Rajasthan Tours – A Lifetime Experience
One of the most visited destinations in India, Rajasthan is one state that represents India in the most exotic and colorful manner. The state is dotted with majestic palaces, sparkling lakes, captivating forts, revered temples and more that rightly makes it the most integral part of India.
All these tourist attractions really can’t be missed on a tour to Rajasthan. However, there are things more colorful that await. The state promises a palette of entertainment with its colorful fairs and festivals. These fairs and festivals make every visitor experience the true colors of the culture and history of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is an interesting travel destination that offers a blend of different travel experiences. It gives you an opportunity to explore Rajasthan through Camel Safaris, trek through the beautiful trails of Mount Abu, attend a puppet show in Jaisalmer, enjoy shopping at Sadar Bazaar, go for hot air ballooning in Ranthambore and so much more.
Tourist Attractions in Rajasthan
Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan
The colorful state of Rajasthan speaks of its rich culture and heritage through its magnificent palaces and rugged forts. These forts and palaces are considered some of the finest examples of Rajputana architecture. A visit to these forts and palaces offers an opportunity to flip back the pages of the bygone era and get an insight of the lifestyle of Kings and Queens of those times.
The Forts and Palaces of Rajasthan rightly define everything about the state. Most of the forts and palaces of are located in various cities across the state. Every monument of Rajasthan has a unique charm of its own that leaves you amazed at the very first look. With a visit to any of the forts and palaces of the state, you get an idea of the imagination of the great rulers and emperors of the country.
Some popular forts and palaces of Rajasthan include Taj Lake Palace Udaipur, Amber Fort in Jaipur, City Palace in Jaipur, Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, Chittorgarh Fort in Chittorgarh, Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur and many more. These forts and palaces form the key attraction of the state and attract history buffs, art lovers, shutterbugs and wanderers from all over.
Lakes and Gardens in Rajasthan
What would be better than relaxing by a lake and enjoying some tranquility? Rajasthan is home to a number of picturesque lakes. Other than natural lakes, there are many lakes that have been carved out in the earth’s surface by man. These lakes are not only popular tourist attractions but also a major supply of drinking water. Some of the most serene lakes of Rajasthan are Lake Pichola, Gadsisar Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Ana Sagar Lake, Kailana Lake and Sardar Samand Lake.
Green, beautiful and serene is what defines the gardens of the state. Gardens of Rajasthan are as colorful as the state of Rajasthan itself. They are an ideal location to sit back and relax close to nature. Blossoming colorful flowers welcome you in the gardens the state and promise you great fragrance and soothing breeze. Popular gardens of the state include Saheliyon- Ki – Bari, Bada Bagh Garden, Mandore Gardens, Chambal Garden and Gulab Bagh.
Wildlife in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. The state is dotted with wildlife sanctuaries where people can explore exotic flora and fauna. Ranthambore National Park, Bharatpur National Park, Sariska National Park, Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary, Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary and Desert National Sanctuary.
All these parks and sanctuaries are home to tigers, black bucks, the sporadic desert fox, the greatly threatened caracal, the great Indian bustard, gavial, monitor lizard, wild boars, and porcupine. These parks deserve a must visit from bird watchers as they house exotic birds like the common crane, ducks, coots, pelicans, the rare Siberian cranes, falcons, imperial sand grouse and many more.
To explore the wildlife of these parks and sanctuaries to the fullest, you can take safaris or an elephant ride to see wildlife creatures in their natural habitat.
Havelis in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the land of rich history, beautiful architecture and rich heritage. The state is home to a number of beautifully and artistically designed havelis. These grand and colorful havelis showcase the royalty and charm of the bygone Rajput era. These havelis still retain the aura of the erstwhile rulers. Every region of Rajasthan, right from Jodhpur to Jaipur is home to some colorful Havelis that take us back to the bygone years. These havelis, which were earlier the residence of the Maharajas, are now a symbol of culture and heritage.
All the havelis of Rajasthan are decorated with intricate mirror work, murals and paintings. Many of the havelis still preserve antique items from the past eras such as swords, crowns and beds. Many of the havelis of Rajasthan have now been converted into heritage hotels that offer a king like stay to all the guests where they can experience life like a Maharaja. Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli, Diwan Nathmal ki Haveli, Samode Haveli, Mandawa Haveli, Bhagton ki Choti Haveli, Mahaveer Prasad Goenka Haveli, Char Chowk Haveli and Vishnunath Keria Haveli are some popular havelis of Rajasthan.
Monuments in Rajasthan
Other than splendid havelis, Rajasthan also houses a number of beautiful monuments. These monuments form the main tourist attraction of the state. The monuments of Rajasthan are popular for their spectacular architecture that tell about the creativity of the past rulers.
A visit to the monuments of Rajasthan gives an insight of the Rajasthani culture, glory and pride. They speak of the heroism of the Rajput warriors and tell legends of their sacrifice. Rajasthan is well-known for its architectural heritage which can be witnessed in its monuments. Monuments of Rajasthan that are present today in the state of ruins also form a major attraction for history buffs and art lovers.
