Are you one of those weirdos who wats to visit India? Welcome my friend! India is one of the countries that can be explored for years and there still be places to visit. India itself is very unique site, it is unimaginably big and diverse country. Every place is different than the other and travellers find themselves gasping in amazement all the time. From the big modern cities to remote rural villages, from the golden sand beaches to snow covered mountains, from evergreen forests to endless hot deserts, from loud and busy streets to tranquil plantations.
I don’t think that there is enough time in our lives to fully explore what India has to offer and since most of us have limited time to travel it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the best parts of this country.
If you are thinking to visit India, you should not skip the state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is located in the northwestern part of India on a Thar desert and Aravalli Range (mountain range) which creates an unique landscape for all kind of travellers. Here you can find yourself spending a night in a desert and next day watching the sunset from the highest peak of the mountain. Isn’t that all what we are looking for?
Rajasthan literally means the Land of Kings, its story reaches back to 2nd century BCE and in every part of it you will be greeted by different parts of the history. Walking on the land where soldiers once were fighting for their lives, wandering around the forts built by kings and emperors, witnessing the expressions of endless love, soaking yourself in a deep and rich culture and seeing how daily people lives are deeply connected with religion. It is adventure that you will never forget.
I presumed that you will arrive in Delhi so this guide starts from the minute you get out of plane and reach your hostel. This is just a suggestion that might help to plan your own trip and make it an unforgettable adventure!
How much time you should spend in Rajasthan?
I have to be honest here and tell you that two weeks are not enough. How’s that bit of the truth for you? haha. But honestly… Travelling around made me realise how little time I have and how many more places there are to explore. But two weeks is enough to see the main bits without any rush. I think it depends of what kind of traveller you are – do you like to take it slow or run like crazy? I personally kind of trying to keep balance all the time, I love long walks and visit as much as I can when I arrive, but I also love to chill and enjoy my Being in that place. So depending on what kind of traveller you are, you might visit more or less than I will offer you here.
Is it safe to travel in Rajasthan?
Yes and No. That’s not very helpful isn’t it? I have to say that it’s a bit of a challenge to travel around in India ESPECIALLY FOR FEMALE SOLO TRAVELLERS. Hear me out. You will always be under the magnifying glass, people notice that you are not local, they stare and approach you more than usual, and sometimes they might get way out of the edge and be too pushy (especially tuk tuk drivers or salesman), they might follow you, ask you for money and you might end up in really awkward and uncomfortable situations. Touts are everywhere around, you will be scammed a few (or more) times. I wouldn’t recommend walking late at night as it is very dark in the streets and a lot of homeless people are getting out and about. For females – cover your body as much as you can, there is no need for more attention. India is as dangerous and as safe as the rest of the world. You never know when you will be lucky to meet bad people on the road, so be smart, use common sense, if it sounds to be good to be true – it’s a scam so move forward. If you’re in trouble don’t be afraid to ask for help – Indian people have the biggest hearts in this world and they will definitely give a hand and heart to give what you need. OK???
Food to try once in Rajasthan
Indian food in general is amazing, it is spicy, full of flavour, texture and colour. Please do not compare your local Indian restaurant food with what you will have in India because it’s absolutely not the same.
Besides tikka masala and chai that you know there is more to explore while in Rajasthan. As everywhere around the world so in Rajasthan geographical and climatic conditions formed the nature of their cooking style and shaped the cuisine. Here you will find a lot of dishes made with dried lentils, beans and legumes such as jowar, bajra and gram flour. Also dairy products and ghee (clarified butter) are generously used to prepare mouthwatering dishes. A lot of places in Rajasthan along with vegetarian food serves non-vegetarian dishes which are also life changing (at least I heard that).
Is there any special foods to try? I think there was just one time that I didn’t like the food in India, everything is literally so good so try everything and find your faves. But if you are looking for something really Rajasthani you should try their national dish Dal Bati Churma (round and crispy whole wheat flour dumplings served with dal made of different lentils and variety of spices), Pyaaz or Mawa Kachori (fried puff pastries stuffed with potatoes onions and spices or dried fruits), Mirchi Bada (a snack filled with spicy potato and cauliflower mixture), Mohan Thaal (royal dessert prepared from Besan and dry fruits).
