Rajasthan is known around the world for its rich cultural heritage, glorious history, marvelous forts, and stupefying natural landscapes. The Thar Desert covers most of Rajasthan and makes up a natural border between India and Pakistan. The state has some of the most beautiful and interesting places entangled in history, tradition, and cultural heritage.
The Pink pride of Rajasthan; Jaipur is the crown jewel that sits on the throne of Rajput history, glory, and legends. There is so much to explore and there are so many things you can do in Jaipur, that we’ll never be able to compile them all in a single listicle or a single article. When you’re exploring Jaipur, make sure you carry a good camera to capture the gorgeous Pink City in all its glory. The mystical Jal Mahal is one of the most famous tourist spots in the city. The placid water of the lake on which the Mahal stands will definitely paint the colours of solace and tranquility. Along with the historic Amer Fort which still stands as a testament to Rajput valor, culture, and ambitiousness. Lose yourself to the awing beauty of this city.
The Jal Mahal in Jaipur
Image Source: Joao Eduardo Figueiredo (Flickr)
Located in the northwestern region of Rajasthan, the city of Bikaner encapsulates the vibrancy and diversity of Rajasthani culture. The desert landscape of the region integrates its appeal and adds a magical charm to the city. The swirling sands of Bikaner will not only revitalize your spirits, it will also calm your soul. The best way to explore the areas around the city is on a camel safari. This city should be at the top of your itinerary, along with Jaisalmer and Udaipur.
Image Source: Silvia (Flickr)
The magnificent Mehrangarh Fort towers upon Jodhpur as a witness to its glorious history, and the Umaid Bhawan Palace is the perfect representation of Rajputana extravagance. Jodhpur was the backdrop of the Wes Anderson flick, The Darjeeling Limited, and has also been featured in countless Bollywood films. The city houses the beautiful Mandore Garden, and it is a must visit for everyone visiting Jodhpur. You can also visit the Kaylana and Balsamand Lakes along with the numerous temples spread across the vicinity of the city.
Image Source: Laurent (Flickr)
‘The Golden City’, Jaisalmer is situated at a distance of 570 km from the state capital (Jaipur) stands on a yellowish ridge of sandstone with the ancient Jaisalmer Fort perched at the top like a crown. The city falls in the heart of the Thar Desert and attracts tourists and adventure seekers alike. It is one of the few places in India where you can participate in dune bashing. It is best visited during the Desert Festival, which envelopes the city with vibrant hues of festivity.
Image Source: hurricanepower (Instagram)
5. Sam Dunes
Let the tranquility of Thar take over you, and let it enchant you with its hypnotic magnificence. Experience the arid splendor enchanting desert safari on camels and disconnect from the resonance of the modern world at this enchanting destination. You will be greeted by Rajasthani folk art, dance, and craftsmanship of Rajasthan at the camps that are set up for tourists and travelers. Dining under the star-spangled night sky and indulging in traditional Rajasthani cuisine are the two things that you will always cherish about the Sam Sand Dunes.
Image Source: Ramaseshan Ramachandran (Flickr)
Kuldhara is an abandoned village in the Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. It was inhabited by Palwali Brahmins up until the 19th century. It has earned ill-repute over the years for being one of the most haunted villages in the state. In the first half of the new millennium, a team led by Gaurav Tiwari of Indian Paranormal Society alleged to have observed uncanny paranormal activities at the site. The 18-member team of the Society along with 12 other people spent a night at the village. They claimed to have encountered moving shadows, haunting voices, talking spirits, and other paranormal activities
Image Source: publikata (Flickr)
The city of Ajmer is one the most well known and most visited places in Rajasthan. It serves as a base for people visiting Pushkar. The city’s most well-known landmark is the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the shrine of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. The place is revered by people of all faiths and almost everyone visiting Ajmer pay the dargah at least one visit. Ajmer is also the home to the world-renowned Mayo Boys and Mayo Girls Colleges.
Image Source: east med wanderer (Flickr)
The home to the only Brahma temple in the world and the vivacious Pushkar Mela, is a place that has been woven together into the soul of Rajasthani lifestyle and Hippie culture. This quaint town is lined with temples and is built around the mythical Pushkar Lake. The Hindu God Brahma is said to have dropped a lotus at the spot and given birth to this lake. Pushkar is unlike any other place in the world, it is perfectly balanced between rustic life and the bustle of businesses.
