A Road Trip that brought alive the rhapsody that is Rajasthan

road trip in Rajasthan

road trip in Rajasthan

A Road Trip in Rajasthan covering the cities of Jaipur, Bikaner & Jaisalmer

Rajasthan is a word that instantly conjures up images of wide expanses of deserts, historic and magnificent palaces tinged with the intrigue of royalty and a vibrant as well as pulsating folk culture.

Rajasthan locals

Rajasthan is a colorful state of India which has to be experienced and relished slowly and immersively.

The charm of Rajasthan lures us again and again to its fold and hence one winter morning we found ourselves at the pink city of Jaipur, poised on the threshold of a road trip in Rajasthan that would take us across Rajasthan and into the Thar desert. It would take us to Bikaner which was formerly the capital of the princely state known as Bikaner. We would then shoot away towards the westernmost part of India, Jaisalmer located on the border of the Thar desert. From Jaisalmer, we would head towards Jodhpur and from there make our way towards the spiritual towns of Ajmer and Pushkar to finally head back to our origin Jaipur. Before we embarked on our Rajasthan Road trip, we paused to go over our lists of dos and don’ts for the trip.

Rajasthan Road trip

The road trip in Rajasthan would traverse through  1,322 kilometers of intriguing and interesting landscapes with an approximate driving time of 22 hours. Our road trip across Rajasthan would take us approximately 8 days. In this post, we cover a portion of the road trip in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan

This post is not about the destinations in Rajasthan. Those would be covered in separate posts that will be coming up shortly. This is more about enjoying the thrills of traveling through the interiors of Rajasthan on a road trip in Rajasthan. Though it was the month of December and mornings were cool enough, the sun would be scorching in the afternoons when our car heated up. Air conditioning kept us cool when we were inside, but we would be sweating profusely whenever we stepped out of the car.

Jaipur to Bikaner

After breakfast at Jaipur, we drove westwards towards the desert. As we left the city of Jaipur behind in a cloud of dust we watched the landscape and the vegetation changed quickly. Eucalyptus trees and yellow mustard fields were left far behind.

Rajasthan Vegetation

Vast barren stretches of land could be seen, dotted with wild thorned trees, mute fighters and survivors against the harsh side of nature. We watched strange looking trees that stood in graceful splendor, proud and defiant in their form, as if challenging the very forces of creation.

On the tips of the branches of these trees sprouted tender, green leaves which seemed to be triumphantly mocking the desert and its harsh realities. The trees stood as silent survivors against the vagaries of nature. The trees strangely looked similar to the trees we had seen in the totally contrasting environs of Rapperswil in Switzerland.

The trees painted a fascinating picture, but our attention was drawn to a tiny Chinkara by side of the road who disappeared like quicksilver in the twinkling of an eye. The Chinkara are found in Rajasthan and one of the factors that help them survive in the deserts of Rajasthan is the fact that they can survive for long periods of time without water. As we drove through the arid region lost in thought about the Chinkara, a peacock appeared by the side of the road, gave the passing car a curious look and then daintily scampered away.

As we neared the city of Bikaner, we were astounded to see huge patches of green fields in the midst of the arid wasteland. The fields were being watered by jets of sparkling silvery water and it was quite a soothing sight to the eyes in the midst of the barren landscapes. We found that irrigation and water management in the area had begun as early as 1899 when the  Maharaja of the Bikaner state had laid down an irrigation system of canals.

Today the Indira Gandhi Canal which is one of the largest projects of its kind provides irrigation to parts of Jaisalmer, Barmer and other districts of Rajasthan.

Bikaner to Jaisalmer

After enjoying and discovering the treasures of Bikaner, many of them that were unknown and unsung, we were back in our car zipping away further towards the Thar desert, our destination, Jaisalmer.

Pokhran

On the way, we passed the famous town of Pokhran, which owing to its remote location was the site for India’s first underground nuclear detonation.

Travel and food go hand in hand and when you are on a road trip, you get ample opportunities to get the local and authentic flavors of the food of the region. We had some amazing food at roadside restaurants.

