Rajasthan is a perfect melange of culture, tradition and heritage. Popular for its opulent havelis, wildlife sanctuaries and delectable cuisine, there are also a number of exciting activities and things to do in Rajasthan that attract a large tourist influx. From zip lining to flying fox, wildlife safaris and hot air balloons, there is no dearth of adventure and fun activities in Rajasthan. Needless to mention, you can always visit the heritage forts and marvel at their brilliant architecture or go boating in the marvellous lakes. Take a look at the comprehensive list of top things to do in Rajasthan given below!
Here is the list of 48 Things to do in Rajasthan for a Perfect Desert Vacation
Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is a place frequently visited by tourists for its large stretches of desert sand. Most of the visitors prefer going for the desert safaris and planned packages. These tours are conducted either in the early morning or during the evening to avoid the scorching heat. Also, once the desert safari in Jaisalmer gets done, you can enjoy a delicious meal alongside musical dance program that showcases the local culture of Rajasthan. Experiencing a desert safari in Jaisalmer is one of the best things to do in Rajasthan.
The golden fort, sand dunes, and the enchanting palaces make Jaisalmer an ideal destination for Camping and Cultural evening. A camping tour is a must on the bucket list of anyone who wishes to dig deeper the real essence of Rajasthan. It is one of the must things to do in Jaisalmer. Many tour providers offer camping along with safaris, parasailing, para motor gliding and so on. Riding a desert camel along the arid landscape is another exciting activity. The evenings are mostly to enjoy the Rajasthani culture with music and dance reflecting the rich cultural heritage.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the five hill forts of Rajasthan that were declared the UNESCO world heritage site in 2013. It is situated in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan and lies 82 kilometres northwest of the city of Udaipur. Constructed on the foothills of Aravalli ranges, it is surrounded by thirteen hill peaks of the ranges and is perched at an elevation of 1,914 m. The magnificent fort is situated in the middle of a forest which has been turned into a wildlife sanctuary. It is the second largest and the most important Mewar fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh palace.
Many adventure activities have also begun in the city, which offer the visitors, an unparalleled travel experience. One such incredible adventure activity in Jaipur is Hot Air Balloon. Imagine flying over palaces, forts and lakes, soaking the magnificent landscape of the region, with Aravali hills posing as the backdrop. Trying out this activity is one of the best things to do in Rajasthan.
A trip to the desert would be incomplete without a camel safari across the seemingly endless expanse of the sandy terrain. With Rajasthan being the desert state of India, a trip to this cultural oasis will only feel complete by availing a camel safari. The city of Jodhpur offers multiple packages of varying durations for its visitors. If you're feeling especially adventurous, there are packages offering travellers the opportunity to undertake the incredible journey from the blue city of Jodhpur to the golden city of Jaisalmer, spanning roughly 250 km of the mesmerising desert.
Dune Bashing is one of the most exclusive and unique things to do in Jaisalmer. If you have an adventure streak, this is one activity you should definitely try. You will literally feel your adrenaline rush up when you are rafting through the pits and falls of the majestic golden desert even when you are safely seated in the car with seat belts fastened to you.
The heavenly Lake Pichola is an artificial lake located in the heart of Udaipur, Rajasthan. The oldest and one of the largest lakes of the city, the Lake Pichola observes lakhs of tourists because of its tranquillity and beauty. Flanked by lofty hills, heritage buildings and bathing ghats, it is a dream come true for peace and nature lovers. Visiting the lake is one of the top things to do in Udaipur, and it is incomplete without a boat ride, especially in the dawn. The boat ride starts at Rameshwar Ghat and it first takes you to the Lake Palace Hotel. Then, it proceeds to the Jagmandir where you can stop for some time and reminisce the scenic views.
Jaipur, famously renowned as the pink city is the royal capital of India's largest state, Rajasthan. If the poised attractions of the city do not tend to mesmerize you, then you could always experience the grandness of it by taking an elephant ride in Jaipur. It would definitely be a great experience for you to recall for years. Every year hundreds of tourists flock towards the Amber Fort just for this majestic ride. The beauty of these animals decorated in royal colors would definitely ensorcelled you.
