16 Oct 2023

Going Flight -Light To Rajasthan

As Climate Change concerns continue to shape more sustainable lifestyle choices, we, who love to travel, can embrace new ways to help reduce our carbon footprint. Opting for holidays which are flight-light is a good one to begin with. We should definitely be looking at joining the growing ranks of flexi-air-ins, when choosing the mix of cities and places we’d like to visit.

Going flight-light means we can choose journeys which involve overland trips by cab, bus or train, with a few boat rides thrown in, to places less accessible by air.

In India, one can travel from Delhi to Rajasthan quite easily without resorting to an inland flight. A good itinerary can involve a drive from Delhi to Jaipur via Agra and Rathambhore National Park. In Agra city soak up the bewitching charms of the Taj Mahal, shop for souvenirs in the bazaars, then get to Mehtab Bagh by the Yamuna to catch those fabulous sunset views of the great ‘monument to love.’

Moving on towards Jaipur do make a stop at Ranthambhore. Tiger-spotting jeep safaris in one of the world’s top tiger reserves is something you won’t forget in a hurry.

Having enjoyed the many charms of Jaipur palaces, museums and bazaars, make time at some point to go shopping and artisan-watching in the nearby villages of Sanganer and Bagru. For a lovely time in the outdoors, you should definitely plan a side trip to the nearby Jhalana Leopard Sanctuary for a rewarding jeep safari.

The next day, drive off to the lake city of Udaipur, fabled for its fairytale palaces and antique temples and bazaars. Move out of your comfort zone and take a cycling tour of some of the Bhil tribal settlements in the foothills of the Aravalli range on the city outskirts. Journey on to the pilgrim town of Nathdwara, 50 km away, where Lord Krishna is worshipped as Shrinathji. In the Chitrakaron ki Gali (artisan street) watch artisans create those fabulous pichwai paintings. These unique paintings have served as a backdrop to the deity in the sanctum of the Nathdwara temple for over 400 years.

Clever travellers can take advantage of Udaipur as a great base for wonderful side trips to historic spots that are easily accessible by road. The Jain temples at Ranakpur, just 95 km away from Udaipur, are noted for the brilliance of their architecture and sculptures.

Alternately head out to Rajasmand 65 km away, to picnic by the second largest man-made lake in the world. An unmissable treat in this district is the 15th century fortress of Kumbhalgarh. This old bastion of the Mewar rulers, before Udaipur became their capital, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Great Wall of Kumbhalgarh is the second longest on earth only to the Great Wall of China. If you love horse riding, your customized tour can involve arrangements for some horseback riding in the beautiful Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in the ancient Aravalli Hills.

There are numerous other places to visit in the entire region, all easily accessible by road— amongst them the beautiful water and bamboo -centric retreat of Banswara, Jowai Leopard Sanctuary, the historic city of Chittorgarh, the painterly medieval town of Bundi with its stepwell and blue-tinted houses…

The wonders of Rajasthan are so accessible by road you can easily ditch speedy inland flights. Travel slow and travel well, enjoying up-close and personal encounters with the land and the people for years to come.

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