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Rajasthan, literally, means place of Rajas or Royals and entire Rajasthan still exhume the aroma of medieval period. It in located amidst the oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Ranges and has been an important part of cultural and commercial exchanges between various civilizations of the world. Every town and village of Rajasthan is studded with amazing assortment of heritage, history, culture, traditions, folk music and colorful folk life. Rajasthan is the best place for the travelers who love to explore the vibrant culture and well preserved traditions.

The reasons as to why to visit Rajasthan lies in its various famous destinations which are known by sobriquets like Pink City, Blue City, Lake City and Golden city. I wanted to see life beyond this and hence wanted to explore Rajsthan my way i.e. self drive road tripping. For a self drive aficionado like me, after having driven in deadly mountain roads in Himalayan state of Himachal and Uttaranchal, this time call for actions reverberated from golden sand dunes of Great Indian Desert of Thar spread in the Rajasthan state of India and some part in Pakistan as well.

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia,

Rajasthan: Camel Land of India

Once in Rajasthan, you have a wide range of things to cover. Formidable and magnificent forts, tale of legends, mesmerizing havelis/mansions of Baniya traders, folk deities, varied landscape comprises of golden sand dunes, lush green forest and blue water lakes. It has something for everyone and it is impossible to return without being affected by the mysterious charm of royal land.

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia,

Old Stone Structure: Can be located in abundance

My idea of exploring Rajasthan, however, was to drive thru desert in Jaisalmer, go deep in desert riding on a camel in Bikaner to experience the arid yet serene vastness of nature, appreciate the architectural marvelous of havelis/mansions in Mandawa, Bikaner and Jaisalmer, get mesmerized by ever revered rats of the Karni Mata Temple, spend a day in the only living forts of the world i.e. Golden Fort of Jaisalmer, pay my tribute to the Tanot Mata at border location in Jaisalmer and last but not the least see the art of concocting the Bhujia in Bikaner.

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia,

Driving through Thar Desert

So in a nut-shell Rajasthan offers everything that can satiate my yearning for travel, capturing photographs of natural beauty and architectural grandeur, and relish much talk about food of Rajasthan,

Let’s have a quick view of self drive road trip to Bikaner and Jaisalmer

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia,

Route Map Delhi to Bikaner to Jaisalmer to Tanot and back to Delhi Via Jaipur

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Sunrise on Delhi Jaipur Highway

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Rangeela Rajasthan: Colorful Art on Wheel

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Structure on Water Well: Prevalent in Shekhavati Region of Rajasthan. Water has always been most precious resource in Rajasthan.

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Haveli in Mandawa: Mandawa is famous for colorful Haveli Facades. This town is known as world’s biggest open art gallery.

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Another Haveli in Fatehpur on the road to Bikaner

Self Drive, Road Trip,Deshnok, Karni Mata, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Road to Karni Mata Mandir in Deshnok from Bikaner

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Karni Mata, Deshnok

Karni Mata Mandir: Famous Rat Temple near Bikaner in Deshnok.

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Karni Mata, Deshnok

Revered Rats of Karni Mata Temple: Famous Rat Temple

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Karni Mata, Deshnok

Rampuria Havelis in Bikaner

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Bhikharam Chandmal: Most famous Bhujia Store of Bikaner

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur

Bhujia Maker: Experts in making Bhujia. Witnessed the centuries old art of Bhujia making

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Desert Safari: On my way to spend one night at Sand Dunes

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Sun Set in the desert: 12KM off Bikaner

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Amazing to see sunset in the vastness of desert

Self Drive, Road Trip, sand dunes, camping, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Night Camping at Sand Dunes

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Sunrise: Majestic Morning from Sand Dunes

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Sheer Serendipity: Wow!

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Road to Jaisalmer from Bikaner

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Picturesque Road: From Bikaner to Jaisalmer

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Twilight hours: Godhuli Vela on the road to Jaisalmer

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Golden Fort of Jaisalmer: Only living fort of India and probably of the world

Self Drive, Road Trip, Tanot, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Ultimate Desert-Road off to Jaisalmer towards Tanot famous for Tanot Mata Mandir on the Indo-Pak Border

Self Drive, Road Trip, India, Rajasthan, Ford Figo, Bikaner, Mandawa, Haveli, Travel, Photography, Photo, forts, Desert, Thar, Camel, Bhujia, Jaipur, Desert Safari, Camel Ride

Further deep from Tanot to Longawala

So in five days, I did multitude of things and most of them qualifies for first time in life experience.

*I did a Camel Ride and fed the camel

*I spent a night 12 KM deep in Desert

*I witnessed Sunset and Sunrise in a Desert

*I drove through Desert Road from Bikaner to Jaiselmer to Tanot

*I lived in a fort and enjoyed roof top food from a 800 years old fort

*I fed to world’s most revered rats at Karni Mata Temple

*I captured most amazingly crafted doors while crossing Mandawa

*I interacted with Bhujia Maker while he was frying the famous Bikaneri Bhujia

*And at last did a 900 KM Self drive from Jaisalmer to Delhi in straight 12 hours.

All in all, it was a great trip and i could see the royal world of Rajasthan and enjoy desert life at its best. Will I go back? Absolutely yes and very soon as everything about Rajasthan is off-beat and adventurous.

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Travel Tip for Rajasthan: For every traveler since many centuries, Rajasthan is a must visit place. Over so many years, it has developed very good infrastructure for tourism. In my view, with ts multitude offering, Rajsthan is all about experiences and to have best of experiences, I strongly recommend to book Rajasthan Tour Packages in advance and also chalk out various associated activities at each place like Desert Safari in Bikaner, Desert Camping in Jaiselmer, Bishnoi Village Safari around Jodhpur, Photowalk tours in old city of Jaipur etc depending upon your way of traveling.

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