Wildlife Safari at Ranthambore is a famous activity amongst nature and wildlife lovers where one can see various species in their natural habitat. The Ranthambore National Park has separate safaris to explore the park in separate zones. One of the favourite is the one to see the majestic tiger in its natural habitat. Visiting here is one of the topmost things to do in Rajasthan.
When in the lake city, visiting the cafes situated along the lakes and trying the delicious food is one of the topmost things to do in Udaipur. Although the signature dish is the very famous laal maas made out of mutton in traditional Rajasthan flavours, you can also taste some of the very sumptuous dabeli, daal baati churma, lentils, Bikaneri bhurji etc.
Chokhi Dhani is a luxury heritage resort synonymous with Rajasthani village culture. It is a must-visit destination and is among the top things to do in Jaipur. It is located a little on the outskirts of the city on the Tonk Road. The concept of the village is to give you a tangible feel of rural Rajasthan. It is a real depiction of traditional Rajasthan with ancient artefacts, handicrafts, paintings, folklore and sculptures.
Sam Sand Dunes are visited by those who seek solace away from the conventional site hopping and want to spend some time under the open sky. Here you can experience the real wilderness of the desert and the vibrancy of authentic Rajasthani culture. The dunes are a wavy stretch of golden yellow sand stretching for around 2 kilometres along the borders of the Jaisalmer Desert National Park and offer a very picturesque and unobstructed view of the true expanse of the Great Thar desert. Travellers come here to witness the sunrise and sunset and the brilliant scenery they create over the fast stretches of barren land.
Identified as one of the important tourist place of Bikaner, National Research Centre On Camel is open for tourists during afternoon. Tourists can see the camel of different breeds and their behavior. A camel museum is available to apprise them of the developmental and research aspects of the camel in the desert ecosystem. Facilities of camel riding, safari and video/photography are also available. Special attraction of the centre is Camel milk parlour and you can have unique value added camel milk products like ice-cream, hot and cold beverages. This is one of the most unique things to do in Bikaner.
This festival is a major celebration for all of the kite-flying enthusiasts. In its inaugural ceremony, at the Polo Ground, a number of helicopters release a number of kites, along with children releasing a number of balloons. There are two major competitions held during this festival: the Fighter Kite Competition and the Display Kite Competition. The final round of the competition is held in the Umaid Bhawan Palace. So, if you are planning to visit Jodhpur in the month of January, do plan it around the 14th of January (Makar Sankranti)!
Famous for the historical ruins and the ghost stories, Bhangarh has been regarded as the most haunted place in the country. It is located on the way between Jaipur and Delhi. As soon as you enter through the main gate of the ruined fort city, also known as Bhoot Bangla, it gives a chill down your spine. Within the fort, there are temples, palaces, and Havelis. Apart from that, there are also four more gates for the entry to the fort: the Lahori Gate, the Ajmeri Gate, the Phulbari Gate and the Delhi Gate.
Quad Biking is another one of the very exciting and thrilling things to do in Jaisalmer. The adrenaline rushing sport offers a surreal ride on what are called the ATV Bikes. The activity is performed under strict guidance and supervision of a professional. You can live your 'heroic' moment trying to capture the vast desert on your high speed bikes.
Parasailing is one of the most exciting things to do in Jaisalmer. Mostly the desert camps and resorts organize this activity on prior request. The activity offers a breathtaking view of the golden sandy city below and you should definitely try it when in Jaisalmer.
Hathi Pol Bazar is a perfect attraction for shopaholics. When in town, this is one of the most essential things to do in Udaipur along with several others. One can find a variety of branded and local items including intricately embroidered and colourful block-printed apparel, ethnic silver jewellery, accessories, handmade mojris, traditional bandhej and home decor items, textiles, etc. Hathi Pol Bazar is famous for Miniature paintings, Ichhwai Paintings and hand paintings on silk.
Nestled in the Aravali Hills over an area of about 800 Sq. Km covering the grasslands, dry deciduous forests, cliffs and rocky landscape, lays the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, now known as The Sariska Tiger Reserve. This area was once a hunting preservation of The Maharaja of Alwar. The Reserve is known for its majestic Royal Bengal Tigers. It is the first tiger reserve to relocate the Tigers (from Ranthambore) successfully. As it lies in the lap of Aravali Hills, it holds an abundant amount of mineral resources like copper.
