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Outlook Traveller|May 2020
FROM THE LAKES OF UDAIPUR TO THE FORESTS OF RANTHAMBHORE, RAJASTHAN WILL NOW BE WHEREVER YOU ARE, REPORTS LABANYA MAITRA
LABANYA MAITRA

There are a few experiences in life that money can’t buy, they say. watching the sun go down over the Great Thar, ankle deep in the cool sand, as the sweltering day turns into a chilly desert night…yes, that’s one of them. If you’re lucky enough to visit the Sam sand dunes on a full-moon night, the desert looks like chandi, they say. Like silver.

But there’s more to Rajasthan than just the desert, although arguably it is the most breathtaking. Just about a 45-minute drive away from Sam is Jaisalmer, home to the Golden fort, the only living fort in the world. Jodhpur beckons you with the Mehrangarh fort, as mighty as the city is blue. And for a budget traveller, Zostel is probably the best location to stay, through the winding lanes and into the heart of the old city. It seems as though the fort was built just to watch over you. The promise of udaipur is its lakes, over half a dozen of them. And through the lakes are the magnificent heritage structures that make this city, quite literally, fit for kings.

March is considered peak tourist season in Rajasthan. The weather has yet to descend into its summer heat of hell, desert spring is blooming, and the vibrance of Rajasthani folk music and dance can be experienced at every corner. This March, however, was different. As the state grappled with its first COVID-19 cases, which came with Italian tourists, the travel and tourism industry took a massive hit.

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