The Land of Maharajas and Forts
Rajasthan is one of the largest states of India by covering an area of 342239 square kilometers is also known as the land of maharajas. There are around 33 districts in Rajasthan and Jaipur being the largest and the capital city of Rajasthan. Rajasthan also shares its border with Pakistan from its northwestern park while it is surrounded by Madhya Pradesh on its South-Eastern part and by Gujrat on the South Western part. Rajasthan has a rich heritage, vibrant and colorful culture, majestic fort monuments, and historic palaces, which attracts a huge amount of National and International tourists each year.
Some of the major attractions of Rajasthan include the Dilwara temple, which is a Jain pilgrimage site and remains of Indus Valley Civilization, Mount Abu which is the only hill station located in Rajasthan. Other than this Rajasthan is also having various wildlife reserves such as Sariska Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore National Park, Keoladeo / Bharatpur National Park. Other than this there are various other major attractions such as Jaisalmer fort and Sam sand dunes in Jaisalmer. In Jaipur attractions like Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Amber palace, and many such places.
Rajasthan has a rich culture that can be seen in its various fairs and festivals that are held each year, such as Pushkar Mela, Desert festival, Literature festival in Jaipur, Teej, Urs at Ajmer, International Heritage festival at Jaipur and many more. Rajasthan is having many markets that display local handmade items like Kathputali, bangles, Bandhej suits, etc. other than this you can also spot some local men performing folk dance or music in the market place or on the sides of roads. Rajasthan is having a rich and spicy flavor in food and you can witness some food stalls on the sides of the streets, where food stalls will be decorated with some tempting but spicy authentic foods of Rajasthan.
Formation / History of Rajasthan
Earlier Rajasthan was divided into small unions, which were Matsya Union and Rajasthan Unions, that in the year 1949, these Unions were merged with other Rajput states and Greater Rajasthan was created. Rajasthan became the fundamental part of India in the year 1950 when the constitution of India came into existence. At that time the political power of Rajputana Kings was surrendered to the Central Government. Rajasthan that we can see today came into shape in 1956 when the State Reorganization Act was implemented. In 1970 the custom of giving privilege to the rules came to an end.
The Rajasthan that we can see currently was formed in seven different stages and now it is one of the largest states of India. There are various magnificent and majestic places that are present in Rajasthan and it is also having eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. There are various alluring palaces and the architecture and carving on the wall of those palaces are worth appreciating.
During the summer season: 23°C to 45°C
During the rainy/ monsoon season: 29°C to 35°C
During the winter season: 16°C to 25°C
Food of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is famous all around the world for its culture, heritage, vibrant markets, alluring forts, and palaces, but there is one more thing that is mouth-watering and delicious cuisines. Below are some most famous dishes of Rajasthan that you should try out whenever visiting Rajasthan.
1. Dal Bati and Churma
Dal Bati Churma is like a symbol of Rajasthan, this lip-smacking food, not only drools the local people but also the tourists. Bati is wheat balls that are filled with spicy Sattu and are dipped in pure ghee. In dall, five different types of pulses are used that is why it is also known as Panchkuti dal, and also there is Churma which is kind of sweet as jaggery is mixed in the laddu.
2. Gatte ki Sabzi/ pulao
Gatte is small round balls that are formed using the flour of black gram which is also known as besan, then these balls are put into the gravy made by using spices and curd. This tangy and spicy gravy is one of the traditional foods of Rajasthan. These balls are also used in making rice pulao, which is also delicious.
3. Gunde ki Sabzi
Gunda is also known as Gumberry or Lesoda, which is mixed with the spicy gravy of raw mangoes with spices like mustard, chilly, and fenugreek seeds. This gravy tastes best with pulses and rice and is one of the popular dishes of Rajasthan.
4. Ker Sangri
In this dish, Ker berry and Sangria beans are combined together with some great smelling local spices. You can find this dish in places like Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Jaisalmer. You can have it with Bajra Chapati.
