Rajasthan literally, "Land of Kings") is India's largest state by area (342,239 square kilometres (132,139 sq mi) or 10.4% of India's total area). It is located on the northern side of the country, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert (also known as the "Rajasthan Desert" and "Great Indian Desert") and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by the other Indian states: Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; and Gujarat to the southwest. Its features include the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization at Kalibanga; the Dilwara Temples, a Jain pilgrimage site at Rajasthan's only hill station, Mount Abu, in the ancient Aravalli mountain range; and, in eastern Rajasthan, the Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site. known for its bird life. Rajasthan is also home to two national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur and Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar.
The state was formed on 30 March 1949 when Rajputana – the name adopted by the British Raj for its dependencies in the region – was merged into the Dominion of India. Its capital and largest city is Jaipur, located on the state's eastern side.
The City of Alwar Founded by the Kachwaha Rajput Ruler Pratap Singh in 1770. The town’s name was Ulwar during those days and was changed to Alwar to bring it to the top in the alphabetically arranged list of the Princely states of Rajputana. The town is significant for its various military participations in various battles and was the first state of Rajputana to sign a treaty with the British East India Company. The city being one of the princely states of the Rajputana has tones of tourist attractions. The forts, temples and the immense abundance of natural Fauna has brought this place in this list. The Haunted Bhangarh Fort, The Karni Mata Temple, the Historic site of Pandupole, and the Sariska Tiger Reserve are just a few of the many attraction this city houses. Rajasthan, the land of kings and forts, with its rich cultural history will have a different flavor with every single place you visit. The aforementioned places unfold just a handful of the many secrets this ancient kingdom hides.
The city of Bikaner was founded in 1488 by the Rathore Rajput Ruler Rao Bika. Rao Bika was the son of the Rathore Ruler Rao Jodha who founded Jodhpur. The land was usurped from the rivaling Jat rulers of that time. However, no matter how many wars the ancient city has seen in the past, today Bikaner is another prime tourist destination and is famous for its sweets and snacks. The place is known for its forts and The various arts and crafts of this place are also unique, especially the intricately carved windowpanes called jharokhas. It is one town we would personally recommend for you to visit if you want to experience the authentic taste of rajasthani cuisines. The various fairs held in Bikaner also attract a huge no. of visitors from all around India and the world. The famous temples like Karni Mata and Laxmi Nath Temple etc. are also worth the visit
To feel the essence of desert and enjoy ride on camel back, you need to go for Bikaner Camel Safari Day tours. Camel safari takes you to a different world where the landscape is not green but stunning and it is an adventure of a different kind altogether. On your safari ride, you will find enchanting moments that you would love to capture on your camera. The sunset is scenic and you are sure to be at a loss for words to describe the picturesque setting.
Gajner Palace is located on the banks of a lake. Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji constructed the palace. The royal family used the palace to retreat after hunting. The red sandstone construction is a glowing example of stunning architecture. The palace is situated in the thick of forest and you could view migratory birds flock in great numbers. It is a perfect place to spend a quiet evening as you could stretch to watch the night sky and the lake silent and stunning.
Ganga Singh Museum was founded by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the year 1937. It houses articles of historical importance that go to show that the society was civilized even before the emergence of Harappan civilization. Some of the stunning collections include paintings, pottery, weapons used by Rajputs and a lot more. The paintings on golf leaves are excellent.
You cannot help but admire the scenic landscape in which Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary is situated. The sanctuary houses some of the unique plants and animals. Some of the wildlife creatures found here include blue bulls, Indian hares, antelopes, deer, wild boars and many more. Gajner Palace and Gajner Lake are located in the sanctuary. You could have a great time strolling along. Jeep safaris and camel safaris take you to view wildlife and you could watch migratory birds.
Jain Temple was commissioned by Bhandasa Oswal in the year 1468 and completed in the year 1514. Rajputana architecture in its excellence is evident in the construction of this temple. The unique and intricately designed temple, sculpted pillars, frescos and the gold leaf work inspire the visitor. With a blend of red sandstone and white marble used in the construction, the three-storied Jain Temple stands unique and commands admiration. The mirror work in the temple is unique as well.
Junagarh Fort was constructed in the year 1593 by Raja Rai Singh. It is believed that crocodiles were bred in the water moat surrounding the formidable fort. The construction is a fine blend of Mughal, Gujarati and Rajput style of architecture. The picturesque courtyards beautify the fort. The amazing architecture inside the fort inspires you. Some of the attractions inside the fort are Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Dungar Mahal, Diwan-e-khas and Ganga Mahal.
