There is never a dearth of things to do in the magnificent Rajasthan! Sightseeing, shopping, eating, dancing are just the beginning. There is so much to do that it’s impossible to write everything in a single article. We will not be talking about the lakes as they have been covered recently here. Here is a small list of the things that will make you want to keep visiting Rajasthan-
Oh yes, eating your heart out is a must in the desert state. The ever popular Daal, Baati, Churma cannot be missed. Gatte ki Sabzi, Pyaaaz Kachori, Laal Maas, Ker Sangri, Ghevar, Malpua…the list is quite long! The real taste of Rajasthani dishes can be experienced only when you are here.
Chokhi Dhani in Jaipur is well known for its authentic food and Rajasthani experience.
Chhaach and Lassi are daily staples of the state. The cooling Chaach or buttermilk is served with meals here. You can enjoy it whenever you feel thirsty. The frothy, creamy Lassi that comes in earthen glasses is simply amazing. Lassiwala in Jaipur has iconic status.
Aam Panna and Kanji are other drinks from the state to hydrate you.
There is so much to shop from the regal state! Jaipur is the ultimate destination for jewellery buyers. A large variety of traditional Rajasthani prints from different cities will spoil you for choice when buying clothes. Indulge in bandhni, block-prints, leheriya and heavy embroidery.
Besides clothes and jewellery, you can buy a variety of artifacts in every city of Rajasthan. Wood-work, marble work, blue pottery and puppets are the must-buys.
4.Live like a royal
There are numerous heritage hotels in Rajasthan. One of them is Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur. It was given the status of the best hotel in world. Umaid Bhawan was originally the residence of royals and you will feel like royalty when you stay here.
Other grand hotels in the state are Rambagh Palace (Jaipur), Ranvas (Nagaur), Udai Bilas Palace (Dungarpur), Oberoi Udai Vilas (Udaipur) and Alsisar Haveli (Jaipur) to name a few.
5.Hop on a camel
A ride that might make your heart jump! First you sit on a camel that’s sitting and as it stands up, you start rocking really fast. This is one ride that you will remember always. You can ride a camel in small enclosed spaces too but a ride in the real desert is something else altogether.
6.Royal Elephant ride
The royal ride, elephant is a regular sight in many cities of Rajasthan. In Jaipur, you can ride all the way to Amber Fort on an elephant. It’s a leisurely ride where you can enjoy the beautiful view of city too.
If you want to spend a whole day with elephants then head to Dera Amer where you can even give a bath to the grey animals!
7.Camping in the Deserts
Staying in deserts is a wonderful experience and you can get it in Rajasthan. You will love living in tents for a few days. These tents have all the modern amenities for your convenience in the middle of vast areas of sand. Jaisalmer is best for such desert safaris.
Kalbeliya, Ghumar, Kachchi Ghodi, Bhavai and Gair are some of the most popular dance forms of Rajasthan. Kalbeliya is the snake dance where ladies dressed in black can put even the snakes to shame with their flexibility. The peppy music of all these dance forms will make you dance along with the mesmerizing dancers.
Go off-roading in deserts and blast a few dunes. If you have an adventurous streak, you have to head to Jaisalmer to drive a mean-machine through the sand dunes.
This is the game of elites and Polo tournaments are organized in February-March in Jaipur. If you have plan well, you will have no trouble in witnessing men riding horses and trying to beat one another in the stylish sport.
In some festivals, you can even enjoy elephant polo and camel-polo.
11.Sail on Water Scooter
Rajasthan has this too! The state might be a ‘desert’ but there are many lakes here. For riding on a water scooter or on a speed-boat, Udaipur is the destination. Splashing around in the majestic Fateh Sagar Lake is what you need to do.
12.Fly on a Balloon
You can enjoy balloon rides at three places in the state- Jaipur, Pushkar and Ranthambhore. Early morning rides on the balloon offer the best 360 degree view, you can dream of.
13. Go Zip Lining
Another adventure sport where you can zip over the scenic locales! Neemrana Fort is a well known spot for zip-lining. Mehrangarh Fort at Jodhpur also offers the adrenalin pumping sport.
You have to plan a trip to Jaipur on the festival of Makar Sakranti that usually falls on 14th January. So many kites are there in the sky that day that you will barely catch a glimpse of sky. On the day an event is organized near the picturesque Jal Mahal where a lot of kite-enthusiasts gather to beat one another in the game of kites.
Jodhpur is also a great option to witness the Kite Festival.
15.Mount Abu Summer Festival
The hill station of Rajasthan remains pleasant even when the rest of the state is hot. Mount Abu Summer Festival is celebrated on the festival of Buddh Purnima every year. You can enjoy a grand procession and folk performances here.
16.Pushkar Camel Fair
You will find yourself surrounded by camels for 5 whole days when you are in Pushkar during this fair. The festival culminates on Kartik Purnima. The Longest Moustache Competition at the fest is well known. Camel decoration contests and camel race are also organized during the fair.
17.Gangaur and Teej Festivals
Jaipur is the place to see the Gangaur festival in all its glory. There are enthralling dance performances on the streets on the day of festival. Locals and tourists alike throng the four walled city to enjoy the myriad shades of Rajasthan. The festival falls after Holi in March or April.
The Teej Festival is the celebration of monsoon. It falls in July-August and is a great opportunity to enjoy the vibrancy of Jaipur.
18.Watch Movies like a Royal
You will forget even the swankiest multiplexes once you see the regality of Raj Mandir cinema hall in Jaipur. This is not just another movie theatre. It is a place where you get the royal treatment while enjoying a movie. The cinema hall has sparkling chandeliers and soft carpets to make you feel all regal.
19.Spend Time in Wilds
Another must-do in Rajasthan! Ranthambhore National park should be your destination to spot tigers and many other wild animals. Sariska Tiger Reserve is agreat option as well. For bird-watching, go to Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur.
Rajasthan is heaven for trekkers. Naldeshwar, Amber and Alwar are especially popular to explore in the early morning. You can go for overnight and full day treks in Mount Abu.
You need a few months if you want to visit every fort in Rajasthan. The most popular forts in the state are Kumbhalgarh, Mehrangarh, Chittorgarh, Nahargarh, Amber, Jaigarh and Junagarh to name a few. Each of these forts has unique architectural styles to keep you enchanted.
Chand Baori step-well in Abhaneri is a sight that you will not forget. Chand Baori has 3,500 steps that go down to more than 13 stories. It is about 100 feet deep and is one of the deepest and largest step-wells in India.
23.Uncover the Ruins of Bhangarh
If you are a horror-film junkie, you cannot miss the Bhangarh Fort between Alwar and Jaipur. It is believed that this fort is haunted. The place is in ruins and is one of the spookiest places in India.
24.Get Artsy at Museums
If you want to see the culture of Rajasthan in detail, Shilpgram Museum in Udaipur will fulfill the desire. Jaipur is home to many well-stocked museums like Albert hall, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II Museum in City Palace, Dolls Museum, Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing and Hawa Mahal Museum.
Rajasthan is the land of temples. There are very few temples of Hindu Lord Brahma and one of them is at Pushkar. Some other popular temples in the state are located in Jaipur- Govind Devji Temple, Moti Dungri Temple and Galtaji Temple.
Deshnok Temple or Karni Mata Temple near Bikaner is one of a kind as you will thousands of rats here which are considered sacred.
In Ajmer, the Dargah of Sufi Saint Moinuddin Chishti is frequented by devotes of all faiths. It is believed that all your wishes come true at this place.
So people, we hope that this list will get you started. Do share your favorite things to do in Rajasthan with us!
Image source- dune bashing