Every region of the state right from major cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner to remote villages offer much when it comes to monumental heritage. They give a deeper insight into the cultural and historical past of Rajasthan.
All the monuments of Rajasthan feature a beautiful architectural style. Intricate art work, paintings, mirror work, carvings and portraits are most commonly found in all the monuments. While some monuments exhibit traditional Rajputana style, others display a blend of different architectural styles. All the monuments of Rajasthan have a unique charm of their own that promises to leave every visitor amazed. Jantar Mantar, Chittorgarh Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Junagarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, City Palace Udaipur and Umaid Bhavan Palace are some popular monuments of the state.
Top Things to Do in Rajasthan
Camel Safari in Rajasthan
Camel Safari is one of the most unforgettable experiences one can enjoy in the state of Rajasthan. The ship of the desert-camel takes you through the vast expanses of desert. A camel safari through the different regions of Rajasthan offers an opportunity to explore and experience the rustic desert life of India. The experience can be enhanced with camping in the desert under the starry sky.
During the safari, you will get to travel to some remote places of Rajasthan which are home to some interesting ruins of the state. This will be a great opportunity for history buffs as they will get to know much about the history of the state through this ride through remote regions of the state.
Where : Osian, Bikaner and Jaisalmer.
Trekking in Mount Abu
Trekking at Mount Abu is surely an experience of a lifetime. A paradise for trekkers, Mount Abu offers a variety when it comes to treks, half day, full day or overnight, all treks available. Trekking here is not mere a wildlife exploration, but also an opportunity to uncover the unknown facts about the state of Rajasthan. With overnight treks, trekkers also have an opportunity to interact with the locals of Mount Abu. Lucky ones may also be able to spot many wild species.
Where : Mount Abu
Hot Air Ballooning in Rajasthan
Rajasthan offers you an opportunity to experience something extremely exciting. Hot Air Ballooning is one activity that makes you soar high in the sky in a hot air balloon. This activity makes you enjoy a spectacular view of the colorful land of Rajasthan. It is one of the best experiences you can enjoy in Rajasthan.
Where : Pushkar, Jaipur, Ranthambore
Elephant Ride in Jaipur
Elephant Ride is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jaipur. The elephant ride upto Amer Fort in Jaipur is one of the most interesting experiences. The Amer Fort is an alluring fort that was built by Raja Mana Singh I. The fort features a unique blend of Hindu and Rajput architecture which stands as a symbol of the royal times.
While there is an opportunity to experience the Rajasthani culture at its best, there is also a chance to shower and paint the trunk of an elephant. At the fort, guests can enjoy delicious meals and also go for trekking in the nearby forest.
Where : Jaipur
Shopping in Rajasthan
One of the most colorful markets of Rajasthan, Sadar Bazaar in Jodhpur is a flea market which is popular among shopaholics. Narrow lanes of the market are lined up with tiny shops selling different items. The market offers a wide variety of items including jewelry, kitchenware, footwear and clothes, all at reasonable prices. More discounts in the market can be availed through bargaining.
Where: Sadar Bazaar, Jodhpur
Puppet Show in Jaisalmer
Experience the traditional entertainment of Rajasthan with a visit to the Thar Heritage Museum located in Jaisalmer. This is one thing you really should not miss during your visit to Rajasthan. The museum is one of the largest national museums of India.
The museum houses a wide variety of artifacts which speak much about the history and culture of Rajasthan. The star attraction of the museum is the Puppet Show that is organized every evening. This tells every visitor how every nook of the state has carefully preserved the history of the state.
Festivals of Rajasthan
Camel Festival in Bikaner
Camel Festival is organized every year in the month of January/ February in Bikaner, Rajasthan. The festival is dedicated to the ship of the desert, camel. This is a unique fair, where the camels are at spotlight and there are no other cattle on display. The festival begins with a colorful procession of decorated and ornamented camels.
There is a spectacular show of performances like camel dances, camel races, tug-of-war, and camel rides. This is followed by regional music and dance performances. The colors of this festival allure tourists from all over the world. With the magnificent Junagarh Fort at the background, the experience of attending this grand festival is enhanced.
The first day of the festival begins with a parade where beautifully decorated camels are displayed in front of everyone. These camels parade towards the open desert grounds. Camel owners decorated them with colorful ornaments like anklets, necklaces and more to add to their beauty.
Following this are Camel dance shows and competitions like best bedecked camel, best camel hair cut, amazing footwork, dancing and more. During the festival, tea and sweet stalls are set up to offer visitors with a variety of food items. To entertain the visitors, there are skirt swirling dances and fire dances performed during the festival. The grand finale of the festival is more entertaining and colorful as it includes is a wonderful display of fireworks which illumines the isolated city of Bikaner.
Star Highlight : A closer look at the unique desert culture through performing arts, food and competitions.
