Rajasthan is India’s largest state by area 10.4% of India’s total area. It is located on the western 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 Pakistan along the Sutlej-Indus river valley.
Rajasthan is one of the most visited states in India. It’s not surprising because it shows India at its most colorful and exotic best. All the things that come to mind when you think of India can be found in Rajasthan — palaces, forts, desert, camels, elephants, and snake charmers.
- Jaipur: The “Pink City” of Jaipur is full of ancient palaces and forts, with most of them boasting stunning views and elaborate architecture. A visit to Jaipur will give you a feel for how the monarchy once lived in all its glory. Staying in Jaipur is also particularly enjoyable. The city has some incredible heritage hotels that have been converted from old palaces, giving guests a very regal experience.
- Udaipur: Udaipur is an enchanting place full of old mansions, beautiful gardens, intricate temples, and grand palaces overlooking expansive shimmering lakes. Its museum displays many royal heirlooms, family photos, and other memorabilia. The City Palace, which stretches along the eastern shore of Lake Pichola, is a highlight.
- Jaisalmer: Jaisalmer is often referred to as being straight out of a romantic Arabian Nights fable. Inside, the fort is alive and spellbinding. It houses five palaces, several temples, and some exquisite havelis (mansions), as well as shops and other residences.
- Ranthambore National Park: Ranthambore National Park is full of history, having witnessed many battles played out on its land, and the rise and fall of many rulers. The chances of spotting a tiger in the wild at Ranthambore are amongst the best in India. It’s a huge structure that contains ruined pavilions, splendid monuments, and three Hindu temples.
- Pushkar: Pushkar is a sleepy little holy town that attracts a lot of backpackers and hippie types. Pushkar really comes alive for a couple of weeks in October/November, when the Pushkar Camel Fair comes to town. It’s a peculiar sight, and a great opportunity to witness an old traditional style Indian festival. Puskar is worth a visit at any time of year though if you want to chill out.