Rajasthan Tourism At A Glance
Formerly known as the Land of the Kings, Rajasthan is a beautiful example of India?s age-old opulence and grandeur, traces of which still linger in the air of this state. One of the most colorful and vibrant states in the country, with a heady blend of culture, history, music, cuisine and people welcoming you with smiling faces, falling in love with Rajasthan doesn't?t take much time. Rajasthan has more history than the entire country put together it is the realm of erstwhile Maharajas and their lavish palaces and majestic forts. Rajasthan is steeped in a past filled to the brim with honor, chivalry, and heroism. Golden-sand deserts, traditional handicrafts, an authentic cuisine and awe-inspiring palaces all contribute to making Rajasthan an ideal vacation spot.
Rajasthan abounds in forts which offer sweeping views of the panoramic landscape, and the two most important forts in Rajasthan are the Amber Fort in Jaipur and the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. The Amber Fort, also commonly known as the Amer Fort is a picture-perfect amalgamation of Hindu and Mughal architecture. The ancient stronghold of the Kacchawa Clan, the Amber Fort is a spectacular creation built out of white marble and red sandstone. The Maota Lake surrounding the fort offers crystal clear reflections of the entire fort and adds to the charm of this age-old monument. Jodhpur?s Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India, and towers above the entire city. Situated atop a steep cliff, the fort is still in pretty good shape and houses a museum which displays various artifacts and objects belonging to the ancient royal family. Another famous Rajasthani fort is the Jaisalmer Fort, commonly known as Sonar Quila. Entirely made out of sandstone, the fort literally gleams from a distance, lending it its name of Sonar Quila (meaning Golden Fort).
Rajasthan also has a significant number of palaces that are of historical significance, the famous ones being the Umaid Bhawan Palace and the Jaipur City Palace. Both of these palaces dating back to the royal times, and you can actually see the furniture and other objects used by the royal families on view in these palaces.
How to reach
Nearest Airport - Udaipur Airport (Maharana Pratap Airport), Jodhpur Airport (Civil Airport), Kota Airport, Jaisalmer Airport, Nal Airport (Bikaner Airport)
Nearest Railway Station - The busiest railway station of Rajasthan is in Jaipur. Ajmer Jn (AII), Udaipur City (UDZ), Bikaner, and Jodhpur Jn (JU)
Places to visit
The moment you set foot in Jaipur, you will feel like everything has come straight out of the pages of some epic novel. Majestic buildings, tales of heroic battles, resplendent forts and palaces, and multi-faceted characters. Rajasthan is one of the most colorful and flashiest states in all of India, and its capital Jaipur lives up to the same reputation as well. Jaipur is a vibrant amalgamation of the old and the new highly urbanized pockets and shopping areas have casually sprung up beside gleaming forts and palaces. Jaipur has long been one of the shiniest cultural jewels in the history of the Indian subcontinent, and the royal corridors of the famously named 'Pink City' offer up a plethora of adventures and activities that make for a memorable holiday experience.
Jaipur is known for its forts and palaces, and the most famous fort in the vicinity is the Amber Fort. Also commonly known as the Amer Fort, this majestic building with its maze-like passages and serpentine staircases is a very popular tourist attraction. Overlooking the Maota Lake, the fort is big enough that it will take you at least two to three hours to explore it in detail, and you can also choose to avail of the audio guides to lead you through this fascinating building while explaining the history of the place. Getting an elephant ride up the stairs to the Amber Fort is also a popular tourist activity.
City Palace is another top draw for anyone wishing to know more about the rich history and culture of the Pink City. Home to Rajasthani Maharajas back in the 1700s, this building has now been converted into a museum where tourists can learn about the history of the city in detail. City Palace comprises Mubarak Mahal and Chandra Mahal, with the Chandra Mahal being only partially open to visitors, as the rest of the building is used as the residential place of the Maharajas’ descendants.
Jaipur is more than just ancient glitz and glamour. It is home to Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory site that has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Containing the world?s largest sundial and about 20 other fixed instruments used to make various astronomical observations, the Jantar Mantar is an exemplary example of how far architecture and science have progressed in India. You can avail of either audio guides or human guides to give you a tour of the entire place.
Other famous attractions in Jaipur include the Hawa Mahal, the Nahargarh Fort, and the Jal Mahal, and, with the Nahargarh fort situated high in the Aravalli hills, and offering spectacular views of the entire city and its surrounding landscape.
