medwar. Ideal for architecture lovers and for those who want to get an idea of the lifestyle of the royal family. Over a hundred rooms, some finely decorated with glass and mirrors, numerous courtyards, balconies and terraces.
The building offers a glimpse of the life of royal ladies: their bathrooms and bed rooms, places dedicated to prayers, living rooms and rooms for recreation. You can also visit the display of symbols of the Rajput clan, such as jewelry boxes, nuts, copper vases … In the evening you can attend traditional Rajasthani dance performances.
Udaipur in Rajasthan is very rich. In addition to the City Palace and Bagore Ki Haveli, it is worth mentioning the 150-square-kilometer artificial Lake Pichola, built in 1362 to meet the city’s water needs (drinking water and irrigation). Inside the lake there are 4 islands. But the beauty of the water is its avifauna (ducks, coots, herons and kingfishers). Are you looking for a fabulous night? In Udaipur, on Lake Pichola, there is the most beautiful resort in the world.
Another pearl of Rajasthan is the Jain temple of Ranakpur, a village 90 kilometers from Udaipur (accessible only by taxi or by car), a mysterious religious building (Maru-Gurjara architectural masterpiece) nestled in the forest and populated by monkeys. Made of colored marbles, it is characterized by domes, turrets and is supported by columns carved into the smallest details. The sculptures are all very close and hardly distinguishable from one another. One of these, created with 108 snake heads and numerous tails, cannot find the end. In the complex there is also a temple dedicated to Suparshvanatha, famous for its erotic sculptures that decorate the walls.
While lovers of astronomy who choose Rajasthan for the holidays cannot absolutely miss the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur (258 kilometers from Dehli, reachable by train after a 4 and a half hour journey, or by bus). A complex of 18th century architecture (built by Maharaja Jai Singh II). You will find antique sun clocks with incredible levels of precision.
Finally, you cannot leave Rajasthan without first having experienced the Elefantastic in the city of Amer. A tour on the backs of elephants to discover these sweet and strong animals, with which you can discover explore, play and discover the magic of Rajasthan.