Lalgarh Palacewas built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the year 1902 in memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji. The red sandstone construction is a stupendous example of the architectural brilliance of the past. Mughal, Rajput and European architectures blend excellently well. The massive lawns houses peacocks, which are a sight to watch when they dance. You could find library, cards room and billiards room among various other rooms. Lalgarh Palace is a feast to your eyes and architects’ delight.
Sadul Singh Museum is on the first floor of Lalgarh palace. The lives and the passions of the three successive kings of Bikaner are reflected in the art museum. The rare artifacts, Georgian paintings, and the photographs seen here stand proof of the interests and the heroics of the three kings namely Maharaja Ganga Singh, Sadul Singh and Karni Singh.
The ancient city of Chittorgarh also known as Chittor, was said to have been founded by the Maurya Dynasty. However its significance rose when the Ruler of the Sisodiya Rajput Clan of Mewar captured the city in 734 Ad and made it the capital of Mewar. The place is known to be the birthplace of many great warriors and historical figures like the Great Maharana Pratap and the Hindu saint, Meera Bai. The city being an ancient place contains many different palaces, temples and forts which display some of the most advanced architectural designs and artistic mastery. One of the major places to visit in Chittorgarh is the Chittorgarh fort, which is the largest fort in India. The fort was the former capital of mewar before its relocation to the more secure city of Udaipur. The fort was founded in the 7th century by the 1st Sisodiya Rajput Ruler Bappa Rawal and spreads over an area of 2.8 sq kilometers and its highest elevation point is 1,075 meters above sea level. Upon visiting you will experience and witness the Rajput style architecture at its best. The fort complex itself contains several palaces, gardens and temples most of which have a great historical significance.
Heroism, valour, sacrifice, devotion…Chittorgarh Fort stands as a literal representation of the virtues of the Rajput kings and queens. This beautiful, extensive structure is the most popular fort of Rajasthan. The fort has seven gateways that one has to pass through to get in, along with the numerous water pools in the vicinity of the fort, which is vastly spread over 700 hectares. The water reservoirs, supplying water to 22 of the prior 84 pools around the fort is known to be able to contain at least 4 billion litres of water. The vast fort is an attraction that none can avoid, and Chittorgarh as a city takes immense pride in this edifice.
Aptly named after Maharana Fateh Singh, theFateh Prakash Palace is an epitome of modern architecture. Housing an idol of Lord Ganesh, along with a fountain, and found here and there are an array of wall paintings and murals. It is now popular as a museum of Rajput history, and the architecture is breathtaking just like all the other historical forts and palaces in Rajasthan. Sculptures, paintings, historical artefacts etc. are found in abundance in the museum, and it is quite an attraction for tourists.
In the vicinity of the Chittorgarh Fort, the Meera Temple stands as proof of the immense love and devotion that Meera felt for Lord Krishna. The temple was erected by Rana Kumbha, and it is adorned beautifully with idols of Vishnu and other significant gods and goddesses. There is a quaint temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, which was especially designed for Meera, who spent hours and days expressing her devotion through bhajans. Devotees still gather to sing hymns created by Meera in the Krishna temple.
Another structure located in the midst of the Chittorgarh Fort is the Rani Padmini Palace, named after Queen Padmini of Chittorgarh. She was married to the Rajput king Rana Rawal Ratan Singh, and was known throughout India for her impeccable beauty and intelligence. It is said that she herself inspected the defences of the palace when the fort was under siege by the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khilji. Art and music flourished during the reign of Ratan Singh, and the palace walls are adorned with beautiful Rajput paintings, those which catch the eye of a tourist immediately. After the battle at Chittorgarh Fort, Rani Padmini chose to commit Jauhar instead of getting captured by the enemy and bringing disgrace to the family honour. The palace stands as the symbol her valour and bravery
Kumbha of Mewar, or Rana Kumbha, was the ruler of the region of Mewar during 1433 to 1468 AD. Rana Kumbha is known to have valiantly defeated Mahmud Khilji among other enemies who lay siege to Mewar. He reconstructed the destructed state of Mewar, and restored its pride by erecting fortresses. The Rana Kumbha Palace, which was once resided in by Rana Kumbha is a projection of his might. Maharana Udaisingh is said to have been born in the palace of Rana Kumbha. It is located in the region of the Chittorgarh Fort, and it is the place where Rani Padmini committed Jauhar along with the wives and children of other warriors.
