Rajasthan Diaries - Padharo Mhare Desh

14th Sep 2017

I had been to Rajasthan from 14th Sept 2017 to 23rd Sept 2017. It was unforgettable experience.

It was bit unplanned solo trip. I was frustrated and bored with daily routine life of mine, so decided to go on long weekend.

I was just looking for ideal destination with fully pack of adventure and exploration and my hunt stopped at Rajasthan.

This trip was solo trip. I usually spend time with friends & family but this time, I specifically decided to go solo because I wanted see this destination from my point view. Rajasthan is not only famous for desert but also known for its magnificent and mighty forts, hill cities, religious places and off course, its rich rajasthani culture.

I started my journey with Pune to Jaipur flight. Jaipur (Sanga Airport) is international airport, so one can easily reach there by air. Also if you are staying nearby Jaipur then train or bus is also a good option.

On 14th Midnight, I landed in Jaipur and stayed nearby Hotel. (It was Hotel President of OYO rooms.) I would suggest to go nearby Jaipur Railway station (Sindhi Camp) for night stay as it is nearer to City Palace.

Day 1

Day 1: Jaipur

On 14th Morning I started my Jaipur City tour. Initially, I went to Jaigarh fort. Jaigarh is one of the magnificent fort of Amer, located 20 km away from Jaipur. I hired a private autorickshaw to reach there, but you can go by e-Rickshaw from city palace. Jaigarh is owned by Maharaja of Jaipur & was former capital of Jaipur Kingdom (Capital town was Amer/Amber, which is situated at the foothills of Jaigarh Fort). At Jaigarh fort you can see world's largest cannon ‘Jaivana’. Also, you can visit palace complexes within fort. History lovers will get many curious stories & things. You can get glimpse of Jaipur from Jaigarh fort. I spent there almost 2 and half hours.

Later on I went to Nahargarh fort which is just 5 - 6 KM away from Jaigarh fort. Nahargarh fort is another fort in Jaipur. Like Jaigarh, it is also located in Aravalli ranges. Though Nahargarh has less less monuments compare to Jaigarh, one should not skip it as it has famous Jaipur wax museum and hall of mirrors (Sheesh Mahal). Most important attraction of Nahargarh fort is ‘MADHVENDRA Palace’. This 17th century palace depicts rich culture and architecture of Rajasthan. You can can enjoy view of Jaipur from here.

Then I travelled to Amer Palace/ Amber Fort. Basically this is not a fort. This is palace which was official residence of Kachwaha Maharajas. This Palace is a part of Jaigarh Fort as this is accessible from fort. The palace is great example of Jaipur architecture. Darbar Hall (Diwan-e-aam), Diwan-e-khas, King’s Mahal, Janani Mahal (Queen’s Residence) are the notable monuments of this palace. You can also visit underground way to Jaigarh fort (It is still open from palace side). Another attraction of Amer Palace is Light and Sound Show. The Rajasthan Tourism Department has setup light and sound show which describes history of Jaipur. This show tries to recreate glory of Amer fort. This is must see show as one can enjoy beautiful view of Amer and Jaigarh fort. This show is one hour show starting at 6 PM till 9 PM.

While returning to Jaipur I visited JalMahal. This is lake palace of jaipur. This is not well maintained so I hardly spent 15 min there. Then I visited to Hawa Mahal. Built in Red sandstone, Hawa mahal is one of tourist attraction of Jaipur. It is located near to city palace. You can spend half an hour there as palace does not have any major architecture.

With Hawa Mahal, my first day of Rajasthan trip ended around 6 PM.

Then I was roaming in Jaipur market as I did not have anything to pass my time.

After dinner I boarded to Jaipur to Chittorgarh train at 11 PM. The train reaches to chittorgarh around 6 AM.

Suggestions :

There is Jaipur City Tour bus operated by RTDC. Also there are private operators who provides same facility The bus starts at 9 AM Morning and tour ends at 6 PM. You can get more details on RTDC website. Also don’t fall prey to local guides if you are solo. At most of the places, you will get Audio guides (recorders) which will walk through each and every point and also you can enjoy your time without being hurry.

