I once read that traveling is an awakening of the senses. An enlightened state as one might call it. While these words may have brought back the shudder one might experience while crossing the ruins of Bhangarh, let’s not go over to the sixth senses. For now, a treat for the five senses Rajasthan is what this piece strives for (check back later for the sixth).
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In Rajasthan, drown more than you can.
With that sentence, I’m not alluding to smoking. I’m talking about the Spice Market of Udaipur and Jodhpur. Toss in a tuk-tuk, hop on and meander through the congested lanes of the spice market. While the spreads of red ‘hot’ peppers drying in the sun make for a perfect camera moment, there’s coriander, cinnamon, dried tea, cardamom, cloves, fennel, turmeric, asafoetida, fenugreek, coffee and more in the air. And yes, there is the sweet, seductive aroma of it gur (jaggery) too.
While in Rajasthan pull out your headphones.
Led Zepplin or whoever it is that rules your playlist, crossing over to the state of Rajasthan asks to take off those headphones. From the epic ballads and panihari songs to notes that remind you of the once one state of Pakistan and India. And yes, you don’t have to look for it. While you will definitely find two artists playing BAGS of bak in the bylane of Amber Fort in Jaipurlocals love some glorious notes too Jodhpur. Burning the desert in the night.
While in Rajasthan, don’t stop eating.
I say that because you couldn’t. Even if you try. As for the food of Rajasthan, it gets airborne, riffs. Before you set your eyes on it. The gooeist (couldn’t find a suitable word) ghevar, masala gatta, mohan maas (meat cooked in milk), mava kachori, churma (ground wheat mixed with cane sugar and ghee), dal and of course, the month. Rich in calories, the typical Rajasthani food is made to last for days, due to the war as times of days prior to independence.
While in Rajasthan, you don’t just have to see.
I say “look” because that may have been what the Batman did when he scaled open the walls of the prison and saw Mehrangarh Fort. There is so much to see in Rajasthan that in all likelihood you can pray for another pair of eyes at the end of the day! Historic havelis, majestic fortresses, royal seats. It’s all there, except for acres of desert sand that turns orange as the sun dips through the sand dunes. Add to that, the enticing, colorful clothing of the people here. I bet you would never have seen so many colors.
While in Rajasthan, make your skin tingle.
By tingling, I mean much more than just the warmth and honest smiles of the simple, charming people of Rajasthan. I am referring to the fact that this state boasts of indulgence inducing spas like that of The Leela Palace, Udaipur. And while spas may suit you, the scenery here is treat enough. Walk barefoot in the moonlight to Jaisalmer deserts, to feel the grains of sand shift beneath your feet. You will love the moment all life.
As I scroll through the other parts of India to bring you more such ‘all senses penetrating’ places, share with us your experiences of the Rajasthan odyssey. Have fun traveling.
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