Rajasthan Cuisine

The food in these places retained the aromas and flavors that are so intrinsic to Rajasthani cuisine and we really ate to our heart’s content at unknown villages and their unknown restaurants.

As we sped through the desert, the sun went down and we stopped by the side of the road to catch a glimpse of the setting sun.

Sunset in Rajasthan

The scene that stretched out in front of us was ethereal. The beauty of the setting sun had transformed the arid landscapes into a spectacular medley of colors.

Sunset in Rajasthan

The sun slowly disappeared in the western horizon and we retraced our steps back to the car to resume out journey to Jaisalmer. As night fell, we reached Jaisalmer and after a dinner that gave us another opportunity to revel in the flavors of Rajasthani cuisine, we fell asleep, dreaming about what the morning would have in store for us on this road trip in Rajasthan.

road trip in Rajasthan

Do stay tuned for more stories from our Rajasthan Rhapsody as we roam the desert, hypnotized by the sights, sounds, flavors, and aromas that are intrinsically Rajasthan.

 

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road trip in Rajasthan

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72 thoughts on “A Road Trip that brought alive the rhapsody that is Rajasthan

  1. Yogi Saraswat Reply

    Good One !! These types of journey always shows the actual face of that place !!

  2. Dannielle Reply

    I’ve never been massively attracted to India but if I was going to go, it would be to Rajasthan. I have friends who have been and loved it, and this post confirms it!

  3. Chris Reply

    That photo with the setting sun is an absolute gem!

    Sarah first, and since then her mum have trod essentially this same route.

    I am envious of you all, especially having had a fresh recap from your experiences now.

    Such a stunning part of the world that really does conjure feelings of the exotic, I’m sure even for you in your home country!

  4. ricci Reply

    What a cool road trip! I have never been outside of the USA but I plan on getting across the pond soon!!!

  5. valmg @ Mom Knows It All Reply

    What a lovely sunset! I wouldn’t have expected to see so much greenery in the middle of a desert and the green grass surely would have been a surprise for me as well.

  6. Alli Smith Reply

    The sunset is amazing and I’m amazed at the beautiful landscape photos. The food looks delicious and I would love to take this trip! At least I get to see it through your eyes. Thanks!

  7. candy Reply

    There are so many places we would enjoy visiting. India isn’t on the list so far. I did enjoy looking at the photos and seeing the pretty scenery and what you did while there.

  8. Jeanette Reply

    I have never been to India. There are definitely places in India I want to explore. I love how colorful that country is. There’s a lot of pretty scenery that I did not realize was there.

  9. Pam Wattenbarger Reply

    I love road trips. It’s a great way to get the feel of a place and see the sights. Your photos are awesome.

  10. Debra J Hawkins Reply

    Wow! These photos are absolutely amazing! It makes me realize just how different the world is from the small little sliver that I live on!

  11. My Teen Guide Reply

    That was one vast expanse of flat land you drove through! The landscape on both sides of the road were nice, the trees are something I’ve never seen before. Oh, and that sunset! I love sunsets too, and if I had my way, I would live on a small cottage by the sea, watching sunsets till the end of my days.

  12. Kavey Favelle Reply

    What a lovely selection of photos. I agree that Rajasthan is a wonderful region of India, not least because of the colourful saris that are so popular with the women there. The architecture of the key cities is mesmerising, and so photogenic.

  13. Barbara Szekeres Reply

    This looks like an amazing adventure! I was in Jaipur a few years ago. The traffic was crazy. So, this must have been a crazy trip with lots of beautiful sites to discover.

    • Sarah Bailey Reply

      I would love to be able to just take to the road and explore all those amazing places out there, hopefully I get to visit Rajasthan one day too!

  14. julie Reply

    Wow, these photos are gorgeous. Looks like a wonderful trip. I would love to go some day!

  15. Anete Reply

    Awesome route! It looks so exotic and undiscovered. I would totally like to try some thing of Rajasthani cuisine. It all looks so delicious 🙂

  16. Paige W Reply

    This definitely looks like the perfect Rajasthan road trip. I have a friend from India and she’s telling me this is where I HAVE to celebrate Holi next year. Do you agree?