Start your tour from Jantar Mantar (9 AM sharp), city palace, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Amer Palace. Amer palace closes at 5 PM. After Amer Palace tour, enquire about Light & sound show which starts at 6 PM. Enjoy the show and return to main city for dinner.

There are other places like Goiter, Sisodiya Rani ki Haveli, Jaipur Museum and Zoo.

For Solos, You can rent a bike for a day and its worth of it. (There are bike rent websites are available.).

Half part of Jaipur tour ends here.

Day 2: Chittorgarh

Day 4

As my previous day was hectic, I prefered City tour bus of udaipur (Operated by Chetak Travels ) instead of my own commutation.

Udaipur is a City of Lake famously known as Venice of the East. It is the historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar, founded by Rana Udai Singh II. It is known for its history, culture, scenic locations and the Rajput-era palaces. There are five major lake, namely Lake Pichola, Lake Fateh Sagar, Doodh Talai, Swaroop Sagar Lake and Ranga Sagar making Udaipur as City of Lake. City tour started at 9 AM with Fateh Sagar Lake. Here you can enjoy scenic view of lake while boating. Opposite of lake there is Rana pratap Smarak (Moti Magri). Then we went to Sahelion ki Bari and Sukhadia Circle. These are adjacent gardens previously used as private royal gardens. Bhartiya Lok Kala Mandal is art gallery which displays rich rajasthani architecture and folklore traditions of rajasthan. Here you can enjoy puppet show. Then we went to City Palace.

The city palace depicts rich rajasthani architecture and traditions. You should not miss this. For city palace there is entry fee. Instead of guide one can opt for audio guide which very convenient.

There is palace museum which displays historical and royal articles.

Udaipur Ropeway is nearer to City Palace. You can enjoy panoramic view of Udaipur. Lake pichola is just few meters away from ropeway base.

This is best place to roam around. I spent there almost one hour. The cold breezes and scenic sunset was best part of my Udaipur trip. Here my city tour ended & bus dropped me to my hotel.

If you have time and vehicle you can go to Bagore ki Haveli and Vintage car museum which is nearby City Palace. You should not miss the puppet and folk show at Bagore ki Haveli.

Another thing you should not miss in Udaipur is Rajasthani Thali. (You will get everywhere in Rajasthan but I found, it is more authentic in Udaipur, may be due major tourist place. )

Suggestions :

I got only one and half day in Udaipur, but i would advise you to spend at least 2 days in Udaipur. It is worth.

I would recommend to rent a bike if you are solo. This is best place to ride a bike. No crowd no rush no hurry. Udaipur has awesome scenic view. I am sure you can’t resists yourself for a bike.

My next destination was Jaisalmer. There is no direct bus / train available for Jaisalmer. You can either opt for connecting bus at Jodhpur or go to Jaipur/ Ajmer to catch train to Jaisalmer.

I went by road Udaipur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer.

Day 5: Jaisalmer Travel

Day 3

Early in the morning I left for Nathdwara. This is a holy place of Gowardhan temple and Eklingji Temple.

Chittorgarh to Nathdwara is 3 hrs journey. I reached Nathdwara at 10 am. There is no direct bus to haldighati or Kumbhalgarh. Your private vehicle is only option. Taxi or Autorickshaw will charge you Rs. 1200. As I was Solo, I rented a bike for Rs. 600 (The bike owner ride me to Kumbhalgarh via Haldighati. It wasnt self ride bike. Contact Hotel Pragyan near bus station ).

My route was Nathdwara - Haldighati - Kumbhalgarh - Udaipur . We (Bike owner and I ) left for Haldighati around 11 AM and reached there @ 12 noon. On the way to Haldighati, you can enjoy the scenic beauty as well as feel the History. After haldighati pass you will arrive at Rana Pratap Memorial where you can enjoy the pictorial history of Rana Pratap & museum.

After a Haldighati we went to Kumbhalgarh which took almost 2 hrs.

