Rajasthan, mainly the land of desert and destinations is the largest state of India covering an area of 342,239 square kilometres, also called “Land of Kings” or “Land of Kingdom.” It is located in the northwestern part and has been a great travel destination because of its rich culture, architecture, and biodiversity. It is a fabulous state for spending your vacation and making the best memory out of it.
- The history of Rajasthan has been divided into 4 parts i.e. Ancient, classical, medieval and modern.
- Ancient- The current parts of Rajasthan were relatively part of the Vedic civilization and Indus valley civilization.
- Classical- Till 10th century CE, Gujaras ruled North India with their seat of power at Kannauj and their supremacy was appreciated by many.
- Medieval- Before the medieval period the Brahmins, Rajputs, Gurjars, Jats, Meenas, Bhils, Dhankas, Rajpurohits, Charans, Sunnars, Yadavs, Bishnois, Meghwals, Sermals, Rajput Mali, and other tribes were contributing to building Rajasthan but after that Muslim rulers came into the picture.
- Modern- Modern Rajasthan includes most of the area ruled by Rajput’s which consist of the erstwhile nineteen princely states, two chiefships, and the British district of Ajmer Merwara. Some of the Rajput princely states were Jaisalmer, Marwar (Jodhpur), Bikaner, Mewar (Chittorgarh), Alwar, and Dhundhar (Jaipur), Bharatpur and Dholpur were Jat princely states, whereas Tonk was a princely state under Pathans.
- Jaipur also knows as the pink city is the capital of Rajasthan and is considered the largest city with a 3.1 million population
- It is a famous tourist-target with rich heritage sites and unique culture.
How to reach Rajasthan?
- There are many airports in Rajasthan but the major six of them are Jaipur international airport, Jodhpur airport, Udaipur airport, Ajmer airport, Bikaner airport, and Jaisalmer airport connecting it to prime cities of India like Delhi and Mumbai.
- Jaipur international airport is the largest airport in Rajasthan. In 2015 by airports council international it was declared as the world’s best airport.
- Maharana Pratap Airport is a domestic airport with all the basic amenities like shops, banks. Medical facility, restroom, etc. easily available there.
- The primary railway station in Rajasthan are Jaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Alwar, Abu Road, and Udaipur and is connected to major cities of the country by rail.
- There is a good network of Indian railways and regular train services are available.
- Rajasthan again has a good network of roadways, connecting it with prime cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Indore.
- Well-structured bus stands like Jaipur bus stand, Ajmer bus stand, and Paota bus stand are made providing organized bus services for various other states.
When to visit Rajasthan?
- The average normal temperature in Rajasthan is relatively high between 32 degrees and 46 degrees Celsius.
- In the summer times, it can reach as high as 48 degrees Celsius. Therefore, summertime should be avoided while your trip to Rajasthan.
- Whereas in monsoon times the temperature drops from 40 to 35 degrees Celsius, having the maximum rainfall but the state appears quite charming and it’s a good time to visit if you like monsoon holidays.
- The temperature drops to its minimum during winters and is the peak season for tourism. It’s a great time to experience the natural beauty and heritage.
- Mainly Hindi is spoken in Rajasthan.
- The number of English speakers are less i.e. too few lakhs
- The Rajasthani language has been divided into 2 groups i.e. in the western Rajasthani group and eastern Rajasthani group, in which Marwari is spoken by many.
- Summer season:- April – June
- Average temperature:- 40-45 degrees Celsius
- Monsoon season:- July – September
- Average temperature:- 35-40 degree Celsius
- Winter season:- October – February
- Average temperature:- 10-38 degree Celsius
Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan
This festival is organized by the Rajasthan tourism during January for the ship of the desert i.e. camel. At the festival, the camels are decorated with different colours, which makes them the major source of attraction for foreign and domestic tourists. It also includes splendid camel performances like camel dance, camel races, neck shaking camel rides.
The kolayat fair is of great importance for the people of Rajasthan. It is also known as “Kapil muni fair” and is held in November. The fair has a historical and religious significance. Koyalat lake is the main place of visit for a large number of devotees as it is believed that a holy dip in the lake can respite them from all the sins.
Bundi is a delightful town in Rajasthan and the Bundi festival is not only celebrated in the state but is also a prime festival of India. It is held from November-December. The experience of this festival is very amusing as it covers all the heritage, art, rituals, customs, traditions of the state. A whole lot of program, folk dance, classical music, competitions, lightning, ethnic sports, fireworks and what not is performed.
Baneshwar fair is celebrated in the month of January-February at Dungarpur district. It’s a famous tribal festival, started 500 years back. it includes a combination of 2 fairs: one which started after the construction of the Vishnu Temple by Jankunwari, daughter-in-law of Mavji, a highly revered saint considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and another one which used to be held in of Baneshwar Mahadev (Lord Shiva). For all the religious people it’s a good occasion to attend as it has its ancient authenticity.