The capital of the state,Jaipur is also the largest city in the princely state
of Rajasthan. It was founded in 1727, by the Kachwaha Rajput Ruler
Sawai Jaisingh II, who was the ruler of Amber. Also known by the
nickname ‘Pink City of India’ which is due to the distinctive saffron or
pink color of the buildings. The planning of the city was done according
to the Vedic Vastu Shastra (Indian architecture). The well planned streets
and detailed and artistic architecture make it one of the top preferred
In the 2008 Conde Nast Traveller Readers Choice Survey, Jaipur was ranked #7 of the best places to visit in Asia. Jaipur has lots to offer to even the most average tourists. Forts, monuments, temples, Gardens, museums and vast market places of Jaipur bring tourists who come from all around the world to experience the food, fun and frolic at this wonderful town. Jaipur is also home to a huge no. of arts and craft with over 20 unique specializations.
Also known as Amer Fort, it is located in Amer, which is around 11 from Jaipur. It was constructed by Raja Mansingh in the year 1592. It was later expanded by Raja Jai Singh I. The red sandstone and marble stone construction reflect a blend of Hindu-Muslim architecture. The main entrance faces east and there are three more entrances. There are four courtyards in Amber Palace. One of the courtyards has the Public Audience Hall, called the Diwan-i-AAm. The place provides you an opportunity to ride on elephant. Though it is only a ten- minute walk to the fort, which is uphill, you will want to try it on an elephant.
Once you are in Pink City, you will naturally be inclined to visitingCity Palace, which is situated in Pink City. It was constructed by Sawai Jai Singh II between 1729 and 1732 AD. The palace complex comprises of Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. Now, Chandra Mahal has been converted into museum that houses exclusive handcrafted products and other products that depict the cultural heritage of the kingdom. Not only will you enjoy the architecture, you will be awe struck by the glorious view of Pink City from here.
Being in Jaipur, you would not want to miss elephant safari. If you are keen to engage the adventurous spirit in you, the hills behind Amer fort is the right place. This is where Dera Amer is situated and it is the foothills of Aravali Range. You will enjoy the elephant safari in the serene atmosphere. The ride will take you through fields, fortress and to the camp in the middle of Aravali forests. The picturesque landscape and the stunning beauty of the forest will elevate your spirits. If you love to experience your adrenaline rush, you need to opt for night safari. Whichever time you choose, you will be provided excellent meals that would keep your taste buds engaged.
A stunning presentation of the rich architectural expertise of the past, Hawa Mahal is a not-to-miss tourist places in Jaipur. The Mahal was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. True to the name it earned as the ‘Palace of the Winds’, Hawa Mahal has 953 windows to provide ventilation. The five- storey building does not have steps to reach upper floors. Slopes connect the storeys and it is said that the Mahal was constructed to enable the Royal women of Rajput family to view the happenings in the city. You would want to visit the archeological museum in Hawa Mahal during your visit.
If you have any doubts about having to spend your time at an observatory on your tour, reconsider it. Jantar Mantar is not just like any other average observatory; it is ranked amongst the largest observatories of the world. Built during the period of Maharaja Jai Singh II, the astronomical observatory has the largest sundial of the world. Maharaja Jai Singh II had avid interest in various subjects including architecture, astronomy, philosophy and astronomy. His keen interest in astronomy led him to construct the country’s largest observatory. The geometric devices available here are used in measuring time, observing constellations and orbits around the biggest star. The astrological instruments attract astronomers and architects from all parts of the world. Whatever your level of interest in space, you will be inspired by Jantar Mantar
To experience the originality, to experience the traditional touch of the glorious past, your stop should be at old city, famously known as the Pink City, which is famous for magnificent palaces. The founder was Sawai Jai Singh II. To offer cordial welcome to Prince of Wales in 1876, the entire city was painted in pink color, which resembles hospitality. You cannot help marvel the architectural brain as the construction of the city was planned on providing excellent ventilation through out. You will love the exclusive artwork in the jewellery. You need to commence your Jaipur tour from Pink City, considered the first planned Indian city.
While in a few texts, it has been termed as theVenice of the East, the
City ofUdaipuris known by its common moniker, the city of lakes. The
city was the capital of the Sisodiya Rajputs of Mewar and is famous for
its palaces that exemplify the finesse of Rajputana Style architecture.
Udaipur was founded in 1553 by the Sisodiya Rajput Ruler Maharana
Udai Singh II. The Mewar Rajputs founded the city to relocate their
capital from Chittor to a more secure location. Today, most of the
palaces have been converted into hotels, thus attracting a huge no. of
tourist crowd to this city.
The city’s picturesque location at the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains, the state of Udaipur is a unique destination. Apart from its various palaces, forts, market places, and various temples are also the reason for its popularity. The cities are well planned and the people hospitable, the place is not only famous for its palaces and monuments, the city of Udaipur has a lot to offer its visitors
Bagore Ki Haveliis situated near Pichola Lake. The 18th century construction was built by Amir Chand Badwa, Chief Minister at the Royal Court of Mewar. The Haveli became the residence of Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore in the year 1878 and hence the name Bagore Ki Haveli. This was converted into museum retaining the royal touch to the building. The museum presents the culture of Mewar. The antique collections include the stuff used by Rajputs such as jewellery boxes, hand fans, copper vessels and so on. The massive building has over 100 rooms and looks splendid with its unique style of architecture. Whenyou are there, make sure you present yourself for the shows conducted here in the evenings.