Jaipur is filled to the brim with bustling local bazaars where you can shop for local handicrafts and trinkets to your heart's content. Popular bazaars in the city include Bapu Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, and Johri Bazaar. The entire state of Rajasthan is renowned for its delicious cuisine, and Jaipur is no exception! The local cuisine of Jaipur is as mouth-watering as it’s buildings are gorgeous. Don?t forget to try traditional Rajasthani dishes such as Ghewar and Dal Baati Churma.
Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is the crown jewel of the state of Rajasthan. It is surrounded by the beautiful Aravalli Hills in all directions, making this city as lovely as it is. This 'Venice of the East' has an abundance of natural beauty, mesmerizing temples and breathtaking architecture which makes it a must-visit destination in India. A boat ride through the serene waters of Lake Pichola will be enough to prove to you why Udaipur is the pride of Rajasthan.
Located in a valley and surrounded by four lakes, Udaipur has natural offerings with a grandeur multiplied by human effort, to make it one of the most enchanting and memorable tourist destinations. It justifies all names ever offered to its charm from 'Jewel of Mewar' to 'Venice of the East'. And though the entire city's architecture is flattering, the Lake Palace hotel is something that offers the city a visual definition. The revered Nathdwara temple is about 60 km from Udaipur.
Situated close to the Pakistan Border, Jaisalmer is a major tourist spot located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan in India. It is called the 'golden city' due to its bounteous golden dunes flowing in the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is adorned with lakes, ornate Jain temples, havelis, and castles clad in golden yellowish sandstone. Climb on to the camel saddle and make your way through this desert or camp under the night sky in this golden land for an unforgettable experience.
The Jaisalmer Fort stands as a crown atop the city and provides a beautiful contrast to the landscape. It also has a lake and many magnificent temples, all made of sandstone. The narrow alleys surrounding the fort are inhabited by people residing there for generations. Jaisalmer is a sublime amalgam of exotic Indian desert culture, heritage, and adventure.
The only hill station of Rajasthan, its cool atmosphere, and lush green surroundings make it a major tourist spot within the state. The most important attraction, however, is undoubtedly the Dilwara temples, which is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture in the country. If you are a history or architecture buff, this is one of the places you should absolutely not miss out in India.
The exceptionally intricate architecture of the Dilwara temples are of course the main attraction here, and you can easily spend hours wondering how these temples were built over 2 centuries, almost a 1000 years back. The temples were specifically made so that they are plain from the outside to avoid attraction of plunderers, and have withstood the test of time extremely well. If architecture is not your thing, then there are various lakes and viewpoints such as the Honeymoon Point, Sunset Point, etc. Tourists enjoy calm and relaxed boating in the Nakki lake, and a view of the sunset from the Sunset point. The highest peak of the Aravali Range also lies in Mt. Abu, surrounded by dense green forests. Mt Abu will offer you all you can demand from a popular and typical destination of a romantic and simpler nature.
Also Known as the "Gateway to Thar", it is famous for its Mehrangarh fort, blue houses, temples, sweets, and snacks. Apart from the fort, there are multiple temples, lakes, shopping streets that are like a mirage from a bygone era.
Jodhpur is one of the most enchanting cities of Rajasthan, with its mighty Mehrangarh fort overlooking the city. An architectural masterpiece in itself, Mehrangarh Fort is a magnificent fort and is among one of the largest forts in Rajasthan. The city is called the Blue City as it looks completely blue in color from an aerial view because of its blue walls and blue houses. Also seen in the backdrop of the movie, The Dark Knight Rises, Jodhpur attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world. Nearby Jaswant Tada and Umaid Bhawan Palace are also among the top attractions in Jodhpur. Apart from the old blue city, Jodhpur has grown as a city with wider and cleaner roads in some parts. However, the magic lies in the old city itself with hundreds of shops, guesthouses, eating joints and vendors make it a chirpy bustling city, especially near the landmark clock tower and Sardar Market.
Surrounded by Aravali ranges, the city of Ajmer is most famous for its Dargah Sharif of saint Muin-ud-din Chishti. Firmly bound by its traditions and culture, Ajmer has a unique charm which lies in the ethos and craftsmanship practiced over centuries. Visit Ajmer to witness the exquisite Mughal architecture set in an aura of peace and spirituality.
