highlights and main attractions of rajasthan

Rajasthan is truly the highlight of any trip to India. One of the largest of India’s states, Rajasthan is home to holy cities, a parched desert, fortresses, national parks and some of the country’s most magnificent and awe-inspiring palaces.

The capital of Rajasthan and the largest city in the state, Jaipur is evocatively also known as the Pink City, thanks to the dusky pink colour of many of her buildings and monuments. A well-planned, bustling city, where the proud Rajput people will give you a warm welcome, Jaipur has a wealth of stunning architecture. The Hawa Mahal with its impressively ornate façade is also known as the Palace of Winds thanks to the hundreds of small windows, the purpose of which was to allow the ladies in purdah to watch the street below, without being seen themselves. Amber Fort, near to Jaipur and on the Aravalli Hills, is an impressive example of Rajput architecture – with its courtyards and ornately decorated arches and cupolas, the mirrored chambers inside the palace, the intricate patterns on the outer walls, the attention to detail is simply breathtaking.  

Jaipur also provides the opportunity to stay in one of India’s finest palaces – Rambagh Palace. Now a luxury hotel, the palace was formerly home of the Maharajah and Maharani of Jaipur.

where is rajasthan?

johpur and udaipur

Jodhpur is another of Rajasthan’s iconic palace cities and is often known as the Blue City, as many of the city’s houses are so painted. The enormous Mehrangarh Fort dominates the city’s skyline and is yet another wonderful example of Rajasthan’s wondrous architecture. Inside the fort, the interior has been exquisitely preserved and it houses impressive collections of howdahs which were the seats used to carry royalty on elephants, as well as the palanquins which transported the royalty of the time. Jodhpur is also home to another world class palace hotel, Umaid Bhawan, with its distinctive dome.

Udaipur, also known as the City of Lakes, is itself another of Rajasthan’s most pleasant cities, with a lovely old quarter and plenty of palaces, temples and museums to see. Possibly the most famous palace hotel in all of India is the Lake Palace in Udaipur – built out of white marble, the lavishly decorated palace appears to float on the surface of Lake Pichola.

Travelling further west you will reach Jaisalmer, whose walled fortress town rises majestically from the flat Thar Desert surrounding it. The thick sandstone walls of the fort have helped to protect its inhabitants for centuries, but it is the exploration of the many narrow walkways and lanes which makes this city so special. The façades of the mansions are intricately decorated and at times, the distance between opposite houses is so narrow that ladies can simply lean out of the windows to gossip with their neighbours.

Rajasthan’s smaller towns also boast some impressive forts and palaces – Samode Palace with its elegant neighbouring tented camp, Neemrana on the outskirts of Delhi and the holy city of Pushkar with its famous camel fair are other highlights of this incredible destination.

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