City Palace was constructed in the year 1559 by Maharana Udai Mirza The palace is situated on the banks of Pichola Lake. The palace is a blend of European, Medieval and Chinese styles of architecture. City Palace houses 11 magnificent palaces and they were all constructed during various periods and by various rulers. The size of the palace is awe inspiring with the courtyards, terraces, pavilions, hanging gardens and a lot more. Everything about the palace is magnificent be it the architecture, the antiques inside and the exclusive paintings hanging on the walls
Kumbhalgarh Fort was constructed by Maharana Kumbha in the 15th century. One of the specialties of the fort is that it is the birthplace of the famous warrior and King of Mewar, Maharana Pratap. The near invincible fort is the most highest and strongest of forts in Rajasthan. The fort was a challenge to the greatest of kings. The fort stands formidably on 1180 m high ridge. You are sure to be stunned by the sight of the fort, which is protected by thirteen mountain peaks of Aravali. The fort is protected and surrounded by a thick wall of approximately 15 kms long. This is the second longest wall in the world and the first is known the world over – The Great Wall of China. Kumbhalgarh Fort is not to be missed on your tour if you want to know about the mighty people they were in the past.
Another man made wonder in the city dominated by nature, Lake created in 1362 AD. Rana Udai Singh II extended the lake in 16th century. The picturesque lake is surrounded by huge hills, magnificent palaces, temples and bathing ghats. The islands in Lake Pichola offer various tourist attractions and hence by cruising in Lake Pichola, you are sure to have a whale of a time. Sunset views are stunning. Boat cruise offers lovely views of the town, particularly in the evenings as you watch the sun go down on your eyes, you will find the city lit up. The palaces look stunning with the lights on and it is a great view from the lake.
If you are partial to the beauty offered by nature more than man made wonders, you are sure to love Sajjan Garh. The palace is small but the views are stunning. The palace is not maintained well but the sunset view from here is awesome. The palace was constructed by Maha Rana Sajjan Singh in 1884. The aim of the king was to construct an observatory here to observe the arrival of monsoon as well as predict weather conditions. Owing to his untimely demise, the work was not completed. However, the views from here fascinate you beyond words. Nearly 1000 feet above the sea level, the views of Udaipur from here are breathtaking.
The aptly named “golden city”, which comes from its view during the day, the city of Jaisalmer lies in the heart of the Thar Desert. The city was founded by The Bhati Rajput ruler Maharawal Jaisal Singh in 1156 Ad. The city gets its name from the golden sands of the Thar Desert and the same golden colored sandstone used in the city’s architecture. The city is a famous tourist spot due to its magnificent architecture and the various arts and crafts which are unique to this region. The city thrives on tourism, and can be called a home away from home for a huge no. of tourists from all around the world. The unique feature about the city of Jaisalmer is its architecture. It was built as a walled city which makes it one of the largest forts in the world. You might want to pack a lot of paperbacks and almost 3-4 days to enjoy the life in this city to its fullest. The fort has numerous eateries that offer Italian, French and local cuisines. Visit during the months of November and December and you will enjoy this castle city to its fullest.
Bada Bagh means ‘Huge Garden’. Maharawal Jait Singh’s period saw its construction, which was in the beginning of 16th century. His son Lunakaran completed the construction after the death of his father. The garden served as a memorial where the nobles and their families were cremated. The garden offers a stunning view. The place is isolated. If you visit the place during sunrise and sun set, you are guaranteed of beautiful moments, which you cannot avoid clicking.
Desert Nation Park is one among the largest parks in India. Very locality for species to survive and hence you will find fauna and flora live on the desert’s edge. However, migratory birds can be viewed in large numbers. You could take a jeep safari to enjoy the magnificent landscape, which offers view of extinct lakes in this park.
Gadisar Lake is located a kilometer away from the fort. It was constructed the first ruler of the land, Raja Rawal Jaisal and later reconstructed by Maharawal Garsi in the year 1367 AD. The people of the desert city depended on this tank for their water needs. You will find temples, Holy shrines and Chattris around the banks of this lake. The artistically carved entrance made of yellow sandstone offers breathtaking view. Boating is allowed here and hence you could take a trip round the lake to enjoy the serene atmosphere.
aisalmer Fort is famously known as Golden Fort of Rajasthan. It was constructed by Raja Jaisal, Rajput ruler in the year 1156 AD. It ranks amongst the largest forts in the world. The golden and yellow mixed sandstone offer magical look to the Fort. Rising from the desert sands like a mirage, the fort is a real sight with its 99 turrets during night. The Fort stands tall and proud displaying the magic of Rajasthani architecture.
