Rajasthan (formerly Rajputana) etymologically means Rajas’ sthan or the place of the kings. In fact, Rajasthan is one of the most visited States in India, as it shows India at its most colourful and exotic best with its palaces, forts, deserts, peacocks, camels, and elephants.
Most Attractive Tourist Spots in Rajasthan
1. Jaipur’s Attractions: India’s desert capital of Jaipur, affectionately called the ‘Pink City’, forms part of India’s popular Golden Triangle tourist circuit, and lures visitors with its stunning remnants of a bygone era. A visit to Jaipur will give you a sense of how the monarchy lived in all its glory. The most popular attractions in Jaipur are:
The City Palace is a huge complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings blending both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The Peacock Gate is exquisite. Inside the City Palace Complex is a museum including a gallery and interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons.
The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of the Winds is probably Jaipur’s most remarkable building. It was constructed in 1799 having five floors that contain rows of small windows and screens. There the wind used to flow through the numerous openings, giving the palace its name – Hawa Mahal. The legend is that the palace, on the main street of Jaipur’s old city, was built in such a manner that the queens and princesses could watch the streets below without being observed. A panoramic view can be found from the top of the building.
Ambar Fort and Palace is another attraction of Jaipur. It is set on a hill-top overlooking Maota Lake. Until the city of Jaipur was built, it was the original home of Rajput royalty. It contains a number of majestic halls, gardens, and temples. Inside the palace, the elaborate mirrorwork adds to the grandeur. The evening ‘light and sound show’ which brings alive the Fort’s history is impressive. The Nahargarh Fort, also known as Tiger Fort, is perched high on the rugged Aravalli Hills facing Jaipur city. The Fort was built in 1734 to help defend the city.
The Gala Monkey Temple is nestled in peaceful surroundings between two granite cliffs, which is quite an adventure, but it is completely worth the effort. This temple is a part of a larger temple complex, which also has three sacred pools of water. One of the pools has been taken over by thousands of monkeys that bring together there to swim and bathe. They are generally friendly and love to be fed.
2. Jodhpur Attractions: Jodhpur, the second-largest city in Rajasthan, has a fascinating past. It is known as the ‘Blue City‘ for its blue painted buildings. As one of the largest forts in India, Mehrangarh Fort is the pride of Jodhpur.
Another attraction of Jodhpur is Jaswant Thada, the intricately crafted cenotaph in honour of the death of Maharaja Jaswant Sing II, built-in 1899. Actually, it is an empty commemorative tomb. It features white marble lattice screens and whimsical domes. The inside is adorned with portraits of Ranthambore rulers.
The magnificent Umaid Bhawan Palace, completed in 1944, was one of the last great palaces built in India. The royal family of Jodhpur still occupies a section of it. Most of the remainder has been converted into a luxurious palace hotel.
Mandore and Mandore Gardens bear historical importance. Mandore was the capital of the Marwar region before Jodhpur was founded, but it’s now in a sad state of repair. There is an old fort as well as an eclectic complex of temples and cenotaphs in the Mandore Gardens. This can be a really interesting tourist spot if it is properly maintained.
A trip to Jodhpur wouldn’t be complete without visiting the bustling Old City Markets and Clock Tower, which stand at the heart of the old city. The Clock Tower is still working. The Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is another interesting tourist spot. It was developed in 2006, with the aim of restoring the natural ecology of a large rocky wasteland area next to the Fort. The desert starts from here. The Desert Park extends across 70 hectares of rehabilitated land and has a walking trail. It’s interesting to explore at different times of the year, as its foliage changes with the seasons.
3. Udaipur Attractions: Udaipur in Rajasthan is often called the most romantic city in India because of its renowned Lakes and Palaces. Experiencing Udaipur is all about reliving royalty and appreciating the city’s man-made beauty. Udaipur’s City Palace Complex, belonging to the Mewar Royal family, really sets the standard as far as such heritage tourism is concerned. This all-encompassing destination incorporates two genuine palace hotels and the City Palace Museum.
Another place of architectural splendour is Bagore ki Haveli which was built in the late 18th century by the then Prime Minister of Mewar. It is located on the edge of Lake Pichola at Gangaur Ghat. After 5 years of restoration work, the Haveli was converted into a museum. It’s a joy to wander through with a fascinating look into the lifestyle of the royal family. Inside there are more than 100 rooms, courtyards and terraces, many with beautiful frescoes and mirrorwork. Royal paintings, costumes of the royal kings, personal items, and traditional Rajasthani arts and crafts are on display.
There’s also a dummy gallery and turban collection with the world’s biggest turban. The Monsoon Palace can be seen from Udaipur, perched high on a hill above the city. As its name suggests, it was a favoured destination of the royal family during the monsoon season. The palace is a popular sunset spot due to its unmatchable view over Udaipur.
The imposing Jagdish Temple, a white Hindu temple with complicated architecture and carvings is en unmissable landmark in the Lal Ghat area near the entrance to the City Palace. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1961 where a black stone idol of Lord Jagannath was housed.
Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake are the most popular of Udaipur’s artificial lakes. A boat ride on Lake Pichola gives a new perspective to the city. Anbrai Ghat in Udaipur is the best point of photography, especially at sunset. It is located directly opposite the City Palace and also fronts the Lake Palace Hotel, and so you have an unsurpassed view of both as their lights are turned on.
Udaipur Ropeway is very interesting to the tourists. Red cable cars ferry sightseers on short trips up the hill from Din Dayal Park at Doodh Talai to Kami Mata temple. There is a viewing platform there, and it is another popular spot for seeing the sunset over the city and the hills.
4. Jaisalmer: Jaisalmer is mostly referred to as being straight out of a romantic Arabian Nights fable. It is an extraordinary sandstone city that rises magically from the sand dunes of the Rajasthan desert. Jaisalmer’s mesmerizing ancient fort was built in 1156, and it is still alive and spellbinding.
Ranthambore Fort and National Park are full of history, having witnessed many battles on its land, and the rise and fall of many rulers. The chances of spotting a tiger in the wild at Ranthambore park are really worth seeing. The landscape is dominated by the 10th century, Ranthambore Fort. It is a huge structure with a ruined temple, great monuments and three Hindu temples.
Pushkar is a famous holy town. It’s a fascinating and peculiar sight when the Pushkar Camel Fair comes off in October/November.
So a tourist can feel happy visiting the tourist spots in Rajasthan, one of the Western States of India.