You solely have to look at a map of India to notice that touring this country from end to end is a complicated task. Most travelers have a few days to travel. We are not skilled vacationers and we strive to make the most of every new journey. Therefore, when you resolve to travel to India and you have little time, it is greatest to be selective. Choose a part of the country. In this post, we will mention the best places to see in Rajasthan.
Focus on it, get the most out of it and keep away from spending a lot of time on lengthy journeys around the Indian territory. So that you can spend extra time getting to know every place you go to. Today I am going to inform you about one of the most attractive states in the subcontinent. We are going to India to present to you which places to see in Rajasthan.
20 Best places to see in Rajasthan
Most travelers arriving in India for the first time. Are in addition to the Taj Mahal and Delhi, the state of Rajasthan. It is undoubtedly the place in India where we can find all the stereotypes that we associate with that country. Turban-clad men, impressive forts perched on hills, an arid and endless desert. And women dressed in saris of colors unimaginable outside India. This is all there, in Rajasthan.
That this is one of the most touristic states in India is logical. It is enough to spend two weeks or a month touring its territory to realize that there is a lot to see in Rajasthan. To visit it you can use public transport, either trains or buses. But when time is tight, my recommendation is to hire a car with a driver. It is not that expensive, especially if three or four travelers get together. It is the best way to get to every corner of Rajasthan in the shortest possible time.
Once we have decided to travel to India and include Rajasthan in our tour. We must organize the route to try to discover the best of this Indian state. I have been there three times. I have repeated places and included new ones each time. Here I leave you my selection of 20 places to see in Rajasthan that surely more than one is encouraged to know.
Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal)
One of the best places to see in Jaipur – Rajasthan and the front page of many India travel brochures, the Palace of the Winds is actually little more than a facade. It is part of the City Palace complex of the city and was formerly part of the harem rooms. The women of the zenana came to this place to contemplate the exterior life hidden behind the lattices that cover the windows of this beautiful building.
Although the most attractive thing is to see the palace from the street. Here, entering it and going up to its different levels allows you to enjoy a different view of the city. The one with the women of the court whose face could only be seen by the majarahá.
There is a region to see in Rajasthan that is far fewer travelers than other places in the state. It’s about Shekhawati. There are no great monuments there. But if a handful of small towns like Mandawa or Fatehpur can boast of having on its streets some of the most beautiful Havelis in India. It was in this part of Rajasthan that important business families raised their mansions. What is striking about all of them is their decoration. From the facade, they surprise with beautiful paintings full of color. In the traditional elements such as gods or elephants are mixed with others present at the time these paintings were made. If you look closely you can see men in top hats, cars or gramophones.
Karni Mata, The Temple of Rats
A non-act place for all visitors. It is not one of the most beautiful temples to see in Rajasthan. But it is undoubtedly one of the most unique. Inside there are about 600 rats that are considered sacred. The reason for this happening is linked to the stories of gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. In this case it is said that Karni Mata , a reincarnation of Durga, asked when she died her son Yama, god of death, to bring her back to life.
He refused, which provoked the wrath of the city that to avenge himself, he reincarnated all his descendants in rats, thus leaving the god without human souls.
Read More: Karni Mata Temple
Pushkar is one of the most picturesque cities to see in Rajasthan. Small, with many temples, sadhus stationed on every street, travelers who decide to stay a season trapped by its calm and countless shops perfect to fill the suitcase with clothes made in India. The center of this place is occupied by the sacred lake of Pushkar.
Surrounded by ghats through which you have to walk barefoot, this place is a magnet for travelers looking for a place away from the hustle and bustle where they can also enjoy a beautiful sunset.
With the tourists come the hustlers who can annoy the magic of the moment a little with their insistence on praying for your whole family. It is best to ignore those individuals and enjoy the calm of this place.
Junagarh, the Fort of Bikaner
Bikaner is a place very frequented to see in Rajasthan by Indian tourists. But not so many foreigners visit it. Probably because it catches a little off the beaten track. However, this city can boast of having one of the most impressive forts in Rajasthan. Its imposing and sober exterior does not announce the beauty of each of the palaces hidden behind its walls.
Patios with marble columns. Rooms decorated with delicate paintings. And important art and weapons collections are part of his collection. Visited exclusively in groups with a guide. Although it takes away the freedom to move at the pace you want, the explanations allow you to discover the history of the place. In the end you can see a poster that shows the number of visitors per year who have come to this fort.
