Inside India: The Close Up Guide To Rajasthan

India is a cultural treasure. Home to some of the most diverse terrain in the world, the country is one to be explored by every inch. If you’re heading to the region for the first time, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be heading to Rajasthan. The region boasts some of the most frequented places in the country and is a treasure trove of adventure and discovery. Dotted with mountains and thick with wildlife, Rajasthan is perfect for traveling a little off the beaten path.

While there are any number of tourist guides within the region, there is a great deal of Rajasthan that goes overlooked in the guide books. By uncovering its hidden spots, you may discover a side of India that you didn’t know existed.

Away from the tourist trails, there are any number of remote places to call your base. While the hotels are simple and frill-free, they are remarkably comfortable, getting you off to the best start on your adventures. Bundi Vilas, for example, is a great resting point if you want to venture further into the region. Kitted out with a small number of rooms, the hotel is traditional and quiet, making it the perfect spot to reflect after a long day of sightseeing. The food is traditional by nature and famously good, so don’t feel afraid to pile your plate up high.

If you venture further into Rajasthan’s wilderness, you will stumble across Lakshman Sagar, a gem in the midst of the rugged countryside. While the surrounding mountains are looming, the place is incredibly accommodating, finished off with a trickling green lake and soft, plush furnishings. While small scale, the hotel has quickly become a hotspot for those wanting to see Rajasthan in more detail, so don’t forget to book your place early.

Lakshman Sagar is situated next to the Jawai Leopard Camp, a safari retreat that opened 3 years ago. The camp allows for human interaction with leopards ­— taking both the animals’ and the humans’ safety into high consideration, of course. The camp offers vast, gaping tents that make your stay as comfortable as it could be. For a safari, this really is luxurious.

If you want to go further into the region’s wilderness, heading into the Aravalli Range is a must. A mountain system in the area, the range is home to lush plant life and animal habitats, all undisturbed by the growing population. An ascent into the mountains is the perfect way to get a panoramic view of the region, bringing you face to face with some of the most spectacular nature you’ve likely ever seen. If you’re hoping to stay in the area, set your sights on the Mountbatten Lodge. Built in 2013, the place is located deep in the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Inside, it’s all about old fashioned luxury and for a moment, you might well believe that you have stepped back in time.

Heading further into the mountains, you can set your sights on a different kind of staying experience. Fort Bishangarh, a heritage fortress, has recently been turned into a hotel, offering some of the most spectacular views in the country. The centuries-old fortress sits high up on a rocky ledge, looming over the tiny village below. If you love stargazing, valley views, and hillside sunsets, make this resting point a must on your list.

Rajasthan is about so much more than its tourist spots. Away from the hustle and bustle, it is wide open and just waiting to be explored by eager eyes.

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.