How do you reach Rajasthan?
- By air: For domestic/international flights, there is an airport at Jaipur.
- By rail: The state has a total of 4600 kms of railway track that is evenly spread through the region. There are direct links from major cities like Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
- By road: The state is well connected through national highways and has efficient travel bus services by the government (RSRTC), connecting to major neighbouring states such as Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, UP, etc.
Best time to visit?
You should definitely visit Rajasthan in the months of October to March when the weather is not too intense.
1. Chittorgarh Fort
(Click on any photo to enlarge)
Located in the ancient royal town of Chittorgarh, this fort is a testimony to the fact that Rajasthan is indeed the ‘Land of Kings’. This fort emanates valour, strength and the pride of Indian kings as it stands mighty and majestic despite being sacked three times between the 15th and 16th centuries. It’s perched atop a 180m high hillock and there are 22 existing water bodies which gives it its nickname: the ‘Water Fort’. You must visit this fort to truly appreciate the pride of Rajput culture and values.
2. Amer Fort
Located in Amer, the fort of Amer is believed to be named after Amba (Goddess Durga), and is a must-visit attraction of Jaipur. The fort stands beside the Maota Lake with ancient yet strong battlements and towers. You can easily imagine them towering over the enemies at the gates!
There is a temple nearby which is dedicated to ‘Sheela Mata’, built by Raja Shri Maan Singh Ji, and the fort is well known for its architecture — a fusion of Hindu and Mughal elements. Elephant rides and captivating light shows attract visitors, and Amer Fort is open every day from 8:00am to 6:00pm. There are a few other places you should visit or can visit within Jaipur to complete your trip.
3. Mehrangarh Fort
Situated in the culturally and historically rich city of Jodhpur, the Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. There are a total of seven gates and the main entrance is at the northeast gate, Jai Pol. Entry to the fort is free. Past the Loha Pool (another gate) is a restaurant called ‘Suraj Pool’ which forms the access point to the museum. There is an entry fee for the museum.
The museum is a magnificent display of the rich architecture of the Rajputs viz and the courtyard and halls. There are galleries which display textiles, manuscripts, paintings and much more. The colossal ramparts of the fort and the wonderful architecture will leave you spellbound. The fort is open from 9:00 am to 5:00pm.
4. Ranthambore Fort
The Ranthambore fort lies within the Ranthambore National Park near Sawai Madhopur and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ideal location of the fort within the park attracts many tourists. During the monsoon season, the park is closed for various reasons, primarily because it is breeding season for resident birds.
The fort’s construction began back in 944 AD and had many rulers contribute to its construction over the years. The strong fortification survived many attacks until it was attacked by Alauddin Khilji, which can be seen in the ruins of this once mighty fort. What will draw you to this fort is the panoramic view and the mighty construction that towers over you. There are many nearby attractions such as Kachia Valley, Surwal Lake and many historical places which make for a nice one-day trip.
5. Kumbhalgarh Fort
Located at around 60km from Udaipur is a Mewar fortress called the Kumbhalgarh Fort. You can reach this fort easily by taking buses or taxis from Udaipur city. The stature of the fort is tall and mighty and you might get lost in a trance looking at its strong embattlements that tower over the ridges. The fort is hidden by thirteen elevated mountain peaks and the wall is so long, it is the second longest wall in the world after ‘The Great Wall of China’.
‘The Badal Mahal’ or the ‘Palace of Clouds’ is another major attraction of Kumbhalgarh. This palace is made up of elegant Rajput style rooms with fusion colour combinations which stand in bright contrast to the rustic, earthen appearance of the fort. The fort has seven gates and ramparts built shrewdly to protect the structure and there are at least 360 temples inside the fort of which the Shiva temple with Shivalinga is renowned. You can visit any day, from 9:00 am to 5:00pm.
Much thanks to my guest writer, Himanshu Agarwal!
Himanshu likes to explore new places and unravel the myths surrounding many ancient cities in India. He is an avid reader who likes to meet new people and learn about their culture. He writes for Pearls India Tour & Tour To India. Apart from this, he likes to read books and also has a keen interest in cooking.