Jodhpur, the Blue City
Jodhpur is surely not the most beautiful city to see in Rajasthan. It is dirty, chaotic, and smelly. Despite this, for me, it is one of those places that cannot be missed in India. Beyond its bazaars and palaces, the city is a gift for the eyes. That mass of blue-painted houses does not leave indifferent. There are those who say that this color is to scare away mosquitoes. Others that is the color that identifies the houses of the Brahmins. Be that as it may, strolling through the streets of the city can give away moments that do not come in travel guides and that nobody can mark on a map.
Children coming home from school, men covered in turbans, doors that hide the life of the city people, women who bathe their children at the door, … The blue city is an experience worth living.
Read More: What to see in Jodhpur
Mehrangarh, the Fort of Jodhpur
Many people come to this city for the sole purpose of visiting this fort. And there is no doubt that it is surely the most beautiful to see in Rajasthan. Mehrangarh, the Jodhpur Fort, was built on a 125-meter hill. It dominates the city and its enormous walls are only the announcement of the treasures behind them. Impressive doors, delicate palaces, temples and halls turned into museums of Indian objects, are waiting to be visited by tourists, always under the watchful eye of watchers who smoke pipes or play traditional instruments.
As a point, saying that the audio guide of this fort gives a lot of information interspersed with curiosities that make the visit even more enjoyable.
City Palace – Udaipur
This palace is probably one of the places that best represent the splendor of the Maharajas in India. This palace is the main attraction of Udaipur and many travelers specially come to see this place in Rajasthan. Its location next to the beautiful Lake Pichola gives even more beauty to its exterior. Taking a boat ride at sunset on this lake allows you to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of this palace, the largest to see in Rajasthan.
It consists of a set of buildings built by the order of different maharajas. During the visit, stairs go up and down inside the buildings. It passes through different courtyards, among which the Mor Chowk, or peacock courtyard, stands out. The views of the city from the upper terraces alone are worthy of entering the palace.
Read More: Udaipur Palace
Abhaneri is little more than an almost forgotten village in the middle of wheat fields. Not many travelers stop at this place. When we visited the town there was no road. Just a dusty road from the general connecting Jaipur and Agra. However, here is one of the most unique places to see in Rajasthan: the Chand Baori . This well was built over 1,000 years ago.
Its symmetry is its most striking feature, as well as its depth of 20 meters with eleven levels of stairs that lead to the bottom forming a visual maze that leaves no one indifferent. Today it is no longer used as a water tank and is kept in good condition.
Jaisalmer, the Golden City
Not far from the border with Pakistan, Jaisalmer is one of the most attractive cities in India. With its fort dominating the city, the golden color of the stone with which walls, palaces and houses are built is confused with that of the inhospitable desert that surrounds it. The fort is a maze of streets to walk aimlessly.
There are palaces, temples, shops, hotels, and here or there a lying cow who knows that no one will disturb her to go elsewhere. At the foot of the fortress, the city is surrounded by a wall inside which you have to look for those golden Havelis with elaborate balconies and lattices or stroll through streets whose shops take their precious fabrics abroad to attract the attention of those who pass by.
Read More – What to see in Jaisalmer
Sunset in the Desert
There are more and more travelers who decide to spend a night in the Thar desert. We settle for our trip with going to see the sunset in the surroundings of Jaisalmer. The meeting point for many tourists and those camels that take them through the Sam Dunes is Khuri or one of those other small towns with adobe houses that have not yet received the electric light. Everyone goes in search of the perfect dune to say goodbye to the sun.
But without a doubt the most attractive thing is to see the camel caravans advancing on the sand from a distance. So the best thing is to try to get away from other tourists. And if you can choose, go on a full moon night. You will see that walking through the desert in its light is undoubtedly more beautiful than watching the sun disappear.
Osiyan and the Jain Temples
This city in the middle of the Thar desert was dominated by the Jain. These left as a legacy a set of attractive temples in which delicate sculptures stand out that have arrived in perfect condition to this day. A city is usually a quiet place where not many travelers stop. This allows the staircase that leads to the top of the hill where the Sachiya Mata temple is to be climbed.
Another of those cities somewhat forgotten by travelers arriving in Rajasthan is Bundi. Its center has a good number of baori , those wells that we talked about above. It is around them where you can see the markets of the old city . The most striking of them all is the vegetable one. Almost all stalls are cloth or plastic on the floor. And on it, all kinds of vegetables. From cucumbers to tomatoes or any seasonal vegetables that fill the city street with color.
This market is a vibrant place of activity. The women walk barefoot looking for what to take home that day as they cross paths with others who flock to the fountains in central Bundi with their jugs. It is a place that will please anyone who feels weak for the markets.
