Rajasthan is one of the most diverse, colorful and fascinating states of India. With a royal heritage that is depicted through its palaces, vibrant indigenous cultures through its tribes, its diverse topography intact in the beauty of the Aravalis, The Thar and countless lakes across its cities. While it sustains its magnetic beauty and charm as travelers across the globe head here year after year, there are some quintessential Rajasthani experiences that haven’t been explored to its full potential. Take part in offbeat sightseeing in Rajasthan and explore before it all becomes too mainstream!
Best Activities for Offbeat Sightseeing In Rajasthan
Witnessing Rajasthani Verdance In The Monsoons
A desert and a dry state, Rajasthan hosts most of its travelers in winters; and few people explore the bright and lush greenery of Rajasthan in the monsoons. The rainy season spells rejuvenation and a celebratory fervor for the state. The lake city of Rajasthan – Udaipur – is especially beautiful during the monsoons. Taking a road trip from Udaipur to Mount Abu or the quaint hill of Pali during the monsoons make the journey just as beautiful (and at times more!) beautiful than the destination. Interestingly, Udaipur is also called ‘Venice of the East’.
Learn about the intricate architecture of Rajasthani Temples
Rajasthan is known to be the only place in the world which houses the temple of Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the world according to Hindu Mythology. Furthermore, there are several Jain temples in the state that boast an intricate architecture; and are an ideal blend of Jain and Hindu systems of knowledge. The Ranakpur Temple near Udaipur, Dilwara Jain Temple, Mount Abu are some of the finest examples of medieval architecture of India must be visited by all art and spiritual seekers. There is a particular spot in the Ranakpur temple where chanting ‘Om’ reverberates across the entire temple hall.
There are several other temples in Rajasthan and one of them that stands out is the Neelkanth Temple in Alwar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, who unlike the creator Brahma, is the destroyer of the world. The temple was built between the 6th to the 9th century CE and features sculptures of erotica much like its famed counterpart of the Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.
Volunteer in an elephant village Of Jaipur
Being a desert state, the state of Rajasthan is known for its camels. Camel rides, camel fair, camel milk and even a host of bags, shoes, and artifacts made out of camel skin. While the desert animal is one kind of animal to check out during offbeat sightseeing in Rajasthan, few people know about the elephant village in Jaipur near Amer Fort in the city. Established to take care of the local Mahout community whose lives are entirely dependent on the elephants and vice-versa.
It’s quite an experience to work for the elephants in the village. Several participants around the globe visit this elephant village to take up volunteer work for the upkeep of elephants. Making their vitamins, taking them for a bath, helping out the mahouts in collecting their feed, cleaning their homes amongst other such activities that the volunteers help out in. Signing up for one of these experiences is a great way to go offbeat sightseeing in Rajasthan and also do something meaningful at the same time.
Revel in the tribal culture of Rajasthan
One of the richest tribal cultures and traditions exist in Rajasthan. The tribals are believed to be the original inhabitants of the hilly tracts of the desert of Rajasthan. The various tribes of Rajasthan include Bhils, Minas, Banjaras, Meghwals, Kalbeliyas, Rabaris amongst others; and each of them has their distinct style of clothing, accessories, ways of living, food etc. The tribes are known as carefree folks for their skills at both warfares in the ancient times; and the zest with which they celebrate their festivals and conduct their lives. The tribal music and dancing incorporate never seen before the ensemble of instruments, loud and lively thumps that can enliven any dull spirit. There are several indigenous activities that enthusiastic travelers can partake in like trying the opium curry. There’s nothing quite like trying the tribal things in order to get a truly authentic cultural experience of offbeat sightseeing In Rajasthan.
DON’T ride the camel in the Thar Desert
While riding the camel in the Thar desert of Rajasthan is one regular-touristy thing to do, it’s highly recommended to opt out of the camel ride and walk around to get a glimpse of the real Rajasthani life. Young boys walking their camels; women carrying water from the well; men working on farms, there’s a lot more to see than just ride the animal on the sands. Wildlife spotters can also revel in pure ecstasy in the desert as many endangered species can be found here such as the Great Indian Bustard – only 300 of these endangered species remain in the world!
Live in the wilderness
Rajasthan has a wide expanse of countryside, national parks, and wild forests. A day out in the picturesque wilderness is an absolute must when in Rajasthan. One such escapade in the wilderness is the Karni Forest Fort, Bambora, close to Udaipur. Away from the city, the fort is about a 2-hour ride from Udaipur. Set on a hilltop, the fort is the definition of solace in the woods. Formerly a majestic fort converted into a heritage hotel, the place is looked after by the aristocratic family of Jodhpur. A visit to the 11th Century Hindu Jagat Temple, also known as the Mini Khajuraho of Rajasthan is highly recommended. One of the best-kept secrets of Rajasthan, a visit in the monsoons assures one of a paradise-on-earth kind of experience.