Rajasthan is right out of a fairy tale. There are historical castles, sand dunes, magical landscapes, and best of all – color themed cities.
If you see the map of India, you will notice that Rajasthan is towards the North West part of the country and borders with Pakistan. Actually there is a vast desert towards the West part of that state that separates India and Pakistan.
In my opinion, Rajasthan is one of the safest and cleanest states of India. Rajasthan Tourism surely deserves a pat on their backs for doing a good job. It is the land of luxury because of its Maharaja heritage and the opulence is visible pretty much everywhere – even on the train stations.
There are many reasons why I love Rajasthan and keep visiting it every year. One of the main reasons is that the state is massive and it is not possible to cover it in just one visit. Another reason is that I love how Rajasthan’s top cities are color themed. There is a pink city, a blue city, a red city, a white city and even a golden city. Did you know that? Now you do!
Let me introduce my favorite color themed places to visit in Rajasthan. If you’re visiting Rajasthan for the first time, you may want to start off by visiting these cities first. It is very easy to visit most of these destinations by train, car or even air from Delhi. You can also check out this post for tips for traveling in Rajasthan.
Places to Visit in Rajasthan that are Color Themed
Jaipur – the Pink City
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is close to New Delhi; hence it is one of the most visited cities of the state. It is a part of India’s famous golden triangle route of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur that covers Taj Mahal – one of the seven wonders of the world.
Jaipur is known as the Pink City of India because most of its buildings were originally painted red in the eighteenth centaury but were repainted in 1876 and turned amber pink.
There are many amazing places to visit in Jaipur but my favorite is Nahargarh fort because of the amazing view it offers. You can also visit the magnificent Amber fort, Jaigarh fort, Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar.
Where to stay in Jaipur
I highly recommend you find a hotel that’s close to the old part of the city, which is called the Pink City so that you can explore it by walking.
We stayed in a charming haveli called Rawla Mrignayani Palace and loved it. One of my favorite things to do in Jaipur is walking in the Pink City market, eating delicious Rajasthani street food and buying colorful handmade clothes.
Jodhpur – the Blue CityOver the last few years, Chefchaouen in Morocco has suddenly gained international popularity because it is blue themed but India’s Jodhpur is no less. It on the edge of the Thar Desert and hence is also called the Gateway to Thar.
Just like Jaipur, it is the old part of Jodhpur that’s blue. This part of Jodhpur is called Brahmpuri and literally every house and building here is colored in different hues of blue.
If you’re looking for things to do in Jodhpur then you must include Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhawan Palace, and Balsamand Lake in your Rajasthan itinerary.
Where to stay in Jodhpur
You can book in Umaid Bhawan Palace, Raas, or Marugarh resort for an extremely luxurious “Maharaja” like experience.
Bikaner – the Red City
Bikaner is my favorite cities in Rajasthan and it is the most overlooked one, because of which it has still managed to retain it’s low-key charm. Not many people know much about this city apart from its famous namkeen (salty snacks) or the famous rat temple, but there is so much more.
While you’re in Bikaner, you can visit Junagarh fort, Laxmi Niwas Palace, Lalgarh palace and also the nearby Gajner Sanctuary. However as per me, the best thing that I did here was walking around the streets of Bikaner’s old town. This is where you will find some old forgotten havelis that were built in the eighteenth centaury using red sandstones by Bikaner’s rich merchants. Be sure to check out my travel guide for Bikaner that has essential information about what you can do here.
Where to stay in Bikaner
The best place to stay in Bikaner is Narendra Bhawan, which was once Bikaner’s Maharaja’s residence. You can also stay in the nearby Laxmi Niwas Palace or Lalgarh Palace.
Udaipur – the White City (or the Lake city)
Udaipur is more commonly referred to as the city of the lakes but it is mostly white because of the use of white marble in most of the palaces here.
Because of its many lakes, Udaipur is one of the most romantic places to visit in Rajasthan. A part of the shooting of a James Bond movie – Octopussy happened here.
Udaipur has some seriously gorgeous viewpoints but some of my favorite ones here overlooks the Lake Pichola. This is not the biggest lake but is the most scenic one because of the old buildings that are around it.
If you visit Udaipur, be sure to visit Udaipur city palace, Fatehsagar Lake, Doodh Talai and Saheliyon ki Bari. You can also visit sites that are river islands, such as Nehru Garden which is a park inside Fateh Sagar lake, Jagmandir which is a temple inside Pichola lake or the luxurious Taj lake palace.
Where to stay in Udaipur
For a once in a lifetime experience, stay on a place in the middle of the lake – Taj Lake Palace. Or you can also consider Leela Palace, Amet Haveli, or Jaiwana Haveli.
