Rajasthan: Land of Enchantment


One of the most beautiful places I have ever visited (outside of Port Perry) is the Indian state of Rajasthan, the largest of the 28 states of the Republic of India. I guess the history and grandeur of days-gone-by still looms in the shadows of the current poverty and over population. Regardless of modern day concerns, the people are friendly and the sights are magnificent.

Of all the highlights to visit in India, Rajasthan is a must, but try and go in the early part of the year. I was fortunate to trek through India in January and was pleasantly surprised at constant 25 degree temperatures. The summer months bring monsoon rains and extremely hot and muggy days.

Rajasthan was the centre of the Maharaja era. There are forts and Palaces everywhere and a number of them have been converted into luxury hotel. To experience staying in rooms where kings have slept is beyond imagination.

The best way to explore Rajasthan is by private car with driver and guide. Traffic anywhere in India is unbelievable. There are no rules and the roads are shared by trucks, motorcycles, donkeys and camels, elephants and bicycles, people pulling carts and thousands of automobiles. To make matters worse, traffic lights are only for decoration and the odd policeman, standing on a pedestal in the centre of an intersection, is too busy fearing for his life to direct traffic. There are no lanes and traffic seems to drive on either side in either direction. To pass on the shoulder is quite common and if there is no room then the field, sidewalk or ditch will suffice.

Another interesting facet about travel through India is the debris on the roads. When