The breathtaking and gorgeous Ana Sagar Lake is a magnificent artificial lake that is located in the city of Ajmer in Rajasthan, India. This lake, which dries up every year in the summer season, is best visited during the sunsets when the views are extraordinarily marvellous to look at. The sight of the lake from the nearby temple is also particularly enchanting. Do not forget to take a camera to capture the fantastic and heavenly views that you behold here. All in all, a visit to the Ana Sagar Lake is a must when you are in Ajmer, for the beauty of this lake can be enjoyed and cherished with friends and family alike. Today, the Ana Sagar Lake is one of Ajmer's most popular lakes and is also one of the largest lakes that India is home to.
Mansapurna Karni Ropeway is a splendid way to commute from Udaipur and Machhala Hill Top. The 387 metre ropeway is the best mode of transport to reach the Karni Mata Temple located on the hill. It was built in 2008 by Kailash Khandelwal and offers a breathtaking aerial view of the Aravali mountain range surrounding the Fateh Sagar Lake, the Pichola Lake, the Sajjangarh Fort and the City Palace. Make sure you definitely put this activity in your bucket list of things to do in Rajasthan.
Situated near the town of Jaisalmer, Desert national park is among the largest of its kind in the country, encompassing an area of 3162 sq kms. The park covers a huge area extending from Jaisalmer/Barmer all the way to the India-Pakistan border. In spite of being right in the middle of an arid, dry, and sandy desert, the desert national park presents a wonderful opportunity to see the wildlife such as camels, desert fox, Bengal fox, chinkara, wolves, desert cat, and the Blackbuck.
When thinking of Rajasthan, the first thing that comes to mind are the sturdy forts and plush palaces in Udaipur. Synonymous with striking architecture, elaborate design and an all around grand vibe, these opulent palaces in Udaipur spell splendour and grandeur in all their forms. Establishing the true nature of the Rajputana and reverberating with the Mewar culture, some of these palaces were summer resorts, some were pleasure residences and the others were just constructed to introduce the world with the sheer magic of royalty.
There is no death of historical places in Jaipur. A city with that embodies vibrant royalty and heritage, Jaipur is a must-visit for history buffs. Starting from the gigantic Amber fort to the iconic Hawa Mahal, the architecture and history of Jaipur are awe-inspiring. Winters (November - March) is the best time to visit Jaipur to explore these monuments.
The 15th-century palace, Neemrana Fort, is an epitome of immense beauty. It finds itself in the Aravalli ranges which are the oldest fold mountains in the world. Now turned into a luxury resort, the palace was once under the reign of Rajput Maharaja Prithvi Raj Chauhan III. Built in 1464, it became the third capital of the king's descendants. The majestic fort almost covers 10 hectares of the area over the hill. It showcases a perplexing blend of traditional Rajasthani and modern styled interior. Since the time it had opened itself to the public, the palace has become the favourite place for weekend getaways.
Pink City in Jaipur refers to the old walled city that was built in the year 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II. When you are in the city, touring the Pink City should be among your top list of things to do in Jaipur. The wall that marks the boundary of the Pink City is about six metres high and three metres thick and encompasses a number of structures within its confines. Built about 275 years ago, today it presents the glorious past of our country through its culture and architecture.
Adrenaline junkies, rejoice! Combining an experience of thrilling adventure and historical sightseeing, the Neemrana Fort offers zip lining right through its mesmerizing landscapes on the outskirts of Delhi. Flying high at a speed of 40 kilometres per head, this encounter is exciting escapade. While ziplining, you will cover about five different hills, with the entire route spanning over the imposing construction that Neemrana Fort is. There can be no better way to capture the beauty of this destination than to zip line right through the heart of it!
Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti is one of the holiest places of worship in India not only for the Muslims but followers of every faith. Being the final resting place of the Gharib Nawaz Moin-ud-din Chishti, it has had an enormous contribution in spreading the ethical and spiritual values of Islam amongst masses. A peculiar kind of fascinating aroma prevails in the shrine throughout time, which inspires the visitors with a spontaneous and irresistible urge towards spirituality, giving the place the aura of the presence of some exalted soul or mighty spiritual king.
