Our family of four had grown tired of beach holidays in Thailand, and my wife and I wanted something different that the kids will have memories of when they grow up. We had both visited India when we were younger and had wanted to return again once we’d had children. We chose Rajasthan as it was an area we hadn’t been to.
First, we landed in Delhi and spent a couple of days there with local friends who showed us all the hidden gems. As I’m a huge Gandhi fan, we really enjoyed going to Gandhi Smriti, which is the house he lived in for his last 145 days – and the spot where he was assassinated. Our friends took us out at night to an area called the Defence Colony, which is a cool stretch of restaurants and coffee shops that Delhi locals like to hang out in.
From Delhi, we hired a driver and took to travelling around the beautiful cities that Rajasthan has to offer. We slept in old havelis and palaces that have been converted into hotels – the kids had a great time feeling like little Maharajahs for a short while! Then we went on a camel safari in the desert, and had an awesome experience in the desert dunes. We especially liked the city of Jaisalmer, and the havelis in Mandawa, but the place that made the biggest impression on us was Pushkar. This small holy town surrounds a lake; it’s sacred to the Hindu community, so there’s no meat or alcohol allowed inside the town. The atmosphere was so serene and calm.
As a finale to our three-week trip, we went on a tiger safari in Ranthambore, which was a nice experience (although we didn’t spot any tigers in the end!). We also made sure to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra on our way back to Delhi.
India isn’t an easy place to travel, especially with kids, as the food can be challenging plus the long ride tiresome, but it’s unique and you won’t find these sorts of sights anywhere else in the world!
Pushkar and its camels
The famous Pushkar Camel Fair is held in November each year. The camel fair runs for five days. Aside from the buying and selling of livestock, includes a “longest moustache” competition, a camel race and an exhibition cricket match.
Singapore Airlines and Jet Airways fly direct to Delhi (4 hours 30 minutes). There is also a semi-regular Tigerair flight direct to Jaipur in Rajasthan (6 hours 15 minutes).
Jodhpur is known as the “Blue City”, a reference to the striking colour of many of its dwellings. A 2014 census revealed that 62 tigers were living in Ranthambore National Park. The state bird of Rajasthan is the Indian bustard.