Geographically, Rajasthan is the largest state and one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Suffused with royal grandeur and renowned for the tales of Rajput valor and chivalry, Rajasthan attracts tourists with its awe-inspiring tourism options such as culture, traditions, wildlife sanctuaries, forts, palaces, havelis and undulating sand dunes of Thar Desert.
Monuments & havelis are the lifeline of Rajasthan tourism. The town is quite famous for its heritage hotels such as Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, Mehrangarh Fort, Golden Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort and Lake Palace.
The state also attracts a large chunk of wildlife enthusiasts with destinations such as Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Desert National Park and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
The state is quite popular for its fairs and festivals which are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. During festival season, tourists have a wonderful opportunity to see & observe the real traditions and culture of the state. Fairs and festivals in Rajasthan boasts of both religious and tourist delight festivals such as Gangaur Festival, Brij Festival, Teej, Urs Ajmer Shariff, Elephant Fair, Pushkar Fair, Kite Festival, Summer Festival, Desert Festival and Nagaur Festival. If fairs and festivals are important for getting familiarized with the local lifestyle of Rajasthan, a trip through the vast expanse of Thar Desert offers a tryst with the local tribes and villagers. Seeing sand dunes via Camel Safari is a unique and lifetime experience.
1. Jodhpur – The famous Blue City
The second largest city in Rajasthan, Jodhpur is located on the border of the Thar Desert. Since most of the houses in Jodhpur are painted in blue color, it is often dubbed as the ‘Blue City’. The history of Jodhpur begins from the year 1459 AD when it was founded by the Rao Jodha of the Rathore Clan.
Some of the famous places of interest in Rajasthan include Mehrangarh Fort, Moti Mahal, Mandore, Jaswant Thada, Phool Mahal, Zenana Deodi, Chamunda Mataji Temple, Khejarla Fort and Umaid Bhawan Palace. There are some famous lakes such as Kailana Lake, Balsamand Lake, Gulab Sagar Lake and Ranisar Padamsar. Nai Sadak and Sardar Market are some popular shopping areas in Jodhpur. These places are quite popular for Bandhej Sarees, Mojris, handicrafts, spices and tea.
2. Udaipur – The City of Lakes
Udaipur is another city in Rajasthan which has a royal connection. It is another example of bravery of valorous Rajputs. The city was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559 as the former capital of Mewar kingdom. Fondly known as the ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur is quite famous for its elegant palaces and lovely lakes. The City Palace is a unique combination of terraces, courtyards and hanging gardens.
A part of City Palace serves as a museum for collection of artifacts. Taj Lake Palace, also known as Jag Niwas, has been voted as the most romantic hotels in India. Other key tourist attractions in Udaipur include Jagdish Temple, Lake Palace, Pichola Lake, Fateh Prakash Palace, Eklingji Temple, Monsoon Palace, Nagda Temple, Gulab Bagh, Maharana Pratap Memorial, Fateh Sagar Lake and Udai Sagar Lake.
[ Plan A Short Escape to Udaipur ]
3. Jaisalmer – The Golden City
Jaisalmer, fondly known as ‘The Golden City’, is a beautiful tourist place and a popular city in the royal state of Rajasthan. Located in the heart of India’s largest ‘Thar Desert’, Jaisalmer was founded by Rao Jaisal Yadav in 1156. The city is also known as ‘Golden City’ owing to its yellow sands giving yellowish golden tinge to Jaisalmer city and its surrounding areas.
[ Plan A Short Escape to Jaisalmer ]
Some popular tourist attractions include Golden Fort, Jain Temples, Merchant Havelis, Camel Safari, Sand Dunes and Desert National Park. Often described as ‘Mini Rajasthan’, Jaisalmer plays a great role in the book of Rajasthan tourism.
4. Bharatpur – The Avian Heaven
Established in the year 1773 by Maharaja Suraj Mal, Bharatpur was the capital of Jat maharajas and was situated in Mewar region. The Royal family of Bharatpur traces its history to the 11th century A.D.
Lohagarh is another name of the city of Bharatpur. According to a popular legend, Bharatpur was named after Bharata, the second son of Kaushalya and Dashrath. Bharat was the younger brother of Lord Rama. There are so many popular tourist places in and around Bharatpur.
One such name is Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inhabited by various avian species such as China, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Siberia. Keoladeo gets its name from an old Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Other popular attractions in Bharatpur include Bharatpur Palace, Lohagarh Fort, Deeg Palace and Bharatpur Government Museum.
5. Mount Abu – The Sole Hill Retreat in Rajasthan
A small hill retreat in the sylvan forests of Rajasthan, Mount Abu is a perfect destination for idealistic honeymooners and laid-back vacations. It lies in the west of Udaipur, around 185 kilometers by road, and is the only hill station perched at an altitude of 1200 meters. The hill station is quite popular for its natural greenery which is starkly opposite to the surrounding Thar Desert.
A popular summer destination, Mount Abu is an important pilgrimage center for Hindus and the members of Jain community. Some popular attractions in Mount Abu include Dilwara Jain Temples, Nakki Lake, Gau Mukh Temple, Sunset Point, Honeymoon Point, Arbuda Devi Temple and Mount Abu Sanctuary. The famous Khadi Bazaar in Mount Abu is a good place to buy some handmade textiles and fabrics at reasonable rates.
The Rajasthan Government Emporium is also a good place to buy traditional Rajasthani handicrafts made of stone and wood. Other popular markets for shopping are Piccadilly Plaza, Kashmir Cottage Emporium and Chacha Museum.
[ Plan A Short Escape to Mount Abu ]