Rajasthan is a state in the northwest of India. It is mainly arid and its western border is adjacent to Pakistan. The main attraction for travellers is the vast Thar Desert and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the Aravallis. The Rajput heritage which is apparent in the forts, temples and palaces established by the Rajput Kings like Bappa Rawal, Rana Kumbha, Rana Sanga and Rana Pratap are also popular places to visit
- Ajmer Division — in the central part of the state, home to the Brahma temple in the holy city of Pushkar
- Bharatpur Division — in the far eastern part of the state, home to Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary
- Bikaner Division — in the northern part of the state totally covered with desert, famous for its sweets & Namkeen
- Jaipur Division — in the eastern part of the state, home to the state capital, Jaipur (the Pink City)
- Jodhpur Division — in the western part of the state, home to the desert near Jaisalmer (the Golden City) as well as Jodhpur (The Blue City)
- Kota Division — in the southeastern part of the state, less arid than the other divisions
- Udaipur Division — in the southern part of the state, home to Udaipur and all its lakes and palaces
- Jaipur — the state capital.
- Ajmer — Tomb of sufi saint Khawaja Mohiddin Chasti, famous pilgrimage for both Hindus and Muslims.
- Bikaner — famous for its sweets.
- Jodhpur — the Blue City, site of the spectacular hilltop Mehrangarh Fort.
- Udaipur — known as City of Lakes, including Pichola and Fateh Sagar lakes
Travel guide Rajasthan
Rajasthan is one of the larger Indian states and distances are long, making planes a fairly good option for getting in. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Udaipur all have airports with direct links to many major cities, though if coming from a smaller city, one has to go via Delhi.
Overnight trains from Delhi and Mumbai reach most of Rajasthan’s major cities. For points further out, like Jaisalmer, you’ll be looking at a second day on the train. The Shatabdi and Rajdhani express are excellent trains and have excellent service.
Palace on Wheels is a week long luxury train ride through Rajasthan. Another luxury train is Royal rajasthan on wheels
The National Highway 48 which runs through Rajasthan is excellent and connects Delhi to Mumbai. Though Mumbai may be too far away, this is the most popular way to travel to Jaipur from Delhi as the road is in excellent condition and the drive can easily be completed in under 4hrs.
- Amber Fort in Jaipur
- Camel fair in Pushkar
- Chittorgarh Fort – A massive structure with numerous gateways, the fort is an outstanding example of Mauryan architecture.
- Mehrangarh Fort – Located in Jodhpur.
- Junagarh Fort in Bikaner
- Pichola Lake in Udaipur
- Bundi Fort in Bundi
- Jaisalmer Fort – Located in Jaisalmer. This fort is constructed with sandstone and is an important landmark of Jaisalmer city.
- The Desert landscape in Jaisalmer
- Karni Mata Temple in Bikaner
- Jal Mahal in Jaipur
- The Pink City in Jaipur
- Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur
- Khejarla Fort in Jodhpur
- Wildlife Sanctuary in Ranthambhore National Park Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary was established in 1957. In 1974 this park came under the campaign of “Tiger Reserve”. Visitors can easily see many water bodies, everywhere inside the park, which is the perfect destination to relax during the summer for the wildlife animals.
Sariska was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and got the status of national park in 1979. The park is famous for both its wildlife and historical monuments and temples.
- Dilwara Temples in Mount Abu
- Mirpur Jain Temple in Sirohi
Travel guide Rajasthan
Outdoor activities and sports
- Cycling, Art of Bicycle Trips organises 10 days long bicycle tours in different parts of Rajasthan. The tours combine cycling with Indian countryside, culture and heritage.
- Many of the cities and towns in Rajasthan offer a chance to do a camel safari.
- Living at the Ranch, taking care of horses, milking the cow, or just horse riding at the hills
- Another great experience is to explore Rajasthan on horseback. Beginners can go on shorter rides while experienced riders can join horseback safaris running from a couple of days up to 3 weeks.
- Women travelers can get brilliant, intricate henna patterns done on their hands and/or feet.
