A landscape as diverse as Rajasthan’s attracts not only tourists but also filmmakers from across the world. Need to shoot a scene in the golden sand dunes? Rajasthan has that covered? Looking for a thrilling chase in colorful bazaars? You’ll find that too. The perfect majestic backdrop for a romantic scene? You can pick from among the many fort, palaces, heritage hotels and lakes here. Whether you’re looking to shoot a grand, magnum opus or a simple, rustic documentary, Rajasthan’s diverse locations ensure that there’s something for everyone here.
Often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, the lake city of Udaipur is known as the centre for performing arts and crafts. The famous Lake Palace, located bang in the middle of Lake Pichola is easily one of the most beautiful sights of Udaipur. Udaipur is also home to Jaisamand Lake, the largest artificial lake in Asia. The beautiful City Palace and Sajjan Garh (Monsoon Palace) add to the architectural beauty and grandeur of the city.
Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Located to the northwest of Ajmer, the tranquil city of Pushkar is a favoured destination for thousands of tourists and devotees flocking to Rajasthan. Situated at a height of 510 metres, Pushkar is surrounded by hillocks on three sides. The ‘Nag Pahar’, literally meaning Snake Mountain forms a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. Known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city.
Cuddled up in the eastern zone of Rajasthan, Sawai Madhopur is one of the prominent conurbations of Rajasthan. Popularly known as the 'Gateway to Ranthambore', the town has seen many historic episodes and reigns. Sawai Madhopur has partly plain and partly undulating hilly terrain.
Nagaur is located in the north western Marwar region of Rajasthan. It is an area with a forest belt of thorn scrubs that circles the Thar Desert. In the south eastern stretch of this district lies the magnificent Aravalli Range while India’s largest salt lake, ‘Sambhar Lake’ lies at the southwestern corner of the district.
Situated on the banks of the Chambal River, the city of Kota is famous for its distinctive style of paintings, palaces, museums, and places of worship. The city of Kota is well known all over the world for its architectural splendour comprising beautiful palaces, temples and museums which exhibit the grandeur of the foregone era.
Chittorgarh is named after its most imposing structure, the Chittorgarh Fort which stands atop a 180 metre high hill and is spread across 700 acres.
Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan is popularly known as the Blue City. The name is clearly befitting as most of the architecture – forts, palaces, temples, havelis and even houses are built in vivid shades of blue. The mammoth, imposing fortress of Mehrangarh has a landscape dominating a rocky ridge with the eight gates leading out of the fortress.
Jhalawar, once called Brijnagar is known for its rich natural wealth of vibrant flora and fauna. However, unlike other cities of Rajasthan, Jhalawar has a rocky but water-laden verdant landscape. Red poppy fields and orange laden orchards are strewn across Jhalawar, lending it a colourful look. This place has a varied cultural heritage that includes many forts and palaces from the Rajput and Mughal periods. It is solely famous for the large numbers of temples and religious sites.
The city of Jaisalmer also acts as the guard to western Rajasthan (and India’s) frontier. This 'Golden City’ is located close to the Pakistan border and in close proximity to the Thar Desert. The city’s most prominent landmark is the Jaisalmer Fort, also called Sonar Qila (Golden Fort). Unlike most other forts in India, Jaisalmer Fort is not just a tourist attraction. It houses shops, hotels and ancient havelis (homes) where generations continue to live.
The capital city of Rajasthan combines the allure of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold. Jaipur rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Moti Doongri.
"Harsh and wild in the northeast and teeming with life in the fertile plains of the southwest, it is irrigated by two rivers, Mahi And Som. Dungarpur’s rise to tourist fame is thanks to the exceptional architecture of its palaces and royal residences. These stone structures are adorned with 'jharokhas' (windows)and built in a style that was born during the times of Maharawal Shiv Singh (1730-1785 AD). "
Bundi – the work of goblins rather than of men. Bundi is a magnificent town located around 36 kilometres from Kota. Dotted with palaces and forts, the place has a fairy tale quality about it. Bundi’s charm lies in its location –surrounded by orchards of orange, guava, pomegranate and mango trees, flanked by the Aravalli range and rivers and lined by fields of cotton, barley and wheat. Situated far from the crowds, it is the simple rural folk that lend Bundi its allure.
"A unique aspect about Bikaner are the sand dunes that are scattered throughout the district, especially from the north-east down to the southern area. Bikaner is situated in the northern region of Rajasthan. One of the earlier established cities, Bikaner still displays its ancient opulence through palaces and forts, built of red sandstone, that have withstood the passage of time. The city boasts of some of the world’s best riding camels and is aptly nicknamed ‘camel country’. It is also home to one of the world’s largest camel research and breeding farms; as well as being known for having its own unique temple dedicated to Karni Mata at Deshnok, called the Rats Temple.
