Rajasthan, the largest state in India, is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and natural beauty. Rajasthan literally translates to “Land of Kings,” and it is indeed a land that has witnessed the rise and fall of several mighty Rajput dynasties. Here are some amazing things about Rajasthan and why you should visit Rajasthan. Below is information with the detailed Rajasthan Itinerary.
Why you visit Rajasthan –
Majestic Forts and Palaces:
Rajasthan is home to some of the most impressive forts and palaces in India. The state boasts architectural marvels like Amer Fort in Jaipur, Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer Fort in Jaisalmer, and City Palace in Udaipur. These structures showcase the grandeur and opulence of the Rajput era.
Rajasthan is a treasure trove of culture and traditions. The state is known for its colorful festivals, folk music, dance forms like Ghoomar and Kalbeliya, puppet shows, and traditional art and crafts. The vibrant attire of Rajasthan, including the turbans worn by men and the ghagra-choli worn by women, adds to the cultural charm.
The Thar Desert, also known as the Great Indian Desert, covers a significant portion of Rajasthan. The desert offers breathtaking landscapes, golden sand dunes, camel safaris, and the opportunity to experience desert life and hospitality.
Wildlife and National Parks:
Rajasthan is home to several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Keoladeo National Park, and Desert National Park are famous for their rich biodiversity, including tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, and a variety of bird species.
Rajasthan’s history is filled with tales of valor, chivalry, and dynasties. The state was ruled by prominent Rajput clans, and their legacies can be seen in the numerous historical sites and monuments spread across the state. From Chittorgarh Fort to Kumbhalgarh Fort and from Jhalawar’s ancient caves to the step wells of Bundi, the historical heritage of Rajasthan is awe-inspiring.
Explore the intricate havelis (mansions) adorned with stunning frescoes and elaborate carvings, showcasing the architectural finesse of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is a shopper’s paradise. The state is renowned for its colorful textiles, handicrafts, jewellery, and precious gemstones. Markets like Johari Bazaar in Jaipur, Sadar Bazaar in Jodhpur, and Clock Tower Market in Udaipur offer a plethora of options for shopping and exploring local craftsmanship.
Rajasthan is known for its warm and hospitable people. The concept of “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is God) is deeply ingrained in Rajasthani culture. Staying in heritage hotels, palaces, or havelis-turned-hotels allows visitors to experience the royal hospitality and immerse themselves in the regal ambiance.
Rajasthani cuisine is a delectable blend of flavors and spices. From the famous Dal-Bati-Churma and Gatte ki Sabzi to Laal Maas (spicy meat curry) and Ker Sangri (a traditional Rajasthani vegetable preparation), the culinary offerings of Rajasthan are rich and diverse.
Rajasthan hosts numerous colorful festivals throughout the year, such as the Pushkar Camel Fair, Jaipur Literature Festival, and Teej, offering a glimpse into the vibrant traditions and celebrations of the region.
Traditional Folk Performances:
Witness captivating folk performances like Kalbeliya dance, Ghoomar, and puppet shows that depict the rich cultural heritage of Rajasthan.
These are just some of the many reasons to visit Rajasthan, a captivating state that offers a unique blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality.
A 21-day itinerary allows for an in-depth exploration of Rajasthan, covering its major cities, historical sites, cultural experiences, and natural wonders. Here’s a suggested itinerary for your 21-day Rajasthan trip:
Day 1-3: Jaipur (3 days)
Amber Fort: Visit the magnificent Amber Fort, located on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake. Explore its impressive architecture, intricate carvings, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
City Palace: City Palace is a splendid complex that combines Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. Explore its various courtyards, palaces, and museums, including the Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Am, and the stunning Peacock Gate.
Hawa Mahal: Hawa Mahal also known as the Palace of Winds. This unique five-story palace features intricate latticework windows designed to allow royal ladies to observe street festivities while maintaining their privacy.
Jantar Mantar: Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses a collection of architectural instruments used for celestial observations.
Jaigarh Fort: Jaigarh Fort is located on a hilltop overlooking Amer Fort. This impressive fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding area and houses the world’s largest cannon on wheels, Jaivana.
Nahargarh Fort: Enjoy panoramic views of Jaipur from Nahargarh Fort. The fort provides a serene escape from the city and offers beautiful sunset views.
Jal Mahal: It is located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. While you can’t visit the palace itself, you can enjoy its beauty from a distance and take in the picturesque surroundings.
Patrika Gate: This picturesque gate is colourfully painted and a popular spot for taking photographs.
