Road trips are a great way to discover new cultures that are inaccessible through other mediums of travel like rail and flight. And this is nowhere true than in Rajasthan which has a host of attractions that are truly local and can be experienced only by interacting with the people who live and stay here. So while historical places in Rajasthan are always a major attraction for tourists from not just India but also from around the world, we are giving you more reasons as to why you must take a road trip across Rajasthan. Have you packed your bag yet?
Discover the magic of deserts
While historical places in Rajasthan are a huge draw, there is no denying the fact that deserts are a major attraction as well. Known officially as the Thar Desert, it is spread across the western side of the state from the Aravalli Range, which then continues right into Pakistan. Also called the Great India Desert, it is the 17th largest desert in the world. Since it receives very little rain, it is covered in sand dunes which in turn gives it a very distinct appearance.
If you are looking to experience historical places of Rajasthan, we recommend you drive down to cities like Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Khimsar, Kumbhalgarh, Jodhpur or Pushkar. If you are planning to come from Delhi, the closest destination is Pushkar which is located 416 km away while driving to Jaisalmer will take around 13 hours as it is located close to 827 km from the Capital.
Although Jaisalmer is one of the major historical places in Rajasthan, head here for the fort experience and enjoy a desert experience that is unlike any other in the entire country. During your stay here, don’t forget to visit the Jaisalmer Fort which is a massive sandcastle rising from the sandy plains. It is one of the best places to experience camel rides and also enjoy night time camping in the desert.
While flights and trains are always a convenient way to reach the state, driving down is the best alternative. This is because driving down will help you to experience vast stretches of desert. With long stretches of deserts on both sides of the road, don’t forget to pack some deodorants and wipes because the temperature are sure to rise, especially during the day.
Experience a host of experiences on the road
Historical places in Rajasthan and parched land are undoubtedly the most major draws of the state. But that being said, there are many majestic forts, lakes, local markets and museums that are equally worth your travel time and effort.
If you are looking for fairy tale like experience, head to Udaipur which is located on the fringes of Lake Pichola. Named after Maharana Udai Singh II, the founder of the region, this place is scattered with palaces, havelis and stores selling Mughal jewellery and miniature Mughal paintings. From City Palace built by various Mewar ruler to Fateh Prakash Palace, this historical places in Rajasthan also boasts of world-class restaurants and museums, where you can enjoy a slice of Rajasthani hospitality.
Another hidden gem in the state is the Shekhwati region which is known for its heritage havelis. Boasting of towns like Mandawa and Churu, these places offer a unique perspective into the culture of the state. While Mandawa is truly one of the most historical places in Rajasthan, Churu offers lively markets and havelis with creative paintings in Bikaner style. If you want to truly experience the havelis in an urban setting, we recommend you visit the annual Magnetic Fields which generally takes place in December at the majestic Alsisar Mahal.
Drive by majestic forts that dot the entire state
Forts are another major draw and there is no doubt that this state is one that has always belonged to the royals. In earlier times, Rajasthan was divided into 20 princely states and each of its rulers build forts and palaces. These forts were not only a means to protect their subjects from the enemies but also a way to show their amazing opulent and artistic taste to the outside world. Now, most of these havelis and palaces have been developed into heritage hotels with contemporary decor while retaining their previous grandeur.
While Udaipur is one of the major historical places in Rajasthan, the Lake Palace of Udaipur is a huge draw for tourists not just in India but also from all over the world. Built in 1743-1746, the palace was built to serve as the summer place and was originally named after its founder as Jagniwas. Later in 1971 the palace hotel was taken over by the Taj Hotels and Resorts Palaces and they added seventy five more rooms to the original hotels.
One of the major historical places in Rajasthan is located in Chittogarh. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fort was the capital of Mewar and located in the present day town of Chittor. Sprawling over a hill 180 metre, the fort is spread over a massive 691 acres. Overall, the fort has several historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemorative towers, within its boundaries.
While historical places in Rajasthan and forts continue to attract crowds from all over the world, other forts that you can visit during your stay here includes Amber & Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur, Ranthambore Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Mehrangarh Fort and Mandawa Fort in Shekawati region among others.
A road trip is a great way to experience the food culture of the state
While historical places in Rajasthan are always going to attract tourists on one hand, foodies too are in for a massive treat while visiting this state. The food in the state is whole grain based and offers a mix of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. From soups, curry, snacks and desserts, there is a whole variety of dishes that await travellers in this state. Dal Bati Churma and Laal Maas are the most famous dishes from the state, which you can enjoy not just in restaurants but also in roadside dhabas as well. In fact, we recommend you stop for tea and snacks at a roadside, particularly if you are taking a road trip in the state.
PS: Jaipur, a major historical places in Rajasthan is the best place to have a plate of dal baati churma, while Jodhpur is a good place to stop at for a plate of laal maas.
A road trip is a great way to see beyond the clinches of the state
While historical places in Rajasthan are always a huge draw, there are many hidden gems in the state as well. From Churu, which is located 180 km from Bikaner, head here for well maintained havelis and colourful frescoes that dot the entire area. Or you can head to Kuldhara which is 40 mins from Jaisalmer, which according to local legends is haunted. What exactly happened is a mystery but local villagers abandoned their homes here overnight. Another great pick is Bhangarh which is located only 85 km from Jaipur, one of the major historical places in Rajasthan. Home to one of the most haunted forts in Asia, it is still one of the most well preserved forts in the state.
Explore the incredible flora and fauna of the state with a road trip
Although a majority of Rajasthan is covered by deserts, the state is also gifted with a very rich flora and fauna. From tigers in Ranthambore National Park to jackals and deers in Sariska National Park, there is something here for every wildlife enthusiasts.
However, if you have to pick one national park to visit in the state, we recommend Ranthambore National Park. Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, it was once the famous hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Jaipur. While you are here, don’t forget to visit Jaipur, one of the major historical places in Rajasthan and only 130 km from the national park.
Enjoy the sunrise/sunset on bike rides
Bike rides are a great way to explore sunsets and sunrise which are truly majestic in the state. Head out to visit the historical places in Rajasthan, while driving through highways and roads dotted with small villages and dhabas. The best bike ride to experience in Rajasthan would be from Jaipur to Jaisalmer via Bikaner. If you however want to take the less beaten path, there are a number of biking routes that you can choose depending on the time you are willing to spend on the road.
PS: If you are traveling from Jaipur to Jaisalmer, keep in mind that apart from Bikaner, there are no big towns along the way until you reach your final destination. This is why we recommend you carry essentials and research your overnight stays as well. Better still, carry a tent where you can pitch one right in the middle of the desert.
Discover new places on your road trip
While popular places in Rajasthan are always a show-stealer, there are many hidden gems in the states as well. So whether you are looking to head out to one of the many major historical places in Rajasthan or are looking for a quiet getaway in Churu or Mandawa, this state ticks all the right boxes. Have you packed your bags for the next getaway?
In conclusion, there are many historical places in Rajasthan that you can drive through on your next getaway. From the quintessential Rajasthan experience in Jaipur to wildlife encounters at Ranthambore National Park, there is something here for everyone. Have you planned your getaway yet?