Image Source: Nidhi Srivastava (Flickr)
The birthplace of the illustrious king and warrior, Maharana Pratap. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the public and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening. Kumbalgarh is situated 82 km northwest of Udaipur by road. It is the most important fort in Mewar after Chittaurgarh.
Image Source: Amit Rawat (Flickr)
The City of Lakes has some of the best resorts in the entire country. Udaipur is a city which is entwined with history, culture and modern development. There are numerous beautiful palaces and tranquil temples scattered across the city, you can have a leisurely stroll from one spot to another and you will never run out of things to see and ponder over in Udaipur.
Image Source: Claude Chauvin (Flickr)
Chittorgarh houses the Chittor Fort the largest fort in all of Asia. Its history is etched with scars from the many sieges that were carried out by the various Afghan and Central Asian invaders. The best times to visit Chittorgarh are when festivals like Maharana Pratap Jayanti, Meera Mahotsav and Jauhar Mela.
Image Source: Tomas Tamos (Flickr)
12. Mount Abu
The small hill station perched amidst the banal Aravalli range is one of the most frequently visited tourist spots in all of Rajasthan. It is located near the border between Gujarat and Rajasthan. The temperature at Mt Abu ranges between 36 degrees and -2 / -3 degrees in the summer and winter months respectively.
Image Source: harshdhulia (Flickr)
Located in the district of Alwar in Rajasthan. It is a 17th Century fort built by Man Singh I for his younger brother Madho Singh I. This place welcomes you with a signboard put up by the Archeological Survey of India outside its premises, which reads that people should not stay in the vicinity of the fort after sunset. There have been numerous reports and rumors of spirits residing in the fort, and people claim to have heard strange noises and eerie music.
Image Source: Niels Cordes (Flickr)
Alwar is an old town located 150 km north of Jaipur. Alwar is a hub of tourism with several forts, lakes, heritage mansions and nature reserves, including the Bhangarh Fort and the Sariska Tiger Reserve. This sleepy city is perfect for a leisure trip over the weekend.
Image Source: Harshit Malik (Flickr)
The city of Bharatpur doesn’t have much to offer to a tourist, but if you are a nature enthusiast, then you must visit Keoladeo National Park. It used to be a duck hunting reserves for the Maharajas. Various species of migratory and aquatic birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia make it their winter home.
The Indian Grey Hornbill at Bharatpur
Image Source: Swaranjeet (Flickr)
One of the few places in the entire world where the tigers still roam in all their fierce pride and robustness. Ranthambore National Park encompasses the ruins of the Ranthambore fort and is a perfect jungle safari destination.
Image Source: Simon and Karen Spavin (Flickr)
A relatively smaller city, in the Hadoti Region of Rajasthan, Bundi is a quaint place which is perfect for leisurely evening strolls. Some of the important tourist attractions include the Bundi Palace, Taragarh Fort, and Sukh Mahal.
Image Source: luke.me.up (Flickr)
18. Tanot Mata
The Tanot Mata temple is s located in the Jaisalmer District and it was near this place that the historic battle of Longeawala was fought between the Indian and Pakistani armies in 1971. It is said that the temple apparently protected the area, as the Pakistani artillery and armored cavalry failed to bring the temple down and not even a single one of the 300 odd shells that were fired on it explode.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
This ancient historical town is situated near the Alwar district. It is located in between Behror and Shahajahanpur. Neemrana is an industrial hub. This area is also known as Ahirwal region and mini Japan in India.
Image Source: Josué PICHOT (Flickr)
20. Chand Baori
Chand Baori is one of the oldest and most attractive landmarks in Rajasthan. This stepped well and water reservoir was built by King Chanda of the Nikumbh dynasty between 800 CE and 900 CE and was dedicated to Hashat Mata, Goddess of Joy and Happiness upon completion.
Image Source: junaidrao (Flickr)
Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in the Alwar district, and it is one of the few wildlife reserves dedicated to the protection of Tigers. It was given the status of a tiger reserve making it a part of Project Tiger in 1978. It covers an area of 866 km2 (334 sq mi). The reserve was declared a national park in 1990, with a total area of about 273.8 km2 (105.7 sq mi). It is the first reserve in the world to have successfully relocated and rehabilitated tigers.
Image Source: Rupankar Mahanta (Flickr)
Rajasthan has been a favorite for numerous reasons with the places mentioned above are just a fraction of what it can offer. Let us know your favorite Rajasthani experience in the comments below.