Why should you go to Rajasthan?
Tourism industry is, no doubt, booming! There are a few states in India where tourism flourishes constantly and one such imperative place is Rajasthan. Rajasthan Tourism is thriving like never before in the current days and that is no wonder! The state has a lot to offer its visitors who are in turn regularly tempted to return back and experience the location with nostalgic memories!
How long should we spend in Rajasthan?
We executed a beautiful 15 days trip to Rajasthan covering most important cities and towns.
We took a flight from Bangalore to Jaipur and started the road trip from Jaipur. After seeing around Jaipur, we did a clockwise drive covering some amazing locations including safaris in Ranthambore.
If you are traveling with family, I would highly recommend you to choose a Travel Partner like Thomas Cook to help you customize it for you. They also have excellent pre-made Rajasthan Tour Packages which you may want to consider to improve your vacation. Do check them out!
Below is an instance of how we did it. You can take ideas from here, shorten or lengthen the tour.
Tip 1 – If you are taking a flight into Rajasthan, then landing in Jaipur will be a cheaper option in often cases.
Tip 2 – In my itinerary, we went to Ahmedabad (for 2 nights) from Udaipur before driving to Mount Abu.
I have listed below the locations which we covered during our trip. Every location has some specifics about why you may want to experience Rajasthan.
We spent our first two nights in Jaipur. The city has an amazing vibe and the newer sections feel a lot cleaner than most of our other metros. It is colorful, people are friendly and the food will take you to another level of goodness. As a vegetarian, I found Jaipur to be a food paradise with no dearth of alternatives to eat!
On our first day in Jaipur, we spent time at the Palace, understood the cosmic and geometric concepts at Jantar Mantar, walked around the Hawa Mahal and of course spent the twilight hour around Jalmahal. Late evening, we also tried some remarkable Rajasthani food at the Rawat Mishtan Bhandar before heading back to our hotel.
Our second day was longer and even better! It was the ‘Fort day’ – We first drove to Amer Fort. This fort is huge and has a lot to see including the Maota Lake and the Sheesh Mahal. You can take excellent pictures from here just like you can do from any fort in Rajasthan! After Amer Fort, we did the Jaigarh and the Nahargarh Fort where we managed to get some pretty bird’s eye views of the city.
In the evening, we went to Choki Daani, a village replica resort which gave us a summarized feel of Rajasthan.
Tip – I would recommend adding an extra day after this to do a day trip to Ajmer.
After Jaipur, we drove to Ranthambore and it wasn’t a very long drive. We spent two nights here doing 2 safaris in 2 different zones. Although we didn’t get to see the tiger, it was wonderful experience and we did see several interesting birds and animals from our canter.
Please do read Ranthambore experience here
From Ranthambore, we drove to Udaipur via Kota and Chittorgarh.
Udaipur seemed so much more different than Jaipur. Both cities touched different senses for the same state. We spent 2 nights in Udaipur. The city seemed more ethnic and had several diverse local options in the cuisine.
The lovely Udaipur Palace and Lake Pichola are obvious attractions whilst in Udaipur. Additionally, we drove up to Sajjan-garh fort which often is skipped by many visitors. This, in my opinion, gives the best views of Udaipur. There are several lakes in Udaipur and all falling in stunning sceneries giving scope to boundless photo-options! Fateh-Sagar Lake was something I loved the most amongst all lakes.
Udaipur also hosts a beautiful garden called Sahelion-ki-Bari which is frequented by locals and tourists alike. Evenings are gorgeous outside the garden when several eateries open up serving delicious chaats and sweets!
Note – We drove to Ahmedabad after Udaipur. After two nights in Ahmedabad we drove to Mount Abu.
We reached Mount Abu mid-morning and spent a night here.
Mount Abu is a small hill station and the only significant one outfitting as a ‘hill resort’ to the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Like every other similar hill stations everywhere, Mount Abu too has a lake. The Nakki Lake, as it is called, is a commercial area with a lot of sightseers and several hawkers in the vicinity. There are boat rides if one is interested.
I personally felt that the Dilwara Jain Temples in Mount abu is spectacular. It has intricate marble carvings inside and is positively worth a visit. There are also several sunset viewing spots which are remarkable at Twilight. We favored going to a slightly distant location, ‘Guru Shikhar’, which was a considerable drive with a short trek.
After a day in Mount Abu, we drove to Jodhpur and stayed for the following two nights.
The beautiful Umaid Bhavan Palace, the Jaswant Thada and the overly spectacular Mehrangad Fort are some of the attractions which I think pulls people towards Jodhpur.
In addition to that, the Clock Tower, also known as the Ghanta Ghar, is a very popular touristy area. Around the tower is Sadar Market which is often visited by the tourists. You could buy your souvenirs, spices etc here.
Generally, a single day is sufficient for Jodhpur unless you plan to get into the impressive Zip-lining activity like we did. We zipped through the inaccessible areas of Mehrangad Fort clearing all 7 Zip-Lines.
Do read our Jodhpur experience here
Jaisalmer is a very distinct old town and is a must see for more than several reasons we can imagine.
Apart from the customary desert safari, Gadisar Lake and the fine-looking Jaisalmer Fort that you have been told about, there are tons of things to see and do here!
We had good busy two days in Jaisalmer. We started with the Bhaang Shop which is one of the most interesting attraction in the town (we went there after seeing it in the Anthony Bourdain’s show). After that was a stop at the Patwon ki Haveli, just before drove further into the village towards Bada Bagh. Bada Bagh has incredible photo opportunity of the well set tombs of Royalty. We then drove ahead to Lodhruva which hosts several notable ruins. The major attraction at Lodhurwa is the Jain Temple having intricate carvings. Following this was the village of Kuldhara which was in my bucket list ever since I heard stories about it being haunted.
We finished Jaisalmer with the desert safari, watching folk dance and having some local food at the camp site.
You could perhaps skip Bikaner; but because the drive for us back to Jaipur seemed too long, we thought of breaking a night at Bikaner.
We went to the popular Junagarh Fort in Bikaner which is very historic and we spent a few hours there. The fort, however, is within the city and it is more like a palace unlike a typical fort with a view.
Tip – There are some stunning palatial properties in Bikaner to experience some ethnic leisure accommodation.
After Bikaner, we came back to Jaipur and spent the last night in the city before heading back to Bangalore.
This itinerary can be cut short to a week or you may want to customize it as per your interests. Also, if you are short of time and want someone to help you create an itinerary there are several Rajasthan Tour Packages which you may consider depending on your requirements.