Rajasthan, the “Land of Kings” is known for its vibrant colours and amazing range of experiences. Lose yourself in Rajasthan’s forts, havellis, palaces and gaitors. Explore jungles looking for tigers or ride a camel into the desert to sleep under the stars.
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Dundlod – In the region called Shekawati. Dundlod’s most amazing site is the Seth Arjun Das Goenka Haveli, which has been beautifully restored so you feel like you are stepping back in time when you enter. Nearby is also a gaitor featuring some rich painted details, as well as a fort that combines Mughal and Rajput architecture.
Mandawa – A town full of havellis that you can walk easily around to visit them all, including Jhunjhunwala Haveli which features a room covered in gold. Mandawa’s fort and some havelis have now been transformed into heritage hotels, so an overnight stay can be quite a unique and authentic experience.
Bikaner – A unique fort with amazing details in the palace decorations makes Bikaner a great stop on the way to Jaisalmer. Bikaner can also be an alternative to Jaisalmer if you want to do a camel trek. Nearby in Deshnok is the Karni Mata temple, where thousands of holy rats are worshipped
Jaisalmer – Rajasthan’s glorious Gold City, named for the golden sandstone that it is built from. Jaisalmer Fort is a living city in itself and is a bustle of homes, temples, shops, hotels and restaurants. Below the fort, havelis are tucked away. When you are done with the city, take a camel trek and stay overnight in the desert. Around Jaisalmer there are other amazing places- such as the Royal Gaitor and a restored Jain temple. Or you can visit the abandoned desert villages of Kuladara and Khara.
Jodhpur – The iconic “Blue City” has the largest and most spectacular forts in Rajasthan. Lose yourself in Merangarh Fort for a few hours and look down on the blue houses and across to Umaid Bhawan, the royal palace. Don’t miss Jaswant Thada, a beautiful memorial set in lovely gardens and next to a lake with views back to the fort and town. The Mandore Garden with its temples and chhatris is also a must see. Make sure you grab a box of Jodhpur’s famous sweets for the rest of your travels.
Ranukpur – Deep in the countryside Ranukpur’s main attraction is it’s amazing Jain Temple which is one of the largest in India. The temples interior is full of the most intricate carvings, including 1444 columns, none of which are alike. Ranukpur is a great place to stop and rest in the quiet countryside.
Kumbhalgarh – Set in a remote location Kumbhalgarh’s fort is imposing and majestic. It’s massive walls house over 360 temples, the highlight of which is the Vedi temple, close to the fort entrance. Climb up to the palace for spectacular views back down to the temples and countryside. There is also a wildlife sanctuary that you can take safari in.
Udaipur – The “White City” and also known as the Venice of India, Udaipur is set amongst shimmering lakes and considered the most romantic city in India. Walk the streets around the busy Lake Picholo and visit the huge City Palace, or take a boat ride to see the city from the lake as you circle the island palaces. Visit the Monsoon Palace high atop the mountain for an eagle eye view and watch the sunset. Take a drive to the smaller more quiet lakes for some peace and extra romance.
Chittorgarh – Chittor’s fort is the largest and greatest in all Rajasthan. Chittorgarh suffered three great attacks two of which lead to the sad event of Jauhar; where the royal women and children threw themselves upon funeral pyres rather than be captured. Set aside four hours to walk it, or hire a rickshaw!
Ranthambhore – Best known for its famous National Park which is home to around 30 tigers. Try your luck spotting one on a jeep safari, and if not just enjoy the scenery and all the other animals that live there. Deep in the park is yet another fort to explore.
These are just the highlights of this amazing state.
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