Rajasthan Travel Guide: You wish to visit Rajasthan in India is in your plans ?, but you are not sure where to start to build your itinerary in Rajasthan. This small write-up should help you plan your trip to Rajasthan & North Part of India and give you some ideas of places to see and things to do in Rajasthan, this state in northern India.
Rajasthan is one of the favorite regions of tourists and it is without a doubt. Bordered to the west by Pakistan, to the north by Punjab, to the east by Uttar Pradesh, and to the south by Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, the region of Rajasthan in India is one of the regions of the country that has remained the most traditional. It is said that there are many differences between North and South India and I agree. This diversities can be seen in the architecture and the culture, but also the food and the mentality of the people. Even the languages are different! There are more than 120 languages (dilacte) used all over India.
When I found myself in the South with my friend from Delhi, he had almost as much difficulty as me reading road signs and menus, imagine the giggles I had! Moreover, speaking of food, it is inevitable in Rajasthan that the food is the best. Thalis are diverse, colorful, and more luscious than those from the South. This is my personal opinion of course.
India has become a very popular country for every visitor, especially for women check our this page Female Solo Travel India Guide. That’s why tourists go there in the hope of refocusing and making discoveries about themselves, but when the time comes to decide where exactly you want to go when you visit India, it becomes very difficult. For a first visit, it is said that the southern part is less conservative, more open to the world. Of course, it’s a question of point of view and everyone has their own desires. For me, it is precisely the more traditional side of the North that attracts me. In this desert region of northern India, there are many towns and villages popular with tourists.
In general, during a route in Rajasthan, the palaces to see are more numerous. Who loves to take pictures of old buildings, when I go to visit Rajasthan, I am served as desired. It’s everywhere. And what about the women who wear magnificent flamboyant saris! You will notice during your trip to Rajasthan in India that tourists are still strongly based in people’s minds and this region has undergone very little modernization compared to what can be seen in some southern cities.
Here are my suggestions for exploring Rajasthan, India. This will give you a good starting point to visit Rajasthan and know what to do and see in this North Indian state
To start your itinerary in Rajasthan, I suggest you start from Jaipur. The feeling that comes to mind when I think of the city of Jaipur is total chaos in big block letters. In terms of traffic, it is very similar to large cities such as Delhi or Mumbai. On the other hand, in Jaipur, the temperature is very high.
It is also one of the only places in India where you can see elephants driving around in the middle of the city. Every time I see one, I take the jump. Let’s just say you can’t get used to this kind of thing!! Real circus beasts. The Asian elephants that we see circulating in the streets are often painted in all kinds of colors. They walk the road like us, with their passengers on their backs. I still can’t figure out how they manage to keep calm, in this tumult of horns and sirens. If you are wondering what to see and what to do in Rajasthan in the city of Jaipur, here are some suggestions.
The milestone of the city Jaipur, Fort Amber is huge & magnificent! It is perched on top of a hill and it stands out from other palaces. Here, the entrances and stairs are made for elephants. According to history, this palace was close to being the 8th wonder of the ancient world. Of course, there are macaques everywhere. You have to be careful. It was beneficial, accompanied by a local guide who simply covered all major sightseeing points inside Amer Fort, guests preferred the guide and had the chance to hear great stories from the time.
Visiting Amer Fort is even more entertaining!If you like temples, I recommend you take a trip to Galtaji Temple (or Monkey Temple if you prefer). This magnificent temple rests in the hollow of 2 mountains and a natural spring gushes up the hill and flows down, filling a series of water reservoirs. It is in these sacred waters that pilgrims bathe during their pilgrimage. This temple in North India is called the Monkey Temple because of the large number of rhesus macaques that live there. Interesting places to put in your itinerary in Rajasthan in the city of Jaipur.
In Jaipur, Observatory (Jantar Mantar) is the highlight of the city. It is an astrological and astronomical museum located in the middle of a park, facing toward the Palace of Winds (Hawa Mahal). It shows life-size sundials and other structures that helped identify the time hundreds of years ago. It is a really interesting museum. Entrance fees are minimum, and it is rare to be able to see what our ancestors used to predict the weather, time and temperature!
During your trip to Rajasthan, you will see stepwells everywhere, which are actually called baoli or stepwell in English. Baolis are used both for religious and ritual reasons and as a source of water supply. Since rainwater accumulates there, it is possible to perform ablutions there as many Hindus do during ritual baths. Sometimes, at their own risk and peril, young children play in it and launch themselves from the top by diving. Not only is the water stagnant and a rather scary green.
