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Rajathan travelers guide

Posted by Nikunj Patel 07/02/2016 2 Comment(s)

Rajasthan is an amazing potpourri of the old and new. Rajasthan, literally meaning the Land of Kings, displays lavish forts and majestic palaces that are apt reminders of a rich and romantic past; one that speaks of heroism, honour and chivalry.
Situated amidst a stark desert and surrounded by the Aravallis, India's oldest mountain range, the state is a travellers' destination, attracting many with its art and craft. A glittering jewel of India, Rajasthan has something for everyone, whether you are planning an adventurous holiday hoping for a rendezvous with tigers, or have in mind a quiet sojourn gazing at the beauty of the golden sand-dunes, or are travelling to experience the many nuances of royalty.


Rajasthan has played an important role in the making of Indian history, its civilisation and its culture. Initially a collection of several princely states, collectively known as Rajputana, Rajasthan came into greater prominence during the period of decline and disintegration of the Gupta Empire.
The Rajput kingdoms faced severe Muslim attacks at different stages of their evolution. Some lost their independence while others held out against the enemies.
The Rajputs were passionately attached to their land, family and honour, and were known for their indomitable courage, chivalry and utmost regard for the truth. The people of Rajasthan still sing songs and tell tales of courageous heroes like the legendary Prithvi Raj Chauhan, and Rana Pratap of Mewar who defied the mighty Mughal Emperor Akbar.
During the 18th century, as the Mughal Empire was fading, the British made their presence felt in the country. Many princely states continued to maintain their autonomy even during the British rule. At the time of Independence, Rajputana (region of Rajputs) comprised 18 princely states, two chieftains and a British administered province of Ajmer-Merwara, besides a few pockets and territories outside its main boundaries.
By 1950, the 18 states of united Rajasthan merged to form one state. The Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Man Singh II, was made the Rajpramukh and Jaipur became its capital. Today, Rajasthan has 33 districts that cover an area of 3,42,239 sq km.


The Aravalli Range runs across the state from the southwest to the northeast. This divides the state into a sandy and unproductive region northwest of the range, and a comparatively fertile and habitable land towards the east. The Great Indian TharDesert is found in Rajasthan. The Chambal River, which is the only large and perennial river in the state, originates from the east of this range and flows northeast.


Modern Rajasthan has a wide network of roads and a steadily improving transport system. On its roads you will find the latest cars and buses, along with rickshaws, camel carts and horse drawn tongas, as well as the popular scooter rickshaws. The markets are lined with shopping extravaganzas, boasting of traditional handicrafts as well as the latest brands.
There is no dearth of accommodation. Your choice ranges from comfortable yet economical dormitories to elite and luxurious five-star hotels. Once home to the Rajasthan nobility, many palaces and forts now function as top-end heritage hotels, giving you a taste of royal Rajasthani hospitality.
The State-owned Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation also runs a chain of hotels that are available at almost all major destinations. These tourist bungalows provide reasonably priced accommodation in the form of dormitories, single rooms, air-cooled and air-conditioned rooms.


Rajasthan is among the culturally richest states in the country - stone, clay, leather, wool, wood, lac, glass, brass, silver, gold and textiles are all used to create the most brilliant art works. Its thriving craft industry provides mass employment, and a bulk of the produce is exported. Rajasthan is also, a major centre for cutting and polishing gemstones.
Rajasthan is rich in mineral resources, and a recent exploration also found large deposits of crude oil in Barmer (Jaisalmer). Other natural resources found in large quantities include mica, salt, copper and zinc.


Rajasthan has extensive traditions in art and culture, which reflect the Indian way of life. Various dance, music and art forms have been consciously cultivated and patronised by the erstwhile royal courts. An equally rich and varied folk culture from villages is both fascinating and mesmerising.
The Thar Desert of Rajasthan comes alive when its dancers take the centre stage. The dancers, the dances and costumes have made Thar the most colourful desert in the world, with each region adding its own touch. Simple expressions of celebration and festivity, the dances follow age-old traditions, adhere to religious significance, and display their daring as well as complimenting various fairs and festivals.