Read More: What to see in Bundi
The paintings of the Bundi Palace
If you come to Bundi attracted by its markets, you will also find in this city a place with a certain fairy tale. Its narrow streets, the blue-painted houses of the Brahmins and its lake form a beautiful picture at the foot of the city palace.
Despite not being in good condition, after passing the imposing Elephant Gate, it is worth visiting the rooms of the palace that feature some of the most beautiful murals to see in Rajasthan on its walls. One of the rooms is decorated with a long royal procession. In another, different paintings show the god Krishna. In addition, some of the palace’s balconies are privileged viewpoints over the city.
Chittorgarh, the Great Fort of the Rajputas
The largest fort to see in Rajasthan is that of the city of Chittor. To complete it, it is essential to have a vehicle. Whether it is a motorcycle, a taxi or a car with a driver, having a means of transport will make it possible to get to know the entire interior of this fort whose history is the reflection of the concept of honor that the Rajputs had who always preferred death to dishonor: men they went to the fight knowing that they would not return while women and children threw themselves into funeral pyres.
Inside the fort, you have to look for the beautiful towers of Victory and Fame, the ruins of several palaces and the beautiful temples that still stand.
Amber Fort – Jaipur
It is probably the most famous of the forts to see in Rajasthan. The reason is undoubtedly its proximity to Jaipur, the destination of almost everyone who travels to this state of India. Traditionally, the climb to this fort was made on the back of elephants. But more and more travelers prefer to forget about the pachyderms and go up on their own. Once in the fort, small temples, reception rooms, beautiful doors, mirrored rooms await the visitor, and of course, the zenana, the place where the harem women lived in seclusion. If you are going to visit this last area be careful with the monkeys. Fewer visitors are encouraged to visit the rooms in this area of the fort and the monkeys take the opportunity to make their own.
Ajmer and its Dargah
Although Ajmer is not a particularly attractive city, it is important for being one of the most important Muslim pilgrimage centers in India. To see this places in Rajasthan, the best way to reach this place if you came from Jaipur. In its old town, on a tumultuous street, and from there is the entrance to the dargah. This dargah is the grave of the Sufi saint Khwaja Muin al-Din Chisti who arrived in India from Persia (It is a historical region of the Middle East in Iran ).
The second of the Mughal monarchs, Humayun, had the tomb built, while his son, Akbar, used to make a pilgrimage here each year from Agra. When you enter, someone will surely come to you to sign a donation book. If you do, you will have no choice but to leave a few rupees. So better to say no kindly and go around the compound in search of the saint’s grave.
Nagaur, the Fort that guards water
This small city is far from the most tourist routes. The reason is its location in the center of the circle formed by Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Jodhpur. Travelers often go from one to another of these cities surrounding the territory between them. Hence Nagaur does not receive many many visits.
If you dare to leave the more conventional routes and visit this city, you will find a 12th century fort ( Ahhichatragarh ) there. It has been remodeled with a water treatment system (a very precious asset in Rajasthan) in which every last drop of water is recycled. In the center of the fort, you can visit a beautiful complex of palaces from the Mughal period, some of whose rooms are decorated with colorful paintings.
Jain Temples of Ranakpur
At the bottom of a deep valley north of Udaipur are 29 Jain temples. Most of them are small and go almost unnoticed. But there is one, the Chaumukha Mandir which is undoubtedly among the most beautiful temples to see in Rajasthan. Built in marble in the 15th century, its interior is a forest of columns decorated with beautiful sculptures. Do not forget to look at the ceiling, as spectacular as the rest of the temple. If you intend to visit any other temple in the area, it is better to leave the temple that I am talking about for the end since there is none as impressive as he is. Please note that you cannot enter the temple with leather articles, footwear, clothes that reveal your legs, or tobacco.
Things to see in Kumbalgarh
To finish this list of places to see in Rajasthan, there is nothing better than one of the forts that dot the state. It is one of the calmest that can be visited in this Indian state. The reason is undoubted that although close to very tourist cities, getting to Kumbalgarh is a deviation in the route that not everyone is encouraged to do.
Those who decide to visit this fort built in the 15th century at 1,100 meters above sea level can enjoy what was the second-largest Mewar fort after that of Chittor. Its walls are 36 kilometers long and within them are palaces, gardens, baoris and around 360 temples.
This is my personal selection of places to see in Rajasthan that I find especially attractive. It could go on and include towns near Bundi with colorful streets and simple people surprised by a foreigner’s visit. Or one of the many forts, temples, palaces or museums that undoubtedly make this state of India so attractive. And you, know Rajasthan? Would you add any other place to this list?