Patwon-Ki-Haveli is located in the main city. It was built by a famous trader named Guman Chand and his sons. This massive five-storied construction has five intricately decorated huge suites. The large corridors and the decorated walls are excellent representations of the art form that prevailed. The entire construction is made of yellow sandstone. The grandeur and the architecture of the monument add immense value to the cultural heritage of the city. Out of the five havelis, one is converted into a museum. The third haveli houses the works of local craftsmen of the bygone era.
To have a feel of the desert, you need to undertake Desert Safari. Sam Sand Dunes is the ideal location to set off for the Desert Safari. You will love the safari on camelback that would take you along crests and troughs and you could watch the picturesque sunset on the desert. Jeep safaris are available as well. Desert festival is organized in the months of February and March. If you are around this time, you would not want to miss the folk dances, camel races and other cultural events conducted here.
You could do quality shopping here. The collections include clothes, patchworks, bags, shawls, belts, antiques and accessories. All the items available here is handmade. From bedspreads to clothes, from accessories to antiques, every product is unique and of excellent quality. You can have a wonderful shopping experience to take home beautiful collections that not only represent the culture of the city but remind you of your tour to Jaisalmer as well.
Thar Heritage Museum is located at the main market of the city. Narayan Khatri was the founder of this museum. The museum presents you the history, culture, art and architecture of the famous Thar Desert. Sea fossils aging over million years let us in on how the sea eventually became the Thar Desert. The museum houses unique ornaments of the ship of the desert and horses. Documents and coins of Jaisalmer, ancient manuscripts and weapons are some of the collections found in this museum.
The second largest City of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is also the populated city of Rajasthan after Jaipur. The city was founded in 1459 by the Rathore Rajput Ruler, Rao Jodha Singh of Marwar. The city was founded as Marwar’s new capital after the fall of the former capital of Mandore. Jodhpur is also called theSun City as it enjoys a bright sunny weather all year round. Strategically, it is considered to be the most important city of western Rajasthan as it lies only at a distance of 250 kilometers from the Indo-Pakistan border. Also, because it lies in the center of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is an important tourist destination as well. Jodhpur has been listed many a times in various tourism magazines and documentaries and has topped the lonely planet’s list of most extraordinary place to stay in 2014. The various hill forts, palaces and the old walled city are just a handful of attractions from the multitude that this wonderful city has to offer.
Balsamand Lake is an artificial lake that was constructed by Parihar in 1159 AD. The lush greenery around the lake has mango groves, papaya groves and groves of guava, plum and pomegranate. Balsamand Lake Palace was intended to serve as summer resort for the royal family of Jodhpur. The lawns and gardens with birds and peacocks finding their homes here, the place is exquisite. The palace reflects Rajputana style of architecture. The palace turned heritage hotel was built of red sandstone.
Jaswant Thadawas built in memory ofMaharaja Jaswant Singh, the Second in the year 1899. This is close to Mehrangarh Fort. The tranquility of the marble construction is enchanting. The carvings are intricate. Inside Jaswant Thada, you will find the portraits of the Rathore rulers. The grounds of Jaswant Thada consist of a stunning multilevel garden, intricately carved gazebos and a pond.
Clock Tower is a famous landmark in the Old City. It was by Maharaja Sardar Singh during his tenure between 1880 and 1911. The clock tower offers a good view of the fort. Sardar Market is adjacent to Clock Tower where a wide range of products is sold. You can find handicrafts, saris, spices, vegetables and a lot more. There are over 7000 shopsand you can have a great shopping experience here.
Kailana Lake is located on west of the city. This is yet another artificial which was constructed in the year 1872 by Pratap Singh. This is one amongst the most frequented lakes in Rajasthan. It is a birdwatchers’ paradise. You could sail on a boat if you aim to add some breathtaking photographs to your collection. The view of sunset would be stunning.
Mandore, belonging to the 6th century, was Marwar’s capital before Jodhpur was established. Mandore Gardens here attract tourists in great numbers. The Mandore Gardens also house a government museum, a ‘Hall of Heroes’ and a temple to 33 crore Gods. Various artifacts and statues found in the area are housed at the museum. The architectural splendor of the bygone era is clearly evident here.
