By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
New Delhi, Oct 1 (IANSlife): Situated in the Aravalli ranges, Rajasthan is the biggest state in India and without a doubt, the state also holds the biggest place in people's hearts. From majestic havelis to breathtaking lakes, and exquisite food, from melodic folk music to adventurous sandy safaris, Rajasthan truly is a one-stop shop.
According to Agoda's indigenous travel survey, food is the second biggest motivator for Indians to travel, followed by art and culture, and Rajasthan presents the best of both worlds. From Laal Maas to Dal Bhati Churma, the food here is just a burst of flavours and you cannot get enough of it. The festive season is around the corner, and it is the perfect time to pack your bags and travel! If you are still figuring out your travel destination for the upcoming festivities, here are some top tips to enjoy a trip to the Land of the Maharajas.
Jodhpur -- The Blue City
What to see?
Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan and was founded in 1459 by Rao Jodha of Mandore. The Blue City's most unmissable attraction is the Mehrangarh fort, perched high on a hillside, this magnificent piece of architecture provides a glimpse of past royal life. Visit the gorgeous Phool Mahal, the glass Sheesh Mahal and Moti Mahal situated within the fort. After spending a day exploring the fort, head to the Pachetia Hills during sunset to experience the panoramic view of the entire city and the streets of Navchowkiya. Rajasthan is also known for its 'kunds' aka step-wells, and one of the most popular ones among them is the 'Toorji ka Jhalra' -- an 18th-century stepwell that features intricate sandstone carvings.
What to experience?
Did you know that Rajasthan has its own Taj Mahal? Jaswant Thada -- is one of the most famous white marble Cenotaphs. Get mesmerised by the magnificence of the Umaid Bhavan and also explore the streets of Sadar Bazaar, Tripolia bazaar, and Kapra bazaar markets. You will get lost in the vibrant colours of the flamboyant Rajasthani threadwork. Some other must-visit places include the Ranisar Padamsar lake, Rao Jodha Desert Park, Kaylana Lake and Mandore garden.
Sharing her experience, Kamiya Jani of Curly Tales, said, "Jodhpur has been at the top of my travel list! I had only 48 hours in the city but I managed to fall right into the lap of luxury, by visiting the iconic Jaswant Thada, enjoying a beautiful sunset atop Mehrangarh Fort, and making some beautiful memories at the gorgeous Panchetia Hills."
Tollywood star and Instagrammer, Samyuktha Shan, opined, "Jodhpur is known as the "Sun City" and indeed it was, shining brightly through its culture and colours!"
Where to eat?
Jodhpur is known for the scrumptious dal bati churma and must rank number one on your list of things to try here. There are also a number of restaurants serving authentic Rajasthani cuisine, with massive thalis reminiscent of a king's plate and the classic Makhaniya Lassi. Street food such as dahi chaat and pani patasa are unmissable, alongside sweet delights like ghevar and matka kulfi.
Talking about her trip to Jodhpur, daily Vlogger, Gopali Tiwari, stated, "Jodhpur has sustained its heritage and culture beautifully. The people there will welcome you with a warm, big smile and feed you yummy dal bati with lots of love. Can't wait to be there again!"
Where to stay?
Here are some of the best properties to choose to stay nearby including:
* Raas Jodhpur
* Radisson Jodhpur
* WelcomHeritage Bal Samand Lake Palace
What to see?
Udaipur, which is located in the southernmost part of Rajasthan, is known by many names - the 'City of lakes', the 'Venice of the East', and rightly so. Udaipur brims with natural beauty as the city is surrounded by seven lakes and is also known as the 'White City', due to the prevalence of Rajput-style palaces that are made out of white marble. Experience the rich culture and heritage of the city by visiting the Jagmandir Palace, situated in the middle of Lake Pichola, the Sajjangarh Monsoon Palace, built on the Aravalli hilltop, overlooking a breathtaking view of Lake Fateh Sagar, and the City Palace of Udaipur.
What to experience?
Enjoy the sunset at the bank of the Fateh Sagar Lake or the Badi lake and if you're someone who loves history, head to Bagore Ki Haveli -- a piece of architecture built in the 18th century which is now converted into a museum. Experience the hustle and bustle of the Udaipur streets while shopping at the Chetak Circle; find a decorative and aesthetic assortment of handicrafts. Hathi Pol Bazaar which is famous for the Pichwai and Phad paints of Rajasthan is a must-do destination for art buffs. Other must-visit places include the Ahar Cenotaphs Museum -- the cremation ground of the Maharanas of Mewar and Saheliyo ki Bari -- a majestic garden in the city.
Vlogger Jasminder Singh, said, "My visit to Udaipur was extremely fascinating. The forts were well maintained, the lakes were gorgeous, and the city in itself was oozing with history -- which as an avid traveller, was very exciting for me!"
Chiming in on his time at Udaipur, Influencer Anunay Sood, said, "As a traveller who is constantly searching for views that take my breath away, Udaipur has been one of the best places I have visited. The bustling streets, calming sunsets and serene lakes all added up to the city's beauty. The hospitality of the Rajasthani folks goes over and beyond anything else to make you feel royal."
Rriyanka Sarkar further said, "Everything you visit, takes you back in time. Udaipur is engulfed with scenic beauty, culture and tales -- and is a must-visit for all travelers."
Where to eat?
For breakfast, try out the famous aloo Pyaaz kachori. The streets around Circle have a range of fabulous flavours of Rajasthan, including lamb meat aka laal maas Sand Ker Sangri, local desserts such as Gulab halwa, or vegetarian favourites -- Aloo Pethe Ka Aag and Mirchi Bada.
Where to stay?
Here are some of the best properties to choose from a host of Agoda accommodations to stay nearby including:
* Aurika Udaipur -- Luxury by Lemon Tree hotels
* The Ananta Udaipur
* Lalit Laxmi Vilas
(Agoda's #TryAgoda influencer campaign is part of a wider marketing and advertising campaign the brand is launching this year to inspire Indians to explore and travel more.)