Top 5 Places to Visit in Rajasthan

July 1, 2015 3:33 pm 0 comments

My last post at Whatisindia.in was about beaches in India; however, today I would like to write about a land where you find no beaches at all – the mighty Rajasthan!

Rajasthan, India’s largest state by area is located on the far north-western part of the country. Stepping into Rajasthan is like stepping into the pages of history – a land that truly witnessed the rise and fall of many an empire for many centuries thus abounding in culture and heritage. The present day Rajasthan consists of a dozen of princely kingdoms which were integrated into India in stages. The enthralling forts, enchanting palaces with all its architectural elegance, the vibrant marketplace, delectable cuisinemakes this destination a true tourist hotspot. There are fairs and annual cultural activities organised in each part of the state at various times of the year.

 

1.  Jaipur

Nahargarh Fort Jaipur

 

Nahargarh Fort – Image credit – Dimitry B. , CC BY 2. 0

As the capital of India’s largest state Jaipur has a wide assortment of attractions. Being a major trade centre the city is well connected with rail, road and air. The main attractions of Jaipur include forts, shopping and cultural activities.

For the slow paced traveller there is the option of a walking tour. The adventurous can get a panoramic view of the ‘Pink City’ on a hot air balloon. The Amber Fort overlooking the Lake Maota prides itself in some of the most magnificent palaces, halls and gardens. See the Jaleb Chowk, Diwan-e-Aam, Mansingh Mahal and Sheesh Mahal come alive in all its vibrance as it is lights up against the night sky. Take a ride uphill on the elephants to the City Palace. Very near to the City Palace in the old city of Jaipur is the iconic Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds. With its 950 odd windows, the Hawa Mahal was designed in a manner in which the winds that blew inside got cooler – a truly ambitious engineering endeavour indeed!

The Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory is a brilliant 19th century architectural marvel. Right in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake with the Aravalli ranges as its backdrop is the magical JalMahalreflecting its marvellous structure on the lake. Standing tall on the Aravallis is the majestic Nahar Fort with Indo-European styled structures, consists of temples and a palace inside. While busy sightseeing don’t forget to shop, as Jaipur being the centre of all activities offers a range of ethnic products ranging from clothes, artefacts, handcrafts, even semi-precious to precious stones.

2. Udaipur

Udaipur Rajasthan

 

Photo by Cheryl, CC BY 2. 0

Adorned with a number of lakes, Udaipur is a truly endearing place for every tourist visiting Rajasthan. There are artificial lakes like Jaisamand Lake and Fatehsagar Lake along with many others. Lake Pichola is another significant lake with two natural islands in it. In one of the islands stands the magnificent Jag Mandir. The palace was built in a blend of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. Today the Jag Mandir, though converted into a luxury palace still stands a true reminiscent of a bygone era of royalty. Very close to the city of lakes is the Kumbhalgarh Fort, a world heritage site. The Kumbhalgarh Fort has a wall that runs almost for 38 km, making it the second largest wall in the world next to the Great Wall of China.

3.  Jodhpur

Jodhpur Fort  Rajasthan

 

Jodhpur Fort – Image credit – Francisco Anzola, CC BY 2. 0

 

Be it the Mehrangarh Fort that stands 400 feet above the city level or the stately marble construction of Jaswant Thada with its well maintained multilevel gardens, Jodhpur never fails to attract visitors. Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park that sprawls over an area of 200 acres has over 80 species of native desert plants grown in it. The park is at the foothill of the Mehrangarh fort. Artificial lakes such as the Balsamand Lake and the Kailana Lake add life to this Sun City. The Umaid Bhawan Palace which can be seen from the Mehrangarh Fort is divided into three parts. One of which happens to be a luxury hotel, the other a museum and the other the private residence of Jodhpur’s royal family.

4.  Mount Abu

Nakki Lake Mount Abu

 

Nakki Lake, Mount Abu – Image credit – Koshy Koshy, CC BY 2. 0

 

The significance of Mount Abu is that it is the highest peak of the Aravalli ranges. One of the main attractions is the Dilwara Temples with its intrinsic marble carvings. Home to forests, waterfalls, originating place of some water sources, this part of the Aravalli range offers some good trekking trails. A part of this region has been turned into a wildlife sanctuary. A trip to Mount Abu would not be complete without visiting the mythological Nakki Lake or Guru Shikar, the highest point in the whole Aravalli range. For those looking to give their astral senses a treat, there are star gazing field trips that can be organised by local tour guides.

5.  Jaisalmer

Fort Palace Jaisalmer

 

Fort Palace – Image credit – Fulvio Spada, CC BY-SA 2. 0

 To get an experience of the desert up-front and close, Jaisalmer is a good option. Experience Rajasthan in its most real form with camel safaris on the sand dunes or simply experience the vivacity of the village life by being a part of rural tours. The Jaisalmer Fort or the golden fort as it is famously called is one of the largest forts in the world. Close to the fort is the Gadisar Lake surrounded by shrines and chattris. You could get a breathtaking view of the sunrise or the sunset in the desert at the 16th century Bada Bagh, amemorial of the nobles. In the main city is located the magnificiently decorated Patwon-ki- Haveli a huge five storeyed structure with large corridors and elaborately painted walls. One of the five havelis has been converted into a museum. Also at the main marketplace is the Thar Heritage Museum.

From the overwhelming yet alluring Great Indian Desert that gives Rajasthan a distinct character of its own down to the Aravalli range and the cities in and around it, the list of tourist attraction is quite exhaustive. For the nature lover you have a number of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks spread across the state. The Keoladeo National Park, Ranthambore National Park are some of the prominently known wildlife sanctuaries among the dozens of many others. For the art lover you have a number of art galleries and museum. For a religious trip you can consider places like Pushkar, Mount Abu, Ajmer etc, not to mention the many religious structures that lie across the vast expanse of the state.

In short, a mix of old world charm and modern day life, Rajasthan rightly known as the land of kings definitely will not disappoint the expectant traveller looking for a one of a kind travelling experience.

Author Bio:

Rohit Agarwal is a travel enthusiast and also the owner of Transindiatravels.com which is an Indian travel blog. He has written several articles and blogs related to tourism in India and across the world. He likes exploring the various places of interest across the world and likes to enjoy the local cuisines.

No Comments

Leave a Reply