Discover Rajasthan, land of mystical treasures

A journey through Rajasthan takes the traveller from one marvel to the next right at the heart of one of Asia's most magical destinations.
  • Rajasthan, India
    iStockphoto.com / Roberto A Sanchez
  • Rajasthan, India
    iStockphoto.com / Mlenny
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination India

Feel like Aladdin on a flying carpet while you swerve in and out of the desert on the way to the mystical cities of Rajasthan. Stay in the sumptuous residences of the Maharajas such as the world-famous Lake Palace in Udaipur. Jaipur, nicknamed the pink city is the capital of Rajasthan. It is fulls of temples and palaces, Jaiselmer, the golden city, rises out of the Thar desert, surrounded by a fortress. Udaipur, the white city oozes with charms such as its abandoned Palace of the Winds overlooking the Lake Palace, whilst Jodpur, the blue city, buzzes with activity day or night. Rajasthan is an unforgetable experience which has to be lived at least once in a lifetime.

Rajasthan: the key figures

Surface area : 342239.0 km2

Population : 50000000 inhabitants

  • The wide range of monuments and landscapes.
  • It is possible to join a jeep tour around the natural reserves and for a visit of the cultural visit of historical sites.
  • Hotels are often full during the peak tourist season. It is better to reserve in advance and avoid the period of Indian vacations.
  • You cannot go to Pakistan through the Thar desert because it is a very delicate military zone owing to the tensions between India and Pakistan.

Rajasthan: what to visit?

Landscapes

  • The Thar desert
  • The chain of Aravalli Mountains , The Aravalli Range, India , India
    The chain of Aravalli Mountains
  • Fertile plains , The southern plains, India , India
    Fertile plains
  • Fertile plains , The southern plains, India , India

Arts and culture

  • The City Palace of Jaipur , City Palace, Jaipur, India , India
    The City Palace of Jaipur
  • The City Palace of Udaipur, India, The City Palace of Udaipur, Arts and culture, Rajasthan
    The City Palace of Udaipur
  • The museums , The museums of Rajasthan, India , India
    The museums
  • The museums , The museums of Rajasthan, India , India

Monuments

  • The fortress of Amber , The Amber Fortress, Rajasthan, India , India
    The fortress of Amber
  • The Jain temple of Mount Abu , Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India , India
    The Jain temple of Mount Abu
  • The temples of Eklingii , Eklingji Shiva Temple, India , India
    The temples of Eklingii
  • The temples of Eklingii , Eklingji Shiva Temple, India , India

Parks and reserves

  • The tiger reserves , Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan , India
    The tiger reserves
  • The Keoladeo Ghana bird refuge , The Keoladeo Reserve, Rajasthan, India , India
    The Keoladeo Ghana bird refuge
  • The Keoladeo Ghana bird refuge , The Keoladeo Reserve, Rajasthan, India , India

Maharaja palaces

  • The palaces of Jaipur , The Hawa Mahal Palace, Jaipur, India , India
    The palaces of Jaipur
  • The palaces of Udaipur , The Shiv Niwas Palace, Rajasthan, India , India
    The palaces of Udaipur
  • Umaid Bhawan Palace, Johdpur, India, Umaid Bhawan Palace of Jodhpur, Maharaja palaces, Rajasthan
    Umaid Bhawan Palace of Jodhpur
  • The hunting lodges and havelis of Shekhawati. , Havelis, Shekhawati, India , India
    The hunting lodges and havelis of Shekhawati.
  • The hunting lodges and havelis of Shekhawati. , Havelis, Shekhawati, India , India

Rajasthan: what to buy?

