Rajasthan, which is the largest state in India by area and which is the seventh-largest by population, is located on the northwestern side of India. With the literal meaning of Rajasthan being Land of Kings or King’s Abode, it is no wonder that there are many forts there that attract thousands of visitors. Apart from the forts, it offers many other attractions like a desert, three national tiger reserves, ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation, lakes and many much more.
Each of its cities has different characteristics, with Jaipur, which is popularly known as the Pink City due to the dominant color scheme of its buildings, being its capital. Here is a list of the important places in Rajasthan that are worth a visit.
1. Jodhpur – The Blue City
Popularly known as Blue City and Sun City, it is the second-largest city of Rajasthan and a popular tourist destination, with many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert.
2. Udaipur – Lake Pichola
The City of Lakes in Rajasthan is no less beautiful, with seven lakes surrounding it. Udaipur is known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces, hence a popular tourist destination. Lake Pichola is an artificial fresh water lake and has four islands located in it.
3. Jaipur – The Jal Mahal at Night
The Jal Mahal or Water Palace is located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city. It is a popular destination, however, the interior of the Jal Mahal Palace is not open to visitors.
4. Ranthambore National Park – Home of The Royal Bengal Tiger
A wildlife sanctuary known for its Bengal tigers, the park offers visitors the chance to see the animals in their natural jungle habitat. Visitors can go for safari rides in open jeeps that last for about three hours.
5. Jaipur – Amber fort
Located high on a hill, it is the main tourist attraction of Jaipur. The name Amer or Amber was derived from the Ambikeshwar Temple, built atop the Cheel ka Teela. Amber Fort was in 2013 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
6. Ranakpur – Jain Temple
It is widely known for its marble Jain temple, said to be the most spectacular of the Jain temples. Apart from the Jain temple there is also a small Sun temple which is managed by the Udaipur royal family trust.
7. Jaipur – Hawa Mahal or Wind Palace
Made with red and pink sandstone, the palace attracts a number of visitors. It has 953 small windows called Jharokhas, which are said to have been designed with the intent to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen.
8. Jaisalmer – The Golden City
Nicknamed the Golden City, the town stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone with the Jaisalmer Fort said to be its crowning glory. It lies in the heart of the Thar Desert which is dubbed as the Great Indian Desert. It is well known for its leather messenger bags, made from wild camels native to the area.
9. Chittorgarh Fort – India’s Largest Fort
Situated on the left bank of the Berach river, the fort is roughly in the shape of a fish and has a plethora of palaces and temples (many in ruins) within its precincts. It attracts a good number of visitors and was in 2013 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10. The Jaisalmer Fort
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is considered to be one of the ‘living forts’ in the world, as nearly one fourth of the old city’s population still resides there. It earned the nickname Sonar Quila or Golden Fort due to its massive yellow sandstone walls turning a tawny lion colour during the day, and fading to honey-gold as the sun sets.