View of Palace of the Winds in Jaipur, Rajasthan

Things to do in  Rajasthan

A touch of spice

India’s largest state in territory, Rajasthan, is known for its vibrant crafts and textiles, stunning Rajput architecture, and sweeping desert landscapes. You’ll find plenty of things to do to hold your interest, ranging from Pushkar’s rowdy camel fair is one and the famed quartet of color-named cities: Jaipur, Rajasthan’s Pink City (and part of the Golden Triangle tourist route alongside Delhi and Agra); the Blue City of Jodhpur, known for its towering hilltop fortress; dreamy, lakeside Udaipur, known the White City; and the Golden City of Jaisalmer, with its sandstone buildings and fort.

Top 15 attractions in Rajasthan

Jal Mahal (Water Palace)

Situated smack in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, on the road that runs between Jaipur and Amber Fort (Amer Fort), the 18th-century Jal Mahal (Water Palace) is a gorgeous red sandstone palace that’s accessible only by boat. Though currently closed to visitors, the dreamlike structure is still an incredible sight to behold from shore.More

Udaipur City Palace

On the banks of Lake Pichola, Udaipur City Palace showcases centuries of traditional architecture, starting from when the foundations were laid in the middle of the 16th century. Successive rulers added on to the original, resulting in what today is an enormous complex with 11 palaces connected by mazelike passageways.More

Amber Fort (Amer Fort)

High on a hilltop, towering majestically over the village of Amber on the outskirts of Jaipur, this 16th-century fort palace is worth visiting for its grand architecture that blends Muslim Mughal and Indian Hindu (Rajput) elements. Here, you’ll find labyrinthine passageways, elegant royal halls, and fabulous views of desert landscape.More

Palace of Wind (Hawa Mahal)

Palace of Wind (Hawa Mahal) is easily one of Jaipur’s most iconic attractions. This stunning red and pink sandstone structure in the heart of the Pink City features rows of carved screens and more than 900 lattice-worked windows that allow in just the right amount of breeze to keep the 5-story complex cool.More

Mehrangarh (Mehran Fort)

A huge, 15th-century fortress overlooking the “blue city” of Jodhpur 410 feet (125 meters) below, Mehrangarh (Mehran Fort) is owned by the Jodhpur royal family to this day. The citadel is enclosed by thick, imposing walls and contains a museum, courthouses, gardens, and several magnificent palaces with vast courtyards and elaborate architecture.More

Mubarak Mahal (Welcome Palace)

The Mubarak Mahal (Welcome Palace), was originally constructed in the late 19th century as a reception hall for foreign dignitaries. Today, this part of Jaipur’s City Palace houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, which showcases royal family artifacts including weaponry and regal garments.More

Lake Pichola

Created in 1362, centuries before Udaipur was established, the freshwater Lake Pichola is surrounded by beautiful old palaces, temples, and homes, many dating back hundreds of years. The whitewashed Lake Palace that is situated on an island in the north part of the lake is now a hotel run by the luxury Taj Group.More

Jantar Mantar

Dating back to 1726, the Jantar Mantar is an observatory with 19 fixed astronomical instruments. The tools in this UNESCO World Heritage site can be used for everything from tracking astronomical movements to predicting eclipses. It's one of five such north Indian observatories, all of which were built by Jai Singh II.More

City Palace

One of Jaipur’s top attractions and the official residence of the titular royal family, the City Palace is a historic complex that masterfully blends Rajasthani, Mughal, and European architectural influences. Within its walls you’ll find striking courtyards, elegant pavilions, royal halls, an armory, and an art gallery.More

Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum

Built between 1928 and 1943, the sprawling Umaid Bhawan Palace can be seen for miles around. Part of the grand palace is a luxury hotel run by the Taj Group, and the royal family occupy a wing of the structure to this day. It’s also home to the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, full of palace-related exhibits and artifacts.More

Jaswant Thada

Nicknamed the Taj Mahal of Marwar, the Jaswant Thada is a marble cenotaph located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It was completed in 1899 as a memorial to Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, the 33rd Rathore ruler of Jodhpur. Built in the style of a temple and enclosed by a lush garden, the resplendent building is a prime example of dazzling, go-for-broke Rajput architecture.More

Bagore Ki Haveli

Bagore Ki Haveli is an 18th-century mansion (or haveli, with more than 100 rooms situated around pleasant courtyards. It originally served Mewar royalty before being left vacant for 50 years. The building has since been restored to its original architectural style, with rooms set up with period furnishings, and now operates as a museum.More