Other interesting places to visit in Jaipur are Albert Hall Museum, Birla Mandir (Laxmi Narayan Temple), Galta Ji (Monkey Temple), Sisodia Rani Garden and Palace, Raj Mandir Cinema, Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, Gaitor Ki Chhatriyan (Royal Cenotaphs) and Kanak Vrindavan Garden.
Bazaars and Shopping: Johri Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar are best places for buying traditional handicrafts, textiles, jewellery, gems, and spices. Don’t forget to bargain for the best prices.
For cultural experiences visit Chokhi Dhani, a traditional village resort for a traditional experience.
Places to eat: Bar Palladio, Handi Restaurant, Anokhi Café, Tapri Central, Masala Chowk, Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar (LMB), Rawat Mishthan Bhandar and Niro.
For fine dining experience visit Surya Mahal (Rambagh Palace) and Suvarna Mahal (Taj Rambagh Palace)
Day 4-6: Pushkar and Ajmer (3 days)
Pushkar, a sacred town in Rajasthan, offers a unique blend of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty.
Pushkar Lake and Ghats: Pushkar Lake is believed to have been created by Lord Brahma and is the main attraction of the town.
Take a leisurely walk along the ghats (steps leading to the lake) and observe the rituals, prayers, and ceremonies performed by devotees. The atmosphere is serene and offers a glimpse into the religious traditions of Pushkar.
Brahma Temple: Brahma Temple is one of the few temples in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma.
Savitri Temple: This Temple is located on Ratnagiri Hill, a small trek from Pushkar. From here you can have panoramic views of Pushkar and its surroundings.
Varaha Temple: The Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in his Varaha (boar) incarnation. The temple is known for its intricate carvings and beautiful architecture.
Pushkar Bazaar: The bustling markets of Pushkar are known for their vibrant atmosphere and a wide range of Rajasthani handicrafts, clothing, jewellery, and spiritual items.
Sunset at Sunset Point: Witness the sunset at Sunset Point on the western side of Pushkar Lake.
Pushkar Camel Fair: If you happen to visit in November, don’t miss the famous Pushkar Camel Fair. You can take a balloon ride also.
Enjoy cultural activities, dance performances, folk music and Rajasthani culture during the fair.
Cafes and Restaurants: Cafe Lake View, The Laughing Buddha Café, Out of the Blue café, Moon Dance Café, Sunset Café, Cafe Namaste, Little Italy and La Pizzeria.
Pushkar offers a spiritual and cultural experience like no other.
On the last day visit Ajmer Sharif dargah, Adhai Din Ka Jhopada, Ana Sagar Lake and Akbar fort & museum in Ajmer.
Day 7-8: Jodhpur (2 days)
Jodhpur, also known as the “Blue City” has many attractions and activities. Some of the must do are –
Mehrangarh Fort: One of the largest forts in India has intricate architecture and it offers a panoramic view of the city from the fort’s ramparts. The inside fort museum showcasing artifacts and royal collection.
Jaswant Thada: A beautiful marble cenotaph built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
Umaid Bhawan Palace: The magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace is partly a luxury hotel, partly a museum, and partly the residence of the royal family of Jodhpur.
Clock Tower and Sardar Market: The bustling atmosphere of the Clock Tower and Sardar Market, the narrow lanes filled with shops selling textiles, handicrafts, spices, and local sweets are must visit.
Mandore Gardens: The former capital of the Marwar Kingdom has the beautiful cenotaphs (memorials), temples, and gardens surrounded by lush greenery
Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park: Located near Mehrangarh Fort, this ecological park showcases the unique flora and fauna of the Thar Desert.
Flying Fox Zip Line: You can experience the thrill of zip-lining across the Mehrangarh Fort with Flying Fox.
Bishnoi Village Safari: To experience rural life and learn about the rich traditions and conservation efforts of the Bishnoi community.
Cafes and restaurants: On the Rocks, Indique Restaurant, Pal Haveli Rooftop Restaurant and Gypsy Restaurant not only serve nice food but also offer a great view of Mahrangarh Fort and Clock tower. The Step Well House Café near Toorji Ka Jhalra Stepwell offers a unique dining experience in a historic setting.
Jhankar Choti Haveli is popular for its Thali. Janta sweet home and Mathania lassi are a must visit for local street food dishes and Lassi.
Day 9: Ranakpur and Kumbhalgarh
Visit Ranakpur Jain Temple, one of the most stunning marble temples in India.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest fort complexes in Rajasthan. Important places to visit inside the fort are Badal Mahal, Vedi temple and NeelKanth Mahadev temple. The walls around the fort are the second longest wall after the Great wall of China. Watch the light and sound show in the evening inside the fort.
