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Rural Rajasthan

The grand landscapes of rural Rajasthan are in striking contrast to its teeming cities. The state is dominated by the 350-mile Aravalli Range, which rises to 5,650 feet. Moving west into the Thar Desert, the land becomes flatter and more arid. Although fewer people ...

The grand landscapes of rural Rajasthan are in striking contrast to its teeming cities. The state is dominated by the 350-mile Aravalli Range, which rises to 5,650 feet. Moving west into the Thar Desert, the land becomes flatter and more arid. Although fewer people today wear traditional dress, still in evidence are the vibrant turbans and saris that once prompted Diana Vreeland to remark that “shocking pink is the navy blue of India.” Four-lane highways now link the main cities, but the quieter country roads can still be extremely picturesque. 

Rajasthan has a martial history and contains some of the most spectacular fortifications in the world. Both Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh have been designated World Heritage sites. The spectacular white marble temple of Ranakpur, 57 miles north of Udaipur, is an important center of Jainism, an ancient religion that requires the diligent pursuit of ahimsa, or nonviolence. The town of Pushkar lies 90 miles southwest of Jaipur. Rajasthan’s most famous festival, the Pushkar Camel Fair, is held here each November at the time of the full moon. The event brings around 400,000 people, as well as 11,000 camels. 

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