5. Rajasthani Kadhi
There are two varieties of Kadhi that you can find in Rajasthan, one being normal just buttermilk Kadhi and the other is Mango puree. Ghee, buttermilk, and gram flour are cooked together with local spices. If you like the sour dishes you must try mango puree kadhi that is cooked with ghee, gram flour, and buttermilk.
6. Methi Bajra poori
Bajra or pearl millet flour is used in cooking this poori or bread, with a minimum amount of oil. This is one of the most healthy dishes in Rajasthan. It tastes best when served hot with raita, chutney and potato sabzi.
7. Aam Ki Launji
This is prepared and kept for weeks in airtight containers for weeks. This is the best food to beat the heat during hot summers. In this mangoes are cooked with nigella, and fennel seeds and taken along the full course meal.
8. Mawa Kachori / Pyaz Kachori
Mawa Kachori is sweet and pyaz or onion Kachori is the spicy one. Mawa Kachori is prepared by filling dry fruits and then fried and dipped in sugar syrup. Onion kachori is stuffed with onion, potatoes, and spices. It is best to have sweet and sour chutney.
Dilkushar is gram flour sweet and a famous traditional dish of Rajasthan. It is also known as Besan ki chakki or Barfi. It is a combination of ghee, khoya, dry fruits, and gram flour. It comes in demand during the Diwali festival.
9. Badam ka Halwa
This is a royal sweet which is generally prepared during the winter month. In this dish, almonds are soaked, peeled, and formed into a paste and then cooked with ghee, milk, sugar, and cardamom powder.
There are three varieties of Ghewar that are plain Ghewar, Malai Ghewar, and Mava Ghewar. These are specially prepared during the monsoon month on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan and Teej. It is prepared using sugar syrup, milk, and flour.
Things to do in Rajasthan
In this majestic land of Maharajas, you can enjoy some of the activities that will give you a different experience and sweet memory. Camel riding is the most enjoyable activity in Rajasthan that should not be missed by an individual. You can enjoy these rides in Jaisalmer and Bikaner, by sitting on the back of beautifully decorated, colorful camels, which adds extra charm in the sightseeing. Other than camel rides one can also enjoy elephant rides, where they are decorated with some beautiful accessories. You can enjoy this ride in Jaipur for up to Amer fort. One can also enjoy the jeep safari to explore the local places in the desert.
The snake dance performed by tribes of Kalbeliya can also be enjoyed in Jodhpur. This dance is performed by Rajasthani folk music. You can explore some mesmerizing and enchanting forts that may leave you awestruck. Some places like Chittorgarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jaigarh fort, Amer fort, Mehrangarh fort, etc are places that are worth visiting for their architecture and history. Tourists can also enjoy trekking to Aravali mountain range in places like Ranakpur, Ghanerao, and Kumbhalgarh.
You can also enjoy activities like boating, hot air ballooning, kite flying, and ziplining. The adventurous ride of hot air balloon can be enjoyed at Jaipur, you can catch this ride from Ranthambore and Pushkar. You can also enjoy a kite-flying festival in Pushkar. A romantic ride can be enjoyed in Udaipur’s Lake Pichola, which is the oldest lake in Rajasthan. Ziplining can be enjoyed in the fascinating Neemrana Fort of Rajasthan.
There are various pilgrimage sites in Rajasthan that can be visited by devotees such as Karni Mata temple in Deshnok, Shrinathji temple in Nathdwara, Eklingji temple in Udaipur, Brahma temple in Pushkar, Jain Temple in Ranakpur and many more. Rajasthan is also the land of various wildlife sanctuaries such as Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary, Tal Chappar Sanctuary, Desert National Sanctuary, Jaisamand Sanctuary, etc. here you can spot some endangered species and also admire the lush green places here.
You and your gang can also visit the Bhangarh fort which is considered to be the most haunted fort in India and have some spooky experience there. Other than this you can also enjoy shopping in places like Udaipur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Pushkar, Kota, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, where you buy the local handicrafts, bangles, carpets, pottery, and paintings.
Lastly, you can enjoy the authenticity of Rajasthan in its folk dance, music, and food. Get the feel of royalty and true essence of Rajasthan by enjoying the folk music and dances by local people dressed in full traditional ways.