You can also visit Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary.
Café and Restaurants: You have to eat in any of the restaurants inside the resorts at these places. There are no stand alone resturents or cafes.
Day 10-12: Udaipur (3 days)
Udaipur, often referred to as the “City of Lakes” or the “Venice of the East”.
City Palace: A sprawling palace complex that offers panoramic views of Lake Pichola and the surrounding city.
Lake Pichola: Take a boat ride on Lake Pichola, one of the most beautiful lakes in Udaipur.
Jag Mandir Palace: Jag Mandir Palace is located on an island in Lake Pichola in a peaceful atmosphere away from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Saheliyon-ki-Bari: Also known as the Garden of the Maidens. This beautiful garden was built for the women of the royal household.
Jagdish Temple: This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The intricate carvings, sculptures, and architectural beauty of this 17th-century temple.
Vintage Car Museum: It houses a collection of classic and vintage cars, including the Rolls-Royce, Cadillac, and Mercedes models that were once used by the royal family of Udaipur.
Bagore Ki Haveli: A beautiful mansion converted into a museum. It houses a collection of artifacts, costumes, traditional art, and puppet displays.
Shilpgram: A rural arts and crafts complex located on the outskirts of Udaipur and showcases the traditional arts, crafts, and rural lifestyle of Rajasthan.
Karni Mata Roapway: There is a small temple of Godess on hill and you can visit it by roapway. This is one of the higest point of Udaipur and you get a beautiful view of whole city, Lake Pichola and City Palace. Sunset is best time to visit.
Monsoon Palace : Situated on the hill, this was summer retreat of Kings of Udaipur.
Shopping in the Old City: The old city markets such as Hathi Pol Bazaar and Bada Bazaar, known for their handicrafts, textiles, jewellery, and traditional Rajasthani artifacts.
Cafes and restaurants: Ambrai located near Lake Pichola, Millets of Mewar, Jheel’s rooftop restaurant, Café Edelweiss, Savage Garden, Jaiwana Haveli Rooftop Restaurant and Upre by 1559 AD not only provide delicious food but also provide beautiful view of Lake Pichole & City.
For Thali experience visit Natraj dining hall and restaurant.
Day 13-15: Jaisalmer (3 days)
Jaisalmer, often referred to as the “Golden City,” is a desert city is famous for its magnificent forts, sand dunes, and rich cultural heritage:
Jaisalmer Fort: Also known as Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the largest fully preserved fortified cities in the world.
Patwon Ki Haveli: A cluster of five elaborately carved havelis that showcases intricate architecture and craftsmanship. Sam Sand Dunes: Experience the magical desert landscape by visiting the Sam Sand Dunes, located about 40 kilometers from Jaisalmer. Enjoy camel rides, jeep safaris, and witness mesmerizing sunset views over the sand dunes. You can also stay overnight in desert camps for a truly immersive desert experience.
Gadisar Lake: A visit to this man-made reservoir surrounded by temples and cenotaphs is must do. Take a boat ride, visit the beautiful Tilon Ki Pol gateway, and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
Kuldhara Village: Visit the abandoned village of Kuldhara, located about 18 kms from Jaisalmer. Legend has it that the village was abandoned overnight due to a curse, and it now stands as a ghost town.
Desert Safari in Sum Desert: Embark on a desert safari where you can explore the Thar Desert on camel back or in a 4×4 jeep. Enjoy the thrill of riding over the sand dunes and witness traditional Rajasthani cultural performances in the desert.
Jain Temples: Pay a visit to the beautiful Jain temples inside Jaisalmer fort, including the famous Lodurva Jain Temple and the Parsavnath Temple.
Bada Bagh: This complex of royal cenotaphs or chhatris located on the outskirts of Jaisalmer.
Desert Culture Centre and Museum: Here you can get insights into the culture, traditions, and history of Rajasthan. It houses a collection of artifacts, musical instruments, textiles, and historical displays.
Street Shopping in the Old City: Sadar Bazaar and Sonaron Ka Baas are two most popular local markets for shopping handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and traditional Rajasthani souvenirs.
Cafes and Restaurants: Trio located inside the Fort, The Traveler’s Cup, Desert Boy’s Dhani, Killa Bhawan Rooftop Restaurant, Jaisal Italy, Free Tibet and The Green Apple Café.
