Exploring offbeat Rajasthan

I would be lying if I didn't acknowledge my hate towards the mainstream. But that's the thing about mainstream; it often catches up to you. But once in a while, travellers get a slim chance to walk the road, dismissing the travesties around offbeat places. And, for my next offbeat expedition, I threw my sharp gaze on the map of Rajasthan. But offbeat excursions beget locations that are not stranded within the mainstream spots. So, I had to look hard and find places that were mostly overlooked. It wasn't just about fitting the puzzle. It was more of an exploration - the kind that breathes heavy on your adrenaline.


A city like Rajasthan can be seen beyond its glass wall and palaces. Behind the flamboyance of its inherited royalty, Rajasthan hides away the charm that might not be royal but allures you to gaze. So, shall we approach the journey? And narrate it as articulately as I can.


Before you proceed any further: I am sorry for this sudden bump, but I must tell you that I was travelling with two of my fellow travellers who I had met online through Facebook groups. Although we were not going to travel in places that I wanted to, they helped me chart my unbound expedition with an itinerary that I am going to share. We set our rendezvous point at Alwar, where we booked a convenient taxi service in Alwar.


  1. Sambhar
  2. Barmer
  3. Kota
  4. Bundi


A sky full of stars at Sambhar


The place that I am about to mention reminded me of a pun I had cracked with my co-travellers. This place is just an "h" away from being a South Indian staple food. And if your humour is as bad as mine, you might have guessed it right. It's Sambhar, a town that borrows its name after the largest saltwater lake of the same name. Legend has it that Shakambari Devi was the deity who's responsible for the formation of this flatland.


What I liked the most about Sambhar: The night sky view here reminded me of a Coldplay song. If you look up, you can witness a quarter of the vastness of what we know as the milky way. If I could preserve each second of that view, I would, but I decided to camp there instead. As for photography, I could manage to click a few - I was dazed beyond my comprehension to have a steady eye for photographs.


Herbert’s Dune but other stories at Barmer


Rajasthan calls for dune bashing, and it only reminds me of the sci-fi novel Dune. I was almost anticipating a sandworm to jump out while I ran for my life. But, I am a daydreamer of sorts, trying to play out scenes out from the pages. The Mahabar Dunes remain oblivious while tourists flock to Sam Dunes in Jaisalmer. This cosy town in the Thar Desert Region turned out to be the kind of spot that I was scouting for.


What I liked the most about Barmer: Apart from being less popular, Barmer carries the burden of history with attractions like the Juna Ruins, Brahma Temple, Jogmaya Temple, and Siwana Fort. It was also more comfortable for me to travel from Sambhar as I took the NH25. The trip was as pleasant as the cab ride Booked from Gurgaon to Alwar.


The Kota Factory


Unlike the web series, this trip to Kota was exceptional with zero scholarly jargon and more wildlife. Although Rajasthan is called the heart of sovereign India, it still lacks the attention it deserves for its biodiversity. But I was lucky enough to scout the Darrah National Park situated in Kota.


What I liked the most about Kota: Kota was quite accessible for obvious reasons. But the part that I wanted to talk about is the species that this sanctuary hosts. I heard that the lucky ones always get to spot a cheetah, and guess what? I did.


“Aao Kabhi Haveli Mein” - Bundi


Bundi is that one friend who's always around and is a gem of a person, but you seem to ignore them. But unlike that friend, I couldn't help but throw all my attention to Bundi. I almost regretted visiting Bundi when I visited Jaipur last year for a work trip.


What I liked the most about Bundi: Bundi can surprise you - from 50 step wells to waterfalls and Havelis. The places that I could visit were Bundi Palace, Sulh Mahal, Dabhai ka Kund, and Chitrasala.




Travelling on borrowed time can be addicting, but it also burns out time like it's a matchstick. After this short trip, I had to return to the home base for my reunion with work and clients. But I will return and spot out more places for the sake of my hipster brethren.

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