Travel guides are best curated by those who have had repetitive associations with a place. It was therefore only right that we ask designer Raghavendra Rathore to share his travel guide for Rajasthan.
Raghavendra Rathore’s association with Rajasthan pans generation. As one of the successors of the Jodhpur royal family, his love for the state – its craft, people, and places is intrinsic. His great-grandfather Sri Sardar Singh is touted to have popularised the Jodhpur safa (headgear) and achkan (jacket). As the scion to the astutely dressed maharaja, Raghavendra Rathore‘s Rajasthan is an amalgamation of heritage and great design. A family lineage based in the state along with early years lived there, makes the fashion designer an oracle on things to do see, places to stay, and food to eat. We asked the designer who made the bandhgala an icon to share a page out of his travel black book.
The designer has sought inspiration from the various aspects that the state has to offer. From soaking in the culture while browsing through local markets to taking adventurous trips in search of wildlife, Rajasthan continues to fascinate him. “The lanes of the old bazaar in Jodhpur are a sensorial extravaganza of colour, sights, sounds and local temptations. While the Ranakpur jungle imparts a sense of adventure and curiosity about natural wildlife habitats. The Dunes of Jaisalmer, on the other hand, are simply a stunning desert landscape to experience and gain from.” Even as he revels in the many aspects of royal Rajasthan, it’s 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 manor, the Samode Haveli is located in the heart of Pink City and is “a compelling balance of old and new Jaipur”. Managed by the Samode group, this quaint mansion is tucked away in Old Jaipur and boasts beautifully-painted interiors, leafy corridors, an elephant ramp, and an iconic pool. Visit here.
SUJÁN Sher Bagh, Ranthambore
If you’re looking for a place of secluded serenity and an opportunity to observe tigers in a billion-year-old forest, then SUJÁN Sher Bagh is a great getaway. “The tented camps and scenic gardens” truly make it perfect for glamping. Visit here.
Ajit Bhawan, Jodhpur
Raghavendra Rathore’s ancestral property – Ajit Bhawan, a heritage hotel known for its regal ambiance which mirrors Rajasthan’s royal heritage paired with avant-garde amenities. Inside you’ll find regal furnishings and artifacts from the erstwhile Rajput royals combined with a contemporary charm. Visit here.
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
A beautiful and romantic property that mimics an aesthetic that is similar to the era of the Maharajas. Nestled at the banks of Lake Pichola, it offers panoramic views of the lake city and unparalleled hospitality even in Rajasthan. Visit here.
Must-try places for food in Rajasthan:
Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar, Jaipur
Located in the famous Johri Bazaar, LMB is one of the top places to dive into delicious vegetarian street food and iconic sweet treats. It’s known for it’s ghewar, kachori and Rajasthani thalis. Visit here.
Shikar Bagh, Jaipur
Located in Narain Niwas, Shikar Bagh is a bar-restaurant with a rustic outdoor seating area. “It’s a great spot in the evenings for snacks and whatever your poison is, in the ambience of a refined hunting lodge. Visit here.
Janta Sweet Home, Jodhpur
A popular sweet and savoury food joint that is a culinary delight and the local flavours of Jodhpur’s famous mirchi vadas and kachoris. Visit here.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
The scenic pillars at the Umaid Bhawan Palace are set on a collonaded veranda offering a beautiful view of the city and some delectable fine dining options. Visit here.
Hero Image: Courtesy The Oberoi Udaivilas. Featured Image: Umaid Bhawan Palace. All Other Images: Courtesy brands.