Located almost in the center of Rajasthan, Ajmer is brimming with natural beauty and is a renowned religious spot for Hindus and Muslims alike and it receives thousands of visitors every year. During the festival of Urs, the festival commemorating the death anniversary of Saint Moinuddin Chishti, believers from across the globe throng the city. With many famous temples also present here, the city is a renowned religious spot for Hindus and Jains alike. A lot of travelers visiting Pushkar stop by Ajmer and make a day trip to Ajmer.
Located in the midst of Thar Desert, Bikaner is a "cultural paradise and a traveler's haven". The city will mesmerize you with the camels sauntering its beautiful sand dunes and captivate you with its ancient palaces and forts. Rightly called as one of the three great desert kingdoms of Rajasthan, the dazzling city boasts of old-world charm, opulent havelis and depicts a pleasing bygone era of the Rajputs. Best known as the "camel country" for breeding some best-known riding camels, Bikaner also happens to house one of the only two models of the biplane used by the British in World War 1.
Bikaner with its magnificence in architecture, art, and culture has sands filled with color, festivity and cultural marvels. Sand Dunes and the Desert Safari are among major attractions. Bikaner is also famous for hosting the international Camel festival which draws tourists from world over. Other attractions here include experiencing delicacies such as Thandai, Bhujias, shopping for the fascinating Ivory and Lacquer items or simply witnessing the immense heritage taking the form of wall paintings and arts and crafts in the area.
This is one of the best tiger reserves of the country, known to have "friendly" tigers and chances of sighting one here is reasonably better than many other tiger reserves of India. Along with this Ranthambore has one of the richest flora and fauna making it an absolute must visit the area
Nestled in the foothills of Vindhya and Aravali Hills, Ranthambore is famous for its tiger reserves and the variety of flora and fauna found. The Ranthambore National Park, along with the Ranthambore Fort and the surrounding hills and valleys, altogether make Ranthambore a traveler's delight. The place is a boon for wildlife photographers and is perfect for excursions and sightseeing. Safari Rides add to the adventure along with hot Rajasthani picks for shopaholics. With an area of 392 kilometers square, Ranthambore National Park is a natural habitat for a variety of exotic species. It is an absolute delight for birdwatchers and an ideal place to watch animals in their natural habitat.
The Ranthambore Fort, built in the 10th century, stands tall over the entire National Park. Built by the Chauhan Dynasty, the Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located inside the fort is the majestic temple of Lord Ganesha, the Trinetra Ganesh Temple. Ganesha devotees flock to the temple throughout the year. The other two temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Ramlalaji respectively. Two Jain temples, devoted to Lord Sumatinath and Lord Sambhavnath are other attractions of the Fort. The Padam lake and the Surwal lake are two among many that are a haven for bird watching. The ideal time to visit these lakes is early morning. Located adjacent to the Padam lake is the Jogi Mahal, a red sandstone marvel. Kachida Valley, famous for locating panthers and bears, along with Raj Bagh Ruins and the surrounding deciduous forests altogether score brownie points for Ranthambore.
Pushkar, the city often referred to as the rose garden of Rajasthan? is a city of culture and intellect. Nothing can describe this iconic city better than a sought-after destination that provides the essence of Pushkar roses, the charm of culturally vibrant atmosphere and the dynamic festivities make it one hot cultural spot. The west wind of Pushkar gives an easygoing vibe of Westwood lifestyle in the hot sandstone town. The home of the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the world, it is one of the ultimate pilgrimages for Hindus to attain divine spiritual bliss. A place of holy spirit for Hindus, ample ghats are flooded with devotees, closing eyes in the serenity of chants coming from temples around. A soothing and calm place with the glitter of spirituality makes Pushkar a must visit.
Pushkar is one of the oldest cities of India and is one of the five sacred dhams for devout Hindus. It has one of the very few existing devoted temples to Lord Brahma. Pushkar is also famous for its annual Pushkar Camel Fair, held in the month of November. This is one of the very few places in Rajasthan you would find which isn't famous because of a fort. This holy city attracts tourists from far and wide for its many temples. Even though Pushkar is a deeply religious destination, it has become a hipster's paradise in the last few years. A number of cafes with a relaxed and chilled out vibe serve delicious, authentic vegetarian Indian food, and you can sit and observe the life in small-town rural India, and appreciate Hindu religious traditions. However, one has to be a little sensitive towards its religious and spiritual significance, respect local norms and keep from consuming meat products or liquor in and a little around Pushkar.
