What To Keep In Mind When Traveling to Rajasthan During Covid
The government has progressively relaxed restrictions pertaining to Covid in the 8 months since the lockdown. This is done in a bid to open up markets and encourage tourism in the state. With the Unlock 6.0 in place, even interstate and intrastate travel is permitted, making for a much less hindered travel experience. If you love the golden sands of the Thar Desert, grand palaces and forts, a proud and vibrant culture and a lot more, then Rajasthan is the place for you. Traveling to Rajasthan During Covid sure is possible. But the onus lies on you to make sure it’s as safe as possible for you and people around you.
How To Get To Rajasthan
While traveling has started to open up, it cannot be emphasized enough that there still is the risk of coronavirus looming large. Keeping this in mind, the government has kept transport facilities to a minimum. However, with a bit of planning, you can get to Rajasthan in the following ways:
Bus services are available from major cities to Rajasthan including Mumbai and Delhi. However, you’ll need to check if you can get to Rajasthan from your city via bus. Most importantly, keep in mind that social distancing is top priority for you. So, public transport like buses increase the risk of transmission of Covid.
You can travel in your own vehicle, though it’ll be quite expensive. It would surely depend on where you stay and which part of Rajasthan you are looking to visit. Also, long hours of driving can leave you fatigued. A good idea would be to travel with a friend so you can take turns driving.
With the festive season coming in, the government has launched special trains, thus making for a more convenient way to travel. However, you’ll need to plan beforehand to book tickets and check if there are trains from your city to Rajasthan. Again, trains are public transport and as you want to stay isolated from people, best avoid it.
But for the train enthusiasts with plans to travel in Rajasthan, something exciting has come up: Padharo Rajasthan, the state’s luxury train tour service will be starting soon. This five-day tour starts from Delhi to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. In addition to this, these trains won’t be filled to capacity to ensure social distancing along with all the Covid precautionary norms in place.
It may be the fastest mode of travel, but you will be bogged down by the stringent lockdown restrictions surrounding planes. You’ll have to undergo a screening process and have to submit a Covid self-declaration form. Also, Rajasthan has enforced a mandatory 14-day home quarantine for domestic passengers. If you’re abroad, you won’t get a direct flight to Rajasthan owing to Covid restrictions.
Places To Visit in Rajasthan During Covid
Rajasthan is a place where there is a lot to see and do – explore the sandy dunes of the Thar Desert, the imposing yet beautiful palaces that speak of the land’s rich past, murals depicting the valor of the Rajputunas, the colorful attires of the locals contrasting with the desert landscape and of course, the delicious cuisine.
With the pandemic still among us, it’ll be better if you try to stay off the beaten path as it would mean fewer people. Let’s check out some such places in the Land of Kings.
If you’re a history buff with a love for forts, this is a must-visit place for you. Built atop a hillock near the Gambhiri River, it is sure to leave you intimidated by its sheer size. It was built by the Mauryas and throughout history, the fort was contested for its impregnability. Also, Chittor Fort is the largest in India and also a UNESCO heritage site.
The place is full of history – from the Padmini Palace, the intricately carved Kalika Mata Temple and the sacred waters of the Gaumukh Kund, which ensured a supply of water for the soldiers at the fort when it was under siege. The Rana Kumbha Palace may not be for the faint-hearted, as it is rumored to be haunted by a royal woman who committed jauhar (a practice of self-immolation by women to save their honor from invading armies) who asks for help.
Ranthambore National Park
This place should be on an animal lover’s bucket list while exploring Rajasthan. This is one of the few tiger reserves in India. Also, the park and the surrounding hotels will have all the Covid safety regulations in place, thus making for an ideal adventure travel destination.
If you’re up for hiking, there’s the majestic Ranthambore Fort within the park which you can go to even in your own vehicle. You can just be amongst animals in their natural habitat and once you reach the top of the fort, you’ll be greeted with a panoramic view of the park.
The major attraction of Ranthambore National Park, of course, is the tiger safari. If you can choose, go for a Gypsy truck instead of a canter for the safari as it’ll be more comfortable and you’ll be with fewer people. With patience and a bit of luck, you never know, you might be able to feast your eyes upon a majestic big cat going about its life. Please note that those above 65 years and below 10 years of age won’t be allowed for the safari.
For the traveller who wants to experience the majestic Thar Desert, Khuri is the place to be. It is located just about 50 kilometers away from Jaisalmer, a popular tourist hub. As Khuri is relatively unknown to tourists, you can experience solitude here and have a socially distanced holiday.
Khuri is mostly about relaxing in the sands and getting in touch with a hostile-yet-beautiful environment. If you have an urge for adventure, you can set out on a desert safari on the sand dunes of Khuri. Also, there are camping sites in Khuri – a perfect romantic getaway to gaze at the ruby-red sunset. The camps offer you delicious Rajasthani food and a chance to enjoy the local arts. Just make sure that you carry warm clothing with you as the desert tends to get really cold at night. Of course, it goes without saying that you should be having your mask and sanitizer too.
Things To Remember
Yes, the government has been lifting most of the Covid lockdown restrictions. Your visiting places in Rajasthan would definitely contribute to the tourism industry, which was worst hit by the lockdown. However, we reiterate that the Covid pandemic is far from gone, so don’t compromise on social distancing along with regular washing and sanitizing of your hands. So please use cashless transactions wherever possible to reduce risk of infection.
While e-passes and coronavirus self-declaration forms are no longer compulsory, keep them with you, just in case. Also, have the latest version of the Aarogya Setu app installed on your phone. Wherever you plan to go, make sure the anti-Covid measures are taken seriously there. The lockdown rules and regulations can change abruptly, so make sure that you’re up to speed on the restrictions of Rajasthan and of your home state.