International kite festival
Kite festivals are a popular form of entertainment not only in Rajasthan but throughout the world but the Jaipur kite festival has its own uniqueness which includes cultural performances of their folks and culture, fireworks, delicious Rajasthani fests like til ke laddoo daal ki pakora, peeni, and much more. Kites of various variety, shapes, and colours can be seen on the roof of local people’s houses as every one person enjoys this festival with enthusiasm.
Transportation/Stay to prefer
Rajasthan is an amazing state for vacations. Tourists can be seen in Rajasthan 24/7. A large number of hotels, resorts, and homestays are easily available here. You can choose from expensive to inexpensive, it’s up to your budget and comfort. Below are some of the best accommodation options for you to consider-
Hotels are available from nominal to high range. Some of the best ones are – Taj Lake Palace, The Oberoi Udaivilas, Rambagh Palace, Fairmont Jaipur, and Alila Fort Bishangarh. 24/7 room services are provided and the location of these hotels is fantastic with all types of facilities.
Resorts demand a high budget but if you prefer to stay here then the time and money spent are worth it. Luxurious rooms with a picturesque view and delicious meals are the top qualities that will make your day. Some of the top resorts that you can choose are Resort Travel Jaisalmer, Taj Aravali Resort, and Spa Jaipur, Ranthambore Regency, Even Desert Camp, and Kherwadi Farm, etc.
Homestays are the most budget-friendly accommodation to prefer. Some of the homestays that you can choose are MH Guest House, Baijoo Niwas, IbisHouse Farm Stay, and Rising Shemesh Home Stay. Homestays have clean rooms, amazing staff, and are generally near tourist sights.
Wide variety of options are available for Local Transportation in Rajasthan. Below are the options that you can consider-
Rajasthan has good connectivity of bus stations. Various buses are available for major cities and also for tourist spots. buses are very pocket-friendly transport that you can consider for local traveling here.
Jeep Cantors and Jeep
These are available for intra-city routes. You can hire jeeps from various agencies and can enjoy the surroundings while reaching your destination.
Railways are well developed here for outside and local routes as well. These are time-saving and regular train services are available.
Auto/ Rikshaws /Taxi
For covering short distances within the state, You can prefer these transports. It’s similar to other states of India.
If you wish to travel alone according to your mood then you can hire cycles and bikes from various agencies. Rent is charged according to the hours or day you use them.
Places to visit in Rajasthan
Amber fort and palace, Jaipur
It was built by raja man Singh in 967 CE. located high on a hill and also called Amer fort. The artistic style of the fort has been influenced by Mughal architecture. The location of the fort is surrounded by the peaceful beauty of nature. It has been a prime tourist attraction of Jaipur. The embroidery silver artwork, Maota lake, and saffron garden, and the night view of the fort are some of the pleasant things to enjoy.
Mehrangarh fort covers a massive area of about 1200 acres in Jodhpur Rajasthan and is the biggest fort in India. Inside the fort, there is a well-stocked museum, seven gates, several palaces, and has been a great location for Disney, Bollywood movies, musicians, and documentary shoots. National geological monument, the Chamunda Mataji temple, and Rao Jodha desert rock park are also major attractions for tourists.
City palace, Udaipur
The city palace was built in a flamboyant style with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty over 400 years back. The lake palace, Jagdish temple, Neemach Mata temple, jag mandir, monsoon palace are all ancient memorials inside and near the fort. The interiors of the palace are beautified with mirror-work, paintings, inlay-work, marble work, towers, wall paintings, and balconies. It has been used for Hollywood, Bollywood movies, and documentaries.
Mount Abu located in the Aravalli range in Pindwara- Abu assembly constituency of the Sirohi district of Rajasthan. It is the only hill station in Rajasthan. It’s a very pleasing place for nature lovers as mount Abu wildlife sanctuary covers 290 km square of mountains, forests, and lakes. The view of the Nakki lake after sunset is worth watching. Also, religious people will enjoy the Prashvanatha temple, marble scriptures of Dilwara temple, and Kalpavriksha or Kalpavruksha in Dilwada Jain temple.
The Ranthambore national park is bounded by the Banaras and Chambal river. Ranthambore fort lies under this park due to which it was named Ranthambore. Deciduous forest and wildlife are present here. It is known for its large tiger population. A wide variety of trees, plants, birds, and reptiles can be seen here.
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska tiger reserve is located in the Alwar district of Rajasthan and covers an area of 881 km square. It consists of many wildlife species like Indian leopard, jungle cat, caracal, striped hyena, golden jackal, chital, sambar deer, nilgai, wild boar, and Bengal tiger, etc. The area covered by it includes scrub thorn arid forests, dry deciduous forests, grasslands, and rocky hills which offers a picturesque view to the tourists.
Pushkar is located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. It is the perfect place for all religious devotees. The temples and Ghats are from very ancient times. One of the very popular among Pushkar temple is the Brahma temple, with a red spire crown. The annual fair i.e. Pushkar camel fair is also a major tourist attraction. There are 500 temples and 52 Ghats making it a very holy place to visit.
