A jewel of the sub-continent, Rajasthan, is one of the most enchanting regions of the country and Asia at large. The Land of the Kings which has been the epitome of warriors, history, culture, heritage and language is today one of the most written about and traveled to places in the world. The romance which started with the formation of the state in 1949 right after the independence has been continuing till now and thriving. Rajasthan a land which provides its visitors umpteenth opportunities of relaxation, of being awed, of being mystified and experiences what luxury truly means is perhaps the best place to discover the true essence of India and its rich cultural fabric. Lying in the westernmost part of India, Rajasthan’s landscape is largely dominated by the Great Indian Desert of Thar which gives the state a rustic image that is hard to find anywhere else in the sub-continent of India.
The state of Rajasthan is known to offer its visitors more than peek into the history and life of the people that have lived here for thousands of years the history of the largest state in India has its origin in the times of one of the oldest and first civilizations of mankind the Indus-valley civilization which prospered in these lands including the region of Sindh in Pakistan. The decline of that great civilization was followed by the rise of the Indo-Scythian era of the Sakas whoc ruled these lands for long periods of time. But the real mark left on the culture and landscape of the state was left by the Gurjars rulers who had established an unbreakable empire with their capital firmly established in the city of Kannauj. The Gurjars and the Rajputanas who followed them have sacrificed many lives in order to protect their land and help it thrive. The sacrifices and heroics of other tribes such as the Bhils, Meenas and later the Gurjars were forgotten as the acts of certain specific clans such as the Rajputs gained more prominence in later years.
The state of Rajasthan today includes the whole region which was under the rule of the erstwhile Rajputs of Rajasthan who had dominated the region with successive dynasties from the 8th century onwards starting with the reign of Bappa Rawal in the now ruined city of Chittorgarh. The history of Rajasthan is decorated with stories of pride, valor and sacrifice which can still be witnessed in the numerous monuments of the bygone era which dot the landscape of the state at various places. The Rajputs one of the greatest warrior tribes ever to be born in the Indian soil were effective in protecting their kingdom and the rest of India at large from the invasions of the Afghan rulers as well as those of the Mughals. Many Rajput Kings became instant heroes in the folklore of the region for their heroic battles against such invaders prominent among these being Rana Sanga, Maharana Pratap and Samrat Hemchandra Vikramaditya.
This glorious history and the cultural form that it took are still preserved in the streets and the mindset of the people of Rajasthan, people from all over the world as well as from different corners of India travel to Rajasthan to witness the great cultural vibrancy of the state which is infectious to say the least. There are many famous destinations in the state which can offer one great insights into its past each region has its own special from of architecture, its own folk tales, its own lifestyle and the confluence of all these different cultural styles make Rajasthan one of the top destinations to travel to. Jaipur, the largest city and the capital of the state is one of the finest examples of Rajasthan’s history and culture the city is full of famous monuments and forts which are glorious.
Udaipur, considered by many the most romantic city in India is beautiful with its Lakes, palaces and forts which are testament to the grandeur and luxury that the Rajputs could afford, the beauty though of traveling in Rajasthan is that one can experience the life of the Kings by staying at the many heritage properties such as palaces and forts which have now been converted into world class luxurious hotels. Such experiences are available at most of the great cities of Rajasthan such as Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Mandawa and Neemrana. Among these Jaisalmer and Jodhpur are truly gems in their architectural, historical and cultural magnificence which reflected in the amazing forts, palaces and people of these lovely cities. Jaisalmer, in particular, allows one to get the taste of the desert life in Rajasthan as one can observe the nomadic tribes which live near the city due to its proximity to the desert. Rajasthan is a treasure that can be explored as many times as one sees fit and yet never be bored.