Where to stay?
There is so many choices where to stay these days. As I already mentioned before, Rajasthan is the Land of Kings and you won’t be surprised that all over the state royal heritage hotels can be found. Obviously it depends on your travel budget, but you can have an royal lifestyle experience if you want. You can stay with a royal family’s residence in Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, enjoy the breeze while taking a boat ride to Lake Palace in Udaipur, enjoy the Indian traditions and culture at Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, or have a taste of imperial life at Fort Rajwada in Jaisalmer.
But other than the luxury stay there is plenty of other options for travellers. Hostel chains like Zostel, GoStops, Moustache are incredible and friendly for budget travellers (backpackers like me or you) but there are also cheaper options available! For private budget travellers there are also plenty of options to get a room in hotels or guesthouses. I heard one good phrase which will summarise this ‘India as expensive (or cheap) as you want it to be’. So everything depends on your willing to spend or save, but believe me India has a lot to offer for its travellers so you will definitely find everything you need.
How to travel from one place to another?
Travelling around Rajasthan is very easy and you will reach most of the places with one of the following:
- Roads are pretty good in Rajasthan (Indian good) and cities are connected very well. So if you’re experienced driver and ready for an extreme adventure you can rent a car (or actually hire a driver) and hop you go.
- Railway system is very very well developed in Rajasthan. Even though the distances between the cities are big, the train rides are surprisingly pleasant and cheap (depends on a class). If you want more info about the train rides in India you can read here.
- Buses are also a cheap option to travel from one place to another. For long bus rides you can grab yourself a sleeper bus to make it more comfortable.
- Planes. You will find an airport in almost all of the big cities in Rajasthan (Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Kota, etc.), so you are more than welcome to search for a flight and hop on a plane!
This is my recommendations how to spend two weeks in Delhi and Rajasthan. You don’t have to follow it blindly as I wrote it down, you are more than welcome to change it the way you’d enjoy your adventure more!
2 days in Delhi
Ladies and gentlemen please welcome the most populated city, the place where you will see everything what you want and don’t want, the capital of India – Delhi! Like in all big cities, there is lots to see and do in Delhi – explore monuments, markets and street food! Delhi is beautiful in it’s own way. Here you can meet glamorous and luxurious shopping malls, modern metro system, chaotic traffic along with a dusty spice markets and electric wires hanging all around your head. India’s capital is colourful, dirty (not to mention the pollution), delicious food, has its own unique culture and full of history.
If you want to know a bit more about the city and how to make it count, you can read full 2 day Delhi guide here.
Places to visit in Delhi:
JAMA MASJID – it’s a mosque in Old Delhi, constructed in 1650-1656 by Shah Jahan, the same Mugal emperor who built Taj Mahal in Agra. So you can take a glimpse on one of his architecture masterpiece before going to see his other works. This Jama Masjid is Delhi’s main mosque where city’s Muslims traditionally gather for Fridays prayer. Beautiful architecture and peaceful atmosphere.
Opening times – 7 AM to Noon, 1.30 PM to 6.30 PM. Tourists not allowed during prayer hours. Entry fee – free.
RED FORT – a second residence of famous emperor Shah Jahan after moving his capital from Agra (built in 1638-1648). This place is very big so keep in mind to spare some extra hours to explore.
Opening times – 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM. Entry fee – 35 INR for Indians, 550 INR (~5.80£, ~6.60€, ~7.20$).
CHANDNI CHOWK – one of the oldest and busiest Delhi’s markets. Best street food, spices and all different kind of goods can be found here. I need to warn you that it is absolutely different and unique world. Busy, loud, dirty, all kind of smells, colors, electricity wires hanging around everywhere, also the cows and monkeys are a part of that life too… You definitely need to visit this place! I bet you will find it hard to leave this place as everything looks super interesting, so give yourself some time to explore and wander around, and if you are looking where to purchase something cheap – this is the place.
