Rajasthani Reverie

Sashi Nahata and her family love to travel. They take a break as often as their schedules permit, many a time travelling abroad. On this outing, they decided to keep things simple – and domestic. Check out Sashi’s experiences in regal, ravishing Rajasthan.

We’ve travelled a lot, and have been to many national and international destinations on holidays. Somehow, the ones in India are always much closer to our hearts. As our native place, Rajasthan was an especially memorable trip.

I was one among four travellers along with my husband Alok, my brother Manish and his wife Bharti. While drawing up our itinerary, we began with the intention of visiting all the beautiful temples the state has to offer. Before we knew it, we were having the most amazing holiday in the midst of those temples, as well as some historic palaces and forts, and the desert. There is so much to see and experience in this riot of colour and tradition.

Our trip began in New Delhi, from where we went on to Jodhpur and Osiaji, and finished off with Jaisalmer. In fact, we were enjoying ourselves and the plethora of things to do there so much that we were more or less forced to extend our five-day trip, making it ten days instead. So awed were we by the beauty and serenity of Rajasthan!

Every moment of the journey was memorable, right from the way we were welcomed at the airport to the peacocks that danced gracefully for us. We had some lovely luxurious palace lunches and a few humble dhaaba meals, but nearly every moment was packed with surprise, all wrapped in the rich culture of Rajasthan. The locals treated us with great fondness that had us feeling right at home! Among the palaces and the pampering, I began to feel a bit like a queen, when in fact it is their nature to pamper every guest staying at the palace.

In Jaisalmer, we visited the fabulous forts and got to see the borders we share with Pakistan. The architecture in the town was splendid, the wonderful interiors featuring beautiful jharokhas, authentic and colourful murals, and walls all decked up with glass and silver. The setting and rising sun on the desert painted the most enchanting pictures; the scenery was dotted with sand dunes and camels. The famous Mataji Ka Mandir at Osiaji caught our fancy, and it was lovely, as were the many Jain temples we visited in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. What a splendid experience the darshan was! Our souls were cleansed and our minds calmed.

The local cuisine was extremely homely and tasted so familiar. It was incredible to experience these flavours in their most authentic of settings. We feasted on plenty of standard Rajasthani dishes like daal baati churma, gatte ki sabzi, laapsi with badi, khichda, bajre ki roti, panchmel sabzi and dal ka halwa. One of the most extraordinary moments on my trips, and possibly one of the most wonderful of my life, occurred when I came down from my room one day. I was pleasantly surprised to find a peacock waiting to greet me on the palace veranda. As I approached, it didn’t start or fly away. Instead, it opened its stunning plume to do a happy dance! We fed it some grains, as the hotel staff genially joked that I must have belonged to the palace in a previous life.

This trip was so special and unique to me; it was one of the best of my life! I’m already recommending it to all of my friends; in fact, I may just take them all there to experience firsthand the sheer beauty of Rajasthan! Exceptional my journey certainly was, and unforgettable as well!     – as told to Saloni