Rajasthan is known as the Land of Kings, sprinkled with intricate palaces, ancient forts and a vibrant culture. From the golden sand dunes of the Thar Desert, to the royal Bengal tigers of Ranthambhore, Rajasthan is as vibrant and varied as its heritage and culture. During the era of Maharajas and Maharanis, Rajasthan was never able to unite. As such, the number of great palaces and capital cities is unusually high. Its opulent royal residences, battle-scarred forts, historic cities and busy bazaars will inspire even the most jaded of travellers.
Experience Royal Rajasthan in style with the ultimate top 5 luxurious experiences;
Soak up a vibrant folk-dance at the Taj Rambagh Palace – Jaipur, Rajasthan
The Taj Rambagh Palace is situated in the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur. Jaipur is affectionately referred to by locals as the ‘Pink City’ due to the brightly washed walls of the City Palace.
The Taj Rambagh is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown of Jaipur and was once the sanctuary of kings, princes and their guests. The Taj Rambagh glows with a distinctive sense of history, heritage and opulence. It’s an architectural masterpiece that transcends time, and is the perfect complement to any luxury tour of Rajasthan, India.
In blatant contrast to the pale desert sands of Rajasthan, the folk dancers and musicians of Taj Rambagh explode in a riot of colour and vibrant tradition. Relax on the sprawling courtyards of the palace as they captivate you with their enchanting steps and cheerful tunes against the setting of the magnificent Taj Rambagh Palace – a show almost identical to the ones the Maharajas of times gone by would have enjoyed.
The vibrant show takes place each evening, from 7:30pm onwards during the summer and 7pm onwards during the winter.
Wander the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum with Champagne, caviar and your own butler – Jodhpur, Rajasthan
The Umaid Bhawan Palace was built in the 20th century and is the last of Rajasthan’s great palaces. The exquisite Umaid Bhawan is located in Jodhpur, also known as the ‘Blue City’ as the houses surrounding the palace are coated in a bright sky blue hue.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace is home to the royal family’s museum, along with Jodhpur’s royal train and a fine collection of vintage cars – including a Silver Ghost Rolls Royce. The museum houses an irreplaceable collection of Victorian and Edwardian clocks, pottery and objects d’art. It also showcases traditional Rajasthani miniature paintings, 20th century weaponries and elaborate cutlery from the Maharajas personal collection.
Stroll through the museum with a flute of Champagne, accompanied by your own royal butler. The Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum is open until 9pm each day.
Float along the shimmering Lake Pichola on a traditional Shikara boat – Udaipur, Rajasthan
Ranked as the ‘Best Resort in the World’ in 2012, the Oberoi Udavilas is the definition of royal Rajasthani flair and style. Unwind with a calm and tranquil boat ride in a traditional Shikara along the waters of Lake Pichola. Soak up the glowing Rajasthani sunset with canapés and watch the stars appear.
Extend your trip with a private boat ride tour of Udaipur, Rajasthan’s most romantic city. Your expert guide will explain the history of the royal city, also known as the ‘Venice of the East’. The boat will glide past historic sites and the banks of Lake Pichola.
A romantic camel trek under the Stars in the Thar Desert – Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Explore the golden sands of Rajasthan’s vast Thar Desert on a guided camel trek at sunset. Watch the sun go down and the moon come out accompanied by thousands of glittering stars; an impossibly romantic experience.
Following your trek, spend the night at The Serai – Jaisalmer’s most lavish tented desert camp. The Serai is an authentic recreation of a life enjoyed by the leaders and Maharajas of Rajasthan in rest. At The Serai, 21 tents are a beautiful combination of styles, along with six luxury tented suites. Each suite has a private enclosed garden and sunken heated dip pool. The Royal Suite is a private encampment with private garden, spa, outdoor pool and tents to both dine and lounge in.
A private game drive in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve – Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
Go on the trail of wild Bengal tigers in Ranthambhore National Park, on an exclusive game drive accompanied by an expert naturalist. Russell Brand and Katie Perry did the very same thing on their wedding day in 2010, and stayed at the opulent Aman-I-Khas tented resort.
The Aman-I-Khas is undoubtedly the most luxurious and exclusive resort in Ranthambhore. Whilst staying at the Aman-I-Khas, your very own butler will attend your every whim attentively yet unobtrusively.
Species to look out for on your drive through the reserve include; tiger, leopard, crocodile, sloth and deer. Ranthambhore National Park has one of the healthiest tiger populations in the world, and is the most accessible tiger reserve in India. Ranthambhore is easily reached from the Taj Mahal whilst on the way to Jaipur.
Madeleine Hann is CEO and Co-Founder of Indian Excursions Co.