If you’re looking to dive into India’s architectural wonders or explore its rich and beautiful history, all you need to do is take a trip to Rajasthan, a state that is believed to have more history than the rest of the country put together.
The land of Maharajas, palaces and forts finds its way into most travel itineraries thanks to its exotic ruins, romantic past, rich folklore, vast arid deserts, ancient fairs and beautiful culture. The yearly calendar always has a festival or an event on display and there is enough of shopping and sightseeing to ensure that you never have a dull moment. One could spend months exploring this beautiful state, but those short on time can introduce themselves to the wonders of Rajasthan by visiting the Big 5.
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is a flamboyant city that never thinks twice before showing off its ancient regalia and beautiful culture. Chaotic, brashy and edgy, Jaipur takes you from timeless bazaars that are as old as the city itself to modern day restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines, from historic palaces and forts whose tales and stories are as famous as their architectural beauty to luxe hotels, in a single day. The courtyards and gardens of the City Palace make it the highlight of your Old City experience, but you also fall in love with those weird sculptures of Jantar Mantar and the fairy-tale like scenes of Hawa Mahal. For something entirely unique, experience the Dera Amer Elephant Safari, that grand elephant safari which travelers keep talking about. And whatever you do, don’t forget to check out the Rajasthani arts and crafts found here. If you’re searching for the perfect shopping experience, Bookmundi has one in store for you.
The fort is one of the most imposing sights in the Golden City, and it is also the one thing that you never forget about Jaisalmer. This humongous castle takes you back to ancient India and lets you picturize all those desert mysteries and stories. And even though this picturesque desert citadel is now full of stores and vendors trying to sell all kinds of products, you cannot help but feel mesmerized by its regal splendor. Once you’re done with exploring the fort, head over to those ancient lanes and by-lanes that showcase hidden havelis and their breathtaking architecture. Another adventure you wouldn’t want to miss out on while visiting Jaisalmer is a trip to the Great Thar Desert, the Sahara of India. Full of undulating dunes and exotic desert scenes, this is where you come across those legendary camp-side accommodations, untouched dunes and exhilarating camel rides. The best way to explore the desert is to spend the night there and make the most of its sunrise and sunset vistas, quite possibly the best scenes you’ll ever see.
Udaipur, the land of lakes and palaces, really doesn’t need any introduction. Famous as the most romantic city in the country, Udaipur’s landscape always leaves you mesmerized. With neighbors like the serene Lake Pichola and the beautiful Aravalli hills, who wouldn’t feel beautiful and special! The city is dominated by its two prized jewels – the Lake Palace, an alluring palace-cum-hotel for the filthy rich, and the City Palace, an architectural jewel – but it also presents a fascinating art scene, old-world experiences, historic bazaars and tranquil boat rides. You could also spend your time exploring the 14th century Jain Temple of Ranakpur, considered to be one of the most beautiful temples in India, and enjoy a unique Light and Sound Show at the Kumbhalgarh Fort. Bookmundi recommends you to try and visit the Shilpgram crafts fair held in Udaipur each year. Rajasthan is famous for its handicrafts and textiles, and Shilpgram is one of the best destinations to see some of the best embroideries, hand-woven clothes and camel leather work.
Huge fortress walls rise in stark contrast to the enchanting Thar Desert to protect the ancient city of Jodhpur, yet another Rajasthani gem famous for its palaces, temples, forts and bazaars. The majestic Mehrangarh fort is perhaps your first introduction to the city. After all, looking beyond its architectural brilliance can prove to be difficult. But, your best experiences in the ‘blue city’ are always found in its historic streets and lanes. Other places of interest include the Umaid Bhawan Palace, famous for its collection of vintage cars, murals, miniature paintings, clocks and art-deco interiors, and Jaswant Thanda, a beautiful memorial dedicated to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. Before leaving the city, make sure you spend some time in its ancient bazaars and purchase some of those breathtaking antiques, carpets, textiles, leather goods and figurines.
Pushkar looks like it’s a part of Rajasthan, yet, it feels entirely unique. Famous as a pilgrimage town, Pushkar revolves around an ancient lake which is believed to have appeared when Lord Brahma dropped a lotus. The town is also known to be one of the few destinations in the world having temples dedicated to Lord Brahma. That said, Pushkar’s popularity on the international stage is mostly because of the grand Pushkar Camel Fair, considered to be one of the most popular events in India. The fair attracts close to 200,000 people and 50,000 camels and it acts as a stage for the locals to buy and sell horses, cattle and camels, and become a part of traditional sporting events and mustache competitions. Tourists can have a blast exploring the unique scenes, taking part in exciting desert activities and exploring the Indian culture at its beautiful best.
Rajasthan can often feel overwhelming and you always wonder if you’ve managed to cover the best experiences that it has on offer. The number of unmissable sights and attractions in the state makes it impossible to see everything, but Bookmundi has you covered when it comes to exploring the very best of Rajasthan through our Royal Rajasthan Tour.