- Visit the bird sanctuary at Bharatpur and the wildlife park at Ranthambore. Make sure you take the tiger safari at Ranthambore.
- Travel in Palace on Wheels- Palace on wheels is one of most luxurious train in the world, equipped with all sort of luxurious comfort. This train is the most memorable and pleasing way to explore the beauty of Rajasthan. This train has exact replica of almost everything as kings used to have in their palaces. This train covers the area of Jaipur, also known as Pink City, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Ranthambhore National Park, Chittaurgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur and Agra before ending its Journey to Delhi.
- Shop at the bazaars(local markets) located in most cities in narrow alleys and lanes. You can pick up traditional puppets, tie-and-dye clothes/apparel, kota(also a place) textiles, accessories. Pick up excellent and beautifully done block print textiles from where it originates. The art has been initiated by the villagers of Pipar Village.
- Visit fairs arranged for traditional festivals, where you get to see the locals in traditional finery;watch camel races;enjoy traditional folk music.
- Go on a jeep safari, night safari or a nature hike in the Aravalli Mountains visiting some of the interesting wildlife sanctuaries there such as Sita-Mata, Kumbhalgarh or Jaisamand.
- Hot Air Ballooning, . 3. A breath taking experience of hot air ballooning over the heritage sites and seing a totally different perspective of Jaipur.Mesmerising should be the word for the entire 3 hour experience. 10000. edit
Ranthambore National Park: was declared as an Indian Wildlife Sanctuary in 1957 and in 1974 it gained the protection of “Project Tiger”. There are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide perfect relief during the extremely hot summer months for the forest inhabitants.
Desert Safari:Desert safari is the best way to explore the world famous “Thar Desert”, located in Rajasthan. Tourists can explore the real beauty of Rajasthan villages, their culture, tradition and colours through this amazing ride.
Pushkar Camel Fair:Explore The Pushkar Camel Fair, a fascinating event where the nomadic tribal peoples of Pushkar and Nimaj decorate, parade and race their camels, hoping for the best price. The fair is also a spiritual time when Hindu pilgrims pay homage at the temple dedicated to Lord Brahma and bathe in the holy Pushkar Lake under the full moon.
Elephant Ride:Elephant Ride at Amber Fort, It will costs around Rs 1,100 for two people and takes about half an hour to reach the fort based on the existing elephant traffic. Elephant ride rates are set by the Jaipur government, so if you find yourself with high prices, you will face a scam.
Avoid shopping at outlets guided by the local auto/rickshaw drivers or even with the local tour guide you may have hired, as these outlets all claim to have some association with the Rajasthan government or the actual artisans which are generally fabricated claims and you end up paying anywhere between 20-40% above the actual price (including a hefty commission parted by the shopkeeper to the guide/auto driver). The guide is more keen to show you all these shops rather than the places you have travelled to see.
Bargain is the key word. If you are buying jewelry, artifacts, handicrafts, etc. definitely bargain. Most tourist shops bargain up to 30 – 50% while some shops (mostly big stores like National Handloom, Bhandari Exports, Jaipur Rugs, India Crafts, Government organizations, etc.) have fixed rates with little or no scope discount on bulk buying.
Food is generally very spicy – to be enjoyed in moderation for first timers. Dairy based sweet products are very popular in this part of the country. Restaurants are mostly vegetarian. Finding restaurants serving good non-vegetarian food could be difficult, and in general, non vegetarian stuff in road side eateries should be avoided. Bread – both leavened and unleavened is readily available.
A typical Rajasthani fare would include daal-baati-churma. Daal is lentil curry;baati is round balls made out of wheat flour and baked in charcoal fire;churma is a dessert made out of crushed wheat balls rolled in jaggery/sugar and topped with ghee.
As always, be careful when traveling alone, and avoid venturing out late at nights and beware of touts. One of the safest ways to travel around is by having a driver who knows their way around Rajasthan.
Vehicles in India are driven on the left side of the road; therefore be aware of it in the street when walking/driving.