Rajasthan is the largest Indian state by area covering around 10.4% of India’s total land area. With its pleasant welcome phrase, “Padharo Mhare Des”, this “Land of Kings” is a major tourist attraction that attracts visitors from within the country as well as across the globe. The rich culture and royal legacy have provided Rajasthan with global recognition. Famous for its majestic palaces, amazingly constructed hill forts, rich culture, and art, Rajasthan is also part of the Golden Triangle Circuit which comprises Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.
The climate of certain parts of the region remains moderately warm making life here a bit challenging through summers yet the local folks are always high in spirits and enthusiasm. They take immense pride in their Rajputana glory and have preserved their regal heritage through the passage of time in the form of folklore, traditions, and customs.
The state also has Hill Forts, including the Chittor Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amer Fort, and Jaisalmer Fort, recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country along with the Keoladeo National Park and Jantar Mantar.
Tourism is a flourishing industry in Rajasthan as it is endowed with beautiful palaces, scenic lakes, colossal forts, decorated Havelis, Hindu and Jain temples, and pre-Muslim era architecture. The Thar Desert adds to the desertic charm of Rajasthan whereas Mount Abu qualifies as the only hill station of the state.
With a variety of fairs and festivals, there isn’t any dearth of adventure and beauty. Rajasthani folk dance, Ghoomar, and music are proof of its cultural richness, and Rajasthani cuisine, basically vegetarian and influenced by the arid climatic conditions of the region, is famous for Dal-Bati-Churma, Ghewar, Bikaneri Bhujia, Malpauas, and a variety of other specialties.
Places to visit in Rajasthan:
- Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and the largest city in the state, hosts a fusion of glorious historic legacy and art. Also known as the Pink City, it embraces some of the most magnificent palaces and forts like the Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh Fort, and Jal Mahal. Doll museum, Albert Hall Museum, Galta Monkey Temple, and Chowki Dhani are also popular amongst visitors. The local markets have a variety of local handicrafts, exquisite sarees, precious gemstones, and the famous Jaipur mojris.
- Ajmer is famous for Ajmer Sharif Dargah, a shrine dedicated to the revered Sufi saint, Moinuddin Chishti. Ajmer also embraces some famed Jain temples like Nareli Jain Temple, Nasiyan Digamber Jain Temple, and Ajmer Jain Temple. The man-made Ana Sagar Lake and Chittorgarh Fort magnify the picturesque landscape of the city.
- Jaisalmer, also known as the “Golden City”, is noted for its yellow sandstone architectural marvels. Jaisalmer Fort attracts visitors and the city bustles with splendid temples and Havelis including Chandraprabhu Temple, Patwon ki haveli, Salim Singh ki haveli, Jain Temple, and Shantinath Temple.
- Udaipur, founded by Maharana Udai Singh II, is often called the “Venice of the East” because of its numerous artificial lakes and royal palaces. The breathtaking scenery of sunsets at Lake Pichola leaves the visitors awestruck with its gleaming beauty accompanied by beautiful palaces and hills that surround it. The City Palace, Lake Garden Palace, Lake Palace, Jagdish Temple, Bagore ki Haveli, and Vintage Car Museum offer the essence of the Rajasthani culture.
- Pushkar, famous for the Pushkar Mela, holds a sacred grace for Hindu and Sikh visitors. Located on the shore of Lake Pushkar, the city houses a number of notable temples of which the Brahma Temple is the most significant. It is one of the very few temples dedicated to the “Creator-God” i.e, God Brahma. The 52 ghats that line across the bank of lake Pushkar hold religious significance and Pushkar is one of the five holy cities of Hindus. Gurudwaras dedicated to Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh are also popular among the pilgrims along with Savitri Temple, Rangji Temple, and Apteshwar Temple.
- Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan which is located in the rocky Aravalli Range in the Sirohi district. Also referred to as “An oasis in the desert”, it stands at an elevation of 1,220 m with Guru Shikhar being the highest point which perches up to a height of 1,722 m. Among the most famous of all are the Dilwara Jain Temples which flaunt brilliant ornamental carvings and remarkable stone laying techniques. The mountain is home to cascading waterfalls, gentle breezes, and many Hindu and Jain Temples like Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple and Shri Raghunath Ji Temple.
- Jodhpur, also known as the Blue City, is the 2nd largest city in Rajasthan. It is famous for its blue buildings. The city has a diversity of attractions to offer to its spectators. The most prominent one is the Mehrangarh Fort which stands 400 feet above the city and houses a museum. Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhawan Palace, and Rao Jodha desert rock park also enrich the glory of Jodhpur.
Things to do in Rajasthan:
Go Elephant riding in Amber Fort, Jaipur
This majestic experience of riding a traditionally adorned elephant is one of a kind. It costs around Rs.1,000 for two people and you must arrive during the early part of the day to ensure your ride.
Experience Hot Air Ballooning
Another spectacular activity that adds to the charms of Amber Fort is the one that includes soaring high amidst the clouds and witnessing the enchanting city of Jaipur. This is widely popular among the tourists as the Hot Air Ballooning is sure to leave back some beautiful memories to cherish on later.
Witness the Vintage Car Rally at Jaipur
This one is for the car lovers as the variety of cars, marked with the glamour of vintage frames, rallying the city is a sight that is craved by a lot. Many people visit to witness this annual event at Jaipur where vintage cars rally around to treat your eyes with their magnificence.
Participate in Gangaur Mela
It is one of the various festivals that enhances the cultural treasures of the land. In this festival, women worship Goddess Gauri, the wife of God Shiva, to receive her blessings. It is worth every bit to immerse yourself in the festivities and indulge in participating in numerous processions that are a major part of the celebrations.
Experience Camel Safari
Camel rides deliver a very captivating adventure through the sand-dunes, moving across villages, and getting awestruck by the beauty of palaces and forts. It is an essential experience as it brings you closer to the flourishing desertic life of the region.
Visit Bhangarh Fort
For those who seek adventures beyond this life experiences, Bhangarh Fort offers you the spooky adventures of the unknown realms of the universe. It ranks among the top most haunted places in India. Famous for the paranormal activities, the government prohibits the entry after sunset and before sunrise.
Spend an evening with the khalbeliya tribals
Their famous Khalbeliya dance and music are sure to make you groove along with them. Their dances depict their history as a tribe as well as the local folklore. They are the snake charming tribe and although that isn’t their set profession anymore, you can see a snake charmer occasionally with his snake.
Visit the local markets
The local markets of Rajasthan guarantee to satiate all the desires of the shopaholic in you. From precious gems to intricately designed clothes and sandals, from handicrafts to beautiful ornaments, the locals market cater to you with the hues of Rajasthani culture.
Gorge on the local food
Basically vegetarian, the Rajasthani cuisine has some very delectable food items to excite your taste buds. With Dal-Bati-Churma, Laal Maas, Pyaaz Kachori, Ghewar, Alwar ka Mawa, Feeni, Ras Malai, and Mawa Kachori, the list still continues. Mohan Maas is a typical Rajasthani non-vegetarian dish.
The state has a timeless elegance and charm that leaves everyone startled. On one hand, its forts, palaces, and lakes take you back in time where you could feel the royal air, and on another hand, the advancement in tourism accompanied with various adventure activities ensure you with the reliable facets of modern tourism in the state.