Bharatpur is also home to one of the world's best-known bird watching destinations, Keoladeo Ghana National Park (KNP). 250 years ago, the then ruler built embankments that allowed flooding of this land, turning it into a marsh. Named after the dense jungle that surrounded an old Shiva Temple, this 29 square kilometre man-made wetland is renowned for migratory birds – ducks, geese, waders, raptors, flycatchers and more. In winter, avid birders and ornithologists flock to the park to observe and study the feathered beauties. With more than 370 recorded species, KNP used to also host the Siberian crane. It is a World Heritage Site.
Occupying an area of 28,387 sq. km, Barmer is among the larger districts in Rajasthan. Being in the western part of the state, it includes a part of the Thar Desert. Jaisalmer is to the north of this district while Jalore is in its south. Pali and Jodhpur form its eastern border and it shares a border with Pakistan in the west. Once a camel trade route, this area is rich in craft that include wood carving, pottery, embroidery work and ajrak prints.
The district is a mix of different geographies with fertile plains of maize, wheat, rice, cotton soya bean and gram covering the entire central and western regions, while the Aravallis range make up the eastern side. The rich teak forests and mango, khajur (date) and mahua trees are home to diverse wildlife. Archaeological significance of Arthuna has made it one of the prime attractions of Banswara.
Nestled in the lap of the green hills of the Aravalli range, it is home to beautiful palaces and forts from an era long gone. The deep valleys and thick forest cover of the hills are a haven for many species of birds such as grey partridge and white-throated kingfisher and animals, most notably, the Bengal tiger and golden jackal. It is this splendour and exquisite architecture, along with the calm lakes, royal hunting chalets, dense jungles and a socio-cultural environment unlike any other
The city of Ajmer gets its name from ‘Ajay Meru’. Roughly translated, it means ‘invincible hills’. Ajmer is home to the famous Dargah Sharif, which houses the Tomb of Garib Nawaz, also known as Moinuddin Chisti, the founder of the Chisti order of Sufism. Ajmer is also known for Mayo College, one of the country’s first schools that was a stepping stone for British style of education. It is also a sacred city for Hindus and Muslims alike and is renowned for being a centre of history and culture and beauty.
Beautiful, picturesque patches of green in the middle of the otherwise bustling towns and cities of Rajasthan, a vast array of gardens offer a moment of respite to dwellers and travellers alike. Dotted with colourful, vibrant flowers and perfectly manicured lawns, Rajasthan’s gardens are a sight to behold. Some of its most popular and most scenic gardens include Deeg and Sahiliyon ki Bari, which beautifully capture the local essence of their surroundings.
The majestic Aravalli mountain range spreads across a large part of Western India, including the Royal State, making it look exquisitely picturesque. Complete with lush greenery, dazzling lakes and stunning views of deep valleys and forests, the rugged mountain range offers a scenic backdrop and alluring opportunities for those interested in photography.
FLORA AND FAUNA
For nature lovers, Rajasthan has a lot to offer in terms of flora and fauna. Home to the majestic tiger, a host of rare birds and other animals along with spectacular flora, Rajasthan’s natural beauty can be best experienced through a visit to its variety of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries such as Ranthambhore, Bharatpur and Sariska. Each park has something unique to offer and makes for a unique, memorable experience that is enriched by the surrounding beauty.
LAKES AND DAMS
A variety of enchanting water bodies dot Rajasthan, adding to its scenic beauty. Picturesque dams, artificial lakes and springs of bubbling water not only make Rajasthan look picture perfect, but also cater to its water needs. Lake Gadisar in Jaisalmer, Lake Pichola in Udaipur, Jaisamand Lake (Asia’s second largest artificial lake) in Udaipur and Pushkar Lake in Pushkar, to name a few are included in Rajasthan’s most alluring tourist attractions.
Rajasthan’s history, valour, bravery and passion are all reflected in majestic structures across the State—forts, beautiful temples, stunning step-wells and exquisite palaces. Inspired by Mughal and Rajput architecture styles, these historic structures give Rajasthan a quaint, vintage and very authentic look and feel. Some of the very popular historic structures in Rajasthan include the Junagarh fort in Bikaner, the Chittorgarh fort in Chittorgarh, and the Mehrangarh fort in Jodhpur. Full of mysteries and embedded with legends and tales of history, Rajasthan’s historical structures are examples of architectural marvels from centuries ago.
Golden sand set against bright blue sky, the sand dunes of the Thar Desert do full justice to Rajasthan’s moniker of the Desert State. Frequently changing their appearance with every gust of wind, they are a testament to the magic of nature. A photographer’s delight, these sand dunes give the otherwise barren land a shimmering, glittering look during the day. Equally mesmerising during the night time, the sand dunes are a treat to the eyes with their rippling movements and scenic beauty.