Rajasthan Tourism Guide: Popular Destinations, Points of Interest, Things To Do, Best Time to Visit & More!


tourism in rajasthan

Tourism in Rajasthan

Rajasthan, the land of the Rajputs, is India’s largest state by size. The northwestern state is among India’s top 5 tourist destinations. Rajasthan is also a home to the Great Thar Desert and is especially popular among tourists for its Sam Sand Dunes and world-class forts and palaces. The land of Rajasthan also offers a variety of wildlife for nature lovers. Literally meaning “The Land of Kings”, Rajasthan has ample amount of folklores, stories about wars, love, betrayal, victories, romances, and men of courage. Topographically, the state is a home to India’s oldest mountain range — The Aravalli.

Rajasthan is a royal state by all means and offers rich culture, delicious food, beautiful locations, and heritage sites for travelholics.


Popular Destinations IN RAJASTHAN

1. Jaisalmer

The city is known for its proximity to the Great Thar Desert. A desert safari in the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is an extraordinary once in a lifetime experience. The city stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, and is crowned by the ancient Jaisalmer Fort hence it is also called as The Golden City”. Desert Festival of Jaisalmer is the most awaited and famous cultural event of Rajasthan. The festival showcases Rajasthani folk songs and dances.

2. Barmer

Barmer is the third largest district of Rajasthan and also the fifth largest in the country. Anciently, the district was known as Malani, in the name of Rawal Mallinath, who was considered as cultural, philanthropic, and religious icon and was also worshipped as a God by Barmerians. Barmer is known for its carved wooden furniture and hand block printing industry. Mallinath Cattle Fair is one of the biggest cattle fairs of India, it takes place in Tilwara which is well-known for archaeological discoveries.

3. Mount Abu

The only hill station in Rajasthan, Mount Abu is an oasis in the desert of Rajasthan. In the ancient era, Mount Abu was occupied by saints and is considered a holy place. This hill station is a home of 330 million gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion. The sun scene of Mount Abu is a famous attraction. The city is an architectural treasure because of the presence of world renowned “Dilwara Temples”.

4. Jodhpur

Representing the rich heritage of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is wrapped in pristine beauty. Called the “Blue City” because of the use of blue color on majority of the houses and buildings in the area, Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha in the 15th century. The city is the number one preference of tourists coming to Rajasthan and is an absolute delight to visit.

5. Udaipur

Udaipur is a beautiful city of Rajasthan thronged with mesmerizing attractions. The Pichola Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Udai Sagar Lake and Swaroop Sagar Lake are located in Udaipur, hence, the town is also known as the “City of Lakes”. The incredible city of Udaipur has enthralled and encouraged many poets, painters, and writers throughout its history. Udaipur was once the historic capital of the Mewar Region and was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II.

6. Chittorgarh

Chittorgarh (also Known as ‘Chittor”) is the largest fort complex in India and Asia, and is an incredibly fascinating place to explore. The city of Chittorgarh is located on the banks of river Gambhiri and Berach. Chittorgarh-Nimbahera is an area that is famous for its cement factories, marbles, and granites.

7. Ajmer

One of the oldest cities of Rajasthan, Ajmer is located at the center of Rajasthan. This wonder city is famous throughout the world for its Dargah Sharif. Ajmer symbolizes unity in diversity, as it is an important pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Muslims — the two largest religions in India. It is surrounded by mountains on all the sides and has some worthy architectural gems.

8. Jaipur 

Jaipur is popularly known as the “Pink City” as it has numerous houses and buildings painted in pink. Its attractions are charming enough to fascinate tourists every time they visit this city. The royal palaces, majestic forts, unique monuments, and colorful handicrafts of Jaipur have earned international fame for their richness and beauty. Jaipur is indeed an important part of the Golden Triangle of India, otherwise known as Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur tour on the international travel circuit. From bustling bazaars and lip-smacking cuisines, luxurious palaces to rich wildlife, you will find it all in Jaipur.