Alwar is the first major city that comes while traveling from Delhi to Rajasthan and is uniquely located at 150 km south of Delhi and 150 km north of Jaipur. Alwar is a hub of tourism with a wide range of forts like Bhangarh fort, lakes, nature reserves like Sariska Tiger Reserve and heritage havelis. Apart from being a popular tourist center, Alwar also draws pride from its reputation of being featured in a number of Bollywood movies. It is also famous for the Mega Alwar Trade fair held at Dussehra Ground every year and handmade Papier-mâché (literally 'chewed paper'). Alwar has a unique recognition because of Sariska Tiger Reserve, Bala-Quila, Bhangarh Fort, Pandu Pol and other temples and its importance of the food map because of the heavenly Kalakand.
Surrounded by Aravali hills, Alwar is a pretty city of rich culture and heritage. Not very famous among tourists, Alwar has retained its charm from the past. The majestic fort, beautiful City Palace, and the colorful markets make Alwar one of the most interesting cities in Rajasthan. Alwar has been one of the oldest of Rajasthani Kingdoms and one of the first Rajput states to align itself with the British empire. Alwar is most famous for two things - its milkcake ('Alwar ka mawa') and its fort. The city comes under the NCR region and forms for a great weekend getaway from New Delhi - as Alwar is a small beautiful and peaceful place with no pollution. Among other reasons to Alwar is to visit the Sariska Tiger Reserve and the mysterious Bhangarh Fort.
A depository of ancient monuments, an extremely rich heritage, and an immortal folklore boasting of its majestic glory, every building in Chittorgarh still reverberates with the history of its sacrifice and heroism. The capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar, Chittorgarh is a land of forts, citadels, ruins, and evergreen stories. Situated in the South Eastern corner of Rajasthan, Chittorgarh stands at the helm of Chattari Rajput pride and is remembered in the pages of history for its glorious battles, especially the siege of Alauddin Khilji. Once known for its grandeur and opulence, today, Chittorgarh has left its tales of bravery and betrayal far behind to catch up to commercialization, but those stories of splendor and magnificence will never be forgotten.
Chittorgarh is known far and wide for its most famous attraction, the Chittorgarh fort, which is a gigantic fort built on a hilltop, spreading over an area of around 700 acres. Chittorgarh fort will always be remembered for the courageous self-sacrificing Jauhar performed by Rani Padmini to thwart the conquest of the fort by Alauddin Khilji, and thousands of tourists visit this place every year to take a look at the place that has been so prominently marked in the pages of history. Rana Kumbha Palace is the largest structure in Chittorgarh fort, and while it is now a mere tumbledown structure of broken walls and piles of stones, it was once a magnificent three-storied palace with gigantic pillars, maze-like underground tunnels, and intricately designed architecture. The most famous attraction in Chittorgarh fort is the Rani Padmini Palace, named after Queen Padmini herself. Replete with roof pavilions and water moats, the story of Queen Padmini?s valor rings out loud in every corner of this dilapidated building.
Other sights to visit in Chittorgarh include the Meera Temple, the Kali Mata temple, the Gaumukh reservoir, and the Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Neemrana town is located in Alwar in Rajasthan on Delhi-Jaipur highway. It is famous for its magnificent Neemrana Fort Palace. It was built in 1464 AD, a palace from where Rajput Maharaja Prithvi Raj Chauhan III reigned. Neemrana fort is now converted into one of the Rajasthan's oldest heritage luxury hotels.
The fort has been restored and developed for the people to enjoy amalgamation of history and modernity. To spend a peaceful and magical weekend getaway near Delhi, Neemrana provides heritage, celebrations, and colors that is surrounded by the beauty of nature, where each silent big wall shouts out loud its different heroic story. Neemrana is very popular among Delhi crowd as a perfect place to visit just for a day to enjoy the heritage resort and also the activities including zip-lining, swimming, etc.
Situated in the Sikar district of Rajasthan, Fatehpur is an ancient town, a prominent part of the Shekhawati region. Fatehpur is popular with tourists who want to try out a new destination, and have a knack for art and culture.
Easily reachable on the Delhi- Jaipur highway, Fatehpur has a number of palaces and forts adorning the beautiful craft of fresco. For a break in the monotonous routine, Rajasthani hospitality, love of art and culture, head to Fatehpur.