Legend and mystery arise from the walls of ancient Rajasthan, telling the tales of bygone heroes, colorful culture, and adventurous safaris.

Rajasthan is the largest state in India, and within its borders visitors will find mountains, deserts, lakes, wild national parks, and ancient cities. Its state capital is Jaipur, a city with incredible forts and palaces and some of the most luxurious accommodations in all of India.

But the unexpected treasures are found beyond the cities, in the more isolated areas of Rajasthan. More than half of the great Thar Desert exists within the state, traveling along its northwestern border and sheltering a number of species that are disappearing in other areas of India. Within the Desert National Park, the blackbuck, Bengal fox, caracal, great Indian bustard, wolf, and many others can be spotted.

The Thar Desert shelters people too, with some 44 villages scattered throughout the region. A multifaceted population of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and nomadic Marwar tribes make their homes in Rajasthan, coming together to trade and commune during the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. Coinciding with a religious holiday, this spectacle is as much about commerce as it is about celebration, with colorful performances, parades, and excited camel races among the many highlights.

Find the terminus of the Ghaggar River near the archaeological ruins at Kalibanga, the oldest discovered in the subcontinent. Also in this region lies the world’s oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range, and the nearby world-famous Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for Jains. Eastern Rajasthan is known for its two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska, as well as Keoladeo National Park, famous for its bird life.

Travel to Rajasthan, through its wilds and its palaces, is a window into the regal past of India. Bear witness to the enduring traditions and natural wonder on your own custom journey to India with Ker & Downey.