AKSHARDHAM – or the Swaminarayan Akshardham complex (good luck with pronunciation) is a Hindu Shrine beautifully representing Indian culture, architecture and spirituality. You know, this complex is a great example of that real Indian culture that we all are looking for (all the carved motifs and images of deities, flowers, nature and people – absolutely magnificent!). You will see more than 234 carved pillars, 20 quadrangle spires, 9 elaborate domes and 20,000 sculptures of spiritual personalities from India.
NOTE – you can’t go inside with your bag, phone, camera or other belongings. Just wallet and passport are allowed.
Opening times – tuesday to sunday 9.30 AM to 6.30 PM. Entry fee to complex – free. Pay for exhibitions if want to visit.
CONNAUGHT PLACE – a totally different view of Delhi. Circular area of shops, cafes and bars, art galleries, cinemas, located in the heart of New Delhi. This place was built by British in 1929 and now it is a financial centre located in a heart of New Delhi. After visiting Old Delhi you will have a feeling that it’s not India at all. Stroll around the streets, visit hidden temples, enjoy the modern part of the town.
AGRASEN KI BAOLI – mystical ancient stepwell located in the heart of the city that is a must visit while in Delhi. Locals say that it is a haunted place, the water here used to be black and some forces lead people to commit suicide. Even now nobody knows who and when was it built.
Opening times – 7 AM to 6 PM. Entry fee – free.
INDIA GATE – you haven’t been to Delhi if you don’t take a picture there! This 42 metres high ‘’Arc-de-Triomphe’’ like archway honours 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for British Army in World War I. You won’t spend a lot of time in this place but it’s definitely one of the great monuments to visit while you’re in Delhi.
Opening times – 24/7. Entry fee – free.
LOTUS TEMPLE – a white marble lotus shaped House of Worship.This place was design by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba, completed in 1986 and now it is one of the most visited places in the world. Inside of the Lotus Temple you won’t find any religious pictures, no religious symbols, no idols. It’s a home for any kind of prayer, meditation and reconnecting to yourself.
Opening times – 9 AM to 5:30 PM. Entry fee – free.
THE HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE – where old meets new. Located in south Delhi this place is famous hangout spot for everyone. They say that most of Delhi’s top rated restaurants, cafes and bars are located in this area, as well as chic boutiques and weird shops makes it attractive to all shopaholics!
1 day in Agra
Is a very popular destination among the travellers for one reason – Taj Mahal. I think it’s the only reason why people come here but I assure you that you will get more by visiting it.
Walking on the streets of Agra will definitely take you back in time as it was founded in 16th century by Muslim ruler Sultan Sikandar Lodi and belonged to Delhi Sultanate. Later in years Agra was made as a capital of Mughal Empire and as the center of Empire art, commerce and religion was blooming at its finest creating the shapes that we see today.
How to reach Agra? Agra is located in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and it’s around 210 km (128 miles) away from country’s capital Delhi. It can be easily reached by train (2-3 hour ride), bus, car or plane.
Find out more about how can you spend you time in Agra here.
How to spend your time in Agra:
TAJ MAHAL – the most iconic place to visit in the world. It is an enormous white-ivory marble mausoleum complex which is one the UNESCO world heritage site. Taj Mahal is a monument to the boundless love from Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. To create what we see right now it took the whole architect team to work as hard as they can along with 20,000 carvers, stone-cutters, painters, calligraphers, masons and other artist who were hired from all over India and as far as Turkey and Iran. Taj Mahal is a pure masterpiece, with a blend of Islamic, Persian and Indian architectural styles and which was built between 1631 and 1648 using white marble inlaid with semiprecious stones and carvings.
NOTE – there are strict rules of visiting Taj Mahal and prohibited items you can’t take inside with you. Read about it here.
Entry ticket price for foreigners – 1100 INR (~12£, ~13 Eur, ~15$).
AGRA FORT – is another place worth visiting. This fort was the main residency for Mughal Dynasty emperors. This red sandstone fort construction started in 1565 and it took around 8 years to finish it. Many structures were added later by other Mughal emperors.
Entrance fee for foreigners – 650 INR (~7£, ~8 Eur, ~9$).
MEHTAB BAGH also known as Moonlight Garden lies north of Taj Mahal on the opposite side of the Yamuna River. It was originally designed as a viewing place of Taj Mahal. You can see and take a perfect pictures from every corner of it. It’s a perfect sunset place with the view of Taj Mahal.