Kumbhalgarh is one of the mightiest fort. Best part of it is you wont be able to view the fort unless you reach to foothills (Kelwara). The fort, named after Rana Kumbha, is one of the mightiest and unbeatable fort of India. This is surrounded by Aravali hill, such way that no one from outside get glimpse of Fort unless you reach there. Hilly terrain makes it non defeatable. The Kumbhalgarh, World Heritage Site, has second largest fort wall of 36 KM. Though there are no much historical monuments, you can imagine and enthrill its great architecture.. The important monuments are Kumbha Palace (Also Birthplace of Rana Pratap), Jain Temples, Hindu Temples, entry gates (Hanuman Pole, Suraj Pole).

After Kumbhalgarh, I left for Udaipur by bus (last bus at 6 PM).

Suggestions :

Worst part is there is no direct transport available to haldighati and Kumbhalgarh.

If you are planning for KumbhalGarh, go to Nathdwara for stay. There are no direct buses to Kumbhalgarh from Nathdwara, Udaipur. You need to make arrangement yourself. If you are solo then rent cab from nathdwara and cover Kumbhalgarh, Haldighati in a day. Renting a bike / Cab from Udaipur is also good option but only huddle is 100 KM’s travel.

Day 4: Udaipur

Day 2

My second halt was in Chittorgarh. This is fort town and historic place. Chittorgarh has special place in rajasthan history. Chittorgarh was capital of Mewar. Many historic incidents are associated with chittorgarh.

After breakfast, I started my journey towards fort. Fort is clearly visible from town. You can get auto from main bus station. Rickshaw will charge just a Rs. 10-20 to drop you near main gate of fort. There are two ways of exploring fort first by walk and second one is by vehicle.

If you are history enthusiast, explore by walk is the best option. (Never miss this.). Near the fort entrance (Entry fee counter) you will get many tour guides who will walk you through major tourist attraction (Don’t rely on auto drivers as they will just ride you few points without valuable information). I prefered explore by walk and hire a guide for a day. Dileep (The Guide) walk me through each and every point of fort with valuable history of it. Kumbha Palace, Padmini Palace, Meera Palace, Kirti Stambha, Vijaya Stambha, Fateh Prakash Palace, Kalika mata temple, Suraj pole, Ram pole, Sanga palace, Jay and Fatta Palace are the major tourist spots on fort. The forts perimeter is 13 km and walk way distance is 8 km. If you are really history enthusiast, you can easily cover this distance in day. I completed my whole fort visit around 5 PM. Dileep arranged passes of light and sound show. This is very beautiful and memorable show as this describe each and every incident of fort through laser show. (DON’T DON’T MISS IT. you will regret.) The entry passes for show will cost you Rs 100/- per person, but worth it.

Then I went back to town and had dinner. If you don’t have own vehicle make sure you will get auto or something else to get down to town. At night there is no way of commutation from fort. Also there is no restaurant if you want to have dinner on fort. RTDC runs a restaurant which is open till 6 PM

Day 3: Kumbhalgarh

Day 5

Next Day early morning I started for Jaisalmer via Jodhpur ( I took Udaipur to Jodhpur RSRTC volvo bus and then Jodhpur to Jaisalmer Bus). This was bit irritating part of my rajasthan trip as whole journey took 12 hours. Best part of this road trip was terrain changes. From Udaipur you start with plains, then you cross the Aravali Hills and at the end, enter in the desert. These changing landforms are really enjoyable.

After reaching Jaisalmer, I checked-in the hotel Shahi-Palace. This is good economy hotel. Jaisalmer fort, Gadisar Lake are on walkable distance from hotel. Around 6.30 PM I left for Gadisar lake which is just 15 min away from hotel. I spent there nearly half an hour. There are boating option but I skipped it as I already had it in Udaipur.

