The largest state in India, and dubbed the Land of Kings, or the Land of Kingdoms, Rajasthan offers endless possibilities for exploration. From heritage sites and historical monuments to vibrant cities and bustling bazaars, discover the best places to visit in Rajasthan.
Amber Fort is one of the most astounding places to visit in Rajasthan. The fort is located on a forested hill in the town of Amer, just 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) from the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur. Also known as Amer Fort, it is well loved for its artistic blend of both Hindu and Rajput elements. It is difficult to describe its four stupendous courtyards, colossal ramparts, stunning series of gates, its many cobbled paths and the breathtaking view of the Maota Lake – one must witness these views with their own eyes. Despite its name, the Amber Fort is in fact a palace, and is also commonly known as Amber Palace. It was built in the 16th century by the Rajput Raja of Amer, Man Singh I, who was also one of Emperor Akbar’s most trusted war chiefs.
L: Ganesh Gate
R: The Hall of Public Audience
The main entrance is through the Sun Gate, otherwise known as Suraj Pole, which leads into the extraordinary first courtyard of Jaleb Chowk. Just to the right of the entrance is the Sila Devi temple, where the Rajput Maharajas worshipped. The second courtyard is where one will see the Hall of Public Audience, known as Diwan-e-Aam, which is built on double rows of intricately ornamented pillars. As the name may suggest, this was the place that the Raja held an audience to review petitions from the public. The entrance to the third courtyard is through the magnificently mosaic and sculpture embellished Ganesh Gate, otherwise known as Ganesh Pole.
L: Mirrored ceiling of the Sheesh Mahal
R: Sukh Niwaas
The Mirror Palace, or the Sheesh Mahal, is situated in the third courtyard, which boasts a mirrored ceiling that is truly astounding. The Sukh Niwaas is situated in the fourth courtyard. The architecture is not only artistically grand, but also creates an artificially cool climate. Amber Fort is one of the places to visit in Rajasthan that must be in your to do list when in India.
View of Jaipur from the hills
Jaipur is the capital of the state and is one of the must-see places to visit in Rajasthan. Jaipur is popular due to the consistency and broadness of its streets, which is quite unusual in cities that pre-date modern day India.
View of Jaipur, the Pink City
It is nicknamed the Pink City due to the striking colour of the stones used in the construction of its structures. The colour pink is traditionally synonymous with hospitality in Jaipur; Maharaja Ran Singh had the whole city painted in pink to welcome Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales in 1876.
When visiting Jaipur, the Jantar Mantar observatory is one of the places to visit in Rajasthan that one should not miss out on. A World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar boasts elaborate architecture of astronomical instruments. Regardless of whether or not one is a fan of astronomy, the perfectly aligned sizeable devices will awe-inspire with their ability to measure time, predict eclipses, track the location of stars, study the planets, among other things.
View of Jodhpur, the Blue City
Jodhpur is adorned with countless forts, palaces and temples, all amidst the alluring landscape of the Thar Desert. The desert is the largest in India, spanning across Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana. The metropolitan city of Jodhpur has two nicknames: the Sun City, due to year-round warm weather and sunshine, and the Blue City, due to the vivid blue of the houses that surround the Mehrangarh Fort. In fact, Jodhpur recently topped the Lonely Planet’s list one of the greatest places to visit in Rajasthan. The Mehrangarh Fort is located 122 metres above the city of Jodphur and boasts emaculate carvings and courtyards. One cannot help but fall in love with the galleries that can be visited in the fort, which displays indigenous and cultural paintings, turbans and folk instruments, among many things. The Mehrangarh Fort may be recognisable from the film, The Dark Knight Rises, which was shot on location at the fort in May 2011.
The Marwari community predominantly reside in Jodhpur, making it one of the perfect places to visit in Rajasthan for one to immerse themselves in Marwari arts, culture and cuisine. If that is not enough to entice you, the beauty of Jodhpur has seen an increase in celebrity weddings around the city – perfect for those enjoy a little celebrity spotting and the vibrant spectacle of an Indian wedding. When visiting India, Jodhpur is one of the places to visit in Rajasthan that must not be missed.
Images: Firoze Edassery, Wikipedia, eBharat, Shashvat Sinha, Deep Panchal, Lokankara