Day 16-17: Bikaner (2 days)
Bikaner is known for its rich history and here are some must-visit places and activities to do:
Junagarh Fort: The fortress built in the 16th century and its intricate architecture, beautiful palaces, and museums make it a must visit.
Lalgarh Palace: It’s a magnificent red sandstone palace built in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style. The palace now serves as a heritage hotel and museum.
Rampuria Havelis: Take a stroll through the narrow lanes of Bikaner’s old city and admire the grandeur of the Rampuria Havelis.
Gajner Palace and Wildlife Sanctuary: Located on the banks of Lake Gajner. Explore the palace and enjoy the scenic beauty of the surrounding wildlife sanctuary.
Bhandasar Jain Temple: It is known for its beautiful frescoes, intricate mirror work, and unique architecture. The temple is dedicated to the 5th Tirthankara of Jainism, Sumatinath.
National Research Centre on Camel: A unique institution dedicated to camel research and conservation. Learn about the importance of camels in Rajasthan’s culture and livelihoods.
Karni Mata Temple (Rat Temple): The famous Karni Mata Temple in Deshnoke is located 30 Kms from Bikaner. This temple is known for its population of rats, which are considered sacred.
Taste Bikaneri Snacks: Bikaner is famous for its delicious snacks and sweets. Don’t miss trying the local specialties like Bikaneri bhujia, rasgulla, and kachori.
Street Shopping at Kote Gate: In this bustling market you can shop for colorful textiles, handicrafts, jewellery, and camel leather products.
Café and Restaurants: Chhotu Motu Joshi Sweet Shop and Restaurant, Bhikharam Chandmal Bhujiawala, Hotel Banwari Palace, Maharaja Rasoi, Gopi Restaurant, Sunder Palace Restaurant, Shri Ram Hotel & Restaurant and Café Chaiwala.
For fine dining experience visit Gallops and Laxmi Niwas Palace.
Day 18-20: Shekhawati and Mandawa (3 days)
Shekhawati and Mandawa are popularly known as open art galleries of Rajasthan due to the havelis (mansions) adorned with stunning frescoes. Some of the must-visit places and activities to do in Shekhawati and Mandawa:
It’s not a place but a region of Rajasthan and Nawalgarh, Ramgarh, Churu, Fatehpur and Jhunjhunu are popular towns of it.
Havelis Exploration: Explore the havelis, which made it famous as the “open-air art gallery of Rajasthan.” The intricate frescoes, mural paintings, and architectural details of the havelis in towns like Nawalgarh, Mandawa, and Fatehpur are most spectacular.
Shekhawati Art and Cultural Museum: Visit the Shekhawati Art and Cultural Museum in Nawalgarh.
Poddar Haveli Museum: This is the most spectacular and well maintained haveli showcasing a vast collection of art, artifacts, and traditional items.
Poddar Chatri: These cenotaphs have beautiful fresco arts on its roofs and walls.
Mukundgarh Fort: A beautiful heritage property known for its stunning architecture and well-preserved interiors.
It is more popular among tourists with several stay options.
Mandawa Fort: A magnificent fort dating back to the 18th century has beautiful frescoes, and the breathtaking view of the town from the rooftop.
Mandawa Havelis: Take a walk tour through the lanes of Mandawa to discover its numerous havelis adorned with frescoes. Some notable havelis include Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli, and Murmuria Haveli.
Jhunjhunwala Haveli: Its unique architecture and intricate frescoes depicting scenes from Indian mythology and historical events.
Saraf Haveli: The beautiful frescoes and intricate artwork at Saraf Haveli, known for its stunning mural paintings and architectural details.
Goenka Chhatri: An impressive cenotaph showcasing Rajput architecture and intricate carvings.
Camel Safari: You can experience a short camel safari in the nearby sand dunes of Mandawa and watch the sunset.
Mandawa Bazaar: The local market is known for its vibrant atmosphere and traditional Rajasthani handicrafts. Shop for colorful textiles, handicrafts, paintings, and souvenirs.
Cafes and Restaurants: Hanwant Mahal inside the Mandawa Fort, Vivaana Culture Hotel, Mandawa Haveli rooftop restaurant, Royal Restro near the Mandawa Square, Hotel Heritage Mandawa, Roop Niwas Kothi in Nawalgarh, Mukandgarh Fort and Udai Vilas Palace in Nawalgarh are some popular places to eat.
Day 21: Departure from Jaipur
Conclude your trip in Jaipur and depart from the city.
This itinerary allows you to explore the major highlights of Rajasthan, from its bustling cities and magnificent forts to its cultural heritage and desert landscapes. You can make adjustments based on your preferences and the time available, but this plan offers a comprehensive Rajasthan experience.
