While Rajasthan, known for its cultural heritage and beauty, is one of the most explored states in India, you might think that there's no place left there hidden from the touristy crowd. You must have already visited Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Mt. Abu. But trust us when we say there's more to Rajasthan!
The offbeat things to do in Rajasthan will satiate your hunger for thrill and adventure and add an extra dose of fun to your trip. You must visit these offbeat places mentioned below and create moments as well as stories to be nostalgic about, later in life!
Throngs of devotees, both Muslim and Hindu, visit this nondescript town to pray at the tomb of the famous Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who died here in 1236. The dargah is one of the most important Sufi shrines, and while Ajmer is also home to other monuments such as Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra, Akbar's Palace and Museum, and the Taragarh Fort, the town is centered on this major pilgrimage spot. Urs, the death anniversary of the saint, is when Ajmer is at its festive best.
Location: 180km from Jaipur
Where to stay: Badnor House (3,024 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
A temple, a fort and a tiger are what you need to complete that classic Rajasthan trip and Ranthambore promises all three. The national park—one of the largest in North India—was once the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Besides its increasing tiger population, the park is also home to leopards, jackals, sloth bears, nilgai and a wealth of other wildlife and birdlife.
Location: Situated 162km from Jaipur
Where to stay: • Nahargarh - A fortress (15,293 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here),
• SUJÁN's Sher Bagh - A luxury camp (83,898 INR/night onwards for 2- Book Here),
• Aman-i-Khas - Luxury resort chain (1,11,040 INR/night onwards for 2- Book Here)
This jewel of a destination is best known for its vibrant camel fair and is a place for mystics and seekers. Devotees throng the lakes and the Brahma temple to conduct rituals during the full moon period in the Hindu month of Kartik. The camel fair, held around the same time, turns the town into the venue for a colourful carnival. Amble along the ghats to watch priests and pilgrims scatter rose petals in worship at the lake, or sip on a ‘special' lassi at one of its hip cafés.
Location: 144km from Jaipur
Where to stay: • The Green House Resort - Eco friendly resort (8,968 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here),
• The Westin Pushkar Resort and Spa - Marriott hotel chain (37,760 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
• Pushkar Resorts - (14,942 INR/night onwards for 2- Book Here)
4. Bharatpur–Keoladeo National Park
Bharatpur is famous for its bird sanctuary—the Keoladeo National Park. This top ornithological destination plays host to over 380 species of indigenous birds and other migratory species. A day trip from Bharatpur, the beautiful 18th century Deeg Palace, 32km from the park—summer retreat of the Jat kings—is a sprawling complex of palaces, pavilions and gardens.
Location: 184km from Jaipur and 26km from Fatehpur Sikri
Where to stay: The Bagh (15,080 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
5. Dera Amer
An elephant camp located in a private forest in the foothills of the Aravalis, Dera Amer is where visitors can live with the elephants. The camp organises elephant treks through the forest and surrounding villages, and gives guests the opportunity to bathe and feed the pachyderms. The camp also provides jeep safaris to the Amer Fort, Nahargarh National Park and surrounding areas. For those looking for more local wildlife, explore the region on camel back, or go birding and keep your eyes peeled for dusky eagle owls and laughing doves, among other species.
Location: Located only half an hour from Jaipur
Where to stay: Dera Amer (29,750 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
6. Dundlod Fort
If a historic getaway is what you're looking for, make your way to Dundlod Fort. The fort is now a heritage hotel and you can soak in the Rajputana lifestyle in the heart of Rajasthan's Shekhawati region. Guests share the fort with the royal owners, and thus feel like you are engaging in a royal lifestyle as well. Horseback safaris can be arranged for those who want to get out and explore the surrounding country side.
Location: Approximately 150km from Jaipur
Where to stay: Dundlod Fort (7,556 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
Known for its stunning havelis, this small town located on the old Silk Route, is known for the detailed artistry, decorative murals and frescoes of its historical Murmuria Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli and Goenka Double Haveli, among others.
Location: Located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan and 168 km from Jaipur
Where to stay: Hotel Mandawa Castle (5,039 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
8. Ramathra Fort
The Ramathra Fort is now a heritage hotel, but was given as a fiefdom by the Maharaja of Karauli to his son Thakur Bhoj Pal in 1645. Named after Lord Ram, the hilltop fort has an enviable view of surrounding farmlands, forests and the Kalisil Lake. Within the fort, lies multiple shrines— like the Ganesh Mandir and Shiva Mandir, while the interior of the fort is a fine example of latticework and traditional artistry.
Location: Situated on a hilltop in Karauli district, 160km southeast of Jaipur
Where to stay: Ramathra Fort (19,222 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
9. Samode Palace
Samode is known for its 475-year-old palace that is now a heritage hotel. Its intricate carvings, frescoed corridors, stunning glasswork of the Sheesh Mahal or Hall of Mirrors, and Mughal gardens nearby ensure that you have enough to do. Ask the hotel to organise a horse or camel safari of the surrounding regions or walk through the village and shop for handicrafts from the colourful stores.
