Written by Nikita Chandola.
Want to feel the royal tradition of India? Then head on to Rajasthan for the ultimate Maharaja and Maharani kind of experience. Rajasthan holds in its heart the amalgamation of tradition and history and is a historical paradise for any travel lover.
I love visiting historical places because there is so much to know about the place. If you also love to visit such places, then Rajasthan is one of the best states in India. The ‘Land of Maharajas’ is the largest state of the Republic of India. Being located on the western side of the country it shares its border with Pakistan. It has to hold on to its glory by its sublime forts, palaces, and monuments. The culture and traditions of this princely state are what people find splendid. When you visit this place you would understand that even after spending quite some time here it would feel like you haven’t covered enough of this place. Such is the beauty of the palaces, the culture and definitely the food. In spite of there being many places to visit here, we have listed down the top 6 beautiful must-visit places in Rajasthan which you absolutely cannot afford to miss out.
The city tells you about the maharajas who used to rule the country, all about their lifestyle, culture, and whatnot. It’s the city of pink from palaces to residence, that’s why it’s known as ‘Pink City’. Jaipur’s pink architecture symbolizes hospitality and this city is also the first planned city of India. The palaces, Havelis and fortresses are marvels of architecture from the years gone by. Places which you would not likely to miss in Jaipur are:
- Hawa Mahal called as Palace of Winds due to its 953 “Jharokhas” or windows which helps in circulating air within the fort. The windows are structured in such a way that it takes the shape of a honeycomb design. The fort resembles the crown of Lord Krishna because Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who has built this palace was a devotee of Lord Krishna. Its architectural design is exotic and eccentric.
- City Palace which is beautiful for its architecture fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European styles. This was the palace from where the Maharaja ruled. In this palace, you should explore Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal and Shri Govind Temple along with the other several courtyards, gardens, pavilions and many more.
- Jantar Mantar is the world’s largest sundial. It was created for the observation of time, movement of planets and other celestial bodies.
- Amber Palace aka Amer Fort was built by Raja Mansingh in the 15th century. The architecture of this palace made of red sandstone and marble stone and resembles the Mughal architectural style. It has many gates and paths and stands on a hill that overlooks Jaipur. Amber fort is also the third-largest wall in the world. There are many major attractions to witness inside the Amer Palace like the Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khaas, Baradari, Suhag Mandir and many more which takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete.
Other famous forts to visit in Jaipur are,
- Jal Mahal
- Jaigarh Fort
- Nahargarh Fort
A day in Jaipur should be a day for delving into its history, tasting the authentic Rajasthani meals and shopping at the bazaar for great fabrics, state of the art jewelry and pottery.
Jodhpur, unlike Jaipur, has two names, the first name is derived from its blue painted walls and therefore called the “blue city” and second, it’s sunny and bright throughout the year and therefore, Jodhpur is also called “The Sun City.” It is the second-largest city of Rajasthan located at the edge of Thar Desert
Places that you should visit in Jodhpur are,
- Mehrangarh Fort is a famous tourist place and one of the largest forts in India. The fort stands 400 feet above the city. The fort’s construction started in the 14th century but it took several other centuries to fully complete it. This fact has left a mark over this place, as visitors witness different architectural periods in this one fort.
- Umaid Bhavan Palace has 347 rooms and is the largest private residences in the world. You can enjoy a nice trek while reaching the place and savor your eyes for the stunning vintage car collection and clock collection through different periods in the history of the world.
- Mandore Gardens does not only has a museum but also hosts a temple for 33 crore Gods. The Mandore fort although it is in ruins you will surely be able to comprehend the architectural beauty of the times gone by.
- The Clock Tower was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh and offers a good view of the Mehrangarh fort. Sardar market is a perfect place for all shopaholics and trying out the Rajasthani cuisine.
- Jaswant Thada is known for its intricate architectural carvings, multi-level gardens, gazebos, enchanting marble construction and portraits of the Rathore rulers.
If you love or simply want to take a ride through the barren desert and see the perfect view of the city, then Jeep Safari ride is for you (don’t miss out!). Apart from this, the Jodhpur International Desert Kite Festival is one of the famous festivals held in Jodhpur. If planning to visit Jodhpur 14th January around is the best time to visit as you will be able to enjoy the festival too.
It’s a prominent Hindu pilgrimage town and devoted Hindus must visit this place once. It’s best to walk through the lanes, bazaars, and ghats to discover magic and beauty about this tranquil town. Things you shouldn’t miss when in Pushkar:
- Camel safari- There is nothing better than camel ride to explore the dunes especially for adventurous and sporty people out there.
- Hot air balloon ride- What else do you need when you’re at the height, away from the crowd. I can just picture the view while writing this!
