The Best Exotic photos of Rajasthan

Taj Group Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Lake Palace Hotel shimmering on Lake Pichola in the centre of Udaipur, Rajasthan (2009)

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

New film set in Rajasthan, India

In honour of the opening of the new film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — which is set in Rajasthan and was filmed on location in Udaipur, Jaipur and several other glorious Rajasthani locations — here’s a photo essay of some of my fave pics of Rajasthan. I have probably taken 2,000 photos of  “the Land of Kings;” these are just a few. To read about the actual locations used in the filming, click here: On location in India with The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

Amber Fort Summer Palace Garden, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Palace Garden, Jaipur, Rajasthan (2010)

I’ve been to Rajasthan about four-five times, and I am always ready to go back. It is the India you’ve dreamt about: historical and colourful, full of fantastical palaces and storybook scenes of peacocks flying low over the desert, camel caravans and graceful women in neon-bright saris.

Roopangarh Fort, Rajasthan India (2010)

Roopangarh Fort, Rajasthan (2010)

Some of my favourite places in Rajasthan include Jaisalmer, Udapiur, Pushkar, Roopangarh, Jodhpur and of course the desert. The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, is one of the world’s largest. Most of Rajasthan — India’s largest, and most touristed state — is desert.

Bundi Palace, Rajasthan India

Just one of many painted rooms in Bundi Palace, Rajasthan

There is so much achingly evocative beauty in Rajasthan, including of course the art and architecture — and they very often go together. Havelis are intricately carved out of stone, walls and ceilings are covered in  detailed paintings. The whole state is a living work of art!

Kipling Palace, Bundi, Rajasthan India

This guest house is called Kipling Palace because he stayed here once, in Bundi, Rajasthan

And like all desert people, no doubt, Rajasthanis love water. There are many beautiful fountains and “monsoon gardens” in Rajasthan. This picturesque lake is just outside the small town of Bundi, a gothic-meets-Mughal treasure trove of art and architecture.

City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur must be one of the world’s most romantic cities. Palaces and havelis line Lake Pichola — whose serene surface belies the crocodile living within — and in the centre sits a confection, a former maharajah’s palace, now a luxury hotel. Lake Palace Hotel is one of the most photographed hotels in the world. Obviously (see top picture).

City Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

City Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. Known as the Pink City because of the colour of the walls and buildings in the old city, it is a large, bustling and prosperous place, with lots to see and do, like the City Palace, Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar observatory and the bazaars and markets. But I prefer the smaller towns and rural Rajasthan.

Bada Bagh, Royal Cenotaphs outside of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

Bada Bagh, Royal Cenotaphs outside of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Jaisalmer, on the far outskirts of Rajasthan, deep in the heart of the desert, is my favourite place in Rajasthan. Here is an 11th century fort, continuously inhabited, on a hill top in the centre of the small golden town; and here you can take a camel safari out onto the dunes and see the stars like you’ve never seen them.

Lal Singh Sand dunes, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

Camel driver Lal Singh at a small resort among the sand dunes, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Amber Fort, which sits atop a hill overlooking Jaipur is filled with murals, frescoes, stained glass, painted walls — it’s dazzling. Below is one small window that caught my attention — a scene from the life of Krishna.

Krishna Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Krishna stained glass, Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan

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18 Responses to The Best Exotic photos of Rajasthan

  1. Bret @ Green Global Travel May 3, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    Oh man, that Krishna stained glass is absolutely incredible! Great photos, definitely whetting my already ravenous India appetite. Hopefully we’ll find a way to get there in 2013…

  2. Cathy May 4, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Beautiful pictures ! I love Rajasthan and can’t wait to see the movie when it’s
    out next week .

    • Deepak November 13, 2016 at 5:14 am #

      Which movie ma’am

  3. Crate rental May 4, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Beautiful photos. I have never been to India before, but I am planning to visit it in the near future. Your pictures are really inspiring. The one that I couldn’t took my eyes off is the window. What was it made of?

  4. Mariellen May 4, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Thanks everyone. Rajasthan can turn even the most mediocre of photographers into a genius!

    The best thing about that Krishna window is that it is one TINY piece of the overall decor of Amber Fort. If you like that, you will go crazy when you see the whole shebang.

  5. Leslie May 4, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Beautiful images capturing a beautiful part of this big world. I had the good fortune to be in Rajasthan (Jaipur) only a few weeks ago and still I have to pinch myself sometimes…”was I really there?”. I would return to India in a heartbeat.

  6. Jeremy Branham May 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Beautiful photos! I have to admit that I don’t know much about this place but I love the photos. India is very much an unexplored destination for many people and I know how much you love it!

  7. Mariellen May 6, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Jeremy, Nice to see you on my blog, thanks for the comment. I hope more and more people open up to the idea of travel in India. If you have an open mind and heart, it is one of the world’s great travel destinations.

  8. Lesley Peterson May 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Wonderful photos, Mariellen. Rajasthan looks a peaceful destination full of artistic wonders. I can’t wait to see the movie!

  9. Steve Gordon May 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Some wonderful pictures here, having never been to India, this has inspired me to certainly visit there sometime in the future.

  10. Paul F Davis June 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Lovely pictures! I lived in and traveled throughout India, but found myself sick when I was in Rajasthan. I must go back so I can see all I missed. Thanks for your gorgeous photos!

    Paul F Davis – worldwide motivational speaker, life coach and author

  11. Akash August 17, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Hi Mariellen, lovely work by you. I can only say that it is possible because of your genuine efforts. But still, lots of India left ( positive ,as well as, negative), which you can capture.

  12. Ravindra pratap singh rathore October 12, 2014 at 5:18 am #

    Nice pictures..

  13. chittorgarhinfo September 7, 2015 at 8:08 am #

    The charm of Chittorgarh goes beyond its immense history and traditions. There’s nature, beauty, royalty and much more to it. With so much to offer, a trip to this historical town is a must for every one!

  14. fadiyah March 1, 2016 at 4:27 am #

    have you visited chittorgarh fort? That’s most beautiful place ever in rajasthan (or i think the most beautiful place in the world)

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