Rajasthan can be daunting if you are a first-time traveler to this region and you want more than just a “Golden Triangle holiday”. How to plan such a holiday? How to avoid the pitfalls or mass market tourism? How to make sure the holiday is of the right quality? How to engender sufficient intellectual stimulation?
The answer, of course, lies not only in expert advice but, perhaps even more crucial to the success and enjoyment of a holiday of this calibre (which, by default, becomes an exploration as opposed to just a holiday), is being certain that one is staying with – and being informed by – the correct people. This means basing oneself at interesting, beautiful, personable and sometimes eccentric properties and being guided through India's many delights by a person at each location location who is altogether cognisant of what one is trying to achieve. The fact that this person may also be slightly eccentric is at least immaterial and more often a bonus, but the critical criterion here is that knowledge of this intimate, gorgeous, region of India should be associated with humor, intelligence and élan!
For it is these idiosyncratic aspects of India that make a luxury Rajasthan (or a luxury North India / Rajasthan) holiday so appealing. Here lies the vibrant and colorful heartland of the great kingdoms ruled by Emperors and the Maharajas! Here lies the Taj Mahal and other gems of Mughal and Rajput architecture side by side with desert countryside and nomadic cultures. Here are rich colors, ornate opulent palaces and gorgeous Royal tented camps. Here, too, the colorful festivals of Pushkar and Nagaur. Here one can ride camels through the Thar desert or magnificent Marwari horses, meet local villagers, stay in beautiful havelis and dine with the noble owners before leaving more as friends than visitors. Why not take an art tour with an artist, or visit the Jantar Observatory with an expert on astronomy? Or be involved with a group of elders discussing the problems their village faces in the 21st century, and see the palaces and fungi which house miniature art and Rajput treasures. This is the essence of such a holiday: meeting and staying with a local Maharajah, getting briefed briefly in local affairs of note or politics, being in the countryside away from mainstream tourism still observing the harvest or experiencing still-magnificent fauna. This is the Rajasthan which is so much more than the so-called Golden Triangle.
Immerse yourself in Rajasthan, do it in style, and enjoy a wonderful, eclectic, intelligent and satisfying Rajasthan holiday.