Pedaling in Rajasthan - An extravaganza of heritage, culture and festivals!
November 2014 (Blog posted by Admin)
Rajasthan is a land of surprises. From sand dunes, wooded hills and amazing lakes to men and women in turbans and skirts of vivid colours; from magnificent forts, palaces and havelis to bustling towns and villages, Rajasthan offers amazing diversity and is truly a feast to the eyes as you cycle from one destination to another.
It seems as one vast open-air museum, with its smattering of smaller to giant monuments that are so well preserved. The infighting among the various nobles of the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th and 14th century caused many kingdoms and provincial governors to assert their freedom. In Rajasthan, the proud fighting clans of the Rajputs, too, seized this opportunity and what followed were great forts, palaces, pomp and splendor, thus making Rajasthan a land associated with magnificent monuments. The local style is known as the Rajputana architecture, and is characterized by arched gateways, grand courtyards, marble and red sandstone pillars with finely carved elephant brackets, frescoes and latticed galleries.
Amber Fort, Jaipur
The highlight of a cycling vacation in Rajasthan is stays in elaborate palaces and forts have now been converted into heritage hotels. The erstwhile ‘first families’ welcome guests into their homes and offer traditional hospitality – marked by personalized attention and utmost regard to comfort and privacy.
Each of these palace-hotels is different from the other with its own exceptional history and tradition. The ambiance is perfectly reflected through photographs and family memorabilia adorning the rooms and the corridors. While the traditional character has been retained, there have been changes too; the homes are modernized to meet the needs of today’s international traveler, with adjoining bathrooms, running hot and cold water, modern plumbing and even a swimming pool – giving a complete experience of medieval ambiance with modern comforts. Perfect for relaxing after a day of cycling!
Deogarh Mahal, a stunning Palace Hotel
There are so many fairs and festivals celebrated around the state that there is every chance that you may hit upon a local celebration once during your cycling journey.
Decorated camels at the Nagaur Fair
Last, but not the least, is the Rajasthan countryside. The biggest attraction of all cycling journeys through Rajathan are small villages nestling happily on the rugged terrains and the friendly people who inhabit them. Wrinkled tree thickets, rustic huts with their thatched roofs, drooping camels chewing fodder, women cleaning their courtyards or designing the mud walls with plasters of clay, cow dung and hay and ever-smiling children is what these villages are all about.