Touring Rajasthan is like turning back in time to a vintage era of royalty and grandeur. It’s like traveling to a mythical land of fairytale fortresses, romantic lakes, glamorous palaces, and sacred temples. Here, the scorching sands of Thar Desert have seen many a battles, and the tranquil waters of lakes still ripple with waves of romance that bloomed in the most treacherous of landscapes. A tour of Rajasthan is right there on top of every traveler’s bucket list.
Jaipur – The Pink City
Jaipur is huge city to tour. Jantar Mantar, the enigmatic astronomical observatory has ‘yantras’, or scientific instruments, to measure time and predict solar eclipses. Amer Fort has lofty sandstone walls, within which, there are palaces with such astounding mirror work, that even a single candle flame would light up an entire palace with its radiance.
The iconic Hawa Mahal is the best attraction of Jaipur. It has jharokhas (windows), with delicate lattice work, which allows the breeze to cool the palace chambers inside.
Jodhpur – The Blue City
Jodhpur, the “Blue City”, is where you will find the gigantic Mehrangarh Fort. A fort so powerful, that mere sight of its impregnable high stone walls is enough to make any visitor feel dumbstruck. There are palaces inside, with colored glass and delicate artwork.
Umaid Bhawan Palace is where the Maharaja of Jodhpur still resides. There are other equally fascinating beauties like the marble centotaphs of Jaswant Thada, and the ethereal Mandore Gardens. Jodhpur is also the best place to visit tribal hamlets, or shop in bazaars for handicrafts, and taste Rajasthani delicacies.
Jaisalmer – The Golden City
Jaisalmer is where you will see the golden sand dunes of Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is also the city that has one of the world’s largest forts, the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer. The fort has a maze of lanes that will take you on a dizzying tour of palaces, temples, havelis (mansions), vantage points, and shops within the fort.
Jaisalmer is where the famous “Battle of Longewala” was fought with Pakistani forces. There are innumerable temples in the vicinity, with mind-blowing temple architecture, and the famous Desert Festival, where folk dancers dance to Rajasthani songs, and camel races are held in the desert sands.
Udaipur – The City of Lakes
Udaipur is not only Rajasthan’s most romantic city, but also its most gorgeous one. Udaipur has no less than 10 spectacular lakes. Most are man-made and have the most picturesque landscapes. These lakes have ghats, or steps, along its banks, from where you can capture fantastic cityscapes, see the colors and hear the sounds of Udaipur. But if you want to feel the romance of Udaipur, visit the innumerable palaces!!
The most famous one, Lake Palace, is built on an island, right in the middle of Lake Pichola. It’s a monument of extravagance and glamour, with awesome marble architecture, richly furnished rooms and chambers, opulent décor, and elegant carving on marble stone. City Palace and Monsoon Palace too, are worth visiting for their majestic architecture. Udaipur is also famous for its classical gardens and temples.