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Rajasthan travel guide by designer Raghavendra Rathore

Travel guides are best curated by those who have had repetitive associations with a place. So it was fitting that we asked designer Raghavendra Rathore to share his travel guide for Rajasthan.

Raghavendra Rathore’s association with the Rajasthani generation of casseroles. As one of the successors to the royal family of Jodhpur, his love for the state – its crafts, its people and its places is intrinsic. His great-grandfather Sri Sardar Singh is said to have popularized the Jodhpur safa (head covering) and the achkan (jacket). As an offspring of the artfully dressed Maharaja, Raghavendra Rathore’s Rajasthan is an amalgamation of heritage and great design. A family line based in the state as well as the early years lived there make the fashion designer an oracle of what to see, where to stay and what food to eat. We asked the designer who made bandhgala an icon to share a page from his travel diary.

The designer was inspired by the different aspects that the state has to offer. From soaking up the culture while browsing the local markets to taking adventurous journeys in search of wildlife, Rajasthan continues to enthrall. “The alleyways of Jodhpur’s Old Bazaar are a sensory extravaganza of local colors, sights, sounds and temptations. While the jungle of Ranakpur gives a sense of adventure and curiosity for the natural habitats of wildlife. The dunes of Jaisalmer, on the other hand, are simply a stunning desert landscape to discover and exploit. Although it revels in the many aspects of royal Rajasthan, it is the “warm sense of hospitality” that is one of the greatest things about the place.

Designer, Raghavendra Rathore’s guide to Rajasthan:

Where to stay in Rajasthan:

Samode Haveli, Jaipur
Built as the royal family’s mansion, the Samode Haveli is located in the heart of the Pink City and is “a compelling balance between old and new Jaipur”. Managed by the Samode Group, this quaint mansion is nestled in old Jaipur and boasts beautifully painted interiors, leafy hallways, an elephant ramp and an iconic swimming pool. Visit here.

SUJAN Sher Bagh, Ranthambore
If you’re looking for a place of secluded serenity and an opportunity to see tigers in a billion-year-old forest, then SUJÁN Sher Bagh is a great getaway. “Tent camps and scenic gardens” really make it perfect for glamping. Visit here.

Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur
Ancestral property of Raghavendra Rathore – Ajit Bhawan, a heritage hotel known for its regal ambience that reflects the royal heritage of Rajasthan coupled with state-of-the-art amenities. Inside, you’ll find regal furnishings and artefacts from the former Rajput royal family combined with contemporary charm. Visit here.

The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
A beautiful and romantic property that mimics a similar aesthetic to the era of the Maharajas. Nestled on the shores of Lake Pichola, it offers panoramic views of the lake city and hospitality unmatched even in Rajasthan. Visit here.

The must-see places to eat in Rajasthan:

Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar, Jaipur
Located in the famous Johri Bazaar, LMB is one of the best places to dive into delicious vegetarian street food and iconic treats. It is known for its Rajasthani ghewar, kachori and thalis. Visit here.

Shikar Bagh, Jaipur
Located in Narain Niwas, Shikar Bagh is a restaurant and bar with a rustic outdoor seating area. “It’s a great place in the evening for snacks and whatever your poison is, with the ambiance of a fancy hunting lodge. Visit here.

Janta Sweet Home Jodhpur
A popular joint of sweet and savory dishes which is a culinary delight and the local flavors of Jodhpur’s famous mirchi vadas and kachoris. Visit here.

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
The picturesque pillars of the Umaid Bhawan Palace sit on a pillared veranda offering magnificent city views and delicious fine dining options. Visit here.

Hero Image: Courtesy of Oberoi Udaivilas. Featured Image: Umaid Bhawan Palace. All other images: Courtesy marks.