Indian handicraft is very rich. Rajasthan in particular offers silk and cotton stuffs, specialty of the region of Jaipur. Barmer, close to Jaisalmer, is renown for its embroidered goods. For women, think of the very elegant silk saris sold by weight or by the meter. Precious stones, especially in Jaipur, massive and heavy silver jewellery as well as bronze objects inlayed with fine red, green and blue designs are a treat not only to yourself but equally as gifts. You can take back miniatures of Udaipur like musical instruments, puppets, tents, carpets, perfumes, incense and a wide variety of spices. Visit the State Emporiums, government shops throughout the country offering fixed prices. In all other places, you can bargain. In large cities, shops open between 10 AM and 7 PM or 8 PM from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays and public holidays, they are closed.
It is strictly forbidden to export fur, snake skin, antiquities and to import into Europe any ivory object.

Rajasthan: what to eat?

The huge diversity of dishes depend on the State, origin of the populations and their respective castes. The only shared aspect is rice and tea. The Dhal, a type of soup with lentils is the most widely-eaten dish. Curry powder forms the base of several dishes. In Rajasthan, millet is a staple food mixed with beans or caper. The most popular Rajput dish is the Sula, a chicken or goat-meat kebab, marinated in spiced sauce and cooked in the tandoor (oven). In the north, you can treat yourself to tandoori chicken, macerated in spiced yoghurt and baked in a clay oven, biryanis (mixture of meat and rice that is sometimes spiced up with almonds and dry fruits), samosas (meat balls or spiced vegetables). All over India, chutneys (macerated vegetables or fruits), chapatis (flour pancakes eaten as bread) and thalis (set of vegetarian dishes). For dessert, treat yourself to the kheer, milk rice and equally try the kulfi, a type of smooth pistachio cream. Don't forget to try the countless cheap dishes offered by street vendors. Tip: avoid empty stands and restaurants.

Rajasthan: what are the cultural particularities?

The Hinduist India is a violent culture shock. Most human relationships are governed by the hierarchical system of castes, in which each individual has a specific role. The cow is a sacred animal.
In the Hindu and Jain temples, as well as in mosques, you should remove your shoes before entering. The same applies to Sikh temples where you must cover your head. Take off your leather objects before entering a Jain temple. Make sure visitors or women are admitted during prayers before entering the mosques. Cover your arms and legs, and avoid dressing sloppily. Whatever the situation, do not touch the sculpture or statue of a divinity.
In everyday life, avoid contact between your feet and a person. Find out about the symbolism of flowers to avoid making a gaffe when offering them. A gift received is kept in a corner to be opened later on. During meals, remove your shoes if your hosts do not have theirs on. When eating with your hands, only use the right hand, as the left is used to wash your privates. Arranged marriages between two families still exist.

Rajasthan: travel tips

Don't you hesitate to give yourself a treat by spending at least one night in the suite of a Maharaja's royal palace, transformed into a luxury hotel.
Rent a chauffeur-driven vehicle and go for the discovery of Rajasthan. A very practical and surely most appropriate means to discover the four corners of the State.
In November in Pushkar, don't miss the famous Camel fair. A great event that brings together several camels, cattle and all sorts of traders.

Rajasthan: Latest hotel reviews
  • 9.7 /10
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    Ananda Spa
    Richikech - India
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    This little piece of paradise, in natural surroundings, and perched ...

  • 9.55 /10
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    Lake Palace
    Udaipur - India
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    A palace in the middle of a lake! An amazing experience in a ...

  • 9.45 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Udaivilas
    Udaipur - India
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    On the banks of the river, the Udaivilas is one of the most luxurious ...

  • 9.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Rajvilas
    Jaipur - India
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    Consisting of the Rajvilas fort in a 32-acre garden, with several ...

  • 9.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Taj Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A former residence of the maharajas of Jaipur, the Taj Rambagh ...

  • 9.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Raj Palace
    Jaipur - India
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The oldest hotel in Jaipur, the Raj Palace dates from the 17th ...

  • 8.7 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Umaid Bhawan Palace
    Jodhpur - India
    Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    Great personality in this luxurious 350-room palace, which is ...

  • 8.35 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Taj Hari Mahal
    Jodhpur - India
    Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    A large luxury hotel and the best in town, the Taj Hari Mahal ...

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