Location: 42 km from Jaipur and on the outskirts of Shekhawati
Where to stay: Samode Palace (30,680 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
While the Sariska Tiger Reserve and National Park's tiger population has been dwindling in recent times, it is a serene place lacking the usual crowds. Home to the leopard, golden jackal, four-horned antelope, Indian eagle-owl and other wildlife, the national park is also dotted with temples and atmospheric ruins such as the Kankwari Fort and Hanuman Temple.
Location: 107km from Jaipur
Where to stay: • Amanbagh - Luxury resort chain (1,17,622 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here),
• The Sariska Palace - A heritage hotel (13,500 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
The historical town of Neemrana is synonymous with its 15th century fort—one of Rajasthan's first palace hotels. Neemrana Fort is a destination unto itself, the massive heritage property lies perched atop a hill and spreads over multiple levels to give a stunning view of the town and surrounding landscape.
Location: Located on the Delhi-Jaipur highway
Where to stay: Neemrama Fort (14,160 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
Another UNESCO World Heritage site where you can try your hand at ziplining through the hilly terrain. The nearby Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is home to some fascinating creatures—hyenas, sloth bears, leopards, the rare chinkara and numerous birds. Night drives here are truly magical.
Location: 85km from Udaipur
Where to stay: Fateh Safari Lodge (8,399 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
3. Mount Abu/Dilwara Jain Temples
Billed as Rajasthan's only hill station, Mount Abu is home to a wildlife sanctuary (where you can spot civets, porcupines, sambhar and more) as well as multiple Jain temples which are famous for their use of white marble and intricate marble carvings.
Location: 163km from Udaipur
Where to stay: Palace Hotel, Bikaner House (10,620 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
Planning a visit to the Chaturmukha Jain Temple in Ranakpur, on the Udaipur- Jodhpur Highway? Close to the Ranakpur temples, the town of Narlai has a granite monolith hill, known as Jaikal Hill, which offers good view of the Godwar area after climb of over 700 steps. There is a Shiva temple in cave in this hill, the cave is few hundred meter long. Currently, there are 22 beautifully carved temples which are open to visitors. Close by is the Seli Bandh, a dam that is a stop for migratory birds.
Location: 2 hours away from Udaipur
Where to stay: Rawla Narlai (18,054 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
Surrounded by the state's major cities—Udaipur(135km), Jodhpur(150km) and Jaipur (275km)—this hamlet (which was also a fort at one point) is far enough from them that you feel a sense of peace. Boasting a complex of luxurious heritage resorts managed by the erstwhile royal family of the Deogarh thikana, you can also explore Deogarh village and picnic by the lake (the area attracts many migratory birds) or at the nearby Gokal Garh Fort.
Location: 135 Kms from Udaipur
Where to stay: Dev Shree (32,921 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
Make a trip to Dungarpur, the seat of the elder branch of the Sisodiyas of Udaipur, where you can visit the Dev Somnath Mandir, Juna Mahal, Badal Mahal and more. There's also an archaeological museum and the annual Baneshwar fair, in February, to look forward to. Go boating at the Gaib Sagar Lake, explore the hilly terrain or picnic amid the ruins—Dungarpur has loads to offer.
Location: Around 2 hours away from Udaipur
Where to stay: Udai Bilas Palace (12,272 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
Just short of the India-Pakistan border is the site of an epic battle between the two countries. Today, you can visit the border post, for a day trip, interact with soldiers and see the Pakistani tanks and jeeps that were captured in 1971. Location: Around 120km from Jaisalmer
2. Jain Temples at Lodhruva
Today, the ruins of Lodhruva, have some of the most stunning temples in the region. A 10th century Jain temple that was rebuilt 500 years later, a Shiva temple and other shrines are worth a visit for their architecture and design.
Location: 7km from Jaisalmer
3. Abandoned Village of Kuldhara
What exactly happened is a mystery, but local lore says that the villagers abandoned their homes overnight and cursed misfortune on anyone who tried to settle there. We'd recommend a daytime visit, when it still wears a haunted look, so that you can get back to the safety of your hotel by nightfall.
Location: About 40mins away from the city
4. Desert Safari
Sign up for one of the several overnight desert safaris at Thar Desert, which range anywhere from two to seven days. The camp pitches its experience as rustic luxury, and offers sandboarding, camel safaris and evenings spent taking in local folk music.
Location: About 30km from Jaisalmer
Where to stay: Damodra Desert Camp (9,976 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
5. Go Birding at Desert National Park
The park is a haven for birds such as the great Indian bustard, falcons, and kestrels. In winter, migratory birds bring their own dash of colour. The sparse vegetation means only serious wildlife enthusiasts brave the sun. It also means that sightings are nearly guaranteed.
Location: About 40km from Jaisalmer
Where to stay: The Mama's Resort & Camp (7,515 INR/night onwards for 2 - Book Here)
Can’t deny the fact that these holiday destinations captivate every genre of travellers by offering only the best possible outcomes but we hope you get the urge to explore what’s beyond the monotonous places in Rajasthan!
Did we miss out on any destination? Let us know in the comments below!
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