Rajasthan is one of the most popular destinations in India, where you can witness a myriad of colors that come alive in this vibrant state. Traveling through destinations in Rajasthan will show you how you have retained your old world charm even in the 21st century.
The best time to visit Rajasthan is between July and February. The summers are hard and it is better to avoid going between March and June. There is rain during the monsoons between July and September. Destinations in Rajasthan such as Jaipur, Pushkar, and Udaipur look refreshing when it rains while the lakes next to the palaces fill up adding an extra touch of beauty.
Most popular destinations in Rajasthan that you cannot miss
The capital city Jaipur is one of the most popular destinations in Rajasthan.
The then Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh in 1876, ordered that the entire city of Jaipur be painted pink. This was done as a gesture of warm hospitality to welcome the British princes Alberto and Victoria to Jaipur. This is the reason why Jaipur is known as the Pink City.
Few of the landmarks that make Jaipur one of the best destinations in Rajasthan are the following:
Visit the 500-year-old Amber Fort, also known as Amer Fort, which is only 11 km from Jaipur. Amber Fort was making by Raja Man Singh in the 16th centenary. The fort is made of marbles and sandstone. It looks magnificent with Lake Maota reflecting the colors of the fort.
There are many buses that go to the fort from the city bus station or you can take a taxi. It costs INR 10 for national visitors and INR 50 for foreigners.
Be careful with the brilliance in the architecture and the greatness in the construction of fortresses of the time. Art is everywhere in Amber Fort. There are frescoes, paintings, inlays on the walls and few of the designs are inspired by Mughales. Be careful of the exquisite works of art in the many well maintained doors and courtyards. Read this detailed blog loaded with photos that describe the beauty of Amber Fort in its truest sense.
Hawa Mahal of Jaipur is the Palace of the Winds. Hawa Mahal is open every day from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. It is better to visit early at 9.30 am when the golden rays of the Sun fall on this Mahal that gives it a magical aura.
It has a honeycomb structure, built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh of the Kachhwaha Rajputs dynasty. Hawa Mahal is made of pink and red sandstone and is broadly constructed and served as a viewpoint for royalty women. Lattice windows made it easier for real women to see street festivities and observe the life of the city while remaining out of public view. The impressive architecture of the interiors is developed in five levels with 953 jharokhas or windows.
Jantar Mantar was built in the 18th century. It is considered an architectural marvel since there are many instruments used in astronomy and the world’s largest stone sundial. This sundial can measure the time of day, with an accuracy of half a second.
These instruments help to calculate the local time of Jaipur, the decline of the Sun and other stars, locate the polar star, and calculate the position of various constellations and more. Jantar Mantar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pushkar is famous for its temples and the camel fair that is organized every year. It is about 150 km southwest of Jaipur. It is a deeply religious site among all the destinations of Rajasthan.
The Brahma Mandir (Brahma Temple) built with marble and stone, was built in the 14th century. It is located near the famous Pushkar Lake. Legend has it that Lord Brahma had chosen this place for the construction of the temple. This temple is full of people throughout the year and is frequented by Hindus to pray here.
Pushkar Lake offers the perfect atmosphere of peace and tranquility away from the busy streets of Pushkar. The lake is surrounded by numerous temples and Ghats (bathing places) that make it a famous pilgrimage site.
The bustling streets of Jodhpur are what attract you when you first enter Jodhpur. Although chaotic at first sight, after a while you will see how local life unfolds when you enter the narrow alleyways on your way to Mehrangarh Fort. The fort sits majestically on a rocky hill that fills the Jodhpur skyline.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
The fort has an entry fee of 60 INR for Indians and 400 INR for foreign visitors. The head of the Rathore clan, Rao Jodha, built Fort Mehrangarh in 1460. Imposing thick walls surround the fort 410 feet above the city. Like all the other forts of Rajasthan, the Mehrangarh Fort encompasses palaces, large courtyards, thick gates and temples, all within the complex.
The view of Jodhpur city from the fort walls is fantastic. The Indians call Jodhpur the Blue City of Rajasthan because all the houses are blue.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
This majestic palace built in 1943 is the largest private residence in the world where Jodhpur’s royal family continues to live. The palace is now a luxury hotel, one of the best in the world! Taj Hotels manages a part of the palace as a hotel.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by the then King Umaid Singh, who was the 37th ruler of Rathore in Marwari. He built it as a means to provide farmers with some type of employment during an enraged famine.
Umaid Bhawan Palace is 15 minutes from Jodhpur. You can rent a rickshaw for 50 – 100 INR to get to this palace. The entrance fee is INR 25 for national visitors and INR 50 for foreigners.
Jaisalmer is at the west end of Rajasthan. People also call it the Golden City of India, since the landscape has a golden hue. This fortress city shines by the yellow sand and yellow sandstone used in the construction of the fort and many houses. Jaisalmer is one of the desert destinations of Rajasthan. A trip to the desert is easy and convenient from Jaisalmer.
Fort Jaisalmer stands majestically on a rocky hill. The most unique aspect is that it is the only fort in the world that has residents living in it to this day. There are many small temples and houses inside the fort and the alleys are narrow.
Thar Desert, Jaisalmer
The Thar Desert is the main attraction of Jaisalmer and all of India. The sand is light golden yellow and a camel ride through the sand dunes along with a night camp makes the vacation perfect.
Udaipur is a postcard destination with the bright Lake Pichola and numerous palaces in and around the lake. It is famous as one of the honeymoon destinations in Rajasthan.
Start your trip to Udaipur by visiting the City Palace. It is open from 9.30 am to 5 pm with an entrance fee of INR 35 for domestic tourists and INR 150 for foreigners.
The City Palace looks elegant next to the lake and offers panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. The palace looks surreal at night with Lake Pichola reflecting the palace lights.
Lake Pichola is an extensive artificial lake. This is the main attraction of Udaipur and you can enjoy a relaxing boat ride on this lake. Boat trips cost INR 400 for adults per person and INR 700 per person during sunset. It is open every day between 9 am and 6 pm.
The Lake Palace called Jag Niwas is right in the center of the lake. This white marble palace looks like a bright white pearl in the vast blue lake. It used to be the royal summer palace, but now it is a 5-star luxury hotel managed by the Taj Group.
If you want to explore Rajasthan by bike, take a look at these bike tours organized by Art of Bicycle Trips and experience the place while touring forts, temples, mountains and the desert by bike.