India: The coloured cities of Rajasthan

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

A tour through the coloured cities of Rajasthan, India, is an amazing spectacle of the wars, honour and extravagance of the Rajputs (now bewilderingly reduced to commoners). There’s Udaipur the white city, Jodhpur the blue city, Jaisalmer the golden city and Jaipur the pink city.

Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Udaipur is almost unbearably romantic, with creamy palaces floating on the lake. This is the view at sunset from the “Monsoon palace” a few kilometres away by auto rickshaw.

Jodphur, Rajasthan, India

Jodhpur’s huge red sandstone fort dominates the Rajasthan landscape here and is filled with fascinating mahals – each with hundreds of intricately and uniquely carved stone screened jaalis or windows.

Jodphur, Rajasthan, IndiaThe blue city of Rajasthan certainly lives up to its name – no Photoshop here.

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

At Jaisalmer we took the ubiquitous camel safari and witnessed the annual Rajasthan desert festival, complete with camel races.

Rajasthan, India

Riding a camel is about as uncomfortable as you would think but there is something magical about cruising through the desert in the morning or evening and sleeping in the dunes under the stars – listening to the cry of a wandering peacock, the boom of mirage jets patrolling the border with Pakistan, the groaning and farting of your friendly “ship of the desert”.

Rajasthan, IndiaIt was a chance to get a close up look at the life of the people of the Thar desert in Rajasthan; desperate poverty in a failing rural economy and the intensive labour of supplying a family with water.

Rajasthan, India

This is probably the opposite of romantic but the brilliant colours favoured by the women of Rajasthan are a defiant touch in a harsh landscape.  It’s a part of India not to be missed.

By Natasha von Geldern

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About Natasha von Geldern

Natasha von Geldern is the World Wandering Kiwi, a freelance travel writer, editor and inveterate traveller who is passionate about making the pages of the atlas real one trip at a time.


  1. Wonderful photo essay, Natasha! I haven’t been to India but these photos bring back memories of my time in Bangladesh.
    Cherina | Quiet Wanderings recently posted..Ice Climbing the Matanuska Glacier, AlaskaMy Profile

  2. These are wonderful photos. The blue city is quite striking. I can’t wait to get to India…maybe 2012! Stay safe and have fun! Nancy
    NLM recently posted..Making the Ordinary ExtraordinaryMy Profile


  1. […] travel destination in India. There are so many romantic options here in the White City (one of Rajasthan’s coloured cities). Palace hotels, the Sunset Palace up on a nearby hill, a boat cruise to an island on the lake, […]

  2. […] a tour (on trains and buses of course) through the coloured cities of Rajasthan in India. The spectacle of the wars, honour and extravagance of the Rajputs (now bewilderingly reduced to […]

  3. […] Rajasthan festival in February while on a camel trek from the golden fort of Jaisalmer, one of Rajasthan’s famed coloured cities, and an ancient outpost in India’s Thar […]

  4. […] tourism tangle and so I thought I’d better take a look after extensive exploration of Rajasthan’s other ‘coloured cities’. As I had only a day here I embarked upon a day tour provided by the RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism […]

  5. […] of paradise embrace the Taj Mahal, surely the most iconic and famous visitor attraction in all of India. The Char-Bagh or four quartered garden is split by four channels of water represent the four […]

  6. […] way of meeting local people going about their everyday lives. Train travel in India through the coloured cities of Rajasthan in India or on the ‘toy’ narrow gauge train up to colonial Simla or through the Kangra Valley are […]

  7. […] Children in India rarely have the relatively carefree existence of western children and must contribute to family life and income however they can. This little girl was hard at work in the hot sun on a rooftop a few buildings away from the guesthouse where I was staying in Udaipur – the ‘White City‘ – one of the colored cities of Rajasthan. […]

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