Beyond question,Mehrangarh Fort tops the list of ‘must visit’ places Jodhpur. It is one among the largest Indian forts. This invincible fort stands magnificently 400 feet above the city. Rao Jodha constructed the fort in 1459 AD. Though the attempt to construct the fort was started in 1459, the fort had seen many centuries before it was completed. Hence, you could find that the style of architecture represents various periods. The grandeur in architecture is awe- inspiring. It offers stunning views of the city. The fort stands as a symbol of power.
The aim behind the formation of Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park in 2006 was to restore the rocky area near the fort. Once preliminary steps were taken to restore the land, more than 80 native plant species from the famous Thar Desert were grown. The 200 acres of park is located at the foot of the impregnable Mehrangarh Fort. The place reflects the hard work and dedication of the ecologists who spared no efforts to make the place green.
The construction of Umaid Bhawan Palace Museumwas started in the year 1929 and it was completed in 1943. The palace is situated on the highest point in the city. The 347-roomed massive palace is named one of the largest private residences in the world. The palace boasts of a combination of Indian and European style of architecture. A part of the palace still serves as a residence to the former royal family, while other two parts of the palace are converted into Taj Palace Hotel and museum.
The place takes pride of it being the only hill station in the desert state of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is situated in the Aravalli mountain range and is a part of the Sirohi District of Rajasthan. The place apart from being a retreat for the people of Rajasthan and Gujarat from the scorching sun but has a lot of historical and religious significance. Mount Abu was known as the Arbuda Mountain, which has been mentioned in the Hindu Epic Mahabharata and is known for to be the place where the Great Sage Vashishta retired. The hill station houses many ancient sites and temples which are frequented by many pilgrims from across India along with many forts and lakes. The place is a heavenly retreat for the sun scorched people of Rajasthan, with its lush green surroundings and various picnic spots. The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, Trevor’s Crocodile Park, Nakki Lake and the most Famous Dilwara Jain Temples are situated here. Apart from these, one can also visit the ruins of Achalgarh Fort which was built in the 17th century. The surroundings and the cool and enjoyable weather make it a place like no other in the desert state of Rajasthan.
Although this is a totally different town, situated near the Banas River, Abu road is a must visit. It normally refers to a railway station which is located in a picturesque surrounding. The weather is generally pleasant; however, to enjoy this place to its fullest, one must visit it between November and December. The place is a home to several different temples which are significant in the Hindu mythology and display an amazing work of Indian architecture. The market places are great and being an Indian I felt relieved that it was sans the malls and how they preserved the aesthetics of the Indian bazaars. The Banas River is also a great picnic spot and can be enjoyed during mild rainfall. Many Indian tourists can find this place as dull and boring, with not many things to offer, but for a lone traveler this place can unleash a variety of surprises. Do not forget to taste the amazing and silky ‘Rabri’ which is a famous local sweet dish.
The name refers to a fort and an ancient kingdom, which was originally built by the Paramara Dynasty rulers. The fort was reconstructed in 1452 by Maharana Kumbha the ruler of the Mewar kingdom and was renamed as “Achalgarh’ or the immovable. The fort however stands in ruins to this day, leaving behind many remnants which make this place a tourist attraction. The main entrances are characterized by two towers carved out of grey granite, which still stand as a memorial of this once pompous and majestic fort. The place is located at an amazing location and is famous for its ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva known as the Achaleshwar Mahadeva Temple. The temple is said to have a foot impression of Lord Shiva himself and also has a brass Nandi and 3 sculptures of buffalos near the pond. The fort walls and the amazing location give an amazing panoramic view of the surroundings.
Located at a distance of just 2.5 kilometers from mount Abu, the Dilwara Jain temples were built between the 11th and the 13th century. The feature that makes it a must visit is the amazing and brilliant use of marble in the architecture. The ornamental carvings and the flawless stone laying technique make it one among the most beautiful pilgrimage spots in the world. The temple complex consists of 5 temples which are unique to the Jain culture in India namely Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath; Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Neminatha; Pithalhar, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Rishabha; Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshva and Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira. The lotus like engravings on the ceilings and the different scenes from the Jain and Hindu mythology represented through carved marble sculptures are sure to leave you awestruck.
As mentioned in the prologue, Guru Shikar is the highest point in mount Abu and forms the highest point in the Aravalli mountain range. The place is perfect to get a panoramic view of the whole region and is famous for its temple of Guru Dattatreya an incarnation of the Hindu Deities ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva’ in one. While many wouldn’t find much in this place apart from the various temples and the amazing views, it was quiet natural to me to take out my trusty paperback and get lost in the enticing plot amidst the enchanting surroundings. Do not forget to pack food and beverages but preferably not any alcohol as the place is considered as sacred.
