Rajasthan: The Best backpacking destination in India
Rajasthan : The Abode of Rajas
Why Rajasthan indeed?
- Suitable for all size of plans . Week long , month long , or a day long.
- Numerous popular cities to visit.
- Shopper's paradise.
- Best forts in India in one State.
- Diversity - Greenery, Desert, Lakes, Urbanization or Tranquility. You will get it all.
- Wildlife Sanctuaries
- Heritage cities - Best for people who love cities with a history.
- Food - A host of popular dishes to cherish. Vegetarians rejoice.
- Transport - All options are available, abundant and safe. Trains. buses or airways.
- Budget friendly - One can choose a budget fitting as he likes. Everyone can enjoy irrespective of his pocket strength.
1. Pune to Mumbai (Bandra Terminus) (via Bus)
Distance: 159 km
Duration: 3-4 hrs
2. Mumbai to Chittorgarh (via Train 22901 / UDZ SUPER FAST)
Distance: 831 km
Duration: One night stay in Chittorgarh
3. Chittorgarh to Udaipur (via Passenger Train) ,
Distance: 117 km
Duration: Same day departure for Jodhpur
4. Udaipur to Jodhpur (via State transport Bus)
Distance: 261 km
Duration: Two night stay at Jodhpur
5. Jodhpur to Jaisalmer (via Bus)
Distance : 285 km
Duration: Two night stay at Jaisalmer (First night at Sam Sand Dunes)
Before you get excited about reaching Rajasthan , you must be aware that your Trip begins as soon as you leave your room. Ours started from Pune and we caught our bus to Mumbai. This was a good opportunity for me to spend some time in the City Of Dreams.Mumbai. Our train was to leave at night from Bandra Terminus. So we ventured wherever our hearts took us. We tried some local Bombay dishes, Vada pav , Mumbai Special Thali and more street food.
First Stop . Chittorgarh:
Inside the fort:
Note! Time needed to cover all points: Minimum 4 hours
How to plan :
Arrive early in the morning and check-in to any hotel (should be closer to the fort)
Hire an auto and visit the Fort. Take plenty of time to explore. It is huge enough for a full day.
Udaipur : The city of lakes
Although we spent just one day here, I would suggest, you should plan for at least 2 days (1 night halt), as this city has a lot to offer. I won't list them all. But for back packers with a short time, these location are the ones I would recommend as a "must visit".
- City Palace
- Lake Palace (Unfortunately, you can just enjoy view from a distance as tourists are no more allowed to visit it)
- Lake Pichola
1) For all the above spots , the good thing is, you don't need to travel at different parts of the city. All are located around each other at walking distances.
2) Do not miss the evening light & sound show in City Palace (It's ticket are to be bought separately).
How to plan:
- Take a passenger train in the morning from Chittorgarh Station. It's about 3 hrs journey.
- Visit your selected spots in Udaipur (Depends on how many days you have. There is a lot to see here).
- Watch the evening light and sound show in City Palace.
- Shop on City palace road
- Catch a night bus from City Bus Station for Jodhpur.
Jodhpur : The Sun city
Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan. So it is abound with markets, food and what not. This is where you stop to shop. We spent 2 days here. Most amazing looking fort I have ever seen. The Mehrangarh fort. It looks like a giant sitting on a mountain.
For shoppers, busiest market near Clock Tower. It's a must visit (women are going to love this).
How to Plan :
Get a hotel near the Mehrangarh Fort (We stayed at Hotel Haveli ) and the room with a view of the fort.
Go on a hike from your hotel to the fort. Explore all day
At evening , visit the city market near the clock tower. Try a variety of cuisines offered in road side hotels. The tea tastes awesome. I discovered a host of sweet dishes.
Have dinner at roof top with a view of the Mehrangarh Fort alive with lights. Most amazing view of any fort you have ever seen.
Checkout at morning and leave for Jaisalmer via Bus. The buses are another thing to notice. The interiors are decorated to remind you of the culture and art of Rajasthan .
Our final destination. The golden city of India. Jaisalmer . And it's crown jewel, Jaisalmer fort also known in other languages as "Sonar Kella" in Bengali , or "Sone Ka Kila" in Hindi. Jaisalmer fort is the only fort in India where people still reside. It has around 5000 population. The fort is self sustaining . It has got everything you can imagine. Temples, Market, Food, post office. There is nothing like it in the whole world.
I bet you must be thinking, when do we get to see some sand . Well....It's literally all sand here. The fort itself is built with Sand Stones. Even cooking utensils are made out of them . Fossil stones are abundantly found which are used to make a variety of things. I leave you to discover all that by yourself.
|Rajasthani Folk Singing|
|The Lone Camel Rider|
How to plan:
Reach Jaisalmer by afternoon and Finish up lunch while.
Then book a trip and night stay in Sam Sand Dunes. Don't pay more than 2000 Rs for one person.
Hire a THAR Jeep and enjoy riding over Sand Dunes. Thar desert is all yours.
At night, the camp comes alive. There is Rajasthani dance and music. Enjoy food. Light drinks. And folk dancing, daring acts performed by both men and women.
Next day, come back to Jaisalmer city in the morning and check in to a hotel outside the fort, conveniently located at walking distance. (We stayed at 1st Gate hotel. The best hotel experiences of my life. Little overpriced but worth every penny.)
Explore the fort. Visit the market around. (I explored the fort at least 3 times...The fort is too enticing to visit. Loved the narrow lanes, homes, shops, Puppets hanging from the walls...I just can't get enough)
Next day, checkout to catch your train :( .
Say your good byes to the most amazing back packing trip you ever had.