9. Bikaner 

The city takes its name from its founder, Rao Bikaji. From humble origins it has developed into the fourth largest city in Rajasthan. The camel rides of Bikaner are renowned for their distinctive charm. During Medieval history, Bikaner was an important trade route linking India with China and Central Asia. The famous Bikaneri bhujia and namkeen (a salted snack made of different varieties lentils) is a mouthwatering contribution of Bikaner to the Indian snacks.

10. Bhangarh 

Situated near Sariska Tiger Reserve, Bhangarh is a village considered as the most haunted place in India. It is an ideal place for those who seek adventure and thrill. The most remarkable features of Bhangarh are its old buildings, a mosque, and a palace.

: Please do read ASI guidelines before visiting Bhangarh.

11. Nagaur 

Nagaur is basically famous for the Nagaur Fort situated in the center of the city. The various water features such as rainwater harvesting, outdoor pools and tanks, water channels on top of the walls leading from a camel-driven well to the palace, and indoor waterfalls and rivers have dried over a period of time.

12. Rajsamand

Rajsamand is popularly known for its historic tales of kings, battles, and valor. It is situated near Udaipur, it is an important cultural hub of Rajasthan. Rich in natural resources, the city is especially known for its large production of marble and granite — something exported across the world. Experience the cultural delights of Rajsamand during the Rana Raj Singh festival where locals perform traditional arts such as the Ghoomar, Gair, and Rasila dances.

13. Bhilwara 

One of the Green Cities of Rajasthan, Bhilwara is called the Textile city of the state. With a history of about 900 years, Bhilwara is known for its Jataun Ka Mandir, Harni Mahadev, Pur Udan Chatri, and Kyara Ke Balaji Temple.


Points of Interest IN RAJASTHAN

1. Forts & Palaces

Jaipur – Popular palaces & forts located in the Pink City, Jaipur include Amber Palace, Shahpura Haveli, Samode Palace, City Palace, Rambagh Palace, Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Narain Niwas Palace, Raj Mahal Palace, Alsisar Haveli, Bissau Palace, Jai Mahal, Mahar Haveli etc.

Udaipur – Popular palaces & forts located in Udaipur include City Palace, Jag Niwas (Lake Palace), Jag Mandir Palace, Shiv Niwas Palace, Amet Haveli, Fateh Prakash Haveli, Fort Delwara etc.

Bikaner – Popular palaces & forts located in Bikaner include Junagarh Fort & Palace, Laxmi Niwas Palace, Gajner Palace, Lalgarh Palace etc.

Jodhpur – Popular palaces & forts located in Jodhpur include Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mehrangarh Fort, Bal Samand Lake Palace, Palace of Bilara etc.

Apart from these major forts and palaces, there are many other famous and historic havelis, forts, and palaces in other cities of Rajasthan. Some of these are Hindaun Fort, Matiya Mahal, Bijai Garh, Bala Fort, Mandrail Fort, Timangarh Fort, Lohagarh Fort, Deeg Fort, Royal Rao Palace, Raj Niwas Palace, Seengh Sagar, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Phool Mahal Palace, Nathmalji Ki Haveli, Kuchaman Fort, Gorbandh Palace, Gol Bagh Palace, Deogarh Mahal, Bhinder Garh, Bansi Garh, Sariska Palace, Neemrana Fort Palace, Castle Mandawa, Mundota Fort and Palace, Laxmi Vilas Palace, Laxmangarh Fort, Devigarh, Khimsar Fort, and Jaisalmer Fort.


Famous Temples: Popular temples located in Rajasthan are Swarna Mandir, Dilwara Temples, Pataleshwar Temples, Khatu Syam Ji Temple, Shri Mehandipur Balaji Temple, Raghunath Mandir, Brahma Temple, Varaha Temple, Udai Mandir, Savitri Temple, Meera Temple, Ganesh Temple, Karni Mata Temple, Ranakpur Temple, Narsingh Temple, Godavari Dham Temple, Moti Dungri Ganesh Temple, Vaishno Devi Mandir, Param Hans Dham, and Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple.

Famous Churches: Popular Churches located in Rajasthan are Shepherd Memorial Church, Rajasthan Pentecostal Church, Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral, and St. Gregorios Orthodox Church.