Rajasthan's rich architectural heritage boasts of exotic palaces, forts, temples, havelis and stepwells which are not only a visual treat, but are also architectural marvels that continue to amaze visitors to this day. Intricate carvings in temples, beautiful murals and frescos in havelis, and exotic jarokhas in palaces are an attraction across the state.
Whether it is Jaipur with its pink hues, Jodhpur and its shades of blue, or the golden expanse of Jaisalmer, the colourful landscape of Rajasthan is dotted with the most amazing structures. Most of these structures are based on the Rajput school of architecture, which in turn was influenced by the Mughal and Hindu designs. Today, the forts and palaces of Rajasthan speak of the inherent creativity and expertise of its people.


Even though the state has progressed steadily since Independence, its people have still held on to their roots, as is evident by their simple nature and warm hospitality. People of different castes, creed and religion live together in harmony, giving this state a multi-coloured culture. According to a local adage 'the dialect, cuisine, water and turbans in Rajasthan change every 12 miles'.
The main written and spoken language is Hindi, but English is also commonly understood except at the grass roots. The various languages spoken across regions are Marwari (in western Rajasthan), Jaipuri or Dhundhari (in the east and southeast), Malvi (in the southeast), Mewati (in Alwar), Braj Bhasa (in Bharatpur district), Mewari (in and around Udaipur), Hadoti (Kota and Bundi), Bagri (in Dungarpur and Banswara), etc. However, tourist guides and interpreters are also available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian etc. besides English.


The cuisine of Rajasthan is a reflection of the rich traditions of the inhabitants. The state is known for its array of unique, colourful, mouth-watering gastronomic delights. Natural topography has played an important role in shaping the cuisine of the state and the stress is more on nutrition rather than on fuss and ostentation.
In the olden days, the war-like lifestyle of the Rajput warrior forced him to spend several weeks, sometimes months, away from home. Fresh home-cooked food was a luxury, and the womenfolk easily met this challenge by creating food that could be consumed weeks after it was prepared. But given the limitations of the availability of ingredients in those days, there was still a very interesting mix of food. DalDal-Baati-Churma, Lal and Safed Maans (red and white meat), Soyeta and Lahsun-ki-Chutney are recognised as Rajasthani specialties that continue to please the palate to this day.
Today, with better communication and improved means of transportation, eating habits as well as food choices have changed dramatically. Fresh vegetables and Fruits from all over the world, are easily available. International food outlets can also be found in most big cities.
The adventurous gourmet will not be disappointed, if he were to undertake a journey to explore the cuisine of Rajasthan. From traditional to world cuisine, from the spicy to the mild, from savoury to sweet, you can get it all in Rajasthan.



The largest state in India, Rajasthan's climate can be divided into four seasons i.e. summer, monsoon, post-monsoon and winter. Temperatures vary depending on the season and the region you plan to visit, but by and large you can visit the state any time of year and find something new to do each time.
Summers in Rajasthan last from April to June and are particularly harsh with temperatures rising up to 48°C during the day. That being said, if you do plan to visit Rajasthan in the summer, head to places like Mount Abu, Kumbhalgarh or Ranakpur. The weather here is pleasant and the views offered are breath-taking. For other cities, the weather is optimal in the early evenings for roaming around outside in the early mornings and late evenings, and it is advisable to stay indoors otherwise.
Monsoon is a far more pleasant experience, the temperatures tend to drop across the state and the rain showers transform the arid landscape of Rajasthan. July to September is a particularly good time to visit if you wish to avoid the crowds you'd usually find during peak tourist season. Bundi, the lake city of Udaipur and the Keoladeo National Park are picturesque and are a must visit if you plan to travel to Rajasthan during the Monsoon.
The temperatures continue to drop once the monsoon has passed, and come October winter sets in that lasts till March. During December and January, there can be a severe variation in temperatures during the day and the night. In fact, temperatures are known to drop as low as 0°C and below. This is the best time to visit Rajasthan as the desert sun is not as intense and the days are pleasant. Most of the festivals held in winter are planned as tourist attractions, with visitors coming in from different parts of the world.