- Shop in Pushkar market- Even if I haven’t mentioned it, this is going to be one of the top priority lists isn’t it?! As we all know Rajasthan is famous for puppets, silver jewelry, all ethnic and hippie things, and whatnot, so shopping is a must, but don’t forget to bargain. Baza bazaar, Sadar bazaar, Sarafa bazaar are some places to shop.
- Go on a food trail- All foodies, I know this is what you all were thinking and Pushkar is heaven for you all! Some of the not-to-miss items are kachori and malpua including rooftop cafes, roadside restaurants (you all are craving, right!). Pushkar fair festival is one of the festivals of Rajasthan.
Many more things to explore just visit once!
The city and fort are made of yellow arenaceous rock and imbue with golden-light, that’s why called as ‘The Golden City’. It shares its borders with Pakistan as it is situated on the west and south-west of the state.
- Jaisalmer Fort is the famous tourist attraction here. Jaisalmer Fort was built around 800 years ago and has guarded its rulers against brutal enemy attacks. This fort is also known as “Sone ka Quila” or “Sonar Quila” due to its amazing golden glow of the yellow sandstone walls. The fort has many intricately carved palaces like the Rang Mahal, Sarvottam Vilas, Zenana Mahal, Moti Mahal and many more.
Other places to visit in Jaisalmer are,
- Bada Bagh which means “huge garden” is a memorial for Maharawal Jait Singh and his family members. Apart from its architectural beauty which is full of cenotaphs, Chhatris, temples, etc, Bada Bagh is known for its breathtaking sunset views and for the green tranquil landscape surrounding the garden. Therefore evening time is the best time to visit this place with your cameras.
- Patwon-Ki- Haveli is the first haveli that was constructed in Jaisalmer by a trader named Guman Chand. This place is a group of five Havelis made by five Patwa brothers and attracts tourists for its stone design and intricate artwork of old times. It took around 60 years to build this haveli. Though it was built for the traders of Jaisalmer, they couldn’t enjoy staying in this place as their business could not flourish in Jaisalmer and all the traders had to move out of the city to have a taste of fortune. Out of the five Havelis, the first one at present is a place for guests to stay in, two are under the Archeological Survey of India. This place is a must-visit if you are planning to tour Jaisalmer.
- Jain temples of the Jain community have enriched the beauty of Jaisalmer and so there are many Jain temples to sight. Also don’t miss the sand dunes of Jaisalmer and gear up for a memorable camel ride there. Desert festival of Jaisalmer is a must-attend artifact (you don’t want to miss this!) which is held in the month of February, the best time to visit and is a three-day long festival.
It is one of the most romantic and mesmerizing places of Rajasthan. A perfect place for a destination wedding. There are few places which made this city more mesmerizing and which you shouldn’t think to miss! City Palace is among the top places to visit in Udaipur. Its architecture is one top reason why it is a must-visit place with some awe-struck structures.
Places to visit in Udaipur are:
- City Palace is situated on the banks of Pichola Lake. The palace has served many rulers of the Mewar empire of ancient India. It is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan built by Maharana Udai Singh in the 15th century. There are many attractions inside the City Palace like the Manek Chowk, Ganesh Deodhi, Badi Mahal, all the entrances and Torans. From this palace, you can get a full view of the entire city of Udaipur.
- Lake Palace or Jag Niwas and Lake Pichola are surrounded by Aravalli hills in the background which makes it the most romantic place in Rajasthan. After touring the City Palace you can visit Lake Pichola which is a gorgeously made lake, boating in this 4km long lake is what visitors cannot miss. Also, the luxurious Rajasthani meals at the nearby restaurants would surely be a once in a lifetime experience for anyone.
- Ranakpur is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur and is situated in a valley of the Aravalli range. It is famous for the magnificent Jain temple one of the famous pilgrimage places of Jainism. Also, the Dilwara temples in Ranakpur is known globally for the architectural beauty that it possesses. This place is also a famous royal wedding destination. You can also indulge in horse safari, jeep safari and trekking in Ranakpur.
- Kumbhalgarh Fort which is located 85 km from Udaipur is the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. It is the second most important fort for the Mewar dynasty after the Chittorgarh fort. Kumbhalgarh fort is situated near Ranakpur, therefore you make this visit on the same day when you plan to visit Ranakpur. Like the other forts, this one is also known for its grandeur, palace ruins, ancient temples and its evening light and sound show.
Ajmer is a popular place for pilgrimage and is known for the dargah of Moinuddin Chisti, known as Ajmer Sharif dargah. Every day after namaaz, qawwalis are sung by the devotional singer inside Ajmer Sharif’s hall. Other than dargah, Ana Sagar Lake is the man-made lake, an interesting family outing spot and near the lake is the Daulat Bagh, a garden started by Emperor Jahangir. Buland Darwaza is an example of Islamic design, displaying the glory of Akbar’s reign.
Rajasthan is a state to visit and to enjoy the aesthetic culture, meet new people, eat delightful typical Rajasthani cuisine and to shop all day till you drop. 😉