Rajasthan has always been one of the top tourist destinations in India, especially for adventurous travellers seeking to explore the royal state through a road trip. Granted that there are other ways to travel as well, but certain sites and attractions are located in city outskirts which makes a road trip the most enjoyable and better option.
After having reached the capital city Jaipur via flight or railways, a vehicle can be rented depending on the number of people travelling. Dubbed as the Pink City, Jaipur is home to some extraordinarily royal and historical architecture, attracting tourists from all over the world. Courtesy of it, the city includes multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites and is also an integral part of the well-known Golden Triangle Tourist Circuit of India.
The primary highlights of the Pink City are the palaces and forts that will provide travellers with exceptional insight into its royal and elegant architecture, like the Amer Fort. This should be among the first sites that you should be visiting. Also known as the Amer Palace, the fort was built in 1592, using red sandstone and marble. The Amer Fort gracefully depicts the artistic Hindu architecture elements, and it also houses the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace). Overlooking the Amer Fort and the Maota Lake, located nearby is the Jaigarh Fort that showcases the former largest cannon on wheels.
Post that, you can visit the Jaipur City Palace, that portrays a graceful blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. The current royal family still lives in the exclusive and private segment of the palace. You will also be able to visit the Maharani’s Palace (queen’s palace) and the Mubarak Mahal (reception palace) during your visit to the Jaipur City Palace. Located in the exterior of the Palace walls, you must visit Jantar Mantar and the Hawa Mahal. Jantar Mantar is a site having nineteenth-century enlarged astronomical instruments, including the world’s largest stone sundial. Some other attractions that you can visit include Nahargarh Fort, Jal Mahal, Albert Hall Museum, and a few other historical sites too. Apart from visiting such sites, travellers seeking some adventure can enjoy a ride in the hot air balloon flight over the city.
After Jaipur, your next destination should be the religious city of Ajmer, around 135.1 km away. The city derives its name from the Ajmer Sharif Dargah which is a Sufi shrine of esteemed Sufi saint Moinuddin Chistietc. Travellers are always recommended to pay a visit to this religious place for not only worship but also to glance and admire its marvellous Indo-Islamic architecture. Built in 1532, the dome of the shrine is made from white marble, featuring a lotus and a golden crown.
The next attraction you must visit is Akbar's Palace and Museum, which is where King Akbar and his troops stayed during their visit at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Built in 1570 AD, the museum exhibits include a big statue of Goddess Kali made of black marble, centuries-old military weapons, artistic paintings, well-crafted sculptures, and other Mughal era artefacts as well. Another temple you should visit is the Nareli Jain Temple that is just 7 km from Ajmer. Located on the Aravali mountain range, the temple possesses a lavish architectural union of traditional and contemporary styles and comprises 24 miniature temples on top of the hill.
After these religious experiences, you can visit Ana Sagar Lake to enjoy the magnificent sunset views. You can either relish the scenic beauty of the lake from the neighbouring temple or enjoy the boating activities in the lake. The lush green Daulat Bagh Gardens surrounding the lake must also be visited, along with the close by Khobra Behroon temple.
Located just 15.2 km away from Ajmer, is one of the oldest cities of India, Pushkar, which should be your next destination. According to city legend, Lord Brahma had dropped a lotus flower over here that led to the origination of a holy lake, known today as the Pushkar Sarovar. Surrounded by hills from three sides, Pushkar is not only visited by pilgrims for its religious significance, but also by tourists to explore the charming festivals, scenic beauty and traditions of this historic city.
Pushkar is well-known for its Camel Fair that is hosted usually during November end and visited by over 200,000 tourists. You can plan your trip based on the schedule of this festival, which has to be experienced during your stay in Pushkar. Camels are dressed up and entered into beauty contests, paraded, raced, and also traded. The carnival includes shows with music, magic, dance, acrobatics, and more. Other adventure activities to be experienced in Pushkar are Camel safaris and quad bike tours in sandy dunes, desert camping and hot air balloon safaris over the city.
For staying, there are a variety of options in all three cities, such as luxury resorts offering a royal and enriching experience, while the affordable hotels and lodges can prove to be a budget-friendly alternative. In Pushkar, you can also opt for the unique experience of desert camping.