If you are here for Jaisalmer Fort then, just before the sunset, during the Golden Hour, you can take enormous photo of Jaisalmer Fort which turns golden during this hour. For this you need to be near Jaisalmer Fort before sunset. After Gadisar Lake, I went to fort (This is living fort so fort is open 24 X 7, except monuments). During the dark I was just wandering around in market (No shopping ), and around 8 PM I reached to the fort. After sunset, fort wall are lit which turns whole fort golden. This is the thing I was dying for. This yellow sandstone fort looks beautiful during sunset. You should not miss this part. The fort is lights are on whole night, so you can take spent enough time here. (You can roam in the fort as entrances are never closed).

My hotel is located near to fortress, so I went to hotel & continued fort view from hotel rooftop (There is rooftop restaurant where you can enjoy dinner while having fort view. Again not to miss).

Day 6: Jaisalmer

Day 6

Next day I started early in the morning, I rented a bike as I was solo. I start my day with Fort visit. In the fort you can visit Royal palace and museum, Jain Temples, Laxminath temple and entry gates.

Then went Bada bagh (6 KM away from city. I went here first to avoid high temp during the day). This is royal cenotaphs of Jaisalmer Kingdom. Here you can see the royal Chhatries of each King of Jaisalmer. Then back to the city I visited Patwan ki Haveli, Nathmal Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Haveli. These are nearer to fort. You can cover is by walk if you want. (No need of vehicle).

Post lunch I went to Gadisar lake to rest.

Around 3 PM, I started my most memorable journey to SAM SAND DUNES. This was most awaited moment of my whole trip. I went there by cab (If you are in group then bike will be best option as you will have adventure ride in sand roads. I missed it. )

Sam Sand Dune is 50KM away from jaisalmer. You need to prebook your package as there is huge rush. There are two packages 1. Whole night package which includes - your stay, food and entertainment program. 2. Half day package - everything is same except stay. If you have time I would suggest go for whole night package as this will be addition to your unforgettable experiences. (Mine was Half day Package booked with Desert Safariors Camps). The guy from tourist group took me to Sam. On the way to SAM, there is paragliding and desert Safari drive. You can enjoy this. Desert Safari drive will charge you 1500 for 4 or 5 person and will roam you in the desert. This is amazing experience where you really feel the actual desert drive.

My package was Half Day Desert Safari, which included Camel ride, food and Rajasthani Folk Program. At the camp, I had camel ride for half an hour. Believe me, Desert Sunset is unforgettable. Around 8 PM folk program started where artists presented rajasthani folk songs and dance. Just forget everything & dance with them. Its amazing experience.

SAM SAFARI is fully packed with joy, amusement and fun. Just enjoy it.

After dinner, Raja (The guy who took me to SAM), dropped me to Jaisalmer Railway Station. Bike Riders don’t miss this part. Riding a bike on Desert Road, that too in complete Dark is thrilling experience. (Again I missed it.)

From Jaisalmer, I boarded a train to Jodhpur (6 hrs journey). (There are trains to Jaipur & Jodhpur from Jaisalmer)

Suggestion :

Jaisalmer is very small town & every tourist spot is walkable distance away if you are near fort.

So rent a bike only if you are planning bike. Local sight seeing can be done by walk. (Fort -> Salim Singh Haveli -> Patwaon ki Haveli -> Nathmal Haveli -> Back to Fort. ) For Bada bagh auto is good option (Rs. 200 for KM though bit costly, it is good option). For Sam you need a cab which will cost you Rs. 2000 & Half day package will be Rs. 800. You can negotiate cumulative price and ask for Bada Bagh instead of Jaisalmer City tour.

There is War memorial but it is 13 KM away from Jaisalmer. ( Riding 26 KM in desert, that too in 40 celsius, You are eligible for extremities show.)

Day 7: Jodhpur

Day 7

Off boarded at Jodhpur Railway Station in the morning around 7 AM.

Next day morning I went to Hotel Arun ( its at walkable distance from Jodhpur Railway station), get refreshed and again started my day. Jodhpur is historical capital of MARWAR and second largest city in Rajasthan. It is also known as ‘Blue city’ as houses are coloured in blue.

I started my day with Umaid Bhawan Palace. The Royal residence, also houses a museum of Jodhpur Royal Family. This museum displays variety of items of Royal history.