Jagdish Temple

Jagdish Temple—in the heart of Udaipur's Old City—is a stone's throw from the City Palace. This 3-story structure dates back to 1651 and its architecture is the main draw. Its intricately sculpted bell roof and columns are stunning but it's also worth sticking around to listen to devotional singing—a regular feature here.More

Saheliyon Ki Bari

Saheliyon ki Bari means “Garden of the Maidens” in Hindi, and was built in the early 18th century for the women of the royal family. With fountains, lotus ponds, decorative pavilions, and marble elephants, the landscaped gardens are a relaxing place to take a walk. There’s also a small museum on-site with information on Rajasthani and Indian history.More

Sajjangarh Palace (Monsoon Palace)

Sajjangarh Palace (known as the Monsoon Palace) is set on a hilltop with fantastic city views. It was originally built as a getaway during the monsoon season and as an astrological center, but the latter project was never finished. The palace has also been used as a royal hunting lodge, and even appeared in the James Bond film Octopussy.More

Top activities in Rajasthan

Four-Day Private Luxury Golden Triangle Tour to Agra and Jaipur From New Delhi
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3-Day Private Luxury Golden Triangle Tour to Agra and Jaipur From New Delhi
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Full-Day Jaipur City Tour - Private
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All about Rajasthan

When to visit

The busiest tourist season in Rajasthan stretches roughly from November to early spring when the days are pleasantly warm. Most major events are held during this period, from the Pushkar Camel Fair (November) and Jaipur Literature Festival (January) to the Jaipur Elephant Festival in March, where you can see a procession of bejeweled and costumed pachyderms. May tends to be the hottest month, with temperatures reaching more than 110°F (45°C).

Getting around

Many travelers reach Jaipur by car, taxi, or bus from Delhi. If coming from elsewhere in India, you can arrive by plane. Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Udaipur also have their own airports, and domestic flights in India tend to be reasonably priced—but remember that the state is vast (it’s about the size of France!), so you’ll likely have long distances to cover. Otherwise, road travel is easy, thanks to the flat terrain and good road conditions. More adventurous travelers can get around by train or motorbike.

Traveler tips

Make sure to come to Rajasthan with an extra suitcase. This is a bonafide crafts hub, from Rajasthani miniature paintings—an artform that flourished during the Rajput period—and block-printed fabrics (be sure to visit the Anokhi flagship store in Jaipur, as well as the Anokhi Museum) to the state’s centuries-old tradition of hand-painted wooden string marionettes and Jaipur’s intricate blue pottery. Prefer to look and learn rather than just buy? Arrange a visit to an artisan’s studio.

Local Currency
Indian Rupee (₹)
Time Zone
IST (UTC +5)
Country Code

People Also Ask

Which is better, Udaipur or Jaipur?

If you prefer more buzz and excitement or only have a few days to spare, Jaipur—home to attractions like Amber Fort, the Hawa Mahal, and Nahargarh Fort—is your best bet. If you’re more in the mood to chill out in a converted palace-cum-hotel overlooking Lake Pichola, go for Udaipur.

What is Rajasthan’s most famous food?

Be sure to try laal maans, a spicy mutton curry; the popular dal bati churma (made from baked wheat balls, lentils, and ground wheat cooked with ghee and sugar); and the sweet porridge known as doodhiya kheech that is believed to have originated in Udaipur. Top it all off with a a milky, rose-infused glass of thandai.

How many days do you need in Rajasthan?

That depends. If you’re coming to Jaipur as part of the Golden Triangle circuit, a few days is enough. But if you’d like to visit several cities and possibly more off-the-beaten-track locations, like across the Thar Desert, up Mount Abu, or into one of its wildlife reserves, plan on a week or even two.

What is the language of Rajasthan?

Rajasthan is located in the northern Hindi-speaking part of India, known as the Hindi Belt. Hindi is the state’s official language, but plenty of people speak Rajasthani and its various dialects. Luckily for many foreign travelers, English is also widely spoken—but it doesn’t hurt to learn a few words of the local language.

Is Rajasthan safe for female travelers?

Yes. Rajasthan is known for its welcoming communities; many women travel solo through the state. That said, you’ll always want to exercise basic precautions, especially if going out alone at night, e.g., arrange a taxi through your hotel. Solo female travelers should also be careful when taking overnight trains or buses.

What are do’s and don’ts in Rajasthan?

Rajasthan tends to be more traditional than Delhi or Mumbai, so it’s a good idea to dress conservatively—you’ll find plenty of loose cotton clothes to wear. As elsewhere in India, remove your footwear before entering a Hindu temple. And don’t assume the state is only desert; you’ll also find plenty of greenery and freshwater lakes.

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