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How to plan a cheap trip to Rajasthan

Updated on June 23, 2010

Rajasthan - an unforgettable experience.

Whenever I think of Rajasthan, memories of majestic palaces, sand dunes, colorful people, lakes, festivals, camel safaris, handicrafts, exotic cuisine etc flood my mind. Its an enchanting place which will leave you spellbound, and yes its possible without burning a hole in your pocket.

This lens is a travelogue which will take you on a virtual trip of Rajasthan and enlighten you on the main places to see, where to stay, dos and dont's and also how to travel on a small budget. There is a lot that you can enjoy during the tour of Rajasthan, from exciting camel safaris to visits to the magnificent forts and museums, from admiring the handicraft to boating on the sizzling Lakes. Truly Rajasthan is an unforgettable experience, and I encourage you to start planning your trip today.

Rajasthan tour preparation.. - Travel tips, cost cutting tips and much more..

Rajasthan tour photos
Rajasthan tour photos

We started our trip from New Delhi which is the capital city of India. Rajasthan is a neighbouring state and has good road, train and air connectivity from Delhi. However keeping in mind our committment to keeping costs minimal we decided to use train, which is the cheapest mode of long distance journey in India. I would like to present a list of do's that every thrifty traveller needs to do to keep a minimal budget..

1. Travel by train between cities, book ticket in advance, even if you might need to cancel a few depending on your plans.

2. Plan train travel so that you spend your nights in the train, this has two benefits you save on your hotel cost also you get the day time for sightseeing.

3. Stay in hotels near to train or bus station this saves time also spending on local transport.

4. Bargain and bargain hard on everything, be it Hotel rooms, local travel, handicrafts or purchases.

5. Dont look lost, act like you have already been there, this will get you better deals and treatments.

6. Try to book hotels through phone or online, and ask for the best price. Please view page bottom for useful links.

Map of Rajasthan - Rajasthan cities and our itinerary.

Map of Rajasthan
Map of Rajasthan

Arrow shows our itinerary clearly starting from Delhi and back covering cities of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Udaipur.

Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur
Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur

Jodhpur - The Blue City

Jodhpur - history, places to see and things to do.

We arrived from New Delhi by the night train, and promptly checked into the hotel which we had booked by phone. The hotel had just the basic stuff which we needed, one cannot expect more if it is priced at about 30$. We decided to start our city tour after a short nap and a light breakfast.

Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination and a place of great historical significance. The city is a witness to many a historical battles, it still maintains its ancient charm and is dotted with many forts and temples. This City known as the blue city was founded by Rao Jodha in the year 1459. This city is also known as blue city owing to the bluish tint seen on the whitewashed houses in the city.

Mehrangarh Fort is easily the center of attraction of the whole city, other places of interest are Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jaswant Thada, Raj Ranchhodji Temple and Umed Garden. Jodhpur also draws international participants and spectators during the Kite Festival usually held in the month of January. Suddenly kite flying becomes the favourite past time in this city and the sky is dotten with colorful kites or all sorts.

Camel Ride in Sam desert Jaisalmer
Camel Ride in Sam desert Jaisalmer

Next stop, Jaisalmer - The Golden City

Arrival at Jaisalmer, places, hotels, shopping, camel rides etc

The good thing we did was book our forward journey ticket to Jaisalmer using the railway website. This was again a night train, hence we had saved on hotel bills again.

Jaisalmer is a beautiful city, located close to the border with Pakistan, on the westernmost end of India. In fact it is on the edges of the grand Thar Desert. The breathtaking Jaisalmer Fort is the epicenter of this city. It is a living fort in the sense that life thrives within the fort even today. There are shops, hotels, age old havelis (homes) inside the fort area. You can also book rooms in some of the homestays within the old fort. However this is discouraged as it is taking a heavy toll on the fort and its very survival as a historical site. The beauty of the Jaisalmer Fort is inexplicable during sunrise also it offers a panoramic view of the city below. One must go for the desert safari in sand dunes of Jaisalmer, this is an amazing life time experience.

Another interesting experience is the desert stay. These are tents in the desert which have all the basic amenities, this gives you a true experience of living in the open desert. Also cultural events by traditional Rajasthani dancers are held to entertain the guests.

For those who love to shop, Jaisalmer lot of colorful markets, you can buy tie and dye fabrics, hand woven blankets, silver jewelry, mirror-work and shawls.

Places of interest : Sarvottam Vilas, Gaj Mahal, Moti Mahal, Akhai Vilas and Rang Mahal and the Jain temples within the walls of the fort. Markets are Gramodyog Emporium, Sadar Bazaar, Gandhi Darshan, Khadi Seema Gram and Rajasthani Govt. Shop etc.

Video of Rajasthan Camel safari - Tourists riding the camel in Jaisalmer's Sam Desert.

Camel riding is at once fun and exhilerating, especially for the first timers. You will start admiring this simple creature, which is known as the ship of the desert.