Places to visit in Rajasthan
Dausa is in the Dhundhar region of Rajasthan and is a part of the Jaipur district located on the northeastern boundary of this state. The name Dausa was kept on the name of Devgiri hill that is located near the city. Dausa is famous for its Palace known as Bhandarej palace that is having a quaint landscape and surroundings. It is a perfect place where you can spend some time in peace and aways from the busy life of the city.
The total land area of Dholpur is 3084 sq. km., located on the bank of the Chambal River. This district is further divided into four parts Bari, Rajakhera, Dholpur, and Basedi. Dholpur was constructed by Raja Dhawal Deo in the early 11th century and was then known as Dhawalpuri. Dholpur is having five tehsils such as Basedi, Bari, Saipau, Rajakhera, and Dholpur.
Tonk is located on the right bank of river Banas and in the southern direction of Jaipur at a distance of 95km. During the Epic Mahabharata time, it was also known as Samwad Lakshay. Bhola Brahmins were offered with 12 villages which were named “Tonk” in the year 1643. Tonk was merged with Rajasthan in the year 1948 when it was under the rule of Nawab Mohommad IsmileAli Khan.
Karauli was founded in 900AD by King Bhram Pal when it was a part of Mathura. This is the place where Shri Madan Mohanji who was believed to be the incarnation of Lord Krishna used to live. Karauli is having more than 300 temples is known for its rich culture and heritage. It is also famous for its beautiful architecture and carvings on the forts.
Kumbhalgarh is known for its extensive forests that look like snakes. You can also enjoy the Lion safari in Kumbhalgarh national park. There are various Chattis, temples, monuments, and palaces that can be visited by tourists in Kumbhalgarh. It is located in the foothill of the Aravali range and is blessed with a huge variety of flora and fauna. Kumbhalgarh is having the second largest continuous walls, the first being the huge wall of China.
Ranakpur is a town that is located at a distance of 96km from Udaipur in the Pali district. This place is named on the name of Rana Kumbha. Here you can find various temples that belong to Jainism and are having magnificent architecture. This place is also called the spiritual oasis in Aravali. It is having gushing streams and pleasant and calming greenery all around.
Nathdwara as we can get it from the name that it is the gateway of the Lord which is located close to Aravali hills. It is a famous Hindu site that is located on the bank of the river Banas and attracts a huge number of tourists each year. This place is also famous for Rajasthani art and craftwork such as terracotta work and pichwai paintings. This place is named so because it is literally a gateway to Shrinathji and also also a heaven for food lovers.
It is a very old town that is located in Sikar district in Rajasthan. Fatehpur is located close to Delhi and Jaipur city. This is a popular tourist attraction in Rajasthan. You can visit this place if you want to experience some different places and also learn about new cultures.
Ranthambore is famous for its Ranthambore National Park which houses a number of Tigers, probably this place is having more chances where you can spot tiger while doing a safari. Ranthambore is located in the foothills of Aravali and Vindhya hills and is truly a delight to every adventure lover. This place is also having a Ranthambore fort which is part of the UNESCO world heritage site and was constructed in the 11th century.
Shekhawati is having open-air gallery, forts, and Havelis. It is having huge collections of murals or wall paintings in the world. A huge number of countries’ army men come from Shekhawati only. You can get to go through all the past while visiting this city in Rajasthan.
This small district in the land of Rajasthan was founded and named by Bhahada Rao in the 13th century. Barmer is a place that is famous for its dance, music, and most importantly for its craftwork. Barmer showcases the rural part of Rajasthan very beautifully, those small mud houses that are decorated with vibrant colors and a sight worth watching.
This is a quint village in Rajasthan which is famous for its Nagaur festival. This is basically a cattle trading festival where camel rase and other such games are also organized. This is the most preferred weekend getaway for the nearby cities. Other than the Nagaur festival this place is also famous for Khimsar fort and sam sand dunes.
Sawaimadhopur was founded in 1756 by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh l of Jaipur. It is located at a distance of 147 km from Jaipur. Some of the places that can be visited here are Ranthambore fort, Khandra Fort, Chauth Mata temple, Ranthambore National Park. it is having a total land area of 5042.99 sq km.
