13 Days in Rajasthan: Strolls in the Pink City, camel safaris in the desert and yoga in the romantic ‘City of the Lakes’

2020-01-06 11:45 - Marisa Crous
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Have a healing holiday filled with bursts of colour as you enter the Indian mecca known not only for its grand palaces and forts, but also relish in the ancient therapy of healing Ayurveda.

When you should go: Visit after February to avoid the blistering sun.

Flights: Johannesburg to Jaipur – R9100+ on various airlines.  

Day 1 – Arrive in Jaipur

Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan, so basing yourself here is a good idea. It is home to The Imperial City of Jaipur and many other attractions. It is also known as Old City or Pink City, due to the dominant colour scheme of its buildings. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The City Palace complex stands at the epicentre of Jaipur, with gardens, courtyards and museums, part of it is still a royal residence. 

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Stay: Go for all the colour and stay in a pretty pink hotel close to the Pink City for just around R620 a night for 2 people sharing.

What to do: Start with a Jaipur Food Walk for just around R250. Enjoy the rich food culture of Jaipur as you are guided by a local foodie who knows all the best spots. This is a great way to discover your immediate neighbourhood by foot.

Day 2 - A day of pink

Where to go: The Pink City. The pink/red palace known as Hawa Mahal, meaning 'Palace of Winds'. This five-storey exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows.

Visit the main sights: The City Palace, Jaisalmer Fort, Mehrangarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Pushkar Lake, Khwaja Garib Nawaz Dargah and the Junagarh Fort.

Day 3 – Go on a camel safari in Pushkar

Enjoy an extended camel safari through villages and stay in a tented camp overnight with the Overnight Camel Safari in Pushkar, which costs about 2 100 rupees (R425).

It promises beautiful desert views, a snapshot of everyday village life and a night of food and entertainment under the stars. 

Getting there: Take a direct bus there for about 3 hours for about 410 rupees (R83) one way.

Day 4 - 12 – Time for Ayurveda in Udaipur

Flights: Fly from Pushkar to Udaipur with Spice Air for around R1150.

Rajasthan is one of the best places in India for in-house Ayurveda treatments and wellness centres.Ayurveda, an alternative medication is widely known as the oldest healing science dating back about 5 000 years.

It focuses on prevention, encouraging a health balance that aligns positive thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Ayurveda ultimately addresses all aspects of life — the body, mind and spirit.

Udaipur is a great place to go for Ayurveda. Known as India’s ‘City of the Lakes’, this romantic city is home to a variety of retreats and treatment options you can do with your partner. Choose a short stint like this 3-day yoga workshop, or go for the long-haul with a immersive 10 Days Meditation and Ayurveda Yoga Retreat.

Indulge your body, mind and soul in yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, silent walks, lake cruises and jungle jeep safaris.

Retreat: A 10-day retreat could set you back as much as $2 500 per couple (R36 000). Considering this includes all accommodation, meals and activities, it’s well priced.

Day 13 - Fly back to Jaipur to catch your flight back to Johannesburg

It’s much cheaper to fly back to Jaipur and then onto Johannesburg than to fly directly back from Udaipur to Johannesburg. So catch a flight with local budget airlines like Spice Jet from R 659 or Air India from from R 1 611 (this flight is less than an hour).  

*Disclaimer: Pricing an estimated recommendation at the time of publishing.

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