Entrance fee for foreigners – 200 INR (~2£, 2.5 Eur, ~3$).
AKBAR’S TOMB – a red sandstone and white marble masterpiece surrounded by beautiful 119 acres garden area which was built for a Mughal emperor Akbar. This place is located at Sikandra, one of the Agras suburbs, about 8 km away from city centre.
Opening times – 6 AM to 6.30 PM. Entry fee – 200 INR (~2.10£, ~2.40 Eur, ~2.60$) for foreigners.
TOMB OF ITMAD-UD-DAULAH (BABY TAJ MAHAL) – it is smaller in size than Taj Mahal but more delicate structure with marble lattice screens and fine carvings. Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb is located on the eastern bank side of a Yamuna River around 25 minutes away from Taj Mahal.
Opening times – 6 AM till 6.30 PM and they say that the best time to visit is just before the sunset! Entry price for foreigners – 210 INR (~2.20£, ~2.5 Eur, ~2.80$).
2 days in Jaipur
After the great start of your Indian trip you will finally enter Rajasthan! Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the state. It has a population more than 4 million people and I think most of them lives in the city centre (haha joking, but it’s really busy). Jaipur is also known as the Pink City of India. It got this name when at the end of 19th century, just before Prince of Wales visit they painted most buildings in pink color. The color was refreshed a few more times (before the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana) and since now it still dominates in the town. Visiting Jaipur won’t be disappointing, you will see so many beautiful palaces, forts, havelis and gardens.
How to reach Jaipur? Jaipur is located on eastern border of Thar desert, 268 km (167 miles) from India’s capital New Delhi and 240 km (149 miles) road from Agra. It will take 4 hours to reach Jaipur from Agra with a train, a bit more with bus, around the same time with car (if no traffic) and very short flight with a plane if you find any tickets.
If you want to read a bit more detailed guide to Jaipur, you can find it here.
What to see in two days in Jaipur?
ISHWAR LAT (also called Swargsooli) – literally means ‘heaven piercing minaret’, is a 20 meters (60 feet) high tower near Tripolia Gate, it was built by Raja Ishwari Singh in 1749 to celebrate a grand victory. The ir nothing much to do there, but when you get up to the top the views are really something not to miss on this trip!
Opening times – 9 AM to 4.30 PM daily, entry fee – 50 INR for Indians; 200 INR (~2.10£, ~2.40 Eur, ~2.60$) for foreigners.
GATORE KI CHHATRIYAN (MEMORIALS OF KINGS) – the place is where the former Maharajas of Jaipur are resting. The chhatris (dome-shaped pavilions, very common in Rajasthani architecture) are made of white marble decorated with extraordinary carvings, which makes it to stand out of yellow sandstone hills and it is a really unique place to visit.
Opening times – 10 AM to 5 PM daily. Entry fee – 30 INR for Indians; 100 INR (~1£, ~1.20€, ~1.30$) for foreigners.
AMBER FORT/AMER PALACE – one of the most beautiful forts in Rajasthan and definitely a must place to visit. You will be greeted not only by the massive walls of a fort but also with magnificent carvings, precious stones and mirrors made entirely of red sandstone and white marble. Fort is located about 11 kilometres away from Jaipur so you will need a car.
Opening times – 9am to 5pm. Entry fee – 100 INR for Indians, 500 INR (~5.25£, ~6€, ~6.50$) for foreigners.
PANNA MEENA KA KUND – the stepwell that you do not want to miss! Locals say that this stepwell was used to collect and store the water which was used in temples and household in Amber town. It’s very close to Amber Fort so it’s do those two together as later you might have to go all the way back.
No entry fee. If you want to go down the stairs you might need to pay a bit for a local supervisor.
JAL MAHAL (LAKE PALACE) – on your way back from Amber Fort you will see the beautiful big lake with a floating structure in the middle of it. That’s the Jal Mahal which was back in 1750 by Maharaja Madho Singh with just one intention – to have it as a duck hunting party place for him and his buddies. The light, bright sandstone walls and the deep blue water and all the surrounding area makes it a really magical place to see in Jaipur.