January to March
50F - 80F
10°C - 27°C
4MM - 7MM

April to June
75F - 105F
24°C - 45°C
11MM - 30MM

July to September
70F - 95F
21°C - 35°C
100MM - 165MM

October to December
55F - 85F
13°C - 30°C
3MM - 8MM



Rajasthan is a tourist hub and therefore well-connected by air. Whether you're flying in from within the country or from another one, you'll find that there are a host of options you can choose from based on your itinerary. The three major airports of Rajasthan are Sanganer International Airport in Jaipur, Jodhpur Airport and Dabok Airport in Udaipur. While Sanganer is open to domestic and international air traffic, Jodhpur and Udaipur only serve domestic routes and Jodhpur also doubles up as a base for the Indian Air Force. These three airports collectively connect Rajasthan to most major cities in India, with Jaipur Airport also offering connections to some international destinations such as Muscat, Singapore, Abu Dhabi etc. With tourism booming in the state, plans are in motion to construct an airport in Ajmer and revive operations to Kota, Jaisalmer and Bikaner in the future which will make flying to Rajasthan easy.



Rail is one of the best ways to travel to Rajasthan from anywhere within India as it is both, comfortable and economical. The state is well-connected to all the major cities across the nation and there are several routes to opt from. The major railway stations of Rajasthan are Jaipur, Kota, Bharatpur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Alwar, Udaipur, Abu Road and Jodhpur. But out of this lot, Jaipur and Kota are major hubs connecting the major cities of India to Rajasthan.



Rajasthan has 20 national highways passing through the state, spanning a distance of about 6373 kms. The NH-8 which connects Mumbai to Delhi is the busiest national highway in Rajasthan and runs through Ajmer, Jaipur, Udaipur and Chittorgarh. Besides the NH-8, Rajasthan is also connected to other major cities in India such as Delhi, Ahmedabad and Indore by state highways. You can very well choose to drive to Rajasthan or hop onto a bus operated by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, if you prefer travelling by road.



If Rajasthan is your choice for an international vacation getaway, then you couldn't have picked a better destination. This 'royal state' is a beautiful representation of India's rich architectural heritage, cultural diversity and hospitality.
But don't take our word for it. We wholeheartedly welcome you to revel in the sights, sounds and flavours of Rajasthan.
Below are a few things you will need to know:



The below instructions and information are general in nature; however, for specific information, we urge you to visit or contact the Indian Mission / Embassy website as per your country of residence.

A passport that is valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended return from India should ideally accompany your visa applications.

Foreign tourists holding other nationalities (other than the country where applying for visa), should submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country (where applying). For citizens of other countries, a reference has to be made to their country of residence for which an additional fee is chargeable and will also involve extra processing time. Please refrain from making inquiries about the status of the application during this time.

Following visas are available from the Indian missions abroad:



This is given for 6 months normally; it may vary depending on the country of residence. The applicant is required to produce/submit documents in proof of his financial standing. Tourists travelling in groups of not less than four members under the auspices of a recognized travel agency may be considered for grant of collective tourist visa.



This is valid for one year or more with multiple entries. A letter from the sponsoring organization indicating nature of business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited incorporating therein a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc. should accompany the application.



These is issued for the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less, on the basis of firm letters of admission from universities/recognized colleges or educational institutions in India. Change of purpose and institutions are not permissible.



This is issued for a maximum period of 15-days with single/double entry facilities to bonafide transit passengers only.



This is valid for single entry and duration as permitted by Government of India. A letter in triplicate from sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, probable length of stay, and nature of duties to be discharged should be submitted along with guarantee for applicant's maintenance while in India.



This is issued to professional journalists and photographers for visiting India. The applicants are required to contact on arrival in New Delhi, the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and, in other places, the Office of the Government of India's Press Information Bureau.



This is issued for attending conferences/seminars/meetings in India. A letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference is to be submitted along with the visa application. Delegates coming for conferences may combine tourism with attending conferences.



