Lying across the Thar Desert, the desert state of Rajasthan is a gem within incredible India. While the mighty forts and elegant palaces portray the regal lifestyle of the Rajputs, the camel rides and the sumptuous cuisines make it a perfect family vacation destination.
Family Vacation Destinations in Rajasthan
The Pink City of Jaipur
Existing as the largest city and the capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur is known as the Pink City due to its pink buildings. Amber Fort with its royal architecture is the landmark of Jaipur. While the majestic rides to the hilltop on painted elephants is fun for the kids, the sandalwood and ivory gateways, mosaic work on glass, rich paintings and pure glass palaces impress the art lovers.
Built in the shape of the crown of Lord Krishna, Hawa Mahal stands as an amazing creation with its 983 ‘jharokhas' -- meaning windows. Made of red and pink sandstone, this five storey building has no stairs but rather slopes to the upper floors.
A blend of Rajput, Mughal and European architectural style, the City Palace of Jaipur is an impressive royal residence. Udai Pol, Jaleb Chowk, Tripolia Gate and Virendra Pol are exquisitely decorated, the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal are artistic treasures with mural paintings, lattice designs and delicate mirror work. Jaipur is also a shopping paradise.
The Lake City of Udaipur
The enchanting lakes of Udaipur transform this desert city into an oasis. While the City Palace of Udaipur is gorgeous with its hanging gardens, pristine white Chinese domes, spacious pavilions and marble arches, a boat cruise over the crystalline waters of Lake Pichola is a surreal experience.
Standing with grace at the heart of Lake Pichola, the yellow sandstone and marble palace of Jag Mandir is charming. Enjoy quintessential cuisines at the food court of the palace, as the blue waters ripple around you. Spend some serene moments at the Monsoon Palace. Built over a hill, this palatial mansion glows under the soft sublime rays during sunset.
With its joyous fountains, marble elephant statues and an impressive lotus pool, the sprawling meadow of Saheliyon-ki-Bari is perfect to spend some fun time with your family, enjoying the pleasant breeze and floral fragrance.
The Sun City of Jodhpur
This is the second largest city of the state and unravels the rustic life of the desert. Located at the edge of the Thar Desert, you can find people riding camels, women cladded in huge 'ghagras' and adorned with large bangles carrying multiple pots of water on their head. You can enjoy camel rides at the Sam sand dunes and enjoy desert camps here -- spend some unforgettable moments lying under the starlit night at one of these camps.
Besides its spellbinding natural beauty, Jodhpur is known for its castles and forts. The Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts of the country and narrates the gallant tales of Rajput monarchs and their queens. The walls of the fort still bear small hand prints of the royal ladies who plunged into the fire of pyres of their husbands. Mehrangarh fort museum is a treasure house of applied arts dating back to the Mughal era.
Jaswant Thada is another architectural jewel of the city. With its intricate marble lattice screens, portraits of Ranthore rulers and solitary location, this cenotaph holds the glory of ancient Rajasthan in silence. The Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park is another surprise to the kids. With 80 local shrubs spreading over 200 acres, this is a land of greenery. Devi Kund is a gift to bird watchers. With its cool waters and tranquil atmosphere, the place is visited by numerous migratory birds.
The Golden City of Jaisalmer
The Jaisalmer Fort is a miraculous creation. With its yellow sandstone structure, the fort glitters like gold under the midday sun and hence the city came to be known as the Golden City. With its narrow lanes, 3 000 residents and numerous local markets, the fort is a little Rajasthan in itself.
Jaisalmer is also a pilgrimage for the Jain community. Within the Jaisalmer Fort lies a line of sandstone Jain shrines of the 15th and 16th century. The fine sculptures of 'apsaras', and gods adorn the temple pillars and walls while the underground library is a repository of rare manuscripts.
The Oasis Land of Mount Abu
The only hill station of the state, Mount Abu is a treat to the eyes in an otherwise barren land. While the Dilwara temples exhibit some awe inspiring sculptures and marble art, the hill station is also famous for adventure sports. A long walk through the Mount Abu Sanctuary is colorful with rose bushes and unique with different types of orchids. While 250 species of avian life break the monotony, the leopards, sloth bears, langurs, sambar and chinkara deer move around fearlessly.