Best of Rajasthan

Jaipur

The capital of the state, Jaipur is also the largest city in the princely state of Rajasthan. It was founded in 1727, by the Kachwaha Rajput Ruler Sawai Jaisingh II, who was the ruler of Amber. Also known by the nickname ‘Pink City of India’ which is due to the distinctive saffron or pink color of the buildings. The planning of the city was done according to the Vedic Vastu Shastra (Indian architecture). The well planned streets and detailed and artistic architecture make it one of the top preferred tourist locations.

In the 2008 Conde Nast Traveller Readers Choice Survey, Jaipur was ranked #7 of the best places to visit in Asia. Jaipur has lots to offer to even the most average tourists. Forts, monuments, temples, Gardens, museums and vast market places of Jaipur bring tourists who come from all around the world to experience the food, fun and frolic at this wonderful town. Jaipur is also home to a huge no. of arts and craft with over 20 unique specializations.

Places to visit: City Palace, Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Pink City, Bazaars, Albert Hall Museum, Galtaji Birla Temple, Govind Dev ji Temple

Udaipur

While in a few texts, it has been termed as the Venice of the East, the City of Udaipur is known by its common moniker, the city of lakes. The city was the capital of the Sisodiya Rajputs of Mewar and is famous for its palaces that exemplify the finesse of Rajputana Style architecture. Udaipur was founded in 1553 by the Sisodiya Rajput Ruler Maharana Udai Singh II. The Mewar Rajputs founded the city to relocate their capital from Chittor to a more secure location. Today, most of the palaces have been converted into hotels, thus attracting a huge no. of tourist crowd to this city.

The city’s picturesque location at the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains, the state of Udaipur is a unique destination. Apart from its various palaces, forts, market places, and various temples are also the reason for its popularity. The cities are well planned and the people hospitable, the place is not only famous for its palaces and monuments, the city of Udaipur has a lot to offer its visitors.

Places to visit: City Palace, Lake Pichola, Lake Palace, Lake Garden Palace, The Royal Vintage Car Museum, Bagore Ki Haveli, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Jagdish Temple, Shilpgram, Moti Magri.

Jodhpur

The second largest City of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is also the second most populated city of Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city was founded in 1459 by the Rathore Rajput Ruler, Rao Jodha Singh of Marwar. The city was founded as Marwar’s new capital after the fall of the former capital of Mandore. Jodhpur is also called the Sun City as it enjoys a bright sunny weather all year round. Strategically, it is considered to be the most important city of western Rajasthan as it lies only at a distance of 250 kilometers from the Indo-Pakistan border.

Also, because it lies in the center of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is an important tourist destination as well. Jodhpur has been listed many a times in various tourism magazines and documentaries and has topped the lonely planet’s list of most extraordinary place to stay in 2014. The various hill forts, palaces and the old walled city are just a handful of attractions from the multitude that this wonderful city has to offer.

Places to visit: Jaisalmer Fort, Bada Bagh, Patwon-Ki-Haveli, Sam Sand Dunes, Thar Heritage Museum, Gadisar Lake, Nathmal Ki Haveli, Jain temples, Salim Singh Ki Haveli

Bikaner

The city of Bikaner was founded in 1488 by the Rathore Rajput Ruler Rao Bika. Rao Bika was the son of the Rathore Ruler Rao Jodha who founded Jodhpur. The land was usurped from the rivaling Jat rulers of that time. However, no matter how many wars the ancient city has seen in the past, today Bikaner is another prime tourist destination and is famous for its sweets and snacks. The place is known for its forts and food.

The various arts and crafts of this place are also unique, especially the intricately carved windowpanes called jharokhas. It is one town we would personally recommend for you to visit if you want to experience the authentic taste of rajasthani cuisines. The various fairs held in Bikaner also attract a huge no. of visitors from all around India and the world.

Places to Visit: Junagarh Fort, Lalgarh Palace, National Research Centre on Camel, Shri Laxminath Temple, Ganga Singh Museum, Sadul Singh Museum, Jain Temple

Pushkar

Lying in the Ajmer District of Rajasthan, the holy City of Pushkar is often described as the king of pilgrimage sites in India. The town is located at the shores of the Pushkar Lake, which was created by the tears of Lord Shiva and is one of the oldest cities of India and the date of its origin is unknown and is often associated with the Hindu mythology. It is famous for its temples and various Ghats which are frequented by hundreds of visitors during the annual bath. The water of the lake is considered sacred and thus is responsible for the town’s repute as a pilgrimage spot.

