Places to Visit in Rajasthan – Complete Guide

Tourism in Rajasthan - your complete guide

Places to Visit in Rajasthan – Complete Guide

I want to talk to you about places to visit in Rajasthan. It’s high up on many traveller’s bucket lists and for an excellent reason. Let’s see why shell we?

Rajasthan is India as you dreamed it to be. It is a land of Maharajas, tiger-filled jungles, majestic forts, delectable food, large turbans and an Architectural splendour that is out of this world. What’s more, you will get all of this with the legendary warm hospitality of the Rajasthani people.

A picture of A woman in Rajasthan

What this blog is about

We will look at what you need to know about maximising your time and money here. There are so many major attractions in Rajasthan it will be hard to see them all in a month, let alone two weeks. So it is well worth you reading this if you are planning a trip to this magical state.

You, too, can experience a little of the magic and create your own dream trip to India’s fabled land of kings. The rich heritage and awesome wildlife of this state is sure to blow you away, so read on.

places to visit in rajasthan

Best Time to Visit Rajasthan?

Tourists visit Rajasthan every year, but the best times to visit Rajasthan are from November to February when temperatures are low. During December and January, the temperature fluctuates dramatically during daytime and nighttime.

It makes perfect sense to come to the desert in the winter, right? The only problem is you won’t be the first person to think of this. Major attractions become crowded and accommodation gets booked up fast! Even the posh heritage hotels. However, the land is green and the climate is as pleasant as it gets.

man in traditional dress Rajasthan

The best time to visit Rajasthan for wildlife tourism

If you have come to see the wildlife, the best time to visit Rajasthan is in the summer months when everything is dead. I know it’s not ideal, but it will make a world of difference. Water becomes scarce between April and May, so viewing the rich wildlife becomes easier. You will just have to bear it and drink plenty yourself.

The exception is Keoladeo Ghana national park where the migratory birds flock here in their thousands in the winter months when the land becomes flooded.

a picture of festivals in Rajasthan

Rajasthan famous festival

Now let’s take a look at the key fairs and festivals in this state to see what you can do about experiencing some of this rich culture for yourself if you can time it right.

There are, of course, many festivals you can experience all across India, such as Divali and the epic Karni Mata. However, these festivals are a unique part of the local culture in Rajasthan.

A picture of camel fair in Rajasthan

Elephant festival

This Unusual festival is held in either February or March and involves, you guessed it, elephants! These magnificent beasts are blinged up and paraded through the streets of Jaipur that is accompanied by celebrations.

Pushkar fair

Pushkar camel fair is the world’s largest livestock market and it is held annually during the winter season around the incredibly atmospheric Pushkar lake.

Locals come from all over Rajasthan to buy and sell their animals. It is not all business, though. There is a large market that is not geared towards tourists, making for an authentic experience. You can also expect traditional folk dance and camel races. If you miss this one, there is also the Nagaur fair in nearby Jodhpur that lasts for days.

A picture of holy man in Rajasthan

Mewar festival

The sixteen-day long festival is celebrated in Udaipur and it is an absolute pleasure to witness. There are spectacular parades and festivities.

The local people are celebrating the coming of spring. While many parts of north India celebrate the Gangaur festival that is also in honour of the same thing, the one here is quite unique and deserves to be separate.

Desert festival

Here is a festival that does not seem to have any other purpose but to entertain tourists. It is in fact, set up by  Rajasthan Tourism Department.

However, no one can deny it is quite a sight to behold in this already colourful little corner of the universe. If you are here at this time it is wise to remember your camera.

picture of local woman in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Best Places

I think the best thing to do when planning your Rajasthan holidays is to get your imagination going I am going to do that by taking a look at the major attractions in this part of north India.

Tourist Place in Jaipur

I will start with Rajasthan’s capital city of Jaipur. Despite all the noise and pollution, there is much to explore here. Known across the world as the pink city, Jaipur really is the beating heart of Rajasthan with a long and fascinating history.

an image of Halwa Mahal Rajasthan

There is indeed a whole old part of the city that is absolutely packed with historical monuments and pink for you to explore. There is sure to be something to catch your attention in Jaipur, from grand palaces to humble markets.