  17. Eric || The Bucket List Project Reply

    We loved driving from Jaipur to Jaiselmer last January. It was a unique area that had a simplicity that was just breathtaking! Wish we has seen more wildlife like you did though. Just remember Monkeys and domesticated farm Camels.
    I do rememeber the food being unbelievable up there too. Thanks for the memories

  18. Fiona Maclean Reply

    some beautiful and evocative writing in this piece – and of course some stunning photography. You make the journey into a real adventure.

  19. Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen Reply

    This would be a once in a lifetime trip! Looks very interesting and like it would be a lot of fun.

  20. Kasia Reply

    Your food on the picture look amazing and very tasty 😀 I have never been to India but it’s definitely a dream for me 🙂

    Best,
    Kasia

  21. Dorene Reply

    OH!! You brought me back to my memories of Rajasthan! I loved it – I got to Jaisalmer and Jaipur but I didn’t get these views at all. Beautiful pics and thanks for the road trip with you!

  22. Jenny Reply

    I’ve never been to India or out of the country anywhere besides Mexico. I love that it looks like our deserts in the U.S.

    Kind of gives you a sense of familiarness in an unknown place.

  23. rika Reply

    I love India foods! The curry looks amazing! This city looks amazing, I’d love to visit.

  24. Megan Jerrard Reply

    I would love to take a road trip through Rjasthan! The sunsets really are spectacular – and I love the diversity of wildlife and landscapes you managed to experience along the way – nice work on snapping a photo of the Chinkara – I know first hand how quick they are!

  25. sherianne Reply

    What a great way to truly experience this area. That sunset is amazing and I want to hug the baby camel!

  26. Indrani Reply

    Amazing road trip! I did something similar in 2008, I came via Barmer to Jaisalmer and included Kota and Bundi too. The roads are so well made, pot hole free, it is indeed a pleasure to drive through Rajasthan roads.

  27. Jen Joslin Reply

    This brought back some wonderful memories of our trip in Rajasthan! The food, the scenery. What an incredible part of India! It sounds like a great experience to make this road trip in your own vehicle. It must have been fantastic to pause whenever your heart desired, something we couldn’t do in buses or trains. Love your pics!

  28. Nisha Jha Reply

    I think this is a good circuit in Rajasthan. I loved the photos especially the one of setting sun. Tha Thali is probably enough to feed at least two persons 🙂 🙂

  29. Karla Reply

    We were just talking about a trip to India, Rajastan would definitely be part of my IT then. It is scenic but would it be an easy drive?

  30. Vlad Reply

    I’ve never been to India but this looks like one awesome road trip. Love that sunset photo, reminds me of the gorgeous sunset I’ve seen in Morocco 🙂

  31. Rhonda Albom Reply

    This looks like an incredible and gorgeous road trip. I love the silhouette sunset photography. We haven’t been to India yet but I know that it’s at the top of my daughter’s bucket list.

  32. Katchutravels Reply

    I have not been to Rajasthan. I could imagine that it would be arid, but its quite a thing to be driving through such arid landscapes, and still managing to have good food from such rural areas. Any note on the vegetation, food and animals in this sector?

  33. Brenda Reply

    This road trip looks incredible. What a fabulous way to see this part of India, and your photos are incredible . I was awe struck at the images of those green pastures, how amazing they thought of irrigation so long ago.

  34. Darlene | PS+W Reply

    Such an amazing scenery. Different from what most people would think of India. Although it can be hotter in the desert, your roadtrip seemed to be fun. Loved how you described the sunset!

  35. Suruchi Reply

    Beautiful picture of Sunset. I loved the way you have narrated your journey. It was so interesting and I was continuously thinking now what is coming next. We too had done the road trip from Delhi to Udaipur in January 2016. Bikaner and Jaisalmer are still high on the list. Hopefully, will do that in 2018. Looking forward to more stories of this trip.

  36. Ada Reply

    I love road trips! Its definitely my favourite way to travel! Rajasthan looks beautiful! So colourful! I would love to visit India one day !