Bharatpur is a city in Rajasthan that is located in the Braj region, at a distance of 38km from Mathura city. It is famous amongst its visitors for its National park that is Keoladeo National Park, which is home to more than 370 species of birds and animals. Keoladeo National Park came under the UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1985 and is known as Ghana national park by its local people.
Udaipur The City of Lakes is another name given to this place as it is having the romantic lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake. Udaipur is also known as the Venice of East or Jewel Of Mewar. The major attraction of Udaipur is City Place which is having magnificent beauty. The Lake Palace hotel is also having a breathtaking view and attracts a lot of tourists to spend their night in this Hotel. Udaipur is surrounded on all sides by the splendid Aravalli hills.
Pushkar is located close to Ajmer just at a distance of 14km. Every year in the month of November Pushkar Mela is held in this city, which is one of the biggest camel festivals in India. In India, there is only one temple that is dedicated to Lord Brahma and it is located in Pushkar only, which makes it a Hindu pilgrimage site. On the streets of Pushkar, you can see some small stalls that sell oxidized jewelry and other merchandise.
Kota is one of the famous and the third-largest city in Rajasthan, that is located on the bank of Chambal River. There are various temples, palaces, and museums that can be visited here. The craftwork of silk sarees, Doria sarees, Kota stone, and Gold Jewelry is really famous. Few places that one can visit here are Garh Palace, Abheda Mahal, Charan Chauki, and many more.
Another name given to Jodhpur is The Blue Cit, which is the capital city of Marwar. Mehrangarh fort, shopping markets, temples, blue houses are some things that truly define Jodhpur. In Jodhpur, one thing that you can see all in common is the blue-painted houses that enhance the beauty of this place when taken a top wide-angled shot. Umaid Bhawan is a hotel as well as a popular tourist attraction that attracts a large number of tourists each year.
Jhalawar was a part of Kota but in 1838AD it was separated from Kota and formed a different city. It is located on the sides of the Malwa plateau and is blessed with an alluring landscape. It is a historic place that is like a paradise for history lovers and also you can watch different species of birds in this place.
Jaipur which is also known as the Pink city is one of the largest cities of Rajasthan. Jaipur is mostly visited along with Delhi and Agra which forms the Golden Triangle of India. There are few UNESCO sites in Jaipur such as Jantar Mantar and Amber fort. This city is famous for its variety of options to stay. Tripoli market, Johri market, and Bapu market are some famous markets of Jaipur. Jaipur is having the best detailing architectural palaces, which may leave you stunned.
The word Dungar in Dungarpur means hill and so the word Dungarpur is referred to as a place of hills. This district of Rajasthan is located in the foothills of Aravali hills. This place got the award from the Government for being the cleanest city in Rajasthan. Dungarpur is famous among tourists for its places and lakes. Badal mahal is the prime tourist attraction of this place.
Chittorgarh is also known as the Land of forts is famous for its Chittorgarh fort. It is one of the largest fort present in India. You must have seen this fort in the Bollywood movie Padmavat, as this is the exact place where Queen Padmini sacrificed her life by doing “ Johar” to prevent herself and to save the Pride of refutation of Rajputana from Alauddin Khilji. The largest palace in this fort is the Rana Kumbha Palace.
Bundi is located in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan and is mostly occupied by the tribe. The name Bundi is taken from the Bunda Meena tribe. In the year 1342, it was taken over from Jaita Meena by Rao Deva Hada and also renamed its nearby areas as Hadoti. This place is having beautiful waterfalls, rivers and is blessed with the beauty of nature.
Bikaner is like a paradise for cultural love and has amazing sand dunes for camel safari. It is located close to the Thar desert and is like heaven for its tourists. Bikaner hosts the International Camel festival that attracts the attention of not only national but also international tourists. There are various ancient forts and palaces that can leave you awestruck, as it is having the Old World Charm.