NOTE – Visitors are not allowed inside of this palace (unfortunately), but you can sit and relax admiring the views from afar.
GALTAJI – Galtaji is an ancient pilgrimage centre in Jaipur, it is also known as Monkey Temple now! Well, Monkey temple is actually Galwar Bagh and it is almost at the end of the complex which also includes other temples, pavilions and holy kunds (natural springs and water tanks).
Opening times – 5 AM to 9 PM. Entre fee – free for everyone (they might ask for ‘donation’).
SISODIA RANI PALACE AND GARDEN – beautiful multi-layered palace with built in fountains, springs, pavilions, gardens and flower beds – that’s how Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II expressed his love for his Queen Sisodia at the beginning of 18th century.
Opening times – 8 AM to 6 PM daily. Entry fee – 90 INR for Indians, 130 INR (~1.40£, ~1.60€, ~1.70$) for foreigners.
ALBERT HALL MUSEUM (CENTRAL MUSEUM) – an impressive museum that was built in 19th century using the Indo-Saracenic architecture style. The museum displays a wide range of metal objects, wood crafts, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones and ivory goods.
Opening times – 9 AM to 5 PM. Entry fee – 20 INR for Indians, 150 INR (~1.60£, ~1.80€, ~2$) for foreigners.
CITY PALACE – located in the middle of the Pink City the City Palace Complex was designed and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II at the same time when Jaipur was established. Beautiful mix of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, this palace is still home to the royal family (they have a private part of the palace).
Opening times – 9 AM to 5 PM. Entry fee – 190 INR for Indians; 500 INR (~5.25£, ~6€, ~6.50$) for foreigners.
JANTAR MANTAR – is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the same guy who built all Jaipur. It contains sixteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun.
Opening times – 9 AM to 5 PM. Entry fee – 50 INR for Indians; 200 INR (~2.10£, ~2.40 Eur, ~2.60$) for foreigners.
HAWA MAHAL – one of the most iconic and most visited and photographed place in Jaipur. It literally means the Palace of Winds. This palace was built with loads of all kind of windows which served as an air-conditioner, blowing cool air throughout the palace, that’s why it was great summer palace for the king and his family back in 18th century.
Opening times – 9 AM to 5 PM. Entry fee – 50 INR for Indians, 200 INR (~2.10£, ~2.40 Eur, ~2.60$) for foreigners.
JAWAHAR CIRCLE GARDEN/PATRIKA GATE – an unique large circular park located 30 minutes away from city centre with a beautiful green areas, rose garden and a number of jogging tracks, seating and picnic areas. The entrance to the park is called Patrika Gate which is one of the most photographed places in India!
Opening times – 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Entry fee – free.
2 days in Pushkar
Pushkar is a tiny little town in Rajasthan that is far away from India’s usual hustle and bustle. Pushkar is apilgrimage site for Hindu’s and there is a deep spirituality vibes like nowhere else in India. It is a wonderful place to experience authentic Hindu culture, witness unique worship ceremonies while wandering around many (around 400) temples that it has, enjoy breathtaking desert landscapes and embrace your being for a few days.
How to reach Pushkar? Pushkar is located is 145 km from Jaipur, which is around 2 hour train ride. If you decide using the railway you will need to get off in the city of Ajmer which 15 km (9 miles) away from it and then take a taxi or bus.
How to spend a few days here?
PUSHKAR LAKE – a manmade lake created in the 12th century and till this date all of the life in Pushkar town is circling around Pushkar Lake. Hundreds of temples and Ghats are located around this holy lake.
PUSHKAR GHATS – there are 52 Ghats on Pushkar Lake and each of them has its own unique history. Walking around the lake and visiting Ghats will definitely be enjoyable adventure on its own. Most popular ones are Varaha Ghat, Brahma Ghat, Gau Ghat.
VISITING TEMPLES – there are around 400 temples located in Pushkar, I will mention a few of the most popular ones to visit here:
BRAHMA TEMPLE – a religious site that is dedicated to the lord of creation, Lord Brahma. It was constructed in 14th century, but some people believe that it was actually built more than 2000 years ago!
Opening times – 6 AM to 8 PM. Entry fee – free.
