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7 Top Places to Visit in Rajasthan


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In the northern half of India just west of New Delhi and Agra (the home of the Taj Mahal) is the state of Rajasthan. This part of India is a popular destination for first-time visitors who want to see some of the main highlights of the country. Especially for lovers of architecture and history, Rajasthan is the perfect destination being home to more forts than any other region of India.

There is a lot to see and do here, and trying to work out the best places to visit can be difficult, especially if you have limited time. Below we give you our suggestions on the top places to visit in Rajasthan and the highlights of each one, so you can choose the spots that suit you best.

Here are some of the top places to visit in Rajasthan.


1. Jaipur

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. As one-third of the famous Golden Triangle route (which also includes New Delhi and Agra), Jaipur is one of the most visited cities in Rajasthan.

Known as the “Pink City”, you’ll notice that many of the buildings in the centre are made from pink-coloured materials, and nowhere is this more evident than in the iconic Hawa Mahal (seen below and also the first photo). As the most famous building in Jaipur, most people thinking of visiting India will recognise photos of Hawa Mahal from Instagram. With its 5 floors, hundreds of tiny windows, and bright pink colour, it is indeed a mesmerising building.

However, the main reason people visit Jaipur is to visit its forts, of which it has 3 – Amer, Jaigarh and Nahargarh Fort. Amer Fort (also called Amber) is in the UNESCO Hill Forts of Rajasthan and the most popular tourist attraction in Jaipur. Jaigarh Fort is a lot smaller but just next to Amer Fort so you can combine your visits. Nahargarh Fort is the closest to the centre and a great spot to watch the sunset.

If you want more of an up-to-date cultural experience, then go and watch a movie at Raj Mandir Cinema. Bollywood movies are huge in India with everyone – young, old, families, couples – going to the cinema to catch the latest film. You should definitely try and watch a movie whilst in India, and there’s no better place than Raj Mandir Cinema.

Jaipur in India
Image by @mikecleggphoto / team

2. Ranthambore National Park

One of the most popular things to do in India is to go on safari to try and spot tigers. Tigers can only be seen in the wild in a few countries in the world, and India has around 70% of the wild tiger population. There are a few different places in the country which offer tiger safaris, but Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is one of the cheapest and the easiest to visit.

You can pick a morning or afternoon safari. You’ll also have to choose between a jeep and a canter, the former having up to 6 people but being more expensive, the latter more of a large truck for up to 20 people, but a lot cheaper.

Obviously, tigers are wild animals and a sighting isn’t guaranteed, but if you are lucky enough to spot one it will undoubtedly be a highlight of your trip to India.

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Wildlife in Ranthambore National Park
Photo © Ondřej Prosický | Dreamstime.com

3. Pushkar

Pushkar is known as the hippie city of Rajasthan with lots of yoga retreats, vegan cafes, and a relaxed vibe. Centred around a lake which is believed to possess special medicinal powers, it’s a popular destination for pilgrims. It also has many temples of significant importance, including the sacred Brahma Temple.

Some of the temples in Pushkar also offer great opportunities for hiking and views over the city. There’s Gayatri Mata Temple a short 20-minute uphill walk from the centre. With amazing views of Pushkar with the lake in the middle and pretty much desert all around, it’s a perfect spot for sunset.

There’s also Savitri Devi Temple on the other side of town. There is a cable car that goes to the top or you can take the stairs. It’s about twice the height of Gayatri Mata, so a good workout, but the views are stunning. Visit at either sunrise or sunset, though note that at sunset you’ll share the top with hundreds of monkeys who congregate around the cable car station at that time.

You can also pay a visit to nearby Ajmer which, unlike Pushkar, doesn’t see many tourists at all, so is a great spot to eat some local, authentic food.

Pushkar
Photo © danmir12 | depositphotos.com

4. Bundi

Bundi is a bit of a hidden gem in Rajasthan, not making it onto the itinerary of most people travelling around the region. However, it’s becoming more well-known and popular thanks to its beautiful fort, lakeside location, and friendly small-town vibe.

The first thing you’ll notice when you visit the centre is Taragarh Fort on the hillside overlooking the lake. It’s one of the most photogenic forts in Rajasthan. The best thing to do is visit one of the many rooftop restaurants around the fort in the early evening. This way you can see the sunset and watch as the fort lights up as the sky darkens.

