The royal destination of our country, Rajasthan, guarded by Aravalli ranges, is a place where the guests are treated like Gods and welcomed with utmost love and care. Hence, the tourism slogan follows. From the vast desert to the holy lakes, from royal forts to colour-coded cities, the picturesque sceneries are sure to trigger a spell of wanderlust in you. While I can go on and on about the richness of this place, I will share the itinerary I followed during my visit to these places.
My journey started in Jaipur and ended in Udaipur while we covered Jaisalmer & Jodhpur also. The foremost point I would like to put up is to choose the timings of the trip wisely. The best time to visit this place is from October to March.
The Planned City, Jaipur –
Jaipur is more commonly known as Pink city and is a part of the Golden Triangle in India. While the city is covered with marvellous architecture depicting the history of glorious Rajputs, the spectacular façade of Hawa Mahal is a must visit.
How to get there –
By Air – Jaipur airport is well connected to Delhi & other major cities of India. Once you reach the airport, you can hire cabs or book pre-paid taxis that are easily available for travelling between the airport and the city.
By Train – Jaipur is very well connected to most of the cities in India. Luxury trains are also available that can take you to Jaipur.
By Road – Volvo (air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned) and deluxe buses between Jaipur and other cities within the state are available frequently if you would prefer to travel by road.
Sightseeing & other must-dos –
The iconic attractions in Jaipur include Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, and Jantar Mantar. Other must-do things include visiting Chowki Dhani to experience the entire Rajasthani culture. You might also want to attend the major festivals like Gangaur & Teej in case you are around during that time. It will be an experience of a lifetime to showcase the culture, customs, heritage and colours of Rajasthan.
On a shopping spree –
Your list of shopping must include Rajasthani handicrafts, precious gemstones from Johari Bazar and antique decor items.
The Arabian Nights @ Jaisalmer –
Jaisalmer is often referred to as Golden city named after it’s yellow sandstone architecture. The Jaisalmer fort is the only living fort in India and holds numerous structures like Jain temple, havelis, museums etc. The other iconic attraction of the city is the camel safari in the Thar Desert, camping all night and sleeping under the stars.
Travelling to Jaisalmer –
By Air – Jaisalmer airport is 5 km from the city and is well connected to Delhi & Jaipur.
By Train – Luxury trains are available that can take you to the city.
By Road – Inter-state AC buses run from various cities to Jaisalmer which ply every one hour.
For your adventure –
You can plan a full day sightseeing program starting with magnificent Golden Fort followed by Patwon ki Haveli and an evening walk around Gadisar Lake. The major attraction in Jaisalmer is a visit to Thar desert and experience the camel safari. Other activities to enjoy at Sam sand dunes are Parasailing and Quad Biking at Kanoi, Jeep safari in Thar and night camping at Desert Camps. While you plan to stay at desert camps overnight, you can enjoy Rajasthani folk songs & dances under the starry sky with a full moon overlooking.
Retail Therapy –
If you would like to indulge in some street shopping, the best things to buy are bright-coloured puppets, decorative items, local handicrafts, camel leather items, yellow sandstone showpieces.
The Sun City, Jodhpur –
Jodhpur, also known as ‘Blue City’ will conquer you with all its local charm. The famous Mehrangarh fort towering over the city offers beautiful views from different places. The city has so much to offer other than the quintessential historical places. You can enjoy a walking tour in the bylanes of the old city and go on a shopping spree in the markets of Jodhpur. Also, if you would like to enjoy the Thar desert away from the crowds of Jaisalmer, the best place is Osiyan. This small town is at an hour’s distance from Jodhpur.
Arriving at Jodhpur –
By Air – Jodhpur airport is well connected with the airports of other major cities in India including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Chennai etc.
By Train – Luxury trains are available that can take you to the city. The trains are available from Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and other cities.
By Road – Inter-state AC buses run from Jaipur, Jaisalmer and other major cities in Rajasthan to Jodhpur which ply every one hour.
The exemplary places for sightseeing in Jodhpur include Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Clock Tower and Mandore Gardens. You can satiate your taste buds with a quiet and relaxing dinner at Khaas Bagh. Go for a walking tour of the old city of Jodhpur to get a delight of their culture and customs.
Must buy –
The customary shopping in Jodhpur entails for spices & flavoured tea from clock tower market, Rajasthani handicrafts, junk jewellery, lac bangles & jodhpuri mojaris.
Romance in Udaipur –
If romance could be produced, Udaipur would be the best place to sow the seeds of love. Often referred to as the most romantic city in India, this city amasses many famous lakes all around. Some of the great sites not to be missed are City Palace, Jagmandir temple and a boat ride in the evening at Lake Pichola. The city is also well known for being the shooting location of several scenes in the James Bond movie, Octopussy.
Landing in at Udaipur –
By Air – Udaipur Airport is well connected to major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Kolkata, Chennai and many other cities.
By Train – Udaipur lies on a vast rail network that connects it to the major cities in India such as Jaipur, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Mumbai etc.
By Bus – Udaipur has a well-established bus service network connecting it to all the major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad etc.
Road/Self Drive –
Udaipur is connected to Delhi, Mumbai and Jodhpur by NH8. You can use your personal vehicle, chauffeur driven car or hired vehicles(Zoomcar being the best option) to reach Udaipur.
What to explore –
The list of must-see heritage sites is a long one and covers Sajjangarh Fort, Sajjangarh Biological Park, City Palace, Saheliyon ki Bari, Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jagmandir Temple.
If you are done with sightseeing within Udaipur, there are many places at an hour’s distance from Udaipur. The most famous ones are Kumbalgarh fort, Srinathji at Nathdwara, Eklingji & Haldighati. Special mention for Kumbalgarh fort which is a Mewar fortress with the walls extending over 38 km. It is claimed to be the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. You must also plan for a romantic dinner with your partner at Darikhana restaurant in Jagmandir palace amidst Lake Pichola. The light & sound show at the City Palace is another tourist attraction to take you deep into the history of Rajputs & Mewars.
Shopping Time –
You can shop for Bandhej(traditional tie & dye fabric) Sarees, suits, dupattas and leather bags from Udaipur.
This guide to Rajasthan trip is my personal one which I followed while being on a 10 days long trip with a 2 years old kid. It was super fun to be a part of the culture which is so rich and encompasses the history of great warriors.
Looking for a place to sleep ….
All the cities mentioned above have a vast range of hotels to fit into your budget. You may want to choose the ultra-luxury chain of hotels like Taj, Leela etc. as these are palaces converted to hotels. Alternatively, you can choose to stay at small havelis converted into mid-range hotels. There are homestays available in all these cities to get a closer feel of the Marwari culture. I personally chose to stay at smaller havelis as that was well within my budget and provided us with all the amenities.
Grab a bite…
India itself is a foodie’s paradise. Although there is an availability of all types of cuisine, the list of must-try Rajasthani dishes is endless. A few delicacies I would recommend are Daal-Bati-churma, Laal Maas, Gatte ki sabzi, ker sangri ki sabzi and Bajre ki roti. Few snacks not to miss include Pyaz ki kachori and Mirchi bada in Jodhpur. To satisfy your sweet tooth, definitely give a try to ghevar & mawa kachori available in most of the sweet shops.