One of the most popular attractions in mount Abu,Nakki Lake is an ancient and sacred lake. According to Hindu mythology the lake was dug out by the Gods by simply using their nails to gain shelter from the Demon Bashkali, however many such mythological stories exist leading to the creation of this lake. Nevertheless, the place is a great spot for picnic with friends and family alike. The various trek spots near the lake sated my hunger for some adventure and the boating trips were relaxing under the amazing weather I experienced here. The lake is also famous as mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed here leading to the construction of Gandhi Ghat, which is also a popular monument located here. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants and eateries located near the lake which offer some great local food at really cheap prices. The fountains in the lake add to its natural beauty.
It is quiet rare that I don’t mention a local eatery whenever I visit a place, and yes the place you must visit for a pocket friendly but amazing dining experience is ‘Sher E Punjab’. The restaurant/Dhaba is located in the main market, near the Sabzi mandi and it offers some great recipes that cater to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. You can place yourself outside or in the cleaner and more comfy room inside. The food is amazing with non vegetarian recipes like Dhaba Gosht, Kadai Chicken, Chicken 65, butter chicken etc. while I’m not a big fan of the Punjabi recipes found in Rajasthan due to its perversion at the hands of the locals. But this place was luckily unaffected by the local perversion and offered some really great tasting recipes that were essentially, ‘dirt cheap’. I would totally recommend a visit to this eatery for all the food enthusiasts.
Trevor’s tank or Trevor’s crocodile park is a man made crocodile breeding spot located 5 kilometers away from mount Abu. While it was the last place I visited there, I found it to be the most serene and relaxing. Though I still don’t get the purpose of breeding crocodiles here but the location and the lush green surroundings can almost make you forget the purpose of its creation. The entrance to this place was amazing and gave me a fresh and relaxing feel. Make sure you visit this place during mild winter months of November and December. It is a great picnic spot which will only be enhanced by the good company of your family or friends. The place also house various fauna like the black bear and obviously the various crocodiles resting on the rocky shores. The birdwatchers and the shutterbugs can get plenty of amazing shots. Interestingly, this place is like an Indian-ized version of Rivendell. If there’s one place you must experience in mount Abu, it’s got to be Trevor’s tank.
The Forest located between the Aravalli mountain range was declared as awildlife sanctuary in 1980 and covers an area of approximately 288 sq kilometers. It is a sub tropical forest which has an abundance of various species of flora and fauna. While there are traces of past dwellings of the lion and the tiger, but as of now the prime feline predator found here is the Leopard. As I’m more of a nature hound and I like to explore the natural beauty of every place that I travel, this was just the kinda place I was looking for in the otherwise desert state of Rajasthan. The rare species found here are sambhar, common langur, wild boar, bear, pangolin, common mongoose, jungle cat, wolf, hyena, jackal, Indian fox, Indian hare, porcupine and hedgehog. These forests are also said to be the home to around 250 species of birds but the most special one is the grey jungle fowl which is unique to this area.
Lying in the Ajmer District of Rajasthan, the holy City ofPushkar is often described as the king of pilgrimage sites in India. The town is located at the shores of the Pushkar Lake, which was created by the tears of Lord Shiva. The town is one of the oldest cities of India and the date of its origin is unknown and is often associated with the Hindu mythology. The town is famous for its temples and various Ghats which are frequented by hundreds of visitors during the annual bath. The water of the lake is considered sacred and thus is responsible for the town’s repute as a pilgrimage spot. To learn more about tourist places in Pushkar Perhaps the most illustrious attraction of Pushkar is the annual camel fair. It is a five day fair held where people buy and sell livestock. But that’s not all; the fair is home to a large no. of tourist crowd that is attracted by the music, dance and various events that are held here during the camel fair. Camel races are one of the major attractions as well.
Those who follow Hinduism believe that Lord Brahma is the Creator and worship him. In spite of the importance attached to Lord Brahma, there are only three temples for him all over the world and only one in India. Pushkar gains additional importance as Brahma Temple is seen here. The temple and its surroundings are unique. The temple structure is built of marble and it is beautiful. Though Pushkar has many temples, Brahma Temple stands apart for its magnificence.
Man Mahal is a magnificent palace that was constructed by Raja Man Singh of Amber. It is situated on the eastern side of Sarovar. The palace flaunts the uniqueness of Rajasthani style of architecture. It is now used as a tourist bungalow and it is under the control of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation.
The city is famous for classic palaces and temples. The 400-year-old city houses Meera Bai Temple, which is one of the important attractions in Merta. Other attractions include Aurangazeb Mosque and Bhanwal Matta Temple. The place has historical importance, as this was where Marathas defeated Jodhpur and Jaipur armies. This later came under the rule of Emperor Akbar.
