Rajasthan Travel Guide: Travel information and advice for trips to Rajasthan, India. Best places to see, things to do, how to reach, where to stay, FAQs and tourist spots in Rajasthan recommended by travellers.

 

   

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Last Updated:01 Sep 2009

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Forts, palaces, kings and sand dunes are some of the words that come to mind when you think Rajasthan. In fact it is not easy to describe this colourful state of India in just a few words. Steeped in history & culture and brimming with architectural wonders, Rajasthan’s history can be read in every monument. Every fort in the state bears the testimony of its regal character. A colossal open-air museum, Rajasthan is visited by millions of tourists every year from different parts of India and the world. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, and Ajmer are some of the popular places of tourist interest in Rajasthan.

The history of Rajasthan dates back to several centuries and is punctuated by legends of love and valour. The stories are still alive in the folk tales. The appeal of Rajasthan is so overpowering that no matter where you have been before Rajasthan, the riot of colours leaves an indelible mark on your heart.

Rajasthan is a great place to go for history & culture aficionados. It is equally good for those looking for an active action packed holiday. Adventure options here include camping, trekking, horse, elephant and camel safaris through sand dunes and along the Aravallis. Those looking for a slice of royalty can opt for a lifetime experience on the Palace on Wheels, where you get an opportunity to live like a Maharaja for 3-7 days, depending on the package you choose. In its seven–day journey, the train passes through many interesting places of tourist interest in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan is spread over 342,239 sq km and is comprise of 33 districts, which include Ajmer, Alwar, Bikaner, Bharatpur, Banswara, Baran, Bundi, Barmer, Bhilwara, Chittaurgarh, Churu, Dausa, Dungarpur, Dholpur, Hanumangarh, Jaisalmer, Jhalawar, Jhunjhunu, Jodhpur, Jalore, Jaipur, Karauli, Kota, Nagaur, Pali, Pratapgarh, Rajsamand, Sawai Madhopur, Sikar, Sirohi, Sri Ganganagar, Tonk and Udaipur.

The dry, arid zone is North West of the Aravallis, the cities that fall in this region are Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Barmer and Bikaner. This is also where the great Thar Desert lies. Spreading over and area of 196,150 sq km, the land here is covered by shifting sand dunes and vegetation is limited to scrub and thorny babool. Water levels are low.

The terrain is totally different on the other side of the hills. It has Chittaurgarh, Dungarpur, Udaipur, Kota, Banswara, Bundi and Jhalawar, which are rich in vegetation and the Aravallis have a greater presence here. Hard granite rocks, scattered hill rocks, area rich in silver, zinc and lead deposits. There are stretches of dense forests, lush green valleys and fertile fields. This area also has several rivers, the most important being the mighty Chambal river which flows through the Hadoti region.

A wildlife enthusiast has special place for Rajasthan. The state has a large number of wildlife parks and sanctuaries. The wildlife parks in the state are home to a large variety of animal and bird life. Rajasthan is home to tigers, black bucks, chinkara, the rare desert fox, the endangered caracal, the great Indian bustard, wild boars, gavial, monitor lizard, and porcupine. A large number of migratory birds like the common crane, coots, ducks, pelicans and the rare Siberian cranes, imperial sand grouse, falcons, buzzards and many more flock to this state during the winter months. Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Sambhar Salt Lake, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary are some of the popular wildlife destinations in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan has an age old tradition of art & culture. The music, dance and art forms have been patronized by the erstwhile royal courts. A glimpse of its rich art & culture can be seen in many of the fairs and festivals that take place across the state through out the year. Pushkar Fair (Pushkar), Teej, Desert Festival (Jaisalmer), Marwar Festival (Jodhpur), Camel Festival (Bikaner), Matsya Festival (Alwar), Braj Festival (Deeg), Nagaur Festival (Nagaur), Mewar Festival (Udaipur), Summer Festival (Mount Abu) and Kite Festival (Jaipur) are some of the popular fairs and festivals of Rajasthan.

No matter what your interest or what you’re looking for you’ll find it all in Rajasthan. Reaching Rajasthan is very easy because the state is well-connected with other parts of the country by air, rail and road transport.

Highlights of the state

Heritage: Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Shekhawati
Wildlife: Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Pilgrimage: Ranakpur, Ajmer, Pushkar
Adventure: Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Kumbhalgarh

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