Bikaner is situated in the middle of the Thar Desert and has a hot desert climate with very little rainfall and extreme temperatures. Other than being a religious destination, it also has forts and palaces like Junagarh fort, Laxmi Niwas Palace, Rao Bikajis fort, etc. It is also known for its international camel festival held in January. Karni Mata temple, Mukam Bishnoi temple, Laxminath temple, and Bhandasar Jain temple are popular religious destinations. Karni Mata temple is also known as the rat temple because of more than thousands of rats present in the temple which are considered sacred.
Ajmer Sharif Dargah
Ajmer Sharif dargah has been a site for pilgrims venerated by followers of Hinduism and Islam since medieval times and also attracts Jains, Sikhs, and foreign tourists. The Urs Ajmer fair i.e. the largest Muslim fair is held here and offerings are made by a large number of devotees And it is believed that if you pray with pure faith and loyalty, the dargah will free your soul. The interiors of the dargah showcase the Mughal architecture and have eight entrance gates.
Cuisines to taste in Rajasthan
Panchkuta ker sangria
It is a typical Rajasthani dish and often said as the king of the Royal Kitchen. As the name suggests Panchkuta meaning five ingredients i.e. Kair, sangria, Kumatia, Gunda, and Aam Chur. These all are dry ingredients and widely found in Rajasthan. It has got a unique taste of it, making you feel connected with Rajasthan.
It’s a spicy Rajasthani snack made by using potatoes and spices like Kashmiri red Chili, cumin seeds, aniseed, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and chaat masala. It’s a must-try snack for tourists.
Dal Baati Churma
Dal Baati Choorma is a traditional delicacy from the state of Rajasthan. Specially prepared in the festivals of Makar Sankranti and Diwali. It’s a very simple cuisine with an unforgettable taste. Baati is made up of wheat flour i.e. Aata and Daal is a mix of various dal like Toor dal, Channa dal, mung dal, moth dal, and some spices are added.
The majority of the region in Rajasthan is vegetarian but the influence of the nonveg food is not minor too. For any non-veg food lover, Safed mass is a mouth-watering cuisine to try in a lifetime. It is lamb meat with super-rich flavored gravy often served with parathas and Rotis. It’s a balanced dish with a minimum amount of spices.
Things to do in Rajasthan
- If you are an animal lover then you should do visit the Ranthambore National Park, Tal Chhapar Sanctuary, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, Keoladeo National Park, and Sariska Tiger Reserve. These are the major wildlife attractions.
- For shopaholics, traditional handicrafts, amazing artifacts, and textiles are the must thing to buy.
- You should also taste the famous mouthwatering street food of Rajasthan like kachoris, dabelis, katthi roll, and chaat.
- If you are crazy about adventure then various activities like trekking, hot air ballooning, ziplining, and dune bashing can be enjoyed by you.
- Also try to visit Rajasthan during the festival time because the ambiance of festivals gives a whole lot of different vibe, which you can enjoy as one of the things.
- Other things for enjoyment are vintage car rally, motor boating, camping, camel, horse and jeep safaris, and much more.
Souvenirs to buy in Rajasthan
Rajasthan a state of great architectural history has an authentic version of pottery. Blue pottery is famous among all the pottery. The thing which makes them unique then the rest of the potteries of the country is the material use to craft them. Pots are prepared with quartz due which it never breaks while preparing. Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer, Jaipur, Ramgarh, and harsh are the places where you can buy them.
Rajasthan offers a wide variety of carpets with different patterns, colors, designs, and art. Some of the famous styles for carpets are Mehrab, Shikar, Dushala, and Charkona. The beautiful outlook of the carpet grabs the attention of the tourists. The carpet manufacturing company of Jaipur named “Jaipur rugs” offers top carpets. Chaksu, Barmer, Tonk, Manaharpura, and Bikaner are also some of the places to buy magnificent carpets.
Gems and Jewelry
Rajasthan is the hub of gems and jewelry. A good collection of gems and jewelry can be found example – Silver, Meena, Emerald, Kundan, Agate, Gold, Yopaz, and Amethyst. A unique Rajasthani art is visible in the styles of the jewelry. Jaipur and Udaipur are great places for jewel lovers for buying.
The textiles of Rajasthan have an alluring charm in them, they are loved worldwide. Various designs like tie-dry work, embroidery, color-riot, bandhani, block-printing, applique are quite amusing. Fabrics with a wide variety and vibrant colors are available. Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Udaipur are the prime places for buying carpets.
These are the prime attracting handicrafts of Rajasthan. Mainly known as “kathputli” in India and have a religious significance too. They are made of various kinds of materials like wood, clay, stones, cloth, and other materials. They can be easily seen on the roadside and local markets. The best thing about them is that they are available at affordable prices and can be used for home decors too. Bikaner, Barmer, Ajmer, Udaipur, Nagaur, and Jaipur are some of the places to buy magnificent puppets.