OLD RANG JI TEMPLE – Rajput and Mughal architecture style temple built in 19th century and dedicated to Sri Ranganatha (one of incarnation of Lord Vishnu).
Opening times – 6 AM to 7 PM. Entry fee – free.
SAVITRI TEMPLE – located on the Ratnagiri hill this temple is a perfect place to visit for those who wants to catch some views of the city of Pushkar and the surrounding areas.
Opening times – 5 AM to 12 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM. Entry fee – free.
SHOPPING – I know it’s not the type of thing to include in a guide but Pushkar is well known for being one of the cheapest sites to shop! So if you want something (clothes, bags or souvenirs) you should get it here.
2 days in Udaipur
Udaipur is another beautiful city to visit while travelling in Rajasthan. It is a bit different and more relaxed city than all of the others in Rajasthan. Udaipur is surrounded by seven beautiful lakes that’s why it is also known as The City of Lakes or The Venice of the East, and Aravali Range which separates city from a Thar Desert. Besides its beautiful natural surroundings Udaipur has as deep and rich history taking back to the 16th century when Maharajas ruled the world (joking, just Rajasthan).
How to reach Udaipur? Udaipur is situated southernmost part of Rajasthan, near Gujarat border, and is located approximately 660 km from India’s capital New Delhi and 225 km (140 miles) from Pushkar. It will take 5 hours to travel from Pushkar with a train, but you can also find local buses that are going this direction.
I have a whole detailed guide to Udaipur here.
what you can visit to explore the City of Lakes:
UDAIPUR CITY PALACE – the only place that you cannot skip! The City Palace is built on the edge of Lake Pichola and it is a complex of several palaces built over 400 years! Wandering around this masterpiece and a number of balconies, cupolas, and towers to explore with the wonderful views of the lake and the surrounding city will leave you speechless.
Opening times – 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM everyday. Entry fee – 30 INR for Indians, 300 INR (~3.1£, ~3.60€, ~4$) for foreigners.
LAKE PICHOLA BOAT RIDE AND JAG MANDIR – Jag Mandir, also known as Lake Garden Palace, is a little island on Lake Pichola which has a few different palaces on it. Have a walk around its beautiful garden, take pictures of walls that are made of black and white marbles with semi-precious stones and ornamented niches, enjoy delicious (and very pricey) food or drink with a spectacular scenery.
Opening times – 10 AM to 6 PM. To get there you have to take a boat (from the back of the City Palace) and the boat ride is included in your ticket to The City Palace! IF not, it will cost around 200 INR (~2.10£, ~2.40 Eur, ~2.60$) per head (not that bad!).
JAGDISH TEMPLE – stunning temple which was built in 1651 by Maharaja Jagat Singh I. Beautiful carved pillars and painted walls is something everyone should see! Don’t forget to take off your shoes before going in (there are shoe racks on the side).
Opening times – everyday from around 4.30 AM till 10.30 PM but timings might change due to festivals or other holy days. Entre fee – free, they will accept donation.
THE UDAIPUR ROPEWAY (CABLE CAR) – take yourself up the hill to see spectacular views of Udaipur and surrounding areas. There is also Shri Mansapurna Karni Mata Temple which is a few steps up the hill for the better views or go to the Ropeway restaurant and have a drink or snack while watching the sunset.
Opening times – 9 AM to 9 PM. Entry fee – 120 INR (~1.30£, ~1.50€, ~1.60$) per person both ways and cash only! I heard some stories that ticket guy tends to give a wrong change so be aware of that.
MONSOON PALACE – a place to catch some more breathtaking views of the area. Located just outside Udaipur, built on top of Bansdara hills in 19th century as a monsoon palace and hunting lodge by Maharana Sajjan Singh.
Opening times – 8 AM to 6 PM. Entry fees – 10 INR for Indians, 80 INR (~0.85£, ~1€, ~1.10$) for foreigners.
BAGORE KI HAVELI AND GANGAUR GHAT – massive palace that has over a hundred rooms where you can see costumes and modern art display. In the evenings the Bagore Ki Haveli Museum has a traditional dance and puppet show called Dharohar. Outside of the Haveli you can chill near the lake on a Gangaur Ghat known as the ultimate sunset spot.
