The blue city or the sun city of Rajasthan, Jodhpur stands true to its name. Although the second-largest city of the state has now grown way beyond the blue walls of the old city, the blue tinge of the houses still gives the impression of being held back in time. Homeland of the famous Marwars, the city takes you on a mesmerising journey.
Upon reaching Jodhpur, in the afternoon, your first stop is the Nai Sarak Market. The most visited and well-known bazaar of Jodhpur, Nai Sarak Market is famous for its handloom shops. Explore it inside out and shop your heart. Later in the evening visit the abandoned haunting village of Kuldhera. Legend has it that while deserting the village, the Paliwals imposed a curse that no one would be able to re-occupy the village. Those who tried to re-populate the village experienced paranormal activities, and therefore, the village remains uninhabited. (Kuldhera is in Jaisalmer)
Post breakfast, visit the Mehrangarh Fort. Situated in the middle of the city, the beautiful fort has amazing architecture and is one of the largest forts in Rajasthan.
Once you’ve explored the fort, proceed to the Jaswant Thada situated opposite to the fort. A mausoleum built with white marble, Jaswant Thada is an absolute beauty.
Post lunch, head towards The Great Umaid Bhawan Palace. Nothing beats the beauty of this place in grandeur. The facilities, the museum, the vintage cars are all worth an evening. Another interesting thing to watch in the palace is the small clock room where you can find clocks from different places, dating back to the early 19th century.
The next place to visit is the Mandore Garden. This beautiful garden is home to hundreds of friendly langoors (baboons) that are rather fond of being snapped. The garden also has a few old abandoned but beautiful temples.
After breakfast, proceed towards the clock tower for a curated walking tour of the blue city. Visit the Krishna temple and meet the priest’s family, indulge in interesting conversations with the locals who enchant you with stories of the era gone by and admire the beautiful traditional stepwell.
Post-lunch, proceed towards your next destination – the enchanting Jaisalmer.
Jaisalmer, the Golden City, stands on the ridge of yellow sandstone and is crowned by a beautiful fort. The sand dunes, the camel rides, the aura of the city gives you a glimpse of the magic and mystery of the Royal Rajputana.
Start your day by visiting the Jaisalmer fort. This majestic fort is a residence for Brahmins on one side and Kshatriyas on the other. The fort has a unique interlocking system built using the Jaisalmer stone. The breath-taking view of the city from the fort, including that of the Jaisalmer junction which is the last railway station of India, is an experience in itself.
After the fort, proceed to the Patwa ki Haveli, that belongs to a Marwari garment seller family since the reign of the ruling family in Jaisalmer. It’s just one of the many beautiful and amazingly constructed Marwari houses in the bylanes of this old city.
Post lunch, move to see the Gadisar Lake. A man-made water reservoir, the Gadisar Lake was once the only source of water in Jaisalmer. Constructed by the first ruler of Jaisalmer, Raja Rawal Jaisal, it is surrounded by temples and ghats (banks). Spend your time in the serene surroundings of the lake or go for a boat ride.
After a leisurely breakfast, check out from the hotel and visit the city’s local markets. In the afternoon, begin the exciting and enthralling journey of Thar, the Great Indian Desert.
Upon reaching the Swiss camp, relax for a while and then proceed for a camel ride through the picturesque sand dunes. After that, settle down to enjoy the breath-taking view of the setting sun in one of the most artistic backdrops that nature has to offer.
After the sunset, come back to the camp and enjoy the evening snacks along with some Rajasthani local music and folk songs.
Post dinner, have a good night sleep before advancing towards your next stop – Bikaner.
From the barren wilderness in the 15th century to the vibrant, dust-swirling city that it now is, Bikaner has come a long way. The never-ending sand dunes, the camel safaris and the fabulous forts that it houses, give the city a characteristic earthen touch.
You’ll reach Bikaner by afternoon. After checking in, begin your journey with the Junagarh Fort and the museum it houses. Be ready to be surprised by the size of armoury and the way its exhibited, the beautiful POP work on walls, the height of the fort and its overall architecture. The fort also houses various monuments such as Ganga Niwas, Rang Mahal and Anoop Mahal which are famous for their delicate gold leaf paintings, the majestic shrine of Har Mandir, Chandra Mahal with its paintings on lime plasters, Phool Mahal with its exquisite inset mirror work, Sheesh Mahal with its unique mirror chambers, and the Karni Mata Temple at Deshnok.
In the evening, visit the National Research Centre on Camel (NRCC), popularly known as the camel breeding farm. It was set up with the aim to delve into detailed research & development and betterment of camels, the Ships of Desert.
After Breakfast, visit the Lalgarh Palace. Built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in 1902 in the fond memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh, the Lalgarh palace is a stunning red stone building and an architectural wonder designed by Sir Swinton Jacob. The palace is a perfect fusion of Mughal, European and Rajput architectures and houses an amazing collection of paintings and hunting trophies.
Make your next stop at the Shiv Bari Temple. Located 6 km away from the Bikaner city, the Shiv Bari Temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. It was built in 9th century by Maharaja Dungar Singh in the fond memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh. The major attraction of the temple is a captivating wall painting of Nandi the bull facing a Shiva Lingam.
Next, visit the Bhandeswari Temple devoted to Sumati Nath Ji, the 5th Tirthankar of the Jain religion. Built in the 15th century, this temple is the oldest monument of Bikaner and is famous for its astonishing gold leaf paintings and mirror work.
After that, go exploring the Jain Havelis. These havelis or mansions are ancient houses of the powerful people of Bikaner who are quite well known for their lavish lifestyle and wealth.
In the wee hours of the next morning, you will reach your next destination – Pushkar.
Pushkar, the city of The Creator, the city that houses the world’s only dedicated temple for Lord Brahma, the city that has a character like no other. Pushkar is as much a Hindu pilgrimage as it is a tourist destination. A city that’s constantly abuzz with chants of sadhus praying as well as the sounds of hundreds of tourist guides.
Set off for Pushkar early in the morning. On arrival, check in at the hotel and spend the day in leisure. In the evening, opt for a camel or a tractor ride to visit the nearby village and desert. Upon your return, enjoy the cultural event organised by the hotel staff replete with folk music and folk dances. Follow it up with dinner and overnight stay.
In the morning, give a visit to the famous Pushkar Lake that is believed to be the one and the only worship place of Lord Brahma in the whole universe. Also, visit the Lord Brahma Temple and Cattle Fair ground where the world famous Pushkar Cattle Fair is held every year.
Just 11-Kilometers from Pushkar, separated by the Nag Pahar (Snake Mountain) is Ajmer. Do visit this city that is home to the famous Ajmer Sharif Dargah or the Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti, a famous Islamic philosopher and Sufi saint. It is said that those who come and pray at the dargah with pure faith and loyalty, will be blessed with salvation.
After your visit to Ajmer, return to Pushkar and get set ready for your next destination.