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Guest-post: The Top 11 Books for Understanding Rajasthan
The Top 11 Books
Rajasthan & Its Cities
Guest-post by Pankaj Solanki
About The Author:
Pankaj Solanki is a traveler and fan of books.
He likes fiction and historic tales.
Reach him on Twitter at Pankaj Solanki.
“Dharti Dhora Ri…” (Land of Sand Dunes)
It is a song as well as a quote quoted for Rajasthan. It is so because the Thar Desert is located in Rajasthan and most of the Rajasthan has Sand dunes.
Many people have traveled to Rajasthan and were influenced by the culture. Some settled here and those who went back wrote wonderful books.
They have written about their experience in Rajasthan, things they loved here, food items they want to eat again and their adventures.
Rajasthan has 3 main cities: Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Udaipur. Each city has a large number of things to offer to tourists.
I am going to share wonderful books written about these cities. Let’s get started:
1. Jodhpur: Sun City, Blue City, Surya Nagari
To Rajasthan travelers Jodhpur City is a well-known name. It is called Suncity because all the year this city enjoys Sunny weather.
It is called Blue City because most of the houses here are painted blue. When you view the city from Mehrangarh Fort you will get a spectacular view of blue houses.
The famous horse pants “Jodhpurs” got its name from this city. Some famous Jodhpur tourist places are:
- Mehrangarh Fort
- Jaswant Thada
- Umaid Bhawan Palace
- Kaylana Lake
- Arna Jharna: The Desert Museum of Rajasthan
Here are some wonderful books about Jodhpur:
- Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India: Including its History, The Umaid Bhawan Palace, Fort Mehrangarh, The Jaswant Thada, and More
If you are traveling Jodhpur for the first time, this book is all you need to know. From history to present day places, it has got everything. Just a quick read and you will know more about Jodhpur than an average tourist.
This is photo guide for Jodhpur. If you travel with your camera (who doesn’t?), then have a look at this book. Don has taken his time to discover some key locations where you can capture meaningful pictures. Nearly all the important places to visit in Jodhpur are covered in this book.
If you read news about Hotels then I’m sure you have heard the name of “Umaid Bhawan Palace”. It is awarded as the best hotel in the world in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards 2016. This book explains how Umaid Bhawan Palace was built. It’s one of the world’s largest private residences and has 347 rooms.
2. Jaipur: The Pink City
Jaipur is the biggest city in Rajasthan and it’s the capital of Rajasthan. In fact, it is the first planned city of India.
The king “Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II” took great interest in designing this city. He referred many books and consulted world class architects.
Jaipur is also called pink city because houses here are painted in pink color. Pink being color of hospitality.
“Delhi” “Agra” and “Jaipur” forms the Golden Triangle tourist circuit in India. Some famous places to visit in Jaipur are:
- Amber Fort
- Jantar Mantar
- Jaigarh Fort
- Jal Mahal
- Central Park
Here are some great books about Jaipur:
It is a best-selling book in Delhi, Agra & Jaipur tour. It is written keeping Golden Triangle tourist circuit in mind. Colorful photographs, hand-made illustrations, places to visit, what to eat; everything is covered.
The previous book is a long one. So, if you are in need of a quick guide, refer this one. From getting to Jaipur to its festivals, it has covered everything. Food section is the must read section.
This is an award winning book. This book received national award from Indian Government. It tells tales of bravery, loyalty, deception and murders. It contains top quality photographs clicked by Samar Singh Jodha. The facts are accurate and presented in an interesting way.
What separates this book from other books is its to-the-point-approach. Fiona has made easy to digest lists about best hotels, best places to eat etc. It is written in a conversational tone. You can skip to the sections you like. Mini guides to nearby cities are also included. This book is up-to-date in its information.
This is another quick guide about Jaipur. It contains specific train details that are great for Indian as well as foreign travelers. Again, from food to festival, from hotels to travel tips; everything is covered.
3. Udaipur: The Lake City
Udaipur is another beautiful city in Rajasthan. It has been a part of Mewar kingdom and was founded by Maharana Udai Singh.
It is called Lake City because the city has some of the most beautiful lakes of Rajasthan. The Pichola Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar and Swaroop Sagar are some famous lakes.
It was also voted as the best city in the world in 2009 by the Travel & Leisure magazine. Some wonderful places to visit in Udaipur are:
- City Place
- Lake Pichola
- Lake Palace
- Jag Mandir
- Fatehsagar Lake
Some great books on Udaipur are:
This book is a quick guide about Udaipur. From History to food, it covers everything. Written in conversational tone, it is easy to read in 3-4 hours. It contains just 48 pages.
Who does not love travel images? This book is the collection of memorable Udaipur images. It explains everything with the help of images. It is enjoyable to look at these images before and even after the tour. You can get many photography ideas from this book.
This is a book for those people who are interested in stories of Udaipur rulers. It contains stories of about 1500 years of Udaipur and 76 generations. Interesting historic tales and photographs makes this book unique in its kind. Read this book before visiting Udaipur and its palaces.
Sure, there are more places to visit and more books about Rajasthan. But, these are the most popular ones.
I have listed these books, but now which one should you buy? If you have kindle, many of these books are free to read. Some of these are available on discount, so choose wisely.
If you are excited about visiting these cities, then I have done a good job in portraying these cities. Read these books and travel these cities with enthusiasm.
BBAW 2016: Day 5
One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout.
How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?
How I keep things fresh in my reading:
I try to keep a healthy balance between New Releases AND classics, and books that have been on my TBR for too long.
Doing Reading challenges helps,
but mostly, I have learned to be very very very picky at what book I request or agree to review. I have not counted, but maybe I accept to review only 1/10 books I get offered through email.
But I guess that requires self-discipline.
And when I do accept, I look at my review schedule and give myself a lot of time ahead, and tell them: yes I’m interested in reading your book, but I won’t be able to post until that day.
I only accept to be part of a book tour when I really want to read a book and again, it’s schedule far ahead, so that I have no pressure.
I think that’s also what is keeping me sane: I ultimately read what I really chose to read, no pressure.
And schedule, that is organization!
I keep an eye on diversity in books mostly through books in translation.
Review copies are important for me, because I don’t have a lot of dough, and books are expensive. I use a lot my library, but that’s not always easy with new releases (unless, like for my favorite authors, I know when the book is going to be released, so I keep an eye on my library catalog months ahead and request it as soon as it says they are ordering it – but that’s pressure to organize!)
I also read a lot of books in translation that are coming from smaller presses. If I get them through interlibrary loan, usually I can’t renew the loan, and they may be fat books! So review copies save me
and through books published in French – it helps to be tutoring in French: for instance, with one of my advanced students, every week, we work on an except of a book which received a literary award in France in 2015 (there are A LOT of different French literary awards).
How I keep things fresh in my blogging:
By doing all of the above, as my blog is essentially about books I read
By trying to write better reviews
By visiting other blogs and gathering new ideas here and there
By reading material to try to always improve (Blogging University for instance)
By trying to create conversation through my posts
By accepting guest-posts from different authors
By taking part in current blogging events, such as #BBAW!
By staying away from controversies when they come up – so keeping blogging positive, not a place to fight
And also by not bothering if I can’t do anything on the blog, because I’m away with no internet connection. It’s good to totally disconnect from time to time
By trying to update the look from time to time – I know, I have promised a major update for a while…