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Tourist Places To Visit In Rajasthan
The state of the royals, Rajasthan is a northwestern state in India, peculiarly famous for its arid dry landscape, deserts, opulent palaces and tall castles. With this topography and a rich cultural heritage that makes its royalty come alive even today when the titles are abolished, Rajasthan is a truly mesmerising holiday destination. From Jaipur's pink sandstone palaces to Udaipur's lakes and Jaisalmer's sand dunes, Pushkar's temples to Mount Abu's hill-station vibe; Rajasthan has a load of tourist places to visit.
Ajmer (pronounced 'Uh-j-mare') is a popular pilgrimage centre famous for its Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti. Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (pronounced 'Push-cur'). A 30 minute uphill drive will take you to this famous tourist destination that is renowned for its Hindu pilgrimage spots, flea market and great roadside food. You can get some amazing pictures of Indian sadhus here.
Bikaner (pronounced 'Beeka-nair') is famous for its palaces and its intricately sculptured red and yellow sandstone temples. The climate in Bikaner is characterised by extreme variations in temperature, so be sure to carry weather-appropriate clothing while visiting. However, despite its rugged climate, it is said that Bikaner was once an oasis town used as a stop-over on the trade route between Central Asia and India. It's always interesting to plan a trip around the time of the Bikaner Camel festival, usually held in January.
Aptly nicknamed 'The Pink City' for its peculiar affinity for pink stone buildings Jaipur is part of the famous Golden Triangle of cities formed with Delhi and Agra as the other two corners. A bustling capital city and business centre today, Jaipur still retains a royal charm that never fails to surprise. Jaipur is home to several stunning ancient forts. A great time to visit is during January when the annual Literary Festival is held.
'The Golden City' of Jaisalmer (pronounced 'Jey-sull-mare') is popular for its 12th century Jaisalmer Fort as well as beautiful havelis, miles of smooth yellow sand dunes, and camel safaris. Well known for its camel hide artefacts and the stupendous musical and dance talent of its native people, Jaisalmer is the very heart of the Thar Desert.
Jodhpur is a city with a long and captivating history. While India was still under British colonization, the walled city of Jodhpur had the largest land area of all Rajputana provinces. Today, it is a flourishing centre of handicraft export and tourism, with tons of hotels and palace resorts. Jodhpur has contributed significantly to the culinary traditions of the country. We strongly recommend a visit to the famous Umaid Bhavan Palace to soak in some history.
Once a princely game conserve, the sanctuary at Ranthambore (pronounced 'Run-thum-bore') is home to the beautiful Indian tiger. Ranthambore National Park is open from October to May every year. You will also get a chance to see an abandoned fortress and lake and take pictures of the gazillion monkeys that are oddly human in their behaviour. Don't miss a chance to visit the majestic Nahargarh Palace Hotel run by the very hospitable royal family there. It's gorgeous, especially at night. Katy Perry had her much publicised royal wedding there.
Udaipur is known as the 'City of Lakes' in view of the 8 prominent lakes within its limits. The Lake Palace Hotel in the middle of Lake Pichola is a spectacular sight especially when lit up at night. Other big tourist attractions include the 'Shilpgram Fair' which is a craftsmen's village showcasing ethnic craft, art & culture and the 'City Palace' with its various towers, domes, arches and courtyards. The live cultural show at 'Bagore ki Haveli' is worth a visit. Udaipur has been used as a backdrop for lots of movies including the James Bond flick 'Octopussy.'
Rajasthan has a hill station. And it is like a breath of fresh air in the all that desert aridity. Mount Abu was once the summer capital of Maharajas. Today it makes for a fine holiday destination, situated as it is on a hill. The place also holds special religious importance for Jains. Boating in Lake Nakki, visiting Dhrudhiya waterfalls and exploring the lush Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary are just some of the attractions here. The most famous one is Dilwara Jain Temple.
Chittorgarh is a town not too far from Udaipur. It has a glorious past with some of the most valiant Rajasthani rulers; from Rawal Ratan Singh of Chittor to Samar Singh who became one of the topmost allies of Prithviraj Chauhan's army. The revered Queen Padmavati, who was as beautiful as she was brave is also credited to this land. Today Chittorgarh is home to many forts, ruins and temples; making for a historian's paradise. A 1-2 day trip is a must to Chittorgarh when you are visiting Udaipur.
Kota is a beautiful rugged city located on the banks of River Chambal. It is known for its IT coaching tuitions and colleges but that is not even the tip of the ice-berg of what Kota as a cultural entity is. The city is home to a grand City Palace called Kota Garh, the Maharao Madho Singh Museum that holds exquisite weapons and miniatures as well as gardens and crocodile ponds. Other famous places here are Kishore Sagar Lake, Seven Wonders Park and Jagmandir Palace.