Here are some more suggestions for Jaipur to see during your trip to Rajasthan India. It is said that the city of Jaipur is also called the Pink City, because of the Winds Palace (Hawa Mahal) which is all pink. In truth, it is a huge building, the Hawa Mahal, clad in beautifully crafted pink and red sandstone. During your itinerary in Rajasthan, you will see that there is no shortage of places to visit in Jaipur. Staying here for a few days won’t be wasted, believe me. And if you like castles, go to the Naranghar Fort, which is absolutely mind-blowing. You can visit some beautiful temples and forts, the City Palace Museum.
Initially, when I made the decision to visit Rajasthan in India. In Pushkar there are a lot of tourists and a lot of hippies. I quickly understand why, because there is a sacred lake there which is a major place of pilgrimage for Hindus. Of course, we are far from Varanasi or Rishikesh, but there are still many ghats and we see people, especially women, bathing there to purify themselves. When I was there, I could see hundreds of women in cries and tears, mourning their dead. It was uncomfortable for me who watched, but who could not do anything. Generally, men attend cremation ceremonies while women remain on the ghats to mourn. Having been to Varanasi the following year.
If you are planning to visit Rajasthan in India at the right time, a stop at the Pushkar Camel Fair is well worth the visit. Every year, in October or November (it depends on the moon sentence), thousands of camels are sold or exchanged in this fair. It’s a real party and it attracts thousands of tourists as well as locals. Some animals take on the appearance of a work of art, the camels’ coats are shaved by making geometric movements, they are decorated with pearl necklaces and even their eyes are made up. Many shows are planned during this colorful event and there is even a wacky contest for the most beautiful mustache, an essential attribute of men that you will certainly notice during your trip to Rajasthan.
If you’re wondering what to see and do in Rajasthan next, a visit to Jodhpur should be on your itinerary. The city Jodhpur is also called the Blue City. And it’s not far from Jaipur, all the walls in the city are painted blue, it’s super pretty. The blue color would reduce the heat. It is a real pleasure to walk in its alleys simply to take pictures. And when you are further and higher, you have a nice overview. You can explore the local market, Mehrangarh Fort, Jawant Thada & Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum etc. Despite the beauty of the city, a few days in Jodhpur are enough. Is the simplicity of the people and the calm of the streets. Here, we are far from the cacophonous environment of the big cities and yet, there are several magnificent places to visit. In Jodhpur, you can stay there for 3-4 days and it will be enough, but since it is on the way to Jaisalmer, the stop is definitely worth the detour. If you are wondering what to see in Rajasthan and what to do during your stay in Jodhpur, here are some suggestions.
The most beautiful spot in Jodhpur is Mehrangarh Fort. A place to visit in Rajasthan on your trip. It’s squarely on top of a mountain, perched 400 feet off the ground and can be seen from all corners of from the city. It is one of the largest forts in the region of Rajasthan, in North India with its 5 km long. Tourists enjoyed visiting it each time. An Indian who no longer lived in India, it was very funny anyway! Every day at the end of the afternoon, look up at the Fort. If you are lucky, you will see the young man there feeding the hundreds of eagles present. It’s a really interesting sight.
On the other hand, right next to it is the Jaswant Thada, the white temple. No entrance fees and some great photos to take, especially when the trees are in bloom.
Right in the middle of the city of Jodhpur is the Sardar Market. A market, all that is more traditional. They sell spices, clothes, jewellery, carpets and everything you want. The price is ridiculously low compared to here. And precisely, take the time to sit down in front of a good saffron lassis, absolutely delicious. You can find every kind of masal and clothes there!
Around Jodhpur, I went to visit the Mandore Garden. It is a very beautiful park filled with temples and historical monuments, in memory of the former royal families. The tombs of the maharajas make for beautiful photos and you always feel serene there. The place is imbued with peace and it is a perfect site to spend the day under the trees.
Umaid Bhavan Palace and the white temple (Jaswant Thada)In the places to see in Jodhpur, you will definitely hear about the Umaid Bhawan Palace. Former palace was converted into a hotel, apart from the small collection of cars, there is nothing to see other than photos of the Maharaja in all postures! Nothing interesting.
And very near there is the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park. A few hiking trails are interesting, and you might even come face to face with the peacocks present. And from up there, you will understand why the city of Jodhpur is nicknamed the Blue City.Visit Rajasthan and the city of Udaipur
Udaipur is the very known destination for each and every traveler, this is the best place in Rajasthan to explore city and village life. You required a few days to explore Udaipur. It is a very charming city and the atmosphere is calm and tranquil. The village surrounds Lake Pichola and there are many sumptuous royal residences. If you are wondering what to do in Rajasthan and what to see during your stay in Udaipur, here are some suggestions.