There could not be a better way to view the desert of Rajasthan. Pushkar Camel Safari not only offers to travel the desert but also keeps the members entertained with various outdoor activities. The safari is tailor made to suit the needs of the visitors. The safari tour takes you to many villages through the desert and by sunset, you will find yourself on the sand dunes, a perfect place to be at that time of the day. You can opt for the sight of sunrise as well. It offers you the chance to meet villagers who are busy with their routines but happy to see you. A friendly atmosphere and overall a very pleasant experience awaits you here. Pushkar has religious value, historical importance and of course abundance of natural beauty. It all depends on how you would like to customize your stay and Pushkar stretches for you to offer what you need. Apart from Pushkar, there are many other tourist destinations in Rajasthan
It gains importance among spiritual travelers who aim to have a holy dip in the lake, which is considered a holy place and the King of ‘Trithas’. It is believed that having a holy dip here is equivalent to doing meditation and prayer for a hundred years. Hence, this is most frequented by people who follow a particular faith. For others and including the religious people, this place is a beauty in itself. Surrounded by 400 temples and 52 palaces, the lake still looks serene and calm. The place is unique and the sunrise and sunset are beautiful to watch from here.
Sawai Madhopur was built by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh of The Kachwaha Rajputs and was founded in 1763. While the town itself doesn’t have any notable tourist attractions, just two attractions have made this city a must visit place in Rajasthan. They are the Ranthambore Fort and the Ranthambore National park. Both of the two places are a must visit and will take up around 2-3 days for one to explore properly. The Ranthambore forests were the hunting grounds for the Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur till the time India received its independence. After independence it was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary and it rose to being a tiger reserve in 1973 and got its national park status in 1980. One should also visit the Ranthambore fort, which is a part of the UNESCO world heritage site. The fort is situated in the forests of the Ranthambore National Park. The construction of the fort predates the reign of the Kachwaha Rajput Clan and was founded by the Nagil Jat Ruler Raja Sajraj Veer Singh Nagil in 944 AD. The fort housed many different ruling clans till it finally fell to the Kachwaha Rajputs of Jaipur. The vast cultural history imbibed in this ancient architecture is a must visit indeed.
You will love the valley at first sight. It is located on the border of Ranthambore National Park. You will find panthers in plenty here. Leopards avoid the thick inner forest owing to the domination of tigers. You could have a great time going Jeep Safari and viewing various wild animals including dear, wild boar and sloth bear.
Raj Bagh Ruins are situated between Padam Talao and Raj Bagh Talao. The place takes you to the past and back to prehistoric period with its collections of prehistoric monuments. The stone structures belonging to ancient period include palace outhouses, arches and domes. Raj Bagh Ruins not only stands as a reminder of the bygone era but it offers the best scenic beauty owing to its location surrounded by jungles and picturesque landscapes.
Located on hilltop, Ranthambore Fort was constructed in the year 944 AD. From this fort, you could have a breathtaking view of Ranthambore National Park. The massive construction of 7 kms circumference is one among the oldest forts in India. It had remained a powerful fort that was hard to conquer owing to its topographical advantage. Built by a Chauhan warrior, the fort changed many hands and it is believed that Akbar, the famous Mughal emperor also had stayed in the fort. Mughals gifted the fort to Maharaja Of Jaipur towards the end of 17th century. The fort displays awe-inspiring craftsmanship and the interiors are equally spellbinding. Hammir Court in the fort is famous for acoustics as even a whisper made here can be heard at the far end of the construction. It is suggested not to forget your binoculars when you set off to visit the fort. From the fort, if you look down through your binoculars, you will be able to spot tigers in action. Migratory birds in great numbers are seen here owing to a many water bodies located here.
If you love tigers and love watching them in action,Ranthambore National Park could be your natural destination. The park is considered to be one among the finest parks for conservation of the undefeatable predators. The park is located in a scenic environment surrounded by Aravali and Vindhya hill ranges and very close to Thar Desert. With hills and valleys, the park offers spectacular sights that take your breath away. The 300 plus square km area houses various other wild species namely leopards, hyenas, sambhar, jackals, deer and many more. This is a wonderful place to watch birds too as there are over 260 species found here. Jeep safari is available. Though the park remains open for visitors from October to May, the best time to make your tour would be between November and March.
Surwal Lake is located 25 kms away from Ranthambore. You are sure to be enchanted by the beauty of the lake, which enjoys the generosity of Mother Nature in abundance. The best time to be here is between November and March, as during the migratory season you will find birds from all parts of the world spread their wings to reach here. The beautiful water bodies invite birds whose melodious songs offer you the best music during winter. Being a seasonal lake, you will find it dry between April and May and hence it would be best to plan your trip accordingly. Image credit