Weather and Best time to travel to Rajasthan –
Rajasthan experiences extreme weather conditions.
Summers (April to June) can be scorching hot, with temperatures exceeding 40 to 45°C.
Monsoons (July to September) bring some relief but also occasional heavy rainfall. If you can bear humidity and rain then it’s also a good time to travel. You can get good bargain for hotels.
Winters (October to March) are pleasant, but temperatures can drop significantly, especially in the desert regions especially at night. Pack accordingly and check the weather forecast before your trip.
Things to know before traveling to Rajasthan –
Clothing: Rajasthan has a conservative culture, so it’s advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas.
Carry lightweight and breathable clothing for summers, and layer up with warmer clothing during winters. It’s also a good idea to carry a scarf or shawl to cover your head or shoulders if needed.
Sun Protection: The sun can be intense in Rajasthan, so ensure you have adequate sun protection. Carry sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat or cap, sunglasses, and keep yourself hydrated to prevent sunburn and dehydration.
Local Customs and Etiquette: Rajasthan has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Remove your shoes before entering temples and religious sites, and follow any specific guidelines provided. Seek permission before taking photographs of people, particularly in rural areas
Hygiene and Food Safety: Maintain good hygiene practices by washing your hands regularly, especially before meals. Be cautious about the water you consume and opt for bottled or filtered water.
Currency and ATMs: ATMs are widely available in cities and towns, when traveling to remote areas where ATM access may be limited.
Language: The primary language of Rajasthan is Rajasthani, but Hindi and English are also commonly understood and spoken. Even in popular tourist places you will come across guide, who speak fluent Spanish, French, Russian and a few other languages.
Safety: Rajasthan is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it’s always important to exercise caution. Take care of your belongings, avoid isolated areas at night, and use authorized transportation options. Stay updated with travel advisories and follow any guidelines or instructions provided by local authorities.
Local Festivals and Events: Rajasthan is famous for its vibrant festivals and events. Check the calendar for major festivals like Pushkar Camel Fair, Jaipur Literature Festival, and Teej Festival, and plan your visit accordingly if you like to witness the celebrations.
How to travel in and around Rajasthan –
Transportation: Rajasthan has a well-connected transportation system
Trains: Rajasthan has a well-connected railway network, and train travel can be a convenient and comfortable option. Major cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Ajmer have railway stations that are connected to various parts of the country. It is advisable to book train tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Public Buses: Rajasthan has an extensive network of public buses that connect major cities, towns, and villages. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) operates bus services, including deluxe and express buses, making it an affordable option for traveling longer distances. However, be prepared for crowded buses and limited luggage space.
Auto-rickshaws: Auto-rickshaws are a popular mode of transportation for shorter distances within cities and towns. Negotiate the fare with the driver before starting the ride, and ensure that the auto-rickshaw meter is used or agree on a fixed price.
Motocycyle Taxi: App based service like “Rapido” is also available in some cities.
Apart from these Ola and Uber cab rentals are also available in major cities of Rajasthan.
Cycle-rickshaws: Cycle-rickshaws are commonly found in smaller towns and offer a slower-paced and eco-friendly way to explore local areas. They are ideal for short distances and allow you to soak in the surroundings.
Shared Jeeps: In rural areas or for transportation to remote destinations, shared jeeps or taxis are often available. These are shared by multiple passengers, and the departure time is flexible, depending on when the vehicle fills up. It can be a cost-effective option but might involve longer travel times and cramped conditions.
Walking: Exploring on foot is a great way to experience the charm of Rajasthan’s narrow streets, markets, and heritage sites, especially in cities like Jaipur, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur. It allows you to appreciate the architecture, interact with locals, and discover hidden gems.
It is important to plan your transportation in advance, especially if you have a specific itinerary or are traveling during peak tourist seasons. Consider the distance between destinations, travel time, and the mode of transportation that best suits your preferences and budget. Additionally, always keep a copy of your identification and important travel documents with you while traveling within Rajasthan.
These are the minimum number of days you need in each place. You can break this itinerary into parts and do in different trips of 7 days or 14 days.
Rajasthan offers a captivating blend of history, culture, art, and natural beauty that enchants travelers from all over the world. Rajasthan’s unique charm and diverse attractions make it a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable experience.
With its rich history, captivating architecture, warm hospitality, and vibrant culture, Rajasthan offers a truly immersive and enchanting experience for travellers seeking a glimpse into India’s royal past.