The City Palace of Udaipur is a real princess palace! Tourists love visiting this type of place, because the architecture there is always special, delicate and magnificent. My camera lens loves having fun here. At the time of my trip to Rajasthan and my visit to the city, a wedding ceremony was being prepared in the heart of the City Palace. I would have liked to have an idea of the amount required for a ceremony such as this! Indians are known to have huge parties that last for days. To see it, it’s easy, you just have to go out in the streets at night. It’s not for nothing that you can hear fireworks exploding everywhere. This was the case several times during my trip to Rajasthan, in northern India.
Right next to it is the Kumbhalagarh Fort. A huge castle surrounded by a fortress overlooking the mountain. Visiting such a fort often takes a whole day. On the other hand, around Udaipur, I went to visit the Ranakpur Temple. A temple dedicated to Jain culture. Hinduism and Jainism are often confused because there are strong similarities for the rest of India. The differences are rather spiritual and I must admit that I had never heard of this religion before my arrival in India the first time. In short, the Ranakpur temple is truly magnificent. Its architecture is worked, the details are striking. Everything is made of marble like the majority of Indian temples.
Word of advice, when you visit temples, always have a shawl with you, because your shoulders absolutely must be covered. You will not enter otherwise. Here, they were rented for only 5 rupees. Almost nothing. And before entering, you must leave your shoes with the hundreds of others. It does not matter that the ground is hot because of the sun, it is barefoot that we visit. Unlike others, I liked it. I liked to feel the contact of the ground against my skin.
Jaisalmer is a real small city in the desert, a must to visit in Rajasthan. Located less than 100km from Pakistan, it is here that the temperature is the hottest in all of Rajasthan in India. Hot is an understatement. It’s super-mega-super hot! It’s common here. If you are wondering what to do in Rajasthan and what to see during your stay in Jaisalmer, here are some suggestions.
What is special about Jaisalmer is that the village is still inside the fort enclave. All around us, there is a kind of citadel. When you go out, you go through doors, a bit like those you see in Morocco or Turkey when you enter the old cities. It’s very beautiful. The castle is all around us. And everything is brown. It looks like we are in a giant sandcastle.
Jaisalmer, the gold of the desert. Perfectly crowned by desert sand, Jaisalmer enchants with its fairy tale atmosphere. It is not the royal fort, nor the havelis reborn as hotels, nor the stone temples: what captures the imagination is the set of yellow stones that seem created by the wind and the sun. And once you enter through the mighty doors, the stone decorations of the rich haveli today in precarious balance glue themselves to the mustachioed faces and colorful clothes, imprinting themselves in your hearts forever. A museum stronghold, which survived drought and bad weather to give you days of a thousand and one nights on the Silk Road. Where: Jaisalmer is 570km from Jaipur (the nearest airport is in Jodhpur, 270km). Not to be missed: the Fort, begun in 1156 and continuously modified to become a fortified citadel with stone-paved streets; Rajmahal, the partially restored royal palace; the Jain temples of Parsvanath and Chandraprabhu; the havelis, including the Patwon-ki-haveli; the Gadisar reservoir outside the city. A camel safari to discover the hidden treasures of the desert. From 23 to 25 February, don’t miss the spectacular Jaisalmer Desert Festival, you will discover without regrets that the desert is not just sand dunes.
The main reason for all visitors who add Rajasthan to their itinerary is to spend some time in the Thar Desert. And that’s completely understandable. One day complete for Camel safari in the Thar Desert, it is a unique experience. Enjoy your picnic lunch somewhere in the desert. Yes it is much warmer, but oh how much more pleasant! First, the wind cools,later in the afternoon the weather is very cool & pleasant. On the way back, one can stop at Gadisar Lake. Rest a little while drinking tea and admiring the splendid landscape.
Visit the Maharajas of Bada Bagh and the haunted village of Kuldhara. Back in Jaisalmer, we stayed quiet for the day drinking natural watermelon juice to quench our thirst. Later, with other visiting tourists, we leave the whole gang in the car to visit Bada Bagh, the resting place of important former maharajas of the region. We walk among the tombs, it is silent and peaceful. The site is located just 6km from Jaisalmer and a beautiful brand new asphalt road allows us to get there quickly. If you like to give yourself the scares, I recommend a short visit to the small haunted village of Kuldhara. On the road to get to the Thar Desert, you can stop there for an hour. Today, it is even a recognized ghost village and it is forbidden to stay there at night, guards make sure of it at the entrance.