Rajasthan is a place that everyone dreams of visiting. The state is famed for its forts, palaces and ruins, but it's so much more than that!
Rather than cramming all the must-see sights into a single week, try a longer trip and explore the less-visited parts of the state. It's not for everyone, but it could be exactly what you're looking for.
A city that never thinks twice before dazzling its visitors with flamboyance, Jaipur is one of the best places to explore in Rajasthan. The fanciest and most famous attractions in the country are dotted all over this brash capital of India, including its stunning hilltop forts, royal palaces, timeless bazaars and humming, bargain-filled hotels.
In addition to the palaces and forts, there are a number of museums in this culturally-rich city. Among these is the Rambagh Palace Museum, a state-of-the-art museum that features a huge collection of artworks and artifacts.
Besides visiting the regal palaces and forts, it is also a good idea to visit Ranthambore National Park, a popular tiger sanctuary. This is an excellent way to get in touch with nature and a great way to relax and rejuvenate yourself after a long day of touring.
If you are a lover of lakes and architecture, Udaipur is the perfect destination for you. You can explore the various palaces and temples and enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Pichola.
The city also boasts a variety of gardens, some of which are renowned for their beauty and design. They include Gulab Bagh, which has a zoological garden and a library, as well as Pratap Park, with its human-sized alphabets and view of the Pichola Lake.
Rooms are decorated in a mix of traditional and modern styles with local touches, including jharokas (overhanging enclosed balconies), Jaipuri kalam prints, and green marble. Amenities include air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi.
Jodhpur is one of Rajasthan’s most charming cities, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s also known as the ‘blue city’ for its buildings painted in shades of blue. This is a city that celebrates its rich cultural and historical legacy as well as the natural wonders of its surrounding landscape – a place to behold the true spirit of Rajasthan!
It’s a city of palaces, temples and forts – but it’s also a place to wander among the narrow medieval streets and bazaars. This is a city that’s a treasure trove of Rajasthani culture and heritage, a place where life appears to have gone on much the same way as it did hundreds of years ago.
There are plenty of attractions in Jodhpur that you should visit including the iconic Mehrangarh Fort, the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaswant Thada and the Chamunda Mataji Temple. It’s also a great place to sample some of the local snacks such as Mirchi Vada (big green chillies stuffed with potatoes and coated with gram flour) or Mawa Kachori (puffed pastry stuffed with sweetened milk solids, dried fruits and coated with sugar syrup).
A sand-stone town glistening with palaces, forts and enchanting havelis, Jaisalmer is an opulent experience of culture and heritage. It’s a major tourist hub and the base for camel safaris into the golden Thar desert and Sam Road dunes.
One of the most popular and best things to do in Jaisalmer is a tour of the Fort. It’s the best way to see the intricate carvings and architecture that have stood the test of time.
Alternatively, you can also explore Bundi, the captivating old city that oozes past wonders (as Kipling wrote in his evocative poem, ‘Bundi Bazaar’). It is a welcome break from the customary tourist trail, where narrow lanes of Brahmin-blue houses, assorted temples and a fairy-tale palace are all waiting to be explored.
Pushkar is the spiritual heart of Rajasthan and a must visit when you’re in the area. Set around 52 lakeside ghats and temples, this whitewashed town is a magnet for Hindu pilgrims.
It’s also a great place to start if you want to avoid the crowds in other parts of the state and get to know some of the softer side of the region. It’s also a good base for visiting Ajmer and Jaisalmer and is the perfect stop for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of India’s main cities.
There’s so much to see here that it’s worth spending a few days here to really get a feel for the place. The best way to do this is to book a tour with one of the locals who will be more knowledgeable about the town and the different sites.
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