With vast arid desert, mountain peaks, magnificent palaces, temples and colossal forts, Rajasthan combines cultural gems with natural spectacles. Wander through ancient temple complexes, join a camel safari and bathe in holy waters.
Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, is known as the Pink City for its pink-colored buildings. Sightsee at the many impressive old structures, such as Amber Fort, Moti Doongri Temple and the Chandra Mahal palace. While you are in the city, visit Ram Niwas Bagh, a gorgeous garden that also houses a zoological park and the Albert Hall Museum.
Take a taxi or tuk tuk or drive about 9 miles (14 kilometers) east of Jaipur to Galta Ji, the Monkey Temple. The complex, part of an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site, earned its nickname from its wild monkey colony. Tour temples and pavilions near sacred water tanks, known as junds, where pilgrims bathe.
See the state’s many other impressive buildings. Stop at Lalgarh Palace and Museum in Bikaner, which combines European, Rajput and Islamic architecture. Inside the museum, peruse collections of paintings, textiles and armor pieces. Go to Pushkar Lake in Pushkar, to see more than 500 temples. Among the city’s other religious sites is Atmeshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of Hinduism’s principal deities. In Ajmer, see Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra, a mosque dating back to the middle of the 12th century.
Explore the palaces and temples of the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, which stands on a rocky hill overlooking the city of Jodhpur.
Drive 10 miles (17 kilometers) from the center of Jodhpur to Bal Samand Lake, a popular picnic spot. This vast man-made body of water was built in the 13th century and features the red sandstone 17th-century Bal Samand Lake Palace, now a hotel.
If you’re interested in outdoor adventures, trek across the sand dunes of the Thar Desert on a camel safari.
To enjoy Rajasthan's stunning architecture, religious heritage and fascinating landscapes, fly into Jaipur International Airport. Get around by train, rental car, taxi, bus and tuk tuk.