Two tourist attractions that stand out to me are the impossibly beautiful Hawa Mahal and the Jantar Mantar which is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

Image of Rajasthan local man smoking

Amber

The elegant Amber fort (also known as Amer Fort) is the front cover for many Rajasthan tourism brochures. The small village of Amber is just outside of Jaipur and it makes for an easy day trip. Count on the whole day to explore the palace though, as there is a massive fort above the main structure. The many royal palaces inside the fort are sure to blow you away with their beauty.

On route, you will see the beautiful water palace where many tourists stop for an elephant ride. I am not a fan of this as I don’t think the elephants are treated well, but I have to mention it anyway.

picture of water palace in Rajasthan

Jodhpur

Another of Rajasthan’s major cities, Jodhpur, is known across the world as the blue city and that’s because it is blue. Well, the old part of the city is anyway. The ancient town is an absolute delight to visit. It is a maze of twisted alleyways and courtyards where if it weren’t for the motorbikes, it would seem timeless.

Mehrangarh Fort

Of all the magnificent forts in Rajasthan, the epic Mehrangarh Fort has to be the most impressive. It spans 1200 acres across a mountain top. When you see it, you are sure to gasp at its incredible size. It has to be one of the state’s most iconic tourist attractions.

image of majestic fort Rajasthan

Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is in the far west of the state. Jaisalmer is in the very heart of the baking Thar desert. The whole city is golden this time. In fact, it looks like a giant golden sandcastle crowned by the massive fort that is unbelievably still inhabited today by many families.

The whole town is full of architectural wonders for you to explore and I would budget a good few days to take it all in. There are plenty of Havelis, temples, majestic forts and palaces and a ridiculously scenic lake to explore. There is definitely plenty to keep you entertained in this town.

To find out the best things to do In Jaisalmer please click the link provided. My detailed post will help you to make the most out of your time and money here.  

image of Jaisalmer fort Rajasthan

Camel safari

Jaisalmer is the best place to organise a camel safari from. The countryside leading towards the Pakistani border is stunning.

Catching a sleepy-eyed camel into the desert and sleeping under the stars has been one of the best experiences of my life. The memories of sitting around a campfire with no sound except the tinkling of camel bells will stay with me forever.

Many camel safaris head towards the beautiful desert national park which is oddly abundant in wildlife. I have personally seen hyena, Indian owlet, blackbuck, fennec fox and the great Indian bustard while on safari. As a wildlife nerd myself, I was thrilled.

For my full guide on creating your perfect camel safari in Jaisalmer simply follow the link provided. 

sunset on camel safari Rajasthan

A fair warning

If you decide to go on a camel safari, I must pre-warn you it’s hard on your body. The scorching heat of the Thar desert while on the back of a camel for days on end hurts! Oh, and yes, you will have to go on a multiday safari to see anything.

Nearly all Rajasthan tour packages include a sunset safari or a night on the dunes, so you will have to share your experience with countless others. If you go further afield you will get this magical landscape almost entirely to yourself.

a picture of Rigshaw in Rajasthan

Udaipur

Rajasthan’s city of lakes is so romantic it’s hard to describe. The old part of town is centred around the picturesque lake Pichola. The whole town is hemmed in by the scenic Aravalli mountain range for a spectacular backdrop. Udaipur has plenty of popular tourist attractions. Understandably it draws in backpackers and honeymoon couples alike.

There are palaces, Havelis, temples and marketplaces galore in Udaipur. It has to be one of the most beautiful cities in India and should be a must on any itinerary for Rajasthan.

image of Summer in Rajasthan

Offbeat tourist attractions for Rajasthan tourism?

Here are a couple of places that are not on many travellers’ plans and really deserve to be. Foreign tourists are still relatively rare in these parts of India and to be honest, I have no idea why? When it comes to Rajasthan tourism you can do a lot worse than come to these hidden gems.

Bundi

Bundi is a town that is brimming with culture and history. The royal palace dominates the skyline as brahman blue Havelis and ornate step-wells huddle around its base. Here is an extraordinary town yet receives almost no attention from tourists?

picture of Rajasthan old man

Bikaner

Bikaner is a short train ride from Jaisalmer and is at the fringes of the Thar desert. So it is another excellent place to organise a camel safari. Tourism here is also relatively uncommon, yet there are masses to explore. The old part of town is full of history. That fact is reflected in the many palaces, temples and forts for you to enjoy.

However, most tourists who do come here want to visit the unusual Karni Mata temple in the village of Deshnok, a short bus ride away. Here you will find a branch of Hinduism that worships rats!

