India is filled with romantic, mystical destinations that have been celebrated in literature, photography and film. One of the most overlooked of this vast country’s destinations is tucked into its northwest corner. The state of Rajasthan features the broad Thar Desert as well as mountains and Kiplingesque forests that are home to tigers, deer, and leopards.
Rajasthan was a land of kings, and the palaces, temples, and fortresses from the Golden Age of these “rajas” still stand all around the state. This gives Rajasthan a truly timeless appeal. Jaipur, known as the Pink City because of its brightly hued buildings, is home to stunning sites like the Jal Mahal and the famous Amber Fort. The Old Town of nearby Jodhpur is called the Blue City because of the blue paint on almost every ancient building.
But it is the more-remote city Jaisalmer that is the best place to come into contact with Rajasthan’s past. This Medieval-era town has changed little over the centuries. The sandstone buildings still stand majestically over the Thar Desert, beckoning adventurously-spirited tourists from all over the world. One of the best ways to tour Rajasthan is as just as the princes and royalty of old did. Some of the best places to stay are traditional tented safari or caravan camps that were inspired by the opulent tented encampments of the rajas.
These places can put you in touch with the unique nature and beautiful scenery of the rural parts of the state while also placing you in proximity to some of the best historic attractions.
Here are three examples of this blending of classic surroundings, nature, and luxury.
The Serai, Jaisalmer sits in the Thar Desert about 20 miles from the ancient city that many people consider the single best destination in Rajasthan (if not all of India). The luxurious tents here are incredibly expansive, covering more than 1,000 square feet each. A swimming pool and spa provide a relaxing and sophisticated edge to this property, while the staff’s willingness to serve gourmet meals in a private and romantic corner of the encampment makes this a wonderful option for couples seeking romance.
Sher Bagh, meanwhile, is a safari camp deep in the forest near the famous Ranthambhore Tiger Preserve. Guests stay in one of 12 luxury tented suites, spending sunrises and sunsets on their private verandah and taking 4x4 cruises with naturalists and trackers as they seek to catch sight of one of the world’s most elusive animals, the wild tiger.
Finally, the JAWAI Leopard Camp matches the other two tent-resorts in terms of overall luxury and classic feel. It has what are arguably the most stunning views of any location in Rajasthan. The expansive tents, private pool, and amazing dining spaces overlook the unique rock formations and wide grasslands that make this one of the state’s most scenic locations.
Have you explored Rajasthan? Or have we perked your interest with tho post? Let us know about your past experiences or your future travel plans in the comments section below.