The land of royal kings, the land of grand forts, the land of vibrant cultures, and the land of sand dunes, Rajasthan remains the richest Indian state. It amazes the world with its matchless architecture depicted in the form of its royal forts and palaces. Rajasthan was once ruled by many legendary maharajas who left their impressions here and engraved numerous historical tales on its walls. Travellers fall in love with Rajasthani festivals, delectable cuisines and traditional attires which lure them to plan holidays to Rajasthan.
Places to Visit
Rajasthan weaves together some of the wealthiest cities together known for their unmatched grandeur. Visit Jaisalmer which is fondly known as the Golden City due to never ending stretches of the Thar Desert. Soak yourself into shimmering desert sands forming myriad of mirages. Jaisalmer is home to the grandest havelis (mansions) most of which are made of yellow sandstone. Some of the most charismatic treasure troves of Jaisalmer include Jaisalmer Fort, Bada Bagh, Patwon-Ki-Haveli, Gadisar Lake and Nathmal Ki Haveli. Do not miss a desert safari here by taking Sam Sand Dunes to enjoy the beauty of this state from a whole new perspective. The Pink City of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, brims with vivid colours. Its list of historic and heritage monuments is never ending with some of the most popular ones like City Palace, Amber Fort and Palace, Jantar Mantar Observatory and Birla Mandir. The Blue City of Jodhpur lets you relive the era of Rajas and Maharajas. It’s a photographer’s delight with majestic views of Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhavan Palace, Mandore Gardens, the Jaswant Thada, etc. The holy souls get immense sense of serenity in Pushkar, host to the largest camel fair in India. Here resides the only temple of Brahma Temple in the world. Also, visit Udaipur, the City of Lakes. Udaipur offers a perfect melange of vibrant history, spellbinding landscapes, and prosperous traditions with attractions like Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, City Palace, Jag Mandir, Udai Sagar Lake, etc. Dargah Sharif of Ajmer, Ranthambhore National Park of Sawai Madhopur, baoris of Bundi and Chittorgarh fort of Chittorgarh and Junagarh Fort and Lalgarh Palace of Bikaner adorn the itineraries of every traveller seeking real Rajasthan.
If you wish to experience the best of Rajasthan then nothing can be as soothing as participating in the state’s festivals. The state hosts a series of festivals to portray its prosperous heritage, culture, and picturesque splendours. Rajasthan International Folk Festival of Jodhpur is an annual music and art festival where over 200 musicians participate to promote traditional folk music. Desert Festival of Jaisalmer is a great treat for the lovers of desert. Desert comes alive with vivid colours during this festival where camel race, gymnastic stunts and competitions like longest moustache, turban tying, etc. are held. Pushkar Fair of Pushkar is a must visit for those seeking religious facades of this state. The festival attracts travellers from all over the world with its religious celebrations and cultural bonanza of art, music, dance, etc. Summer and Winter Festivals of Mt. Abu let you enjoy impressive hospitality and warm cultures of this only hill station of Rajasthan. Kite Festival of Jodhpur paints the sky of this Sun City with myriad colours. The festival is celebrated during Makar Sankranti when one can witness an extravagant spectre of kites released by helicopters from the sky. Camel Festival of Bikaner is a great delight for photographers where one can witness camels parading in beautifully adorned attires against the backdrop of the splendid Junagadh Fort.
Other popular festivals of Rajasthan include Gangaur Festival, Teej Festival, Elephant Festival and Jaipur Literature Festival of Jaipur; Nagaur Fair of Nagaur; World Sufi Spirit Festival of Gangaur; Mewar Festival of Udaipur; and Urs Festival of Ajmer.
Rajasthan still carries its legacy of royal eating habits which were once savoured by Rajas of this state. Food of Rajasthan is prepared with great warmth and it carries some unique flavours which stay on your tongue forever. Dal Bati Churma (flaky round breads dipped in ghee and served with a sweet dessert) is a must have during your holiday to Rajasthan. Laal Maas remains the most popular non vegetarian dish cooked using fiery red chillies. Mohan Maas is a perfect royal dish for non-vegetarians. Gatte ki Sabzi (besan dumplings) are cooked in every household here. Rajasthani Kadhi (made with buttermilk, gram flour, and ghee) is extremely popular and is known for its pungent and spicy taste. Travellers cannot miss tasting Mawa Kachori and Pyaz Kachori along with tea. Rajasthan’s sweets have a distinct flavour. So, do try Dilkushar, Churma Laddoo, Ghewar and Badam ka Halwa.
Rajasthan is a paradise for shoppers. You can see smiling locals selling locally made handicrafts, ornaments and attires in all local markets of the state. Shopping in Jaipur takes you to Johari Bazar popular among jewellery-lovers. Bapu Bazar of Jaipur offers you a variety of Jaipuri textiles and handlooms to choose from. Jodhpur’s Clock Tower Market is a popular spice market where one can find numerous secret Rajasthani spices. Visit Nai Sarak for Bandhani suites, pagris and leather goods. Enjoy a shopping retreat in Udaipur by visiting Bada Bazar flooding with leather goods, traditional jewellery and bandhani fabric. Hathi Pol Bazar of Udaipur is great to bag traditional Rajasthani miniature paintings. If you are visiting Jaisalmer then explore its Sadar Bazar whereas Bikaner’s Mahatma Gandhi Road is great for bagging textiles and leather juttis.
By Air: Rajasthan has good air connectivity with three major airports, including Jaipur International Airport, Udaipur Airport and Jodhpur Airport.
By Rail: Rail is a good option for reaching the state as it has 4600 Km of railway track. Railway connects all parts of the state and offers direct links from major Indian cities.
By Road: Travelling to Rajasthan by road is fun with numerous state run and private buses available. Enjoy self drive to explore scenic landscapes sprawling around the roads of Rajasthan.