When : January/February
Desert Festival in Jaisalmer
This three-day festival is celebrated to display the rich and colorful culture of Rajasthan state. Locals of Rajasthan come dressed in colorful attires and dance to different Rajasthani tunes. Performances by Gair dances, fire dancers, snake charmers, puppeteers, acrobats and folk artists form the main attraction of the Desert Festival.
In the entire desert festival, the ship of the desert- camel holds a special place. There are special camel events like camel rides, camel polo and camel dance. Other than this, a number of competitions are organized like turban tying competition, Mr. Desert contest and most glorious moustaches. The grand festival is organized with the fascinating Jaisalmer Fort in the background which speaks much the glorious history of Rajasthan. Traditional handicrafts of Rajasthan which are immensely popular around the country are also traded during the fair.
Star Highlight : Explore the rich and colorful culture of Rajasthan.
When : February
Where : Jaisalmer
Summer Festival in Mount Abu
The famous Summer Festival is organized at the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu. The beautiful and tranquil town of Mt. Abu with its sparkling lakes and pleasant weather forms the perfect place for hosting the Rajasthan Summer Festival. This three-day festival speaks much about the rich culture, tradition and tribal life of Rajasthan. To tell the visitors about the culture and traditions, folk and classical music is presented in front of them, which forms a major attraction of the festival.
The festival begins with the singing of a ballad. This is followed by folk dances of Rajasthan. Other than folk music and dances, many sports events are organized in the festival such as boat race on the Nakki Lake. Many popular qawwals of the country visit the festival to perform and entertain the audience. Sham-e-Qawwali is a musical extravaganza, where these qawwals perform. The festival ends with a spectacular display of fireworks.
Star Highlight : At the spotlight is the tradition, custom, and the tribal life of Rajasthan.
When : May
Where : Mount Abu
Pushkar Camel Fair
One of the most unique fairs of Rajasthan, Pushkar Camel Fair has a charm of its own which is far ahead of all the other fairs of the state. People from different parts of India visit the fair with their camels and cattle. The Pushkar Camel Fair is held for a number of days and a number of activities are performed during the fair. The fair starts on the eighth day (ashtmi) and ends on the full moon day (poornima), as per the lunar calendar.
Some common activities of the fair include live stock trading, horse dealing and holy bathing. For the first half of the fair, trading of camel and cattle trading is done. The festival also has a religious angle where visitors take a bath in the holy water of Sarovar Lake. Taking a dip in the sacred water of the lake is believed to lead an individual to salvation.
To entertain to the visitors, a number of performances are given by musicians, acrobats, folk dancers, and comedians. Camel and horse race is also a major attraction of the fair. The fairground remains lined up with stalls which sell a wide variety of items related to arts and crafts. Also, there are stall selling food items from the typical Rajasthani cuisine. There are stall selling colorful accessories for everyone right from women to cattle, camel and other animals.
Star Highlight : It is the largest camel fair in India.
When : Hindu month of Kartika (November)
Where : Pushkar, Ajmer
Urs Fair in Ajmer
Dedicated to Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti, the Sufi saint is the popular Urs fair of Rajasthan. The fair is organized on the death anniversary of Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti during the first six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar). The memorial of the great Sufi saint, Chishti ki Dargah is the venue of this fair.
The memorial is known to house the mortal remains of the saint. The importance that the Sufi saint holds for the people of Rajasthan can be seen from the fact that the city of Ajmer is popularly known as Ajmer Sharif (Holy Ajmer). Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chishti is also known as Gharib Nawaz in India as he was the protector of the poor. He spent his entire life at the service of mankind.
A number of devotees throng from different faiths and communities visit the Urs fair of Ajmer. All the devotees visit the shrine to pay tribute to the Khwaja on his Urs (death anniversary). People from all over the country and the world come here to pray to the Khwaja and seek his blessings by making offerings (nazrana) at the place where his remains are present. The offerings made to the Khwaja include jasmine and rose flowers, perfumes, sandalwood paste, etc.
Star Highlight : A musical and poetic extravaganza.
When : First six days of Rajab (seventh month of the Islamic calendar)
Where : Dargah of Moinuddin Chisti, Ajmer
Nagaur Cattle Fair, Jodhpur
Celebrated every year for a period of eight days every year, Nagaur Fair is known for animal trading and displaying thousands of animals that are beautifully decorated with colorful accessories in order to attract all the traders who gather during the fair from different corners of the world. The fair is also known as Cattle Fair as during the fair there is trading of around 70,000 bullocks, cows, camels, and horses.
Other than the trading of animals, there are many more attractions of the fair including Mirchi bazaar (largest red chilly market of India), Camel leather accessories and wooden items. To entertain the visitors, a number of sports activities are organized here. Some popular activities include tug of war, camel races, bullock races, cock fights and many more.
Campfire and puppet shows add to the great experience at the fair. The delightful experience is enhanced by folk music of Jodhpur.
Star Highlight : Second largest cattle fair in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
When : January/ February
Where : Jodhpur
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