  37. Amanda Tran Reply

    Sounds like a great route and a super fun road trip. What a wonderful journey and narrative. Thanks for sharing and inspiring Travel in India!

  38. Laura Nalin Reply

    This looks amazing!! I would love to see camels in the wild like that. The Rajasthani food looks so delicious – is it spicy? I want to try! Hopefully someday.

  39. Megan Indoe Reply

    This looks like an amazing road trip. Even though that Chinkara was fast you were still able to capture it pretty well! We really need to go to India, the question is how long do we give ourselves because we want to go pretty much everywhere!

  40. lisa Reply

    What an amazing road trip! These pictures are beautiful. I would love to take a trip like this some day!

  41. valmg @ Mom Knows It All Reply

    22 hours is a very long time for an area that isn’t even the entire country! Sunsets like the beautifuk one above would certainly make the long travel time less trying.

  42. Mimi's Migration Reply

    You write so well! Your story and writing is capturing. Even if I knew nothing about the region, you got my attention. And your photos are great!

  43. Tamara - @Girlswanderlust Reply

    Sounds like a great road trip! I love the fact that you came across some wild animals on the way. And the sunset is just magnificient! Would love to visit this place one time.

  44. Ryazan Reply

    This road trip is absolutely fantastic! I bet even if the route seems like will take you forever, the amazing landscape has no doubt entertained you. Not to mention, the beautiful wildlife that makes it extra special.

  45. Catvills Reply

    I love looking at photos of the sunset. I sat back on my chair and looked at your photo for the longest time. I am at awe at the beauty! I have never been to India but I feel like I have, because your blog posts always gives a perfect description of the place.

  46. Blaine is Lost Reply

    What a wonderful road trip. The desert is filled with different wildlife and seeing these are magnificent. It simply shows that the place is alive and rich in flora and fauna.

  47. Alex Reply

    I’ve wanted to go to India so badly, I’ll definitely have to add Rajasthan to the list!

  48. candy Reply

    Believe I have commented on this before. Never heard of this place so adding the map was a nice touch. All your photos are wonderful and looks like you had fun.

  49. Travel tips Reply

    I’m not anymore attracted to India, have been there several times and it is going on becoming touristic. That’s a real pity even though rajasthan deserves a lot

  50. Swati Reply

    Road trip are so much fun and I absolutely love the local food you encounter. Rajasthan in particularly is so much fun with the Chinkara and Peacock spotting, the colorful attire of women and turbans of men make for awesome clicks. Of course the sunsets are spectacular.

  51. Karie Reply

    Road trips are one of the best ways to explore a place. It’s surprising to see the landscape change so much. That sunset looks surreal and food so yummy! I can’t believe I’ve not been to Rajasthan yet, though I live in India. I definitely need to visit asap!

  52. Danielle Desir Reply

    What an incredible experience! Both the food and sunset look so vibrant! It was also interesting seeing the site of India’s first underground nuclear detonation and why this location was picked.

  53. Jill Robbins Reply

    Your photographs are stunning. I would love to visit India one day. The scenery is gorgeous but I have to say, my favorite picture was of the food. Mmm nan!

  54. Kenneth Reply

    Rajasthan looks amazing. It doesnt look like India. It feel I am somewhere in africal or in the middle east.

  55. Karla Reply

    Interesting road trip! It’s good that you had a chance to eat authentic Indian food. I’m just wondering, Is India safe for female solo travelers?

  56. Nuraini Reply

    I’m so pleased now. I made the right decision of not trying to do Uttar Pradesh *and* Rajasthan together. I need to do Rajasthan as a separate trip, for sure.

  57. Erica Reply

    This route seems to be a perfect path to enjoy a different side of Rajasthan. The trees and the camels caught my attention. I wonder how those small trees are called? And are there different kinds of camels? Anyways, the vast barren land is interesting to see! I’d love to go on a roadtrip here.

  58. Archana Singh Reply

    I love Rajasthan for its food, culture, and desertscape. You seem to have really had a good time on your trip. Bikaner to Jaisalmer is a lovely drive. I totally love it.

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