Alwar is located in the vicinity of the southern part of Delhi and is a perfect weekend getaway for Delhiites. It is famous for the most haunted palace that is Bhangarh Palace in India. There are other heritage Haveli and Sariska Tiger reserves that attract a huge number of tourists each year. This place is featured in a number of Bollywood movies and is known for the Alwar fair that is held in Dussehra ground.
Jaisalmer is also known as the Golden city as it is having golden sand dunes and is located in the northwestern part of Rajasthan. There are various Havelis, Jain temples and lakes located in Jaisalmer. You can enjoy your night stay in camps where you can enjoy camel safari, folk music and dances of Rajasthan. Here you can witness various handcrafted beautiful Havelis, that will give you time travel.
This is one of the popular destination wedding spots in Rajasthan, which is located at a distance of 67 km from Udaipur. It is having the world’s second-largest man-made lake that is Rajsamand lake. There are various temples that are located in this place that is dedicated to Lord Shiva and also you can see a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna having an idol of Lord Krishna with four arms.
28. Mount Abu
Mount Abu is the only Hill station that is located in Rajasthan, its pleasant atmosphere and cool surrounding attracts a large number of tourists each year. Dilwara temple which is a Jain pilgrimage site is the major attraction of this place. Other than this there are various viewpoints like sunset points, Honeymoon Point, and many more which one can explore. It also has various lakes such as Nakki Lake where tourists can enjoy boating with their loved ones. The highest point of the Aravali Range can also be seen in Mount Abu.
Where to stay in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is the colorful state of India and there are various options that are available to make your stay comfortable and according to your budget. There are various heritage hotels that used to be the Royal palaces and now converted into hotels. These palaces are now open for tourists where they can have the taste of royalty. These hotels are in Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar, Jaisalmer, Delwara, and Rajsamand. You can find the hotel of all categories in almost every city of Rajasthan as it is having tourism activity incomplete state. You can enjoy the camp stays in places like Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Mount Abu, Sariska, and many more.
How to reach Rajasthan
If you are going by road then you can opt for the bus that is driven on the highway having the best connectivity of Rajasthan to other states. There are 20 major highways that ensure a smoother journey to Rajasthan. Though you can also opt for a direct private taxi system from your place to Rajasthan. The Major highway which connects Rajasthan to places like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Udaipur, Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai is NH8. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) will help you in visiting different attractions of Rajasthan.
For trains, Rajasthan is having good connectivity with major cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, and other major cities. There are many small and big railway stations in Rajasthan which are Ajmer Junction in Ajmer, Jodhpur Junction, Udaipur city in Udaipur, and the busiest Jaipur Railway station. There are various luxury trains where you can have the feel of Royal Maharajas, in trains like Palace on Wheels, Heritage on Wheels, Maharaja Express, Deccan Odyssey, and Royal Rajasthan on Wheels which makes the traveling to Rajasthan royal and comfortable. In these luxury trains, you can enjoy Royal dishes in Restaurants, Saloons, Library, cocktail Bars.
These trains take you through some important tourist attractions of Rajasthan such as Ranthambore National Park, Hawa Mahal, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, The Hill Fort Palace, Jantar Mantar and many more.
There is a Jaipur airport which is named Sanganer International Airport and other then this there are other airports at Udaipur and Jodhpur. Other than this Rajasthan is also having various domestic airports such as Jaisalmer Airport, Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur, Kota Airport, Civil Airport in Jodhpur, Phalodi Air Force Station, Nal Airport in Bikaner and Suratgarh airport which connects Rajasthan to other states within India. You can also avail of the facilities of restaurants, bookshop, sweets shop, and branded outlets at these airports.
Best time to visit Rajasthan
Rajasthan falls on the tropic of Cancer so it generally remains very hot so due to this the best time to visit this place is during the winter months. From October month till March month, the temperature during day time remains moderate and pleasant and the night becomes considerably low that allows tourists to explore this place comfortably. At this time there are various fairs and festivals that are held in Rajasthan. Even it’s, not a bad idea to visit this desert as the temperature at that time also remains pleasant, and places like Kota, Udaipur, Mount Abu, and Kumbhalgarh are the best place to see during this period.