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Rajasthan, India : The Land of Kings

by Editor Rob Darby
Published the 16th of December 2020


'A thought superfluous' by Sergio Pandolfini



'Safari' by Ali Al-Zaidi


I initially approached this article as a homage to the country of India. A chaotic, colorful, and complex country full of contradictions and beauty.  But as I thought about my journey there, it occurred to me that writing about the entirety of India would not do it justice, so for this article I focused on state of Rajasthan where I spent more than a week last October.


'Old Rajasthani man' by Svetlin Yosifov



'Jodhpur' by Tashi_Delek Nakata

The state of Rajasthan is located in the northwest of the country and is the largest state in India by area. It is only the 7th largest in terms of population, however, so I guess you could say it is “relatively” less densely populated than other parts of the country.


'Stepwell Reflections' by Susan Moss



'Reading while it lasts' by Alejandro Photography 


It is the people of Rajasthan that make it special.  It is, of course, about the people.  It is about their smiles, the colorful saris of the women shopping in the markets and riding rickshaws from shop to shop.  It is about the young woman with her mother, shopping in old town, with whom I had a brief and memorable conversation.  We were stopped in traffic going different directions, but she was no more than 6 feet from me. Her rickshaw was filled with bridal accessories.  She was beaming, her face was full of hope.  I congratulated her, she smiled shyly, and then the traffic miraculously thinned…and she disappeared into the sea of people that seemed to stretch for miles.  That is India.


'Jaipur 2016' by Marco Campi



'the emptiness of waiting' by Piet Flour

Rajasthan is a popular tourist destination for travelers to India, and for good reason.  Its proximity to Delhi and Agra, makes it an easy add-on to a trip to the popular Taj Mahal and the many historical sites in and around Delhi.  Rajasthan is comprised of several important and distinct cities: Jaipur, the “Pink City,” the capital and largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur, the “Blue city” known for its textiles and the Indian film industry, and the romantic city of Udaipur known as the “City of Lakes.” There are also several large wildlife reserves including Ranthamborne National Park which is home to elusive and endangered tigers.


'Just Touching' by Prasad Malgaonkar



'Painted Storks at Rest' by Nilesh J. Bhange



'rajasthani shepherds' by Pavol Stranak


In curating images for this article, it was interesting that most authors who documented this region highlighted the colors and people of Rajasthan. This state and the whole of India is notable for its vast humanity and, of course, the color that surrounds you when you are there.


'Market Day' by Susan Moss



'Two-Tier Market' by Eden Antho

The first city we visited after Delhi was Udaipur. It is a famously romantic city situated among seven interconnected lakes and the Aravalli mountain range, thus its nickname of “City of Lakes.”
The pace in Udaipur is noticeably slower than Delhi.


'Udaipur' by Roxana Labagnara



'Rajathan' by kenp

One of the most memorable mornings I had in India was in Udaipur.  I had awakened before dawn to photograph the lake where we were staying.  The air was heavy with haze making the sky bright orange as the sun lazily rose in the Eastern sky. Fisherman in their boats trolled the still waters while the call to morning prayers drifted across the lake.


'Udaipur Fishermen' by Rob Darby



'Morning Prayer' by Muslianshah Masrie 


Our next stop was Jodhpur, the “Blue City.”  The view from the Mehrangarh Fort is spectacular and the “blue city” shows its color from there.  Jodhpur is the 2nd largest city in Rajasthan and is located in the Thar desert. It has a vibrant textile industry and is a favorite setting for Bollywood films because of its unique architecture and beautiful setting.


'Jodhpur' by Tashi_Delek Nakata



'Inside the Blue House' by Muslianshah Masrie



'A morning at Jodhpur, the Blue city' by Partha Sarathi Dalal


The textiles of Jodhpur put a bit of a dent in my credit card.  Our guide took us to the best textile shop in Jodhpur.  The owner was a warm, friendly, and trendy man who turned out to be a very persuasive salesman and one of the most successful businessmen in Jodhpur.  He presented us with dozens of hand-sown throws, blankets, bedspreads, and scarves...and we bought most of them.  It was wonderful to receive them in the mail a few weeks after we returned to San Francisco.  The packaging smelled of India and the colorful textiles are daily reminders of this beautiful city.


'Chroma' by Gaurav Singh



'Chand Baori' by Muslianshah Masrie


Our final stop in Rajasthan was Jaipur, the capital and economic center of this vast state.  Jaipur is known as the “pink city” since it is the dominant color of the buildings there.  Jaipur is bustling, crowded, and seemingly more conservative than other parts of Rajasthan. It is a city of imposing forts and office buildings, and it feels more like a commercial center than the other parts of Rajasthan we visited.


'Hawa Mahal' by Rob Darby



'Waiting for Escher' by Dominic Byrne  


 Everywhere one travels in life leaves an impression that lingers and changes your world view.  Rajasthan and India are no different in this regard.  I will never forget the cacophony, the colors, the crowded streets and the delightful smell of spices wafting from the open-air markets.  Rajasthan rewards the traveler with a flood of stimuli to the senses that is simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. 

But India is unique in its vast, colorful, and warm people.  In the end, it is the people we meet in our journeys that carve the deepest memories into our souls.  Rajasthan exceeds expectations in this regard.


'Feed' by Pavol Stranak



'Sadhu' by Norbert Becke



'Jaipur' by Claudio Ceriali


Thank You
Beautiful selection of images. Thank you for sharing
Splendid collection of images and thoughts!
Thanks a lot Peter!
What an honor is to have one of my images as part of this wonderful collection. Rajasthan is and always be in my heart, Thant you so much Rob for this fabulous article. And congratulations to all the great creators of this unique images.
Thank you Roxana. I love your image. It is beautiful and impressionistic. It was like Rajasthan in the rain! I was lucky to have so many excellent ones from which to choose.
Great Collection Rob , Indeed a true spirit of Rajasthan and display of vibrant culture . Thank you for sharing one of my image in this vibrant collection.
Thank you, Prasad. I was lucky to have so many fantastic images from which to choose!
Great article. I've been to India twice, Rajasthan. I love this country with its traditions and colors. Thank you for choosing my photo. Congratulations
Thank you, Svetlin.
Excellent article and ode to Rajasthan, Rob! Splendid collection of images... Congrats for your fine contribution and to all the authors. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you so much Yvette!
Thanks you Roxana, and of course Yvette who always provides gentle and relevant guidance to her editors which makes an importance difference in the 1X magazine.
Wonderful photo collection from Incredible India. Congratulation Rob and all photo contributors.
Thank you so much Miro!
Thank you Miro.