Opening times – 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM (it is still opened for puppet show). Entrance fee – for the museum are 60 INR for Indians and 100 INR (~1£, ~1.20€, ~1.30$) per foreign tourist plus an additional 55 INR for a camera.
2 days in Jodhpur
Long time ago Jodhpur was the capital of the Kingdom of Marwar, nowadays Jodhpur it is the second-largest city in Rajasthan. Jodhpur is known as the Blue city of India as there are quite a few houses painted in vivid blue. There are a few reasons why we call it like that today – some people say that it is to create cooling feeling during the hot days, some people say that it is to keep the mosquitoes away and there is also a legend saying that in the past Maharaja ordered to paint the houses in blue because he wanted to look out of the window from his fort and imagine looking at the ocean.
How to reach Jodhpur? It is located 250 km from India border with Pakistan, approximately 600 km from India’s capital New Delhi and around 244 km (150 miles) away from Udaipur. The best way to reach it – by bus. It will take around 5-6 hours, but it will be a direct one. A bit longer travel is with the train as you will have to change trains at Ajmer. You can also have a look for flights if you want as both cities has airports.
More details about Jodhpur can be found here.
What to visit in a few days?
MEHRANGARH FORT – one of the largest forts in India. It was built in 15th century by Rao Jodha, the head of Rathore clan. Mehrangarh Fort is located on a steep hill, spreading 5 kilometres on a land and almost 125 metres above the main part of city. Not only the views to the horizon will charm your pants off but also architecture and all the details – carved panels, latticed windows, ornamented walls of numerous palaces in it will take your breath away.
Opening times – 9 AM till 5 PM every day. Entry fee – 100 INR for Indians, 600 INR (6.30£; 7.20€; 7.90$) for foreigners. Audio guide is also included in the price!
EXPLORE THE BLUE CITY – a small part near Fort is called the Old Town and while the main areas of Jodhpur are very busy with tourists, this part is very quiet and most of the buildings are Blue.
RAO JODHA DESERT ROCK PARK – a park that was created in 2006 to try and restore the natural ecology of a rocky wasteland. They have a few different walking routes around the park, they also do guided walks (for bird or nature lovers). You can chill on a fort wall observing the views or walk to see Ranisar Padamsar lake and buildings around it.
Opening times – 8 AM till 5.30 PM. Entry fee – 100 INR for everyone (1.05£; 1.20€; 1.30$).
JASWANT THADA – a beautiful white marble royal cenotaph built in 19th century in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II and serves as a cremation ground for the royal family of Marwar. Beautiful green area around and rare portraits of the rulers and Maharajas of Jodhpur inside. Popular tourist attraction, but worth a visit.
Opening times – 9 AM till 5 PM every day. Entry fee – 30 INR for Indians, 50 INR for foreigners (0.50£; 0.60€; 0.65$).
UMAID BHAWAN PALACE – one part of this palace is opened as a museum, displaying items which belonged to the Maharaja and the royal family, like weapons, antiques, clocks, crockery and trophies. The other part is a 5 star hotel where you can stay a night or two if you want.
Opening times – 10 AM till 4.30 PM every day. Entry fee – 30 INR for Indians, 100 INR for foreigners (1.05£; 1.20€; 1.30$).
MANDORE GARDEN – a beautiful escape from the city noise. In this garden you will find the hall of Heroes where you will see sixteen huge figures which have been carved out of a single rock, the shrine of 330 million Gods and the royal cenotaphs.
Opening times – 8 AM till 8 PM every day. Entry fee – free entry to Garden, 50 INR for museum (0.50£; 0.60€; 0.65$).
GHANTA GHAR (CLOCK TOWER) – is located in the busiest area of Jodhpur, at Sadar Bazaar. This market is a great place to witness how busy and noisy India might be and also here you can purchase famous Rajasthani textiles, clay figurines, all kind of marble souvenirs and silver jewellery.
Opening times – market starts its work at around 10 AM till 6 PM everyday. You can come here earlier and walk around while no one is around!
