Rajasthan Top 3

Rajasthan Top 3

The vibrant advertisements for Incredible India, highlight the state of Rajasthan for a reason, it’s India as you’ve imagined. The vibrant kaleidoscope of colors that draw so many tourists are what make this one of the most photogenic places in the country. While Agra is a must visit, Rajasthan offers a taste of Indian culture in all the colors of the rainbow. Below are the top three cities to see and a couple runner’s up:

1. JAISALMER

The “Golden City” of Jaisalmer on the western most frontier of India should not be missed.  The imposing Jaisalmer Fort sits above the city and offers beautiful Jain carvings and active havelis.  However, the real treasure of this desert town is a camel safari in the Great Thar Desert.  Watching the sunset behind the sand dunes is a magical experience.

Highlight: A camel safari in The Great Thar Desert

Side Trip: Bikaner is not too far away and offers a unique attraction.  The rat temple, Karni Mata houses hundreds of sacred rats and if you’re lucky one will run over your foot or you’ll spot the holiest of them all the white rat.


2. UDAIPUR

Udaipur, the capital of the former princely state of Mewar truly gives you a taste of the lavish lifestyle of the ancient rulers.  Often referred to as the “Venice of the East” and featured in several movies including the James Bond film Octupussy this is a must see on your way through Rajasthan.  From the grandeur of the City Palace to a taste of the everyday with a cooking class Udaipur offers something for everyone.

Highlight: the beautiful Lake Pichola

Side Trip: The most famous Jain temple, the white marble Ranakpur temple is worth a visit for it’s intricate carvings.

3. JODHPUR

The blue city of Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan and boasts the largest fort in the state.  All of the homes are a varying shade of blue and the effect is beautiful. The busy bazaars and the narrow blue alley ways are begging to be explored.  Another attraction of Jodhpur are the friendly people including the jovial omelette man.

Highlight: The excellent and informative Mehrangarh Fort tour.

Side trip: Osiyan, just 65 kilometers north of Jodphur is an ancient town known for it’s exquisite temple ruins.

RUNNER’S UP:

PUSHKAR

The holy city of Pushkar is famous for its 52 bathing ghats and collection of temples.  Most notably Pushkar is the site of the only temple dedicated to Brahhma on the planet, even though Brahma is considered to be the creator of the world this is the only place of worship for this important deity.  However, the big draw for travelers is its laid back atmosphere and charming cafes.

Highlight: The slow pace and great chill out cafes

Side trip: Nearby Ajmer is most often just a gateway to Pushkar, but its also an important muslim pilgrimage site.  The tomb of the Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti is in Ajmer.

JAIPUR

Jaipur, also known as the pink city, is the capital of Rajasthan and a bustling city.  It offers some of the best shopping in all of India, haggling is a must, but the bright fabrics and wide array of gems are found throughout the city’s many bazaars.  It’s definitely not a place to relax, but you can feel the pulse of India here.

Highlight: The colorful bazaars and wide array of shopping

Side Trip: The small town of Amber to see the imposing Amber Fort built in Hindu-Muslim style and dating back to the 1600’s.

SAWAI MODHPUR

The main attraction of this dusty one track town is Ranthambore National Park, which is one of India’s largest parks.  There is debate about how many tigers live in the park and seeing one is guaranteed to no one.  In order to insure you spot the coveted cat, plan on a few days, without allowing enough time this isn’t worth a stop.

Highlight: Spotting a tiger in Ranthambore National Park, which is no easy task.  Plan on staying for a few days if seeing a big cat is a priority.

Side Trip: If you want to see a tiger, don’t plan any side trips stay and focus on your goal.

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Comments

» Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) :
Sep 27, 2012

I know you guys have had a rough go of it in India, but this post brought a smile to my face because when Tony and I were researching places to visit in India, we knew Rajasthan was a place we wanted to spend some serious time. And all of the places you listed were places we wanted to go, so it gives me hope that we may love India in the end!

LOCAVORista Reply:

Steph, India is tough travel, but I enjoyed the chaos and colors more than my husband. You will find plenty of people that will rave about India and while I can’t recommend it to everyone Rajasthan gives you a great taste of the country. I look forward to hearing what you think of the sub continent!

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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