Jaisalmer – the Golden City
Jaisalmer is the most Westerly city of Rajasthan and in my opinion is the most beautiful one because it is a fully preserved city. Unlike the other Rajasthani cities on this list, the entire Jaisalmer is golden and every building looks like it is a part of the fort (but it isn’t).
Jaisalmer Fort is called Sonar Qila, which means golden fort and is a UNESCO World heritage site. There is a little walled city inside the Jaisalmer fort itself. How cool is that!
One of the best things to do in Jaisalmer is to get lost in its maze like streets outside the fort. Or you check out some of the more touristy places to visit in Jaisalmer such as the fort itself, Ghadsisar Lake, or the city’s many havelis.
Considering how close Jaisalmer is to the Thar Desert, a camel safari on the nearby sand dunes is an experience that you should not miss. You can visit the Khuri Sand dunes or Sam sand dunes – they’re equally good.
Where to stay in Jaisalmer
For an unforgettable experience, you can stay in the middle of the desert in Suryagarh Palace or stay in one of the hotels inside the fort such as Killa Bhawan.
When to visit Rajasthan
Please understand that most parts of the Rajasthan state are arid areas, so the best months to visit are the winter months. Visit between October to March but be prepared to handle how it gets very cold at night. The peak tourist season in Rajasthan is from December to February.
Have you visited Rajasthan already? If so, I’d love to know what’s your favorite place here. Let me know in the comment! To know more about Jaipur, check out this post about Jaipur’s city palace.
Great insight into places to see – like the color theme
Thank you Raul. Yes, Rajasthan is very colourful and we love the colour theme too.
What a beautiful place! I love all the different building colors. Looks like there’s a lot to explore there!
Yes Maggie – actually my post covers just a handful of destinations in Rajasthan. There are so many more places to visit and see in this part of India. 🙂
I love that you can separate this region by colour for an added dimension during travels. It looks like there’s so much history and culture to experience in each of those places!
Hi Bruce, yes there is a lot of history and some of these forts and palaces were built many hundreds of years ago. Local Rajasthani culture is amazing and so is the food. 🙂
What amazes me about Rajasthan Sonal is the range of the place. Most spots are 1 trick ponies, being known for a certain geography or perhaps, certain colors or a specific architecture. This spot has so much variety in an area that is big, but not like bigger than a huge country. Amazing. I love all the different colors throughout the region. Rocking post!
Ryan – yes you are right 🙂 Rajasthan is really big and there is so much to see. There are sand dunes, hills, breathtaking lakes, palaces and what not. It is so easy to fall in love with Rajasthan and keep going back.
Rajasthan is indeed the stuff that dreams are made of. What I love about the state is the individual character of the cities, be it Bikaner, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur or any other town or city. Loved reading the post as it brought back lovely memories of our visit last year.
Absolutely Sandy. There is so much to see in Rajasthan and so many more hidden places that we don’t know about as of now. 🙂 Mindblowing.
I never been to India yet but its on my list, what a beautiful and colourful place like the rainbow colours of spices. And loving the architectural designs too perfect for photography stroll!
Hey Anneklien – yes India is very colorful – especially Rajasthan. I love how the local Rajasthani people dress up in beautiful clothes that are super vibrant and all the street markets light up at night. 🙂
Wah that blue city looks like the one in Chefchufan which i have been before! But i would love to check out the white and pink city in person. I am definitely coming back to read more 🙂
Hey Anna – yes Jodhpur is a little like Chefchaouen and in my opinion the Red City’s old town is the prettiest. Red city is Bikaner. 🙂
The Places in India always surprise me. They have so much to offer and Rajasthan seems to be a blend of all those colorful facets of India. I Have been to Jaipur but didn’t get a chance to cover the other cities. Udaipur and Jaisalmer strike me the most. Going to plan a trip soon. Thanks for sharing the blog, you surely have covered the vibrant hues of Rajasthan.
Hi Crystal, yes there are so many amazing places to visit in Rajasthan and we end tup discovering something new every time we visit this lovely state. Jaipur is one of the most visited place in Rajasthan but Bikaner is our favorite.
This was really enjoyable to read. Having read this there seem to be some wonderful places to visit.It included some of the best places in Rajasthan I wanted to visit for so long. I have been to Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer already.
Awesome, we love Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer but our favorite places are Bikaner and Jaisalmer. 🙂
I have been every place in Rajasthan which mentioned in the blog and every city is very unique from the other, but personally I love Jaipur and here I can go any time.
We really loved the different colours of the places we visited in Rajasthan. Didn’t make it to Bikaner though. Sounds like we missed out. We’ll add it to the list for next time!
Hi Maddy, Yes, Rajasthan is beautiful. Bikaner was full of surprises for us because we did not expect to see so much beauty. There are so many amazing places to visit in Rajasthan that this list barely just touches the surface. 🙂