Kani mata temple in Rajasthan

Ranakpur

Most people come to Ranakpur just for the intricately carved Jain temple and only on a day trip from Udaipur. That is a real shame because as much as the temple is incredible, the whole area is set in the highly underrated Kumbalgarh national park. You can get a good dose of Rajasthan wildlife and culture if you decide to stay!

Gary Mason 1

Kumbalghar

Kumbalghar is one of the biggest forts in the world, yet almost no one visits it? Its battlements alone constitute the second-largest wall, not just in India, but the whole world! It is well worth checking out. Again, I would sleep here to get the full experience without the day-trippers.

Adventure activities

There are more than just camel safaris in Rajasthan when it comes to adventure activities. Let’s now take a look at two of the most popular.

a picture of Udaipur lake in Rajasthan

Trekking in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is also famous for being a trekking destination as there are many opportunities to wander off the beaten track. Mount Abu has to be the best, though. You can take multiday walks in the only hill station in Rajasthan. As you can guess it gets pretty busy here in the summer months when it’s baking hot in the lowlands.

Ziplining

Hands down, the best place to do this is with the flying fox ziplining company in Jodhpur. The lines are in the Rao Jodha nature park. It is a fantastic way to see the fort as the lines go right over the moats and battlements that surround it. The nature park also boasts some pretty impressive desert wildlife, so it’s a win-win situation there.

National Park in Rajasthan

Nature tourists rejoice as Rajasthan is one of the premier states in India for wildlife. For me, there is two stand-out places to experience it.

image of Rajasthan male tiger

Ranthambore national park

Ranthambore national park is one of India’s premier places to do wildlife safaris. We all know Rajasthan is famous for tigers and this is one of the best places in the country to see them.

There are more than just tigers here, though. It is also a fantastic place to spot leopards, bears, deers and the state animal, the peacock. My list is far from exhaustive.

To find out how to make your Ranthambore safari great simply click the link provided. It is packed full of ways to save money and get the most out of your time. 😎

Keoladeo Ghana national park

In my opinion, Keoladeo Ghana is one of the best national parks or wildlife sanctuaries in India. This tiny park is now a world heritage site as it is a significant breeding ground for migratory birds in the winter months.

picture of Monkey in Rajasthan

Wildlife and ethical tourism in Rajasthan

This park ranks high on the list when it comes to ethical wildlife tourism. Without any large predators, it is possible to explore the park on foot or by bicycle. That means it gets you closer to the wildlife and it is suitable for the animals as there are no intrusive car engines.

Royal Rajasthan

Rajasthan is known as the royal state. It is steeped in history and is one of the most fascinating places in the country to explore. Through the centuries, countless maharajas emperors have left a legacy of palaces, forts, culture, festivals and historical wonders for visitors to enjoy. Even the British east India company has left its mark on some architecture.

It is the feather in the cap for Rajasthan tourism and it is a perfect reason to visit the royal state of India. Rajasthan is one of India’s most famous places for visiting history buffs.

Pelicans in Rajasthan India

How to Reach Rajasthan

Rajasthan is conveniently located near the capital of India. Many tourists who visit India will pass through Dehli, which makes Rajasthan tourism very accessible.

Reaching Rajasthan by air

If you are coming to India by air, there is a good chance you will be landing in Dehli. It is one of the cheapest destinations to fly to. There are many airports in Rajasthan, but they will cost you considerably more and since Rajasthan is so well connected by public transport, it seems unnecessary.

A picture of Jodhpur palace Rajasthan

Reaching Rajasthan by Bus

Both public and private buses very well connect Rajasthan. Private buses are obviously more comfortable, but they will set you back a little more. I pretty much always use public buses as they are reliable and cost-effective.

Reaching Rajasthan by train

Reaching Rajasthan by train is simple as the mighty Indian railway’s system connects every part of this state. If I can, I will always use the train as it is more comfortable than the bus and it is an experience unto itself.

picture of jodhpur fort Rajasthan

Further reading

Check out my blog on Indian travelling for more information on planning your dream trip. I have also placed the relevant links on this page for anything that grabs your fancy. Happy reading, guys. 😁

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Gary Mason

Hi, there, folks. My name is Gary Mason, and as you can see, I have created a blog about travelling to South Asia.

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