If you want to explore the amazing desert state Rajasthan, you should start with its capital Jaipur. There you will see its fantastic wealthy temples, camels strolling along the road and how spices are sold in heaps at the market. There you can find the most striking contrasts between the avid poverty and excellence, even the most experienced travelers are amazed with. The capital may look like a chaos at first glance, but there is order in everything here.
Visit the Amber Fort is the main tourist attraction of Rajasthan located high on a hill. You will see artistic Hindu style elements in it. Amber Palace is the residence of the Rajput Maharajas which is connected with Jaigarh Fort by a subterranean passage. Therefore the buildings are a part of one complex.
There are ornate gardens in Jaipur, which are homes of strolling elephants, which plunge to the lakes from time to time and attract tourists. Here you can explore the desert on a camel safari. Rajasthan will present this enchanting experience for you. Such safaris may last from 2 days to 30 days in some cases. September-March period is the best for it because it is too hot later in the desert. The price is about $15 a day that can increase to $35 for additional facilities.
Mojari is the best choice for shopping in Jaipur because this is UN supported project. Embroidered, appliquéd shoes and sandals can be acquired there from rural leatherworkers.
Udaipur is another popular destination of Rajasthan. It is also called the City of Lakes. In the past Udaipur was the capital of Rajput kingdom of Mewar therefore there are many palaces in this city. The Lake Palace, which is a luxury hotel now, is one of the most well-known. It is located on an island of Lake Pichola. The Lake Palace acquired world-wide fame after it became the setting for James Bond movie.
It is amazing to stay at the hotel that used to be a palace before. There are a lot of accommodation options of this kind in Rajasthan.
Other heritage hotels that used to be palaces before in the capital of Rajasthan: Alsisar Haveli, Jai Mahal, Narain Niwas Palace, Raj Mahal Palace, Rambagh Palace, Samode Haveli, Samode Palace. You can stay in one of them to make the most of your trip.
Udaipur is a place with its old world charm. The splendid views are available from the rooftop restaurants.
Jaisalmer is located in the heart of the Thar Desert. It is called alternatively “The Golden City” thanks to the golden hue of the buildings and yellow color of sand surrounding this extraordinary tourist destination. Jaisalmer Fort dates back to the 11th century and looks like a mystical place. It may even seem to you that you are amid the setting of Arabian Nights – it perfectly reflects this atmosphere.
Jaisalmer, actually, looks like a big sand castle packed with historical and cultural relics in the middle of the desert. Its exotics with intricately carved stone work stands out and worth your attention.
Jodhpur is the second large city of Rajasthan and is also located amid the desert. The city is called “The Blue City” because the city buildings are of blue color. They form narrow streets and look like mazes. Umaid Bhawan Palace is the main sight there. This is one of the latest luxury palaces built in India and one of the biggest private residences in the world. Tourists also like to visit Jaswant Thada built of white marble. This architectural landmark was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh at the end of the 19th century to memorize his father.
If you want to stay in former palace-hotel, Umaid Bhawan Palace can be recommended to you. It was converted to the hotel from the seat of the Maharaja.
Shopping in Jodhpur, visit the Sardar Market, where you can find antiques, handicrafts, textiles (rugs, scarfs), spices. Everything is cheaper there than in Delhi. The clocktower in the center serves well for orientation.
It is better to shop on your own and not trust the rickshaw drivers who take you to the central shops where everything is expensive. They get commission for doing it.