Then I visited Mehrangarh fort. This is principal royal fort of Jodhpur. Here you can visit a museum which exhibits the heritage of Marwar. Within a Mehrangarh, you can visit Moti Mahal, Sheesh Mahal & Phool Mahal as well. While entering in the fort you will pass through different gates such as Jaipol, Fatehpol, and Dedh Kamgra Pol. Just rest here and enjoy the Jodhpur panorama. While returning from Mehrangarh, you will see a Jaswant Thada. Its a royal cenotaph of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. From mehrangarh I headed towards Ghantaghar by walk. It was 20 min walk (Google Map will guide you). Ghantaghar is 18th century monument located in sardarpura market. Its old clock tower (You can skip it if time do not permits). Then I returned to hotel as it was very hot day. (I completed Jodhpur sight-seeing around 3 PM ). If you have your own vehicle then you can plan for other tourist places around Jodhpur.

I had a dinner at railway station (There are lot many food options available in Jodhpur) and boarded a train for Agra.

(There are many trains to Jaipur, Delhi, Agra. )

Suggestions :

Rent a bike/ car, if you can. That is very economical, else go for Uber/Ola. Dont go for local autorickshaws. They charge you heavily.

Day 8: Agra

Day 8

After Off boarding at Agra Fort Railway Station ,around 9 AM, I started exploring Agra. Railway station is just few min away from Agra fort. You can cover it by walk. I explored Red fort around 2 hours (Not explaining in details as you will get much details on internet). After Red Fort, my but obvious destination is Taj Mahal. That's unforgettable, indescribable. Just a marvelous piece of human creation. No words to describe it. Go there and just feel it.

As I was not interested in any other places or shopping, I just skipped everything and returned to Jaipur by bus. (5 hrs drive)

Suggestion : Ola / Uber is best way of commutation.

Day 9: Jaipur

Day 9

Next day morning I took local tooktook rickshaw (e-Rickshaw) to Jantar Mantar. Its 18th century observatory built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh III. It is a World Heritage Site. The astronomical units and equipments are still in good condition. It has worlds largest SUNDIAL (SAMRAT YANTRA) which is used for time calculation. Also there are some other equipments which are designed by Raja Jai Singh. At Jantar mantar, RTDC has arranged a show to explain mathematics and functioning of these equipments. Do watch.

Opposite to Jantar Mantar, there is City Palace, The Royal residence. You can enter in the city palace after paying a entry fee of Rs. 100. Also,there is facility of Audio Guide which will walk you through palace. There are few historical monuments such as Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Maharani Palace, Baggi khana etc. I spent there almost 2.5 hour. Near City Palace there is Hawa Mahal and Sargasuli. Also Birla mandir is good option to visit.

Around 9 PM, I boarded a flight to my hometown.

That was end of my Rajasthan Trip.

I would like to add some suggestions for aspirant travellers.


Instead of starting from Jaipur, Udaipur can be better option. You can land at Ahmedabad Airport and travel to Udaipur (5 hrs drive by road). Also there are frequent volvos on Ahmedabad-Udaipur route.

By making Udaipur as starting point you can cover Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh, Haldighati, Ranakpur, Mount Abu, Nathdwara.

Chittorgarh is 2 hrs drive away ( from Nathdwara & Udaipur ), so you can easily complete Chittorgarh trip in a day.

You can go to Ajmer or Jaipur from Chittorgarh (by train/ road. Train will be more convenient)

Ajmer can be seen quickly, as there is nothing much to see except Dargah and Pushkar lake. Instead of going to Jaipur, take a train to Jaisalmer from Ajmer (Phulera station).

By this plan, you can spend a night in SAM DUNES and next day will be for Jaisalmer City Sightseeing.

From Jaisalmer you can take a train to Jodhpur at midnight. This train will reach Jodhpur in the morning, so that you can save a day in travelling.

There are frequent Jodhpur to Jaipur trains.

Ideal route from my experiences is

Udaipur - Nathdwara - Chittorgarh - Ajmer / Jaipur - Jaisalmer - Jodhpur - Jaipur

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