Rajasthan is where all the country's similes and metaphors appear to have come together. Sand dunes, wooded hills and amazing lakes, palaces and rugged forts, men and women in colorful turbans and skirts, bustling towns and quiet villages, camels, elephants and tigers, harsh sunlight and the cool evening breeze - are all there in abundance.
But they form only part of an intricate tapestry. Beneath the surface, expect to find many contradictions. Where ever you travel, particularly when you escape from the popular tourist destinations you will come across the unexpected, whether it is a local fair or breathtaking view.
The mood and the rhythm of the country side changes from one region to another, and from season to season. It is a land of surprises; it is a land of amazing natural beauty that can fascinate even the most seasoned traveller.
A magical sojourn reverberating with age old culture and traditions, the state enfolds in its lap a diverse kaleidoscope of breathtakingly beautiful and fascinating art-de-facts. The range is unparalleled even while it is sophisticated in its simplicity.
It has something for almost every kind of traveler, revealing a vast range of arts and crafts, which is a treat for the visuals and are ready to be picked. The Bazaars spill with products and there is a magnificent glow of colours all over.
Intricate work carved on handicrafts or the wonders of gems and stones, it has it all and even more like the colours dancing on the textiles and fabrics with silver or gold threads settings and complimented with the variety of Silk-threads, Beads, Gota, Zari, Zardosi, Banarasi, etc. designed by the age old families of skilled artisans.
The amazing use of clay in the form of sculpture and decorative arts, the paintings from different schools like Miniature, Mughal and the different Rajasthani shailis (school of art) and more are piled up, revealing the medieval splashes and recording historic and dramatic events. Almost capturing the senses!
The age old art of dyes and colours hold the centre of attraction.
Every part of the state, every town, every village is associated with the rich heritage of craftsmanship so particular to Rajasthan. Entire villages practice crafts - sometimes a vast spectrum, on other occasions just a single skill that can range from dhurrie weaving to terracotta products.
These traditions once helped to form the different layers of a self-supporting society in villages and towns, and it is this that has ensured their survival. Most crafts are still practiced because they find use in local society - the painters, for example, still do frescos on temple walls, and the village cobbler makes thick-soled shoes for the farmers, reserving the more delicate versions for visitors.
Today, Rajasthan's markets spill with an exciting array of goods: paintings, jewellery, fabrics and textiles, soft-as-gossamer quilts, clay pottery and blue pottery, dhurries and carpets, wood, metal and stone sculpture, leatherware and terracotta...
Little bells dance in the breeze, puppets dangle from strings, embroidered footwear brightens up stores, lights glow in huge glass candelabra and gemstones spill across pavements: in Rajasthan's treasure-trove, you could spend days simply exploring the world of the artisan.