The land of Forts and Palaces , camels and dunes, havelis and temples, Rajasthan surely has more history than the rest of India put together and that is what makes it one of the most favorite tourists destinations in India. The vibrant, dust-swirling desert state with ever-welcoming natives has some of the most spectacular monuments to offer along with a picturesque hill station. A trip to this land of Maharajas surely offers a heartwarming package of site seeing, shopping, outdoor activities and of course royal stay at luxury hotels.
While every corner of Rajasthan has a story to tell, these are six of the must visit cities which will make you fall in love with the culture, people, food, forts, palaces in short every bit of the state!
Jaipur: The Pink City
Also known as ‘Pink City of India’ Jaipur is one of the largest and the most colorful cities in Rajasthan. The capital of the princely state, Jaipur surely has some of the most renowned monuments which add to the charm of the city. The planning of the city was done according to the Vedic Vastu Shastra (Indian architecture) and it does attract
Ideal Stay: 3-4 days
Attractions: Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Amber fort, City Palace, Albert Hall Museum, Lakshmi-Narayan Temple and Jantar Mantar are some of the must visit sites in Jaipur.
Markets: Rajasthan is famous for bandhani, leheriya, bhandej fabric, lakh bangles, Jaipuri jutis and Jaipuri quilts. The colorful markets of Rajasthan are a must visit and you cannot afford to miss them at any cost. Baapu Bazar, Maharani market, Jaipur Textile Market are some of the best places to shop.
Delicacies: Pyaaz kachoris, Laal Maas, Rajasthani Thali, Ghevar, Feeni, Mawa Kachori, Gajak, Chauguni ke laddu, Missi Roti, Gatte ki Sabzi, Ker Sangri, Bajre ki Roti. Dinner at Chauki Dhani is a princely feeling and a must when in Jaipur.
Activities: Camel ride
Udaipur: The Lake City
The ‘lake city’ of Rajasthan, Udaipur is one of the most beautiful cities and the best holiday destination in Rajasthan. The city is famous for its palaces that exemplify the finesse of Rajputana Style architecture and the lakes which add to charm. Founded by Udai Singh II in 1559, the city is set around a series of artificial lakes.
Known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces, Udaipur was also voted as the best city in the world in 2009 by the Travel + Leisure magazine. This romantic city is also a popular honeymoon destination and you might just see a lot of love-birds roaming around. Not only this but Udaipur is also at times referred to as the ‘Kashmir of Rajasthan’.
Ideal Stay: 2-3 days
Attractions: City Palace, Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Monsoon palace, Jagdish Temple, lake Pichkola and Moti Magari.
Markets: street markets, street vendors, Bada Bazaar, Hathi Pol Bazaar, Chetak Circle, Lake Palace Road
Delicacies: Dal Bati Churma, Moong Dal ka Halwa, Ghevar, Rabdi
Activities: Jaisamand Lake is equipped with water sports facilities with a range of different boats available, camel ride.
Festivals: Jal-Jhulni Ekadashi, Jagannath Rath Yatra, Hariyali Amavasya, Shilpgram Utsav and Gangaur Festival.
Jaisalmer: The Golden City
Jaisalmer is a former medieval trading center and princely state in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. Recognized as World Heritage Site, Jaisalmer is in the heart of the Thar Desert. Distinguished by its yellow sandstone architecture, the city is aptly nicknamed as “The Golden city”.
Ideal Stay: 2-3 days
Attractions: Jaisalmer Fort, . Gadisagar Lake, Jain Temples, Tazia Tower and Badal Palace, Havelis, Desert National Park, Desert Culture Centre & Museum, Jaisalmer Folklore Museum
Markets: handicraft market, Bhatia bazaar and Sadar bazaar, Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan.
Delicacies: Ker Sangri, Murgh-e-subz, Banon Aloo and Kadi Pakora.
Activities: Desert Safari
Festivals: The Desert Festival & more
Jodhpur: Blue City
The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert. Nicknamed as “blue city” due to the vivid blue-painted houses around the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur is also known as “Gateway to Thar”.
Ideal Stay: 2-3 days
Attractions: Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jaswant Thada, Khejarla Fort, Balsamand Lake and Ghanta Ghar
Markets: Mochi Bazar, Kapra Bazar, Sarafa Bazar
Delicacies: Mirchi Bada, Ma Mawa Kachori, Besan ki Chakki, Mave ki Kachori, Motichoor ke Laddu Maakhan Vade and Pyaaz Kachori.
Activities: Camel Safari
Festivals: Rajasthan International Folk Festival
Famous for forts, palaces and temples, Bikaner is a city of sand dunes and festivals. The city hosts International Camel festival every year which attracts tourists from across the globe. The city is also famous for sweets and snacks as we all are familiar with bikaneri bhujias.
Ideal Stay: 2-3 days
Attractions: Junagarh Fort, Lalgarh Palace, Bhandasar Jain Temple, Karni Mata Temple, Laxmi Nath temple, National Reserch Centre On Camel, Rampuriya Haveli, Shiv Bari Temple
Markets: Kote gate. ‘Abhivyakti’ shop inside Junagarh fort
Delicacies: Bhujjias, Namkeens, Papads, Baris, Samosa, Kachori, Ghevar, Fini, Rabri, Mawe ki mithai, typical Rajasthani food
Activities: Desert Safari, city shopping, Jeep safaris
Festivals: International Camel festival
Mount Abu: “An oasis in the desert”
A popular hill station in the Aravalli Range Mount Abu takes pride in being the only hill station in Rajasthan. Apart from picturesque views, waterfalls and lakes the hill station has some of the most renowned temples, and a wildlife sanctuary as well. Besides, Mount Abu also offers adventure activities. One of the best destinations to beat the scorching heat of desert, Mount Abu is also known as “an oasis in the desert”.
Ideal Stay: 1-2 days
Attractions: Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, Adhar Devi Temple, Shri Raghunathji Temple, Dilwara Temples, Guru Shikhar Peak, Nakki Lake, Achalgarh Fort, Trevor’s Crocodile Park, Sunset Point
Markets: shops around the Nakki lake, Government Emporium
Delicacies: Paans, kulfi, Rajasthani food
Activities: Rock climbing, Boating, Mountain biking
These are six of the most exciting and beautiful cities to visit in the land of Maharajas. Which Rajasthani city do you like the most? Share with us in the comment box below. ‘padharo mhare desh’