Rajasthan is a state with rich history, culture and desert landscape. From vast expanses of the Thar desert, to towering forts and magnificent palaces, famous kalbelia dance with traditional Rajasthani music is a sight to behold. The prestigious past, stories of wars and the traditions interests every visitor.
You could not feel the essence of this state unless you immerse your soul into Rajasthani culture and traditions. If you like to get the true insight of historical India then, you should focus on exploring Rajasthan the right way.
Now, you must be wondering that is there any wrong way also to explore a destination? Yes, merely visiting the attractions without understanding their value or history is the biggest blunder you could commit on a trip. So, just leave behind your tourist approach and explore Rajasthan like a local!
1. Dine with a Local Family:
Rajasthani cuisine is a prominent part of the state’s culture. But, you would miss out a major part if you will only savour it in hotels or restaurants. Devouring the food of Rajasthan in restaurants is a great experience yet dining with the locals under traditional setup leaves lifelong memories to cherish.
There are many families who host tourists on a regular basis. You can also stop by a little earlier before dinner time to see the preparations of mouth-watering dishes or help in them. The people are friendly enough to teach you some basic dishes on special demands. Relishing on Rajasthani food in a local style would present an image of their culture and traditions.
2. Learn to Wear Rajasthani Pagri:
You must have seen the colourful headgears of local folks of Rajasthan in the images or on the TV. These beautifully designed head gears are more than just mere cloth pieces for Rajasthani folks. It is called a Pagri which is a symbol of respect and holds a social, economic and religious relevance.
You could ask about the significance of these Pagris from any local while exploring Rajasthan. Wearing them would give you a different feeling. Do you want to know how it is tied? If yes, then you can learn it with the guidance of any seller. Otherwise, there are locals that provide classes to the tourists in order to show their culture accurately. You could teach it to people back in your hometown as well!
3. Dance with Folk Dance Troupes:
You must have shaken legs in many parties and get-togethers but, have you ever tried a local dance form? Merely seeing the dancers performing isn’t enough to understand someone’s culture. Knowing the dancers, interacting with them or maybe learning a few steps will make you value their art in a better way.
You will also feel a distinct joy while performing with the professional dancers. Are you shy? Well, you could imitate a few steps back in your hotel if that’s the case. Or else the charms of Rajasthani dance forms would make you forget about your shyness!
4. Explore Rajsathani Havelis:
Everyone would advise you to visit the forts or maybe the palaces while travelling to Rajasthan. Well, that’s something preliminary which every tourist surely does. But, aren’t you unique? We know you are; so try something different along with exploring the famous forts and places of Rajasthan.
There are umpteen Havelis in every nook of the state. These abandoned structures hold important significance. The huge Havelis used to be the seats of various Rajput warrior clans and says a lot more than you could think. Walk through the big hallways, and try to decipher what those old walls and structures try to convey. You would surely learn a thing or two about Rajasthan from these Havelis.
5. Check Out the Small Roadside Markets:
The crafts of Rajasthan equally lure the tourists. Of course, buying products in an air-conditioned mall provide you with enough comfort. But, the joy of buying handmade accessories from the locals after half an hour of bargaining is peculiar. (You could spend less time in bargaining if you are a skilled shopper!)
You won’t just only find colourful clothes, jewellery, paintings and artifacts in these markets. Instead, it’s a way of having a glimpse of Rajasthani lifestyle. You would find many faces, many actions, and many distinct characters; each depicting a unique story of the life in Rajasthan. You could also interact with some locals or shopkeepers to know the process of making a few crafts.
6. Listen to Local Legends:
Stories amuse every human being, and there is no dearth of stories in Rajasthan. You would find many fans of various kings, periods and even specific incidents while talking to locals. Do you know that Kumbhalgarh Fort is built on the sacrifice of a sage? Or Chittorgarh Fort witnessed mass suicide known as Jauhar?
Every nook of Rajasthan is filled up with hundreds of such tales. All you have to do is to become a good listener and let the state unveil its biggest mysteries in front of you!
7. Become a Part of Local Celebrations:
The culture of India is based on many festivals and celebrations. Every state has some unique festivities along with the common festivals that are celebrated in the entire country. Celebrating the festivals of Rajasthan in a full traditional manner would make you very close to the people and their culture.
You would feel the same joy felt by the locals when they indulge in these celebrations. You will surely love unique festivals like Holi, Teej or Makar Sankranti in Rajasthan. So, celebrate them like locals!