Land of arts, crafts, palaces & forts
Rajasthan is famous for its forts and palaces. It’s North India’s land of arts and craftsmanship. It’s embedded into people’s DNA. There are plenty to see and experience in this part of India. I got to see some of the famous cities of that region, but buckle up, grab a chai as you’re in a treat for some secrets.
This city was my favorite part of India trip. And not because of the forts and palaces there, but for the people. I got to experience a unique part of the city which I recommend everyone do. Forget the forts & palaces. It’s the same thing you’ll see in other parts of India. Well, I mean not exactly, but trust me, the beauty of this town is in its people and art, whether it’s paintings, handcrafts or the best puppet shows you’ll ever see. And how do you find a local who will show you that side of Jaipur? Aaauuhhh I’ll tell you!
In a rare and crazy coincidence I got to meet some local puppeteers where they took me to their slums and showed me an amazing time. If you ever find yourself wanting to seek more of your India trip, you MUST do it. The slums are fucking amazing. I mean the souls and energy of the place is uncanny. I will never forget my time with those kids in the upper floor of this aluminum like box. I met and hung out with some of the coolest souls on this planet.
Checkout the TukTuk facebook page where you can find Dinesh. He would love to connect with you and show you around. He’s got the best sound system you’ll ever hear in a TukTuk and will be entertained for the entire time. He’s an amazing soul and is working hard to educate the kids of the slum.
This was surprisingly a charming place. This region of Rajasthan which is north of Jaipur, close to Mandawa which is a more touristy place is full of Haveli’s. If you don’t know, Haveli is a traditional home or usually mansion which has a historical significance. And they turn them into hotels. The outside is still looks very much like the old homes and in ruins, but the insides are renovated and kept in shape while still keeping the old feel of the place depending on where you go. I personally really enjoyed the one we went to in Mahansar. The host was super nice and spoke well English. The food was amazing and the Haveli was done very nicely.
I don’t recommend you go to Mandawa. We took a day trip there and it just seemed way too touristy for my taste. Mahansar was more chill and quiet. Although there’s not much to do other than relax and roam around, but it’s nice to see the less crowded side of India in villages.
Find it on Google Maps here.
While it’s considered the romantic city of Rajasthan and it certainly is romantic, I found it a bit too touristy, crowded and not very interesting. The City Palace was too crowded and everyone was just pushing each other around. There’s a Lake Palace which is in the middle of the lake and is only accessible by the guests who are willing to pay $500/night for a room. Yes that’s dollars not rupees. There’s also Jagmandir which is another small island which you can take a boat ride to, but also has most of the access blocked to regular non-paying people. So, you can see why things can be a bit annoying in Udaipur. There’s a temple called Jagdish Temple which is actually decent and worth a visit if you’re into temples. At the time that we went there they were having some sort of ceremony which they were clapping and singing. It was cool.
You are sure to be told by your Hotel and others to go see the nightly art show in town. As an artist, I’d like to be open minded about shows in different countries, but if the performers themselves are not very interested in the play at hand, then it kind of tells you all you need to know. A lot of folks in the crowd were enjoying the performances though.