Located amidst the lush green Aravalli hills, the Dilwara Temple is the most beautiful pilgrimage site for the Jains. Built by Vastupal Tejpal between 11th and 13th century, this temple is renowned for the opulent use of marble and intricate carvings on every hook and corner. From the outside, it looks quite austere but, once you enter the inside, you will go head over heels with the stunning designs and patterns carved on roofs, walls, archways and pillars.
The breathtaking Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary boasts of rich biodiversity which adds it to the list of must-visit places in the tiny hamlet. The sanctuary is one of the oldest parts of the Mount Abu mountain ranges and is the origin of numerous sightseeing points with exquisite views. It was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary in 1960 to preserve flora and fauna of the entire region and is, therefore, an important eco-tourism spot. The sanctuary is a floral beauty with a vibrant vegetative cover of evergreen forests. It is the perfect place if you wish to witness the best of wildlife in Rajasthan in their natural habitat combined with a thrilling experience.
The plush palaces and mighty forts in Jodhpur are a testimony to its rich history, vibrant heritage and glorious traditions. Standing sturdy since the bygone era, the colossal forts in Jodhpur are a witness to the rich legacy of the city, of numerous royal love stories and innumerable wars and victories. The mahals and the havelis have been preserved, restored and renovated for different purposes including tourism etc.
Jodhpur Flamenco and Gypsy Festival (JFG) is a cultural festival that merges the west and east folk and cultures of India and Spain. A colourful and musical festival celebrated in the sands of Rajasthan, this eclectic festival aims to initiate and establish a link between Rajasthani folk music as well as traditional Gypsy culture and flamenco dancers of Spain. It is a platform that helps the artisans from the corners of the world to explore each other's cultural heritage. Musicians, dancers, singer and other artists add charm to this festival. The majestic Mehrangarh Fort plays host to this festival each year and this year it will be held from 3rd - 5th April 2019.
The Flying Fox Zipline Tour in Jodhpur is arguably the most memorable way to experience the Mehrangarh Fort, a key attraction of the blue city. A stunning way to admire the stunning art, architecture, and colors of the city, Flying Fox in Jodhpur is a sport especially for all the adrenaline junkies that visit this historic city. A well-organised setup of six zip lines, this tour covers the walls, the bastions and the lakes of the fort, spanning an estimated time of two hours. Not only is it the best activity to get your heart racing, participants are also treated to a unique breathtaking collection of views of the picturesque city and the majestic fort.
Camel Festival in Bikaner is a two-day event organized annually in January in the land of camels, Bikaner which is situated in the north-west Indian state of Rajasthan. The Festival is a grand celebration of the rich culture of Bikaner that draws tourists from all over the world to this land of camels. The event has camel safaris, camel rides, processions, folk dance and various other cultural activities and competitions. On the occasion of the festival, the camels are dresses in bright and colourful ornaments and bridles. The burst of vibrant colours in the golden dunes is a sight that cannot match any other celebration in the world.
Karauli is a quaint town located in the state of Rajasthan. The town is famous for sacred places and is home to more than 300 temples. The rich, vibrant and colourful heritage and culture of Rajasthan can be glimpsed in this town which makes it a perfect place to visit on a vacation. Karauli also has a lot of forts and palaces with splendid architecture that are a must visit to know about grandeur of this small town. The locals are very friendly with whom you can interact and get to know about the fables and myths of this place or you can even explore the wildlife sanctuary and spot different varieties of animals and birds.
This is a historic site located 40km from the Udaipur city and is famous for the battle between the Mughals and the Rajputs led by Maharana Pratap. There is a cenotaph with thin, delicate marble columns dedicated to Rana Pratap's horse. This is one activity equally loved by the tourists and city dwellers, and it is listed as one of the best places near Udaipur.
With a suitable habitat for various bird species, bird watching is a favourite activity in Ranthambore. Enthusiasts have observed over 300 species of birds including migratory birds. One can opt for a thrilling Jeep Safari to explore various parts of the National Park for bird watching, some most preferred locations being the Malik Talao, Padam Talao, Rajbagh Talao and the Ranthambore Fort.
