Rajasthan has an abundance of heritage and offers some fabulous cities to visit including: Jaipur, Ajmer, Jodshpur, Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Jaisalmer. Here’s a short guide by local Rajasthan enthusiast, Rohit, about the top things to experience in the state.
Places to Visit
1. Jaipur and Udaipur
The capital city, Jaipur, along with the most architecturally famous city of Udaipur, make Rajasthan a must-see state. The royal families of Mewar took pride in their creations in both these cities, and even today continue to develop them with just as much fervour as their ancestors. Udaipur’s lakes like Pichola and Fateh Sagar, and Jaipur’s well-designed streets and regal hotels make for a rather wonderful experience.
2. Ajmer and Chittorgarh
The historical and religious significance of Rajasthan can be truly seen by visiting the cities of Ajmer and Chittorgarh. Whether it is the mighty fort of Chittorgarh or the world-renowned tomb of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer, Rajasthan has sites of major cultural importance.
3. Jaisalmer and Jodhpur
The golden city of Jaisalmer, located right next to the Thar Desert, boasts unforgettable camel rides through the sand dunes of the city. The Jaisalmer Fort is also a lively historical location – one of the largest completely preserved cities in the world – and can be combined with a trip to Jodhpur, home to the Mehrangarh Fort.
Where to Stay
Rajasthan is filled with heritage hotels that provide a royal experience for their guests, below are some recommendations:
- Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur
- Fort Begu in Chittorgarh
- Trident Hotel in Jaipur
- Dadhika Fort Hotel in Alwar
- Amet Haveli in Udaipur
- Mihir Garh Hotel in Jodhpur
- Narayan Niwas Palace in Jaisalmer
- Gajner Palace Heritage Hotel in Bikaner
Things to Do
- Camel safari in Jaisalmer is the most popular tourist activity of the city, and the tour through the expansive Thar Desert is a joyous ride for people of all ages. The town of Pushkar also hosts an annual Camel Festival which is a must visit.
- The Palace on Wheels train journey that goes through different parts of Rajasthan gives a spectacular tour of the state by stopping at some of the most mesmerizing parts of almost every city. It also provides a regal journey to its guests.
- In the culturally rich parts of Rajasthan like Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Chittorgarh, where tribal and folk traditions are undertaken to spread the heritage of the Mewari lifestyle, visitors can indulge in authentic Rajasthani food and drinks.
- Shopping through the streets of Jaipur is an experience worth having while in Rajasthan, as there are plenty of traditional textiles, jewellery, artefacts and paintings that can be purchased.
- The wildlife and bird sanctuaries of Bharatpur and Ranthambore are an experience, particularly if you’re lucky enough to spot a tiger.
- Desert safaris are popular in the areas of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, which will give a whole new look towards Rajasthan and its vast desert.
Things to see
The following are the most splendid examples of Rajput and Mughal architecture in Rajasthan
- Mehrangarh Fort of Jodhpur
- Amber Fort of Jaipur
- Chittorgarh Fort of Chittorgarh
- City Palace and Lake Palace of Udaipur
- Lake Pichola of Udaipur
- Umaid Bhavan of Jodhpur
- City Palace of Jaipur
- Bear in mind that most restaurants in Rajasthan are vegetarian, though the cuisine is delicious nonetheless.
- Religious places require visitors to remove their shoes at the entrance, which should be complied with in order not to hurt the religious sentiments of locals.
- Rajasthan’s overall temperature is usually steep in most parts, summers being exceptionally hot and winters in some parts being quite chilly. Carrying appropriate clothing is important.
- Public transport is easily available in every city and small town, apart from some areas where people prefer walking.
- Most historical locations have entry fees for foreign visitors.
About the author:
Rohit travels to the most sought after travel locations in India and reviews the numerous sights the country has to offer. He shares his experiences and adventures on TransIndiaTravels.com.