As well as the lake in the centre of Bundi, you should also make time to visit Jait Sagar Lake. Around the lake you’ll find the pretty Sukh Mahal Palace, and if you hike up to Mandhata Balaji you’ll be greeted by amazing views of the lake and Bundi town.

Nawal Sagar Lake
Photo © Elena Odareeva | Dreamstime.com

5. Udaipur

“The White City”, “The City of Lakes”, Udaipur has many different names ascribed to it, but one thing is for certain, it’s one of the best places to visit in Rajasthan. For most people, Udaipur ends up being one of their favourite stops not just in the region, but in the whole of India.

Whilst you can be content just enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and lakeside scenery, there are a few attractions to visit.

One thing you should definitely do is to walk up to Karni Mata Temple for sunrise or sunset (or both!). Sitting on a hill that runs along the centre of Udaipur, visit early morning to see the sunrise over the city on one side of the hill, and then in the evening to see the sunset over the lakes on the other.

You should also stop by the City Palace to marvel at the beauty and history of this magnificent building which sits right on the shore of Pichola Lake. Finally, another popular thing to see in Udaipur is the Dharohar Folk Dance show which is held every evening and showcases traditional Rajasthani dancing and costumes.

City Palace in Udaipur
Image by @mikecleggphoto / team

6. Jodhpur

Jodhpur is a city in the northwest of Rajasthan. It’s a bit further from the popular Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and so receives fewer international tourists than those cities.

Known as the “Blue City”, it’s famous for its large fort located on a hill in the centre.
Mehrangarh Fort is not only the number one attraction of the city but also one of the top attractions to visit in Rajasthan.

The Fort is a huge complex which takes at least a couple of hours to walk around. It’s extremely picturesque. The walls have decorative windows and arches, and there are some palaces with beautiful fabrics and carpets. There are also museums of Indian art, weapons, and other historical items.

Not far from Mehrangarh Fort is the pretty building of Jaswant Thada. Made of stunning white marble with intricate carvings, it’s really beautiful, and also has great views of Mehrangarh Fort and the city.

Finally, head up to Singhoria Hill to watch the sunset over Jodhpur.

Jodhpur cityscape
Photo © Aliaksandr Mazurkevich | Dreamstime.com

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7. Mt. Abu

Although Mt Abu is largely unknown among foreign tourists, the same can’t be said for locals who flock here in their droves. It’s a prime weekend getaway for Indians coming from the nearby cities of Jodhpur or Ahmedabad, so it really feels like a holiday destination.

The reason Mt Abu is so popular is due to its weather. Being the only hill station in Rajasthan, it has temperatures significantly cooler than the rest of the region. Indians come here to escape the heat, especially in the summer months of April and May when temperatures in the rest of Rajasthan regularly top 40 degrees.

There are lots of activities to do. The town is centred around Nakki Lake, so take a stroll around here or rent a pedalo or rowing boat. You can also do the short hike up to Toad Rock for the best views of the lake, and then continue up to Babas Rock for sunset.

The best sunrise spot is at the Christ the Redeemer statue. Yes, India has its very own version of the famous statue and it can be found about a 40-minute walk from the centre of Mt Abu. Chances are you’ll be the only ones up here, and the views are simply stunning.

One attraction that is really worth visiting whilst here is Dilwara temples, considered one of the finest Jain temples in India. Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that teaches the path to enlightenment is through nonviolence and reducing harm to living things (including plants and animals) as much as possible. You can’t take photos inside, but Jain temples are stunning with really beautiful art and carvings. It’s hard to describe simply how impressive the carvings are here and unbelievable that it was all done by hand.

Summary

Rajasthan is, like India itself, huge and with lots to offer. Besides the Taj Mahal, most of the top attractions in the country can be found within the state, making it one of the best places to visit in India. Be sure to check out some of the suggestions above when visiting India and planning your trip.

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Written by

Sophie Small

Sophie has been travelling around South America since September 2019. Originally from London, she lived and worked in Vietnam for 4 years before deciding to pursue her passion for full time travel. She loves exploring new destinations, adventure activities and sampling local cuisine. She shares her pictures on her Instagram and her portfolio sophiesmall.contently.com. [Read full bio]

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