Rajasthan is the land of the Great Indian Desert. Most of it is covered by this great barren land but Rajasthan in itself contains some of the world’s finest tourist destinations of all time. Across cities like Jodhpur and Jaipur, you will find that the state is densely littered with interesting historic locations and more. So naturally, as a traveller, we understand your confusion regarding where to go. So, here is a list of the top tourist places that are a must visit for all your upcoming trips to Rajasthan.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Among other tourist places in Rajasthan, Mehrangarh Fort is probably the largest fort that displays the grandeur of the Rajputs. It rises 125 metres high above the Blue city of Jodhpur and contains within itself plenty of mysteries and legends. Mehrangarh Fort is also popular for the artistry of construction of the various mahals inside the fort complex that must be visited.
Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh
This fort is the largest in all of India and was built in the 7th century over an area of 2.8 sq. kilometres. The fort’s highest elevation point is 1,075 metres above sea level. But size isn’t everything; the fort complex contains within itself palaces, gardens and temples that have great historical significance as well.
Pushkar Lake, Pushkar
Pushkar is considered as the King of pilgrimage sites in India. Located on the shores of the lake, Pushkar is one of the oldest cities of India and has retained an old world charm that cannot be observed anywhere else but here. The lake is considered sacred because of which Pushkar is visited by thousands of people every year. Pushkar is also famed as the location of the Pushkar Mela, an annual camel fair which exhibits the vibrant colours and culture of Rajasthan.
Amber Palace, Jaipur
Starting with an old favourite, The Amber fort has been on top of every tourist’s itinerary who visits Jaipur. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I and completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh in the 16th century, Amber fort is an architectural marvel built of red sandstone and marble. This fort palace is on the UNESCO world heritage List and continues to be overrun by thousands of tourists every year.
Somnath temple is a prominent tourist destination for pilgrims all over India. The temple is not only considered a major symbol of religion, but is also an architectural marvel because of the historical background and sculptures. It was built by king of Gujarat, Kumarpal Solanki in 1920 and is home to many other smaller temples of gods and goddesses.
Dilwara Jain Temples
These beautiful and ornately carved temples are just a short drive away from Mount Abu. Built between 11th to 13th centuries by Chalukya, Dilwara Jain Temples exhibit intricate carvings on the 5 temples located within the complex. Amongst the most beautiful of all Jain temples, Dilwara is considered a major religious pilgrimage where people come from all over in the hope of getting their wishes fulfilled.
Jaipur City Palace, Jaipur
Going to Jaipur and not visiting Jaipur City Palace could be a cardinal sin. Not only is the Palace spectacularly built but it also is a testament of the foresight that Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had as the founder of the Pink City. The Palace is a fantastic blend of Mughal and Rajput architectural styles and continues to house the royal family of Jaipur even now.
Ranthambore Wildlife sanctuary, Sawai Madhopur
Ranthambore provides the best chance of sighting a tiger in its natural habitat in India. Located in the district of Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore is famed for its high concentration of tigers since the time of the reign of the Rajputana kingdoms. Whilst in Ranthambore, also visit the Ranthambore fort that is a UNESCO World heritage site situated within the park. The cultural wealth that is imbibed in the fort makes it a must visit along with the lush green sanctuary of Ranthambore.
Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur
Built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929, the palace was created to cater to the victims of the famine that had struck the state at that point of time. Alternately known as Chittar hill, because of the stone that was used from the nearby Chittar Hill, the palace was the architectural brainchild of HV Lanchester. It is one of the most spectacular buildings in Rajasthan and it must be visited as one of the only palaces built in the 20th century.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Built in 1799, Hawa Mahal was the brainchild of the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh. Literally translated as The Palace of Wind, the building is constructed of red sandstone and stands 5 stories tall will 356 ornately decorated jharokhas (façade covered windows), which were used by the women of the Royal Family to observe life outside of the palace. The Hawa Mahal’s famous jharokhas are also a photographer’s delight. Located in the hub of the city, Hawa Mahal is surrounded by a huge market called Babu Bazaar in case you want to get a flavour of local shopping.
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the largest of all the astronomical observatories that were created by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. Created out of sandstone, the Jantar Mantar tracks the movement of celestial bodies, measures time, and also observes the orbit of planets around the sun. That is why it features in this list as one of the top tourist places in Rajasthan.
Keoladeo Ghana Wildlife Sanctuary, Bharatpur
Keoladeo Ghana, earlier known as Bharatpur bird sanctuary, is one of the premier destinations in the nation for bird watchers. Not only can you get a glimpse of rare migratory birds who flock here during the winter season but you can also spot certain endemic species who thrive in the Bharatpur Ecosystem. Bharatpur is a World UNESCO site that is thronged by people and birds all through the year, however the best time to visit is during the winter season when they return to nest in the safe confines of the national park.
Jal Mahal, Jaipur
Jal Mahal is one of the more astonishing sights in Jaipur. The palace appears to be floating in the middle of Man Sagar Lake as one of the most exquisite feats of architecture by the Rajputs. The light sandstone walls reflect the deep blue water of the lake, which makes it one of the ideal tourist places to watch the sunset in Jaipur.
Sam Sand Dunes, Jaisalmer
If you want to experience the Thar Desert, the only way to do it is by undertaking a desert safari. Take a trip through the sloping golden sand dunes of the Thar Desert on camelback and you could also get a chance to witness a majestic sunset over the dunes of the desert. It is not for nothing that Jaisalmer is known as the Golden City. Go camping on the sand and enjoy the various cultural activities and races that are organised in the city regularly
Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Ajmer
Constructed in the 13th century, the Ajmer Sharif Dargah is a Sufi shrine that houses the maqbara of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. The Dargah has three ornate gates similar to other monuments built during the Mughal sultanate. People from various faiths flock here to have their prayers answered and also to be blessed by the famous prasad of Ajmer Sharif.
There you have it! If you are looking to experience how the Rajputs lived in their heydays, you have to check these places out.