Perhaps the most illustrious attraction of Pushkar is the annual camel fair. It is a five day fair held where people buy and sell livestock. But that’s not all; the fair is home to a large no. of tourist crowd that is attracted by the music, dance and various events that are held here during the camel fair. Camel races are one of the major attractions as well.

Places to Visit: Pushkar Lake, Brahma Temple, Savitri temple, Apteshwar Temple, Varaha Temple, Rangji temple, Man Mahal

Sawai Madhopur

Sawai Madhopur was built by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh of The Kachwaha Rajputs and was founded in 1763. While the town itself doesn’t have any notable tourist attractions, just two attractions have made this city a must visit place in Rajasthan. They are the Ranthambore Fort and the Ranthambore National park. The Ranthambore forests were the hunting grounds for the Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur till the time India received its independence. After independence it was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary and it rose to being a tiger reserve in 1973 and got its national park status in 1980.

One should also visit the Ranthambore fort, which is a part of the UNESCO world heritage site. The fort is situated in the forests of the Ranthambore National Park. The construction of the fort predates the reign of the Kachwaha Rajput Clan and was founded by the Nagil Jat Ruler Raja Sajraj Veer Singh Nagil in 944 AD. The fort housed many different ruling clans till it finally fell to the Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur. The vast cultural history imbibed in this ancient architecture is a must visit indeed.

Places to Visit: Ranthambore National Park, Chamatkar Temple, Chauth Mata Temple, Ranthambore Fort, Khandar Fort

Chittorgarh

The ancient city of Chittorgarh also known as Chittor, was said to have been founded by the Maurya Dynasty. However its significance rose when the Ruler of the Sisodiya Rajput Clan of Mewar captured the city in 734 Ad and made it the capital of Mewar. The place is known to be the birthplace of many great warriors and historical figures like the Great Maharana Pratap and the Hindu saint, Meera Bai. The city being an ancient place contains many different palaces, temples and forts which display some of the most advanced architectural designs and artistic mastery.

is the Chittorgarh fort, which is the largest fort in India. The fort was the former capital of mewar before its relocation to the more secure city of Udaipur. The fort was founded in the 7th century by the 1st Sisodiya Rajput Ruler Bappa Rawal and spreads over an area of 2.8 sq kilometers and its highest elevation point is 1,075 meters above sea level. Upon visiting you will experience and witness the Rajput style architecture at its best. The fort complex itself contains several palaces, gardens and temples most of which have a great historical significance.

Places to Visit: Chittorgarh Fort, Rana Kumbha Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, Meera Temple, Rani Padmini Palace

Mount Abu

The place takes pride of it being the only hill station in the desert state of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is situated in the Aravalli mountain range and is a part of the Sirohi District of Rajasthan. The place apart from being a retreat for the people of Rajasthan and Gujarat from the scorching sun but has a lot of historical and religious significance.

Mount Abu was known as the Arbuda Mountain, which has been mentioned in the Hindu Epic Mahabharata and is known to be the place where the Great Sage Vasistha retired. The hill station houses many ancient sites and temples which are frequented by many pilgrims from across India along with many forts and lakes. The place is a heavenly retreat for the sun scorched people of Rajasthan, with its lush green surroundings and various picnic spots.

Places to Visit: Dilwara Jain temples, Guru Shikar, Achalgarh, Nakki Lake, Sunset Point, Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Trevor’s tank, Mount Abu Bazaars, Wildlife Sanctuary, Toad Rock

Ajmer

Ajmer is surrounded by Aravalli ranges and is a city seeped in both history and culture. It lies near Pushkar, a major Hindu pilgrimage site and is the home of the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. This makes it a unique pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Muslims. Apart from being a pilgrimage site, it is also the home of many fascinating historic sites and therefore welcomes tourists from all over the world. In 2015, Ajmer was selected as a heritage site for the HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.

Places to Visit: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Taragarh Fort, Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra, Abkari Fort and Museum, Anasagar Lake, Soniji ki Nasiyan