India has been on our bucket list for quite some time. We heard so many stories about this incredible country, both beautiful and frightening at the same time. People say you either love or hate it but I am not a great friend of classifying destinations into black and white. In our trips, we got as close as Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Although getting close to what India might be like, both countries still didn’t capture the real-deal and feel of the Indian culture. In the attempt to finally blow away the fog of mystery, we decided to go and see for ourselves.
Our idea was to travel around the beautiful state of Rajasthan. Being India’s largest state (by area), we had one month to explore it, leaving us enough time to get an idea of what Indian, or at least north-western Indian, culture looks like. We took a flight to the capital city of Delhi and from there, started a long journey around the different cities and districts of the ‘Land of Kings’ as it also is referred to because of the many kingdoms which once reigned this area.
The best way to discover Rajasthan is by train. If you prepare your trip a bit ahead of time and plan your stays properly, it is a great way of getting around this incredibly huge state fast, cheap and comfortably (most of the time). Our trip took us from the bustling pink city of Jaipur to the holy grounds of Pushkar and the lake palaces of Udaipur. We slept under the starry nights in the Thar Desert on a camel ride and explored the majestic Mehrangarh fort in the blue city of Jodhpur. We visited the one-of-a-kind rat temple in Bikaner and explored the vast tastes of what Rajasthani cuisine could offer us. Rajasthan has surprised us in many ways and we absolutely enjoyed this Indian adventure. We finally got the chance to see and explore at least a small part of what this amazing country has to offer.
India can hit you hard, both mentally and physically. It challenges your heart and mind (and stomach) and keeps you at pace every single day. The sheer amount of people, trash, noise and smell can be very intimidating. But there also is another side to it. Its beauty, its stunning landscapes and scenery, its hospitality and food will overcome the intimidation and let you leave this country with a smile. We’re definitely coming back, sooner or later!