STEPWELL – TOONWAR JI KA JHALRA – it’s very close to Sadar Bazaar and Clock tower so you can visit to take some beautiful pictures.
Opening times – I think it’s open forever. Entry fee – free.
2 days in Jaisalmer
And the last but not least – Jaisalmer! The beautiful old town in the middle of Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is known as the Golden city because of its unique sandstone architecture. It is a charming little (Indian little) town rich in history, pretty calm and vibrant. Jaisalmer very popular among travellers because it has the one of a few ‘living forts’ in the world and you can actually spend a night or two there!
HOW TO REACH JAISALMER? Travelling from Jodhpur is quiet easy – you can take 6 hour train from Jodhpur, a bus or you can check the flights as both of the cities has airports (but I’m not sure if they have flights from one to another).
I wrote a comprehensive article about how to spend 2 days in Jaisalmer here if you want to read a bit more.
HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME IN JAISALMER?
JAISALMER FORT – one of the most interesting forts in all Rajasthan is Jaisalmer fort. This fort is the oldest one in Rajasthan, built in 12th century, and is one of a few forts in the world where people actually lives in to this day.
Opening times – 24/7. Entry fee – free.
JAIN TEMPLES – absolutely spectacular temples that are built out of yellow sandstone perfectly matching with all of the fort style with a beautiful carvings all over it. These temples are dedicated to different Jain Thirtankharas (teachers) and you will find 6 of it here.
Opening and closing time: 8 AM to 3 PM. Entry for foreigners just after 11 AM.
CHASE THE HAVELIS – enjoy the Indian style mansions, built ages ago out of the yellow sandstone with an extraordinary carvings, wall paintings, cute balconies and doorways. There are many of them here in Jaisalmer (Patwon Ki Haveli, Nacha Haveli, Nathmalji Ki Haveli and many more).
GADISAR LAKE – a manmade lake which was constructed in the 14th century by Maharawal Gadsi Singh to provide his town with much needed water. Tilon Ki Pol gateway with enchanting lattices and balconies made of the yellow sandstone and other small temples and shrines built around the lake is something not to miss in Jaisalmer!
Opening times – 24/7. Entry – free.
VYAS CHHATRI – yellow sandstone cenotaphs, built on a hill on raised platforms with beautifully designed chhatris (umbrella shaped domes) on top of carved pillars. Vyas Chhatri is dedicated to Sage Vyas, who wrote a poem Mahabharata, and is a sacred cremation ground for Brahmins (the highest caste in Hindu tradition, which involves only priests and teachers) and can be visited for the best sunset views ever!
Opening times – 8AM till 7.30 PM daily. Entry fee – 100 INR for everyone + 100 INR for camera (in total around 2£, 2.40€, 2.60$).
DESERT SAFARI – the most extraordinary experience you will ever get! Bumpy gravel road ride through the desert, camping and bonfire somewhere far away from civilization, no internet connection, no toilet or comfy bed, breathing in the magical smell of the golden dunes, sleeping under the stars, sandy hair and free soul. That’s how I describe this experience. READ MORE ABOUT AN OVERNIGHT DESERT SAFARI HERE.
GENERAL TIPS FOR SAFE TRAVELS:
- Travel insurance is a must!
- Apps to help you while you’re on your way:
- Maps.me – amazing app for using the city map while you have no connection to internet.
- Ola app – for booking cabs (or even auto-rickshaws)
- There is a general dress code for female travellers while wandering around India. I am sure you heard that India is known as more conservative than western countries in all ways, so keeping your shoulders and legs from the knee upwards covered would not only show the respect for the culture but also saves you from unwanted attention.
- Be aware of common scams. If it seems to be to good to be true – it’s a scam.
- Pickpocketing is a thing all over the world. Especially in the busy places, near tourist attractions keep your belongings close to you.
I really hope you will enjoy your trip to Rajasthan. There is a lot to see and a lot to do (like any other place in the world), but you know, small steps and we will see it all!
If you have any questions about India, about travel, about life, spirituality or what kind of sauce to use with your porridge – contact me! I am here to help and I always will be! You can reach me on Instagram @findthelightt or Facebook or Pinterest too!
Send You loads of Love!
Stay adventurous and see you on the road! x