Now known as the Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur National Park is a famous bird watching paradise and is listed among UNESCO's World Heritage sites as well. The 29 km reserve is locally known as Ghana and is a mosaic of dry grasslands, woodlands, woodland swamps, and wetlands. These diverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species,7 turtle species, and a variety of other invertebrates. Every year thousands of migratory waterfowl visit the park for winter breeding.
Brij festival or Brij Mahotsav is a popularly celebrated festival in the Brij region of Bharatpur, three days before Holi celebrations. Celebrated in the month of March, the pump and vigour of this occasion is for the devotion of Lord Krishna. The true essence of the city can be observed during this time as people of all ethnic cultures come together to celebrate the eternal dedication in Lord Krishna. A unique feature of this festival is the Rasila dance. On that auspicious day, people take a dip in the holy water of Banganga river which is believed to be a very process of purification.
The Hill Fort Kesroli is one of the rare heritage hotels in Alwar that has been in existence since the 14th century. A wonderful destination to enjoy the barrier sunsets, showing daily since 700 years and discovering the Neemrana heritage hotels in Alwar is this resort. Hill Fort-Kesroli is a great holiday choice for those looking for a relaxing weekend getaway from Delhi.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. Covering a total surface area of 578 sq km and stretching across the Aravalli ranges, it encircles parts of Udaipur, Rajsamand, and Pali. Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary is famous for its 40 strong wolf pack, that is rarely found elsewhere. Apart from the wolf it also houses the various variety of endangered and rare animal species and almost 200 different species of birds. Visiting here is one of the best things to do in Rajasthan.
Sikar is one of the most preferred excursions away from Shekhawati. It is host to plenty of prolific havelis and temples namely the Ram Chokhani Haveli, Bansidhar Rathi Haveli, Mirijamal Kyala Haveli, Kedia Haveli, Sanganeria Haveli, Radha Murli Manohar temple and the Jeen Mata temple are the relatively more famous ones.
Known For : Taragarh Fort | Moti Mahal, Bundi | Badal Mahal, Bundi
A princely state for a princely stay, in the northwest of India, lies the district of Bundi, in the Hadoti region of the royal state of Rajasthan. In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes. Bundi is home to some of the most magnificent palaces, majestic forts, its baolis (meaning water wells or step wells), haves, temples and chhatris with carved pillars. It is of great historical significance as it has been a witness to many battles and legendary tales of valor. Bundi is blessed with a plethora of nature along with a beautiful pattern of rivers and lakes and some enchanted waterfalls.
Best Time : October to March
Known For : Charbhuja | Shrinathji Temple | Shopping in Nathdwara
Nestled amidst the Aravalli Hills, the charming town of Nathdwara is literally translates to "The Gateway of the Lord'. It is situated in the heart of Rajasthan, on the banks of river Banas and is a pristine picturesque location. It is also a sacred Hindu site and is flocked by thousands of tourists every year. Nathdwara is also famous for "Pichwai Paintings" which are traditional Rajasthani style paintings and terracotta work. It is considered the hub of traditional handicrafts, arts and artefacts.
Best Time : September to February
This so called separate village is actually an amazing place to be. It lies in the middle of endless expanse and one can spend forever just seeing the different shades of the sand. The camel safari is definitely worth it and a great experience. This rural village can be accessed only by jeep, camel or horseback. The rustic surroundings have huts made in the middle to blend in the tranquil atmosphere. Tourists can attain a certain level of relaxation and calm.
Known For : Havelis | Deeg Fort | Bharatpur
Located in close vicinity to the city of Bharatpur, Deeg is a small town in the state of Rajasthan. Founded by Maharaja Suraj Mahal in the 18th century, Deeg served as the summer resort to the Royal family. Popular for its magnificent palaces, exquisite fortifications and desi bazaars, the town is an escape from the regular din of city life. You can soak in the rural landscape and laze in the culture. Not far from here is also located the famous Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary which is a must visit.
Best Time : September to March
Royal, mystical and arid are the words that come to mind when one thinks about Rajasthan. The land of Maharajas renders tales of India's glorious past. Rajasthan has almost everything that a traveller may desire to see in an ideal holiday destination. Though an arid land, there are some beautiful lakes in Rajasthan. Some are natural, and some are artificial; constructed by the kings in ancient times to deal with the scarcity of water in the area.
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