The Indian state of Rajasthan is my favorite state in India after Goa, and for travelers, it’s the place I recommend the most. I have visited twice and spent overall six weeks in the state. I have a lot of blog posts about each city and how to get around which I’ll link below but I wanted to do a simple round-up of the Rajasthan points of interest across the state you won’t want to miss – there are some really great temples, palaces, and forts here which are world-famous. While each city has its own sites, some cities top sites actually wouldn’t make the top sites in the state, if that makes sense to you – so I wanted to share the top tourist places in Rajasthan altogether. Seeing which ones stand out to you will help you decide which cities you want to add to your itinerary. There are more than 10, of course, but I am putting the prettiest most amazing ones on this list!
Rajasthan Points of Interest
1. Amer Fort (Amber Fort), Jaipur
The Amber (Amer) Fort is actually in Amer which is just 11 km from Jaipur, but many people still call it a Jaipur attraction. This is a beautiful sandstone and marble fort made with Hindu designs. Many people come here to ride the elephants up to the fort, one of the top tourist attractions in Jaipur, but I beg you not to – the elephants are beaten and exhausted. They might do this for 40 years every day of their lives! The fort is great, though, with amazing views.
2. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
This is one of my favorite forts in India because it offers such amazing views of India’s “blue city” down below. I think it was 600 Rs. to go in (kind of expensive, usually it’s like 300 Rs at other forts). It’s worth it, though! It’s a really beautiful place and there is a museum inside.
3. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
You can’t miss the Hawa Mahal because you’ll drive by it all the time. It’s the huge pink building overlooking the main road in Jaipur. It was built so that the royal ladies could watch parades and celebrations from a safe place high above the crowds. This is one of the most epic “pink” monuments of India’s “pink city”.
4. City Palace, Udaipur
The City Palace in Udaipur is just near Lal Ghat and is my favorite palace to visit! It has so many different rooms that are just magical. I took about a million photos here! Blue rooms, white rooms, mirrored rooms – each is unique. You can tour the museum as well or take a boat ride out onto Lake Pichola to see views of the floating Taj Lake Palace.
5. Ranthambore National Park
This is where you would have your best luck seeing a tiger. I haven’t personally been here but it’s known as one of the best national parks in India.
6. Sonar Quila, Jaisalmer
This fort is actually one of the biggest forts in the WORLD. It overlooks the city of Jaisalmer – which is out in the Thar Desert. The main reason people come to Jaisalmer is to ride camels into the desert and sleep under the stars, but this fort is a great reason to go, too! There is a guesthouse in the fort, but you shouldn’t stay there as the infrastructure cannot handle the waste and water issues which is causing deterioration on the fort.
7. Dilwara Jain Temples, Mt. Abu
photo via BOMBMAN
These Jain temples are a pilgrimage site and very important in India, while Mt. Abu itself is a famous hill station for holidays. I recommend having a government tour guide tell you about all the carvings in the temple so you can learn more about Jains and the stories behind the artwork.
8. Karni Mata Temple, Bikaner
Yes, India has a rat temple. I haven’t gone here because the thought terrifies me. From my basic understanding, this is for the rat which is the “vehicle” for Ganesh. All Hindu gods have a “vehicle” that they ride around on. For example, Shiva’s vehicle is a bull. There are said to be 25,000 black rats in this temple!
9. Kumbhalgarh Fort, Aravalli Hills
image via Ajith Kumar
The Aravalli hills are a great place to take time to explore if you have extra time. If you have three weeks only, then you might want to skip this. While here seeing the Kumbhalgarh Fort, you can also take time to do some wildlife safaris and maybe even see the elusive leopards that hide up here. This fort is a Mewar Fortress and UNESCO site.
10. Jal Mahal, Jaipur
The Jal Mahal is a stunning floating palace, although the bottom half is submerged and like the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, you cannot go on it. You can take a boat around it, though, and see how stunning it is! It’s been around since the 18th century.
I hope these Rajasthan points of interest can help you narrow down which cities you want to add to your itinerary!
For more information read the following:
- My guide to Udaipur
- My guide to Jodhpur
- My guide to Jaipur
- What to wear in Rajasthan (outfit post coming soon)
- Planning your India trip from scratch
- Best India itinerary
Before you come to Rajasthan, India:
- You must have a visa. You can use this link to book it the easiest way for a fee. Read more about visas for India here.
- Travel insurance is so important. I use World Nomads (follow this link for a quote). Here’s my article on what is covered by WN insurance.
- For tours that cover all of Rajasthan, I recommend the USA company, G Adventures and find one that goes the cities on your wishlist. If you click that link, you’ll see the available tours with it mapped out.
- Read my information about getting a SIM card in India or using Trabug.
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