Famous Mosques & Dargahs: Popular Mosques/Dargahs located in Rajasthan are Dargah Mastan Shah Baba, Dargah Sheikh Mohammed Darvesh, Dargah Hazrat Diwan e Shah,Dargah Fakhruddin Shareef, Dargah Hisamuddin Chishti, Dargah Khwaja Fakhruddin Chishti, Dargah Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (Garib Nawaz), Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra.

3. Museums

Popular museums of Rajasthan include Ahar Museum, Ajmer Government Museum, Albert Hall Museum (Central Museum), Anokhi Museum of Hand Painting, Bagore Ki Haveli, Bharatpur Palace and Museum, Ganga Government Museum, Jaipur Wax Museum, Jaisalmer Government Museum, Jhalawar Government Museum, Jodhpur Government Museum, Maharao Madho Singh Museum, Prachina Museum Shipgram, Jaisalmer War Museum, Longewala War Memorial, Vintage Car Collection, The Crystal Gallery, Sculpture Park (Nahargarh), Museum of Gem and Jewellery, Jaswant Thada, Mehrangarh Fort and Museum, Chokelao Bagh and Interpretation  Center (Ahhichatragarh), Nagaur Fort and Museum, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandir, Dolls Museum (Jaipur), Jawahar Kala Kendra, Maharana Pratap Museum, Bangar Museum, S R C Museum of Indology, Patwon Ki Haveli, Rajiv Gandhi Regional Museum, and Kamal Morarka Haveli.

4. Wildlife Sanctuaries And National Parks

Famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of Rajasthan include Keoladeo  Ghana National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary and Desert National Park, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Darrah Sanctuary, Mount Abu Sanctuary, Sita Mata Sanctuary, Keladevi Wildlife Sanctuary, National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary, Machiya Safari Park, Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary, Mukundara Tiger Reserve, Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary, Jaisamand Sanctuary, Todgarh Raoli Wildlife Sanctuary, Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary, and Tal Chhapar Sanctuary.



Best time to visit

Rajasthan’s most parts come under the Great Thar desert and hence have an arid climate throughout the year. However, the state witnesses very cold winters and extremely hot summers. In summer, the temperature can soar up to 50 degree Celsius while in winters it can dip as low as 0 degree Celsius in certain parts.

The best season to enjoy the spirit and color of Rajasthan is during the September-December months. During this time of the year, the famous Pushkar Mela as well as several other cultural programs are organized in the largest state of India.


Things to do in Rajasthan

1. Enjoy Sand Dunes/Sand Safari/Desert Camping

A trip to Rajasthan cannot conclude without desert camping and camel ride in the sand dunes of Thar. The experience of desert camping in Rajasthan is a memory worth cherishing for a lifetime. Jaisalmer is the ideal destination to enjoy desert rides and enjoy delicious authentic Rajasthani food, lively folk dances, colorful puppet shows, and starlit sky in night. You can also rent SUV (in case, you don’t own one) and have an adrenaline pumping, exhilarating experience of Dune Bashing in the Thar Desert.

2. Indulge in Rajasthani Culinary Delights

For gourmet lovers, Rajasthan offers something extraordinarily scrumptious-Chokhi Dhani! Identified with royal hospitality, Chokhi Dhani is a Mecca for foodies. It serves authentic Rajasthani cuisine with some great folk dance performances and a touch of genial hospitality. For budget travellers and those who seek delicacies of the Indian street food, Rajasthan’s choka bhati, jalebi, kachori and poori sabzi are a must try.

3. Fairs & Festivals

Rajasthan has been traditionally known for its colorful fairs and festivals that have achieved world stature. Some of the famous festivals and fairs that you must witness are — Urs in Ajmer Sharif, Pushkar Mela (Cattle Fair), Camel Festival (Bikaner), Marwar Festival, Nagaur Fair, Desert Festival of Jaisalmer, Gangaur Festival, Mewar Festival, and Teej (Jodhpur). Besides these, Rajasthan also holds a number of festivals having specific religious significance.