India, and especially Rajasthan, are very well trodden and thus well documented too. We want to add our own journey into the mix, without boring you with another long account of fort exploration in such and such city.
So, we’ve decided to break down our Rajasthan adventures into 3 simple blog posts; our favourite journeys, our favourite hotels and meals, and our favourite sites for getting your tourist on.
Rajasthan is huge and varied, so hopefully this can give you a little taster, as well as some tips, to inspire and help you plan.
This post is all about where to stay in Rajasthan and what to eat too.
Jaipur was our first taste of the state of Rajasthan and with Banty by our side we made all the right (read delicious) choices. Our daily morning ritual before beginning any sight seeing was to stop by Lassi Wala, shop number 312, for a fresh, sweet lassi. WOW are these good. Some of the best plain lassis we tried and super big servings too.
We were mostly vegetarians whilst travelling in India, with the exception of a few big recommendations. One evening after a really busy day touring in the tuk tuk, Banty took us to his favourite meat tikka restaurant and we had the most delicious chicken tikka I’ve ever had. Served simply on it’s own with a mint raita, it was absolute meat perfection and worth deviating from a safe veggie diet for. The place is found between a few meat kebab places but is noticeable by it’s giant coke ad. I’m not sure of the exact name but the sign reads ‘Old Take Away The Kebab Shop’.
In Jaipur we also had our second great Indian hostel experience at Moustache hostel. This is a tiny chain with just one other hotel in Delhi but it ticks all the boxes. Decent morning breakfast, fantastic beds, cool rooftop, free afternoon chai, personalised maps and lovely staff- we couldn’t recommend it more.
Zostel Pushkar was without a doubt our favourite hostel in of all those we tried in India. It’s new to the growing franchise and has a friggin pool. I mean, what more could you want? It’s slightly out of town compared to others hotels, but at £7 a night for a very comfortable double room it is so worth the walk.
We didn’t eat our best Indian meals in Pushkar but do have to recommend a few places for Western treats. Funky Monkey cafe is just out of town too and with their fantastic fruit muesli bowl and iced chai lattes it is the best breakfast if you are staying in the Zostel. They also have a wood-fired pizza oven! In the centre of town there are two falafel shops right next to each other, the right hand one is a definite recommendation.
Also worth a try are the chocolate coconut balls available from the Indian sweet shops in town.
In Jodhpur we tried out Airbnb for the first time (in India) and lucked out with a gorgeous little Haveli in the centre of the blue city. It is super hard to find when you arrive but the owners will come out to meet you if you manage to call them.
The place was so lovingly decorated, if a little worn, and had a beautiful little rooftop looking up to the Jodhpur Fort. I don’t think there would be a better location and on our first night the owners cooked us a home-cooked Indian feast served up on that roof. It was fantastic food and the homemade lassis were incredible.
We came to Jaisalmer to escape immediately to the desert on camelback but ended up falling for the town too and especially with our hotel, The Surya Paying Guesthouse. This place was super cheap and simple but there was attention to detail in everything. As you can see from the pictures, the decoration is unique and the rooftop overlooking the walled town and beyond is lovely. We watched the sunrise up there one morning and it was amazing!
Their palak paneer was the best I had anywhere too
The absolute highlight of our time in Udaipur, and our best eats by far, was at Sashi’s Cooking Class. We were recommended to go by our best friend and had one of the best days of our trip in the midst of Sashi and her spice collection. Her trip advisor reviews speak for themselves but if you were to do a cooking class anywhere in India we recommend Sashi over any tour or trip.
Udaipur was unique for food in other ways as we had absolutely delicious vegan/ health food in the Millets of Mewar restaurant and fantastic coffee and cake at Jheel’s Ginger Cafe. Jheel’s also has the best rooftop for sunset.
The dosa place around the corner from the palace is also fantastic, ask the tuk tuk drivers there for directions.
Best lassi in all of Rajasthan? There was stiff competition from Lassi Wala in Jaipur and the homemade lassis in Jodhpur but hands down the very bestest, most delicious lassi was to be had in the tiny town of Bundi. The Sathi Lassi in a heavenly mix of spices, honey, nuts and raisons and probably some crack or something because it was incredible! Just order one, or five, and thank us later!
We stayed at the Bundi Inn which is another lovely Haveli that is seriously decent value for how comfortable it was.
All the recommendations in this post are places that we absolutely loved, for their uniqueness, their value and their rooftops and meals that really stood out.
India has some real luxury to be had at decent prices but you can also be ripped off easily with lures of air-con and western food- stick to these recommendations and you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds. And the food? Almost all the food we had in India was fantastic as we generally just love the cuisine but these dishes are definitely worth going out of your way for.
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Where have you stayed and eaten in Rajasthan? What were your favourites?