Jaipur City Palace
Jaipur City Palace

Next stop - Jaipur the 'Pink city'

Discover Jaipur - its heritage, places to see and other details

Jaipur is known as the pink city owing to the pinkish sandstone which was used to build most of the structures in the city. With its amazing colours, ancient forts , palaces and a traditional art and craft industry, Jaipur truly has a royal air about it. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is part of the Golden Triangle Tourist circuit that includes Agra and Delhi.

Our journey to Jaipur from Jaisalmer took about 12 hrs and was comfortable and eventless. We checked into one of the ordinary hotels, after a bit of bargaining with the manager, and were happy with 25$ package we got.

Places of Interest..

City Palace, this is a blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, it also has a museum within it. The museum gives a snapshot of the bygone era with its huge collection of paintings, arts, artifacts, enamelware and weapons etc.

Palace of Winds or the Hawa Mahal, this impressive building is has delicate screens and carved balconies from which the royal ladies, confined to their quarters, could sneak views of the outside world.

Jai Singh's Observatory, this was built by an astronomer king , this was used to measure time accurately

Other places of interest are Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort etc.

Another important place in Rajasthan is Pushkar. It is famous for the Pushkar Lake, the Brahma temple and of course for its annual Camel Fair. Held during the month of february, the camel fair has become an important tourist attaction, this attracts tourists from world over. We heard that Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses to Pushkar, we felt bad that we could not accomodate this in our itinerary.

Taj lake palacehotel udaipur india
Taj lake palacehotel udaipur india

Udaipur - The City of Lakes

Discover Udaipur and its regal past.

Aptly named the "City of Lakes" due to the numerous lakes in and around it. Its also known as "Venice of the East" for its romantic charm. Udaipur is also associated with the legendary king Maharana Pratap an epitome of chivalry, sacrifice bravery and self-respect. Many movies and especially James Bond's Octopussy was shot in its breathtaking locales. The center piece of attraction is undoubtably the Lake Palace hotel situated in the middle of the picturesque Pichola Lake. When in Udaipur dont forget to, enjoy boating over the shimmering waters of this lake.

Important sightseeing tour of the city include the City Palace, Lake Palace, Maharana Pratap Memorial, Jag Mandir, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Nathji Nathdwara temple and Jagdish Mandir.

Thus we had concluded the whirlwind tour of Rajasthan. It was a memorable journey and of course we had savoured this great experience with a very nominal budget.

List of handpicked books on Rajasthan

Rajasthan trip video - Rajasthan - Lonely Planet Travel Video

Discover what makes Rajasthan one of the 'must visit' tourist spots on this planet.

If you have read so far, it definitely means that you found the lens interesting. I am a traveller and tech-enthusiast, I would always love to bring new and useful information from time to time.

Let me conclude by saying that Rajasthan is a gem among all the tourist places in India. Its beauty is unmatched and it a rustic royal aura about it. And do follow the simple tips to savour this amazing experience without hurting your finances.

Thanks for being here, if you found reading this lens worthwhile could you please leave behind some feedback.

Thanks and Bye..

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    • profile image

      Amey04061984 7 years ago

      @vivekrai08: Hi Vivek,

      Thank you for reply.

      I'm thinking of hiring a four-wheeler from Udaipur for entire trip as I'm going with my family (6 people).

      I designed this itinerary from Rajasthan map, but I am not sure where to hault and how much time to spend on each of the above places.

      I have Nov 5 to Nov 13, that is, 9 days with me for this trip.

      Thanks and regards,

      Amey

    • vivekrai08 profile image
      Author

      vivekrai08 7 years ago

      @Amey04061984: Your itinerary looks fine to me, though I have not been to many of the places you have mentioned. As a thumb rule use buses for places which are within 4-5 hrs and use train for distant places. For train frequency check out www.irctc.co.in.

      Cheers,

      -V

    • profile image

      Amey04061984 7 years ago

      Hi Vivek,

      I am planning for Rajasthan trip during November 5, 2010 to November 13, 2010.

      I wish to begin and finish up at Udaipur.

      Following are the places which I am thinking of visiting (in order) :-

      1. Udaipur

      2. Mount Abu

      3. Jodhpur

      4. Ajmer

      5. Jaipur

      6. Ranthambore

      7. Chittorgarh

      6. Udaipur

      Can you please suggest how do I plan this trip?

      Your input will be of great help to me.

      Thanks and regards,

      Amey

    • vivekrai08 profile image
      Author

      vivekrai08 7 years ago

      @LadyFlashman: Thanks LKW31,

      You do have a great lens there,

      Cheers,

      -V

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a beautiful lens and you really have captured Rajasthan perfectly in your writing! I have lensrolled to my career break in India lens.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 7 years ago

      I almost feel like I've now visited Rajasthan due to your very descriptive writing. Well done!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Hi Rai, It's very simple yet very useful article, specially the route plan tip, thanks for sharing :)