This is issued to skilled and qualified professionals or persons who are engaged or appointed by companies, organizations, economic undertakings as technicians, technical experts, senior executives etc. Applicants are required to submit proof of contract/employment/engagement of foreign nationals by the company or organization.



This is available to International Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sight-seeing, a casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short-term medical treatment or a casual business visit. For more information, visit



The fee structure depends on the nationality of the passport holder and type/duration of visa applied. The existing fee structure is:



Transit VisaUS$ 5.00Visas with validity up to six monthsUS$ 30.00Visas with validity up to one yearUS$ 50.00Student VisaUS$ 50.00Visas with validity between one to five yearsUS$100.00Visa fees indicated in US$ are payable in local currencies as well. Visa fees are not refundable except in cases where a visa already issued is cancelled thereafter.



Depends on the type of visa applied.



The duration of stay in India for each visit on a tourist visa or business visa is only for a period of 6 months even though a valid visa may be for more than 6 months.

The visa is given for a period for which the passport is valid. For example, if a passport is valid until April 30, 2009 and an applicant is applying for 5 year visa on December 31, 2008, the applicant will not be issued a 5 years visa as the passport expires before the 5 year visa.



Tourist visa up to 5 years may be granted if the foreigner is connected with the tourism trade.

If visa is for more than 180 days, registration is compulsory within 14 days of first arrival in India.

Extension of visa in Delhi - Ministry of Home Affair (MHA) - Director (F), Lok Nayak Bhawan, Ist floor, Khan market, New Delhi-110003.



In an effort to ensure your stay is a comfortable and safe one, we have listed out a code of conduct for both the tourists and hosts: -




Always check into approved/classified hotels, paying guest houses, bed-and-breakfasts or RTDC run hotels.

Whenever possible, make enquiries at the Rajasthan Tourism Tourist Information Bureaus located in major railway stations, bus stands and airports.

Before staying in a paying guest accommodation, always check about its authorisation by the Department of Tourism



Take autorickshaws or taxis from pre-paid kiosks at Railway Stations, Bus Stands or wherever available.

If a prepaid autorickshaw is not available, settle the fare/charges before embarking on the journey.

Hire taxis from approved Travel Agency or RTDC.

Book taxis through taxi aggregator apps.

Make enquires (as to where, and how far each monument or tourist site is located) before setting out on sightseeing.



Purchase from reputed/recognised shops or Government emporiums.

Always insist on a bill for purchases made.

Ensure there is a Value Added Tax registration number (VAT) on your bill sheet.

Payments made by credit cards must have the amount mentioned in both, words and numbers.

Always double-check the goods in the parcel before leaving the shop or allowing it to be packed for dispatch.

Ensure payment by credit cards is made only once for each bill.

Ensure that wrongly made out bills are destroyed immediately to avoid double payment.

Avoid showrooms near tourist sites or else ensure the price and authenticity of the purchase being made.

Avoid shops that have names very similar to Government run emporia or concerns like RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) or Rajasthali, which are public sector undertakings.

Avoid associating or developing relations for furthering business with unknown persons who are glib talkers and at times impeccably turned out.

Avoid help of guide /driver while shopping. Try to avoid shops recommended by them.



Take from authorised money exchangers and always get a receipt.



Utilise services of pre-paid taxis, wherever available.



If you are cheated, inform the nearest Police Station/Police Control Room immediately or TAF (Tourist Assistance Force) personnel posted near monuments.


You are advised not to dress in clothes that are too revealing and too scanty.

Eat food that you buy yourself.

Always ensure your passport and other precious belongings are safe. Never give them to strangers, shopkeepers or hotel staff.




Stay with or be coaxed into staying with people you meet at railway platforms, bus stands or shopping areas.

Think you are getting a bargain if a free ride is given by any transporter to a hotel. Check with Rajasthan Tourism tourist information office first.

Allow any one into your room (for a drink, snacks or just a chat) unless the person is well known to you.



Free rides can culminate into trouble at a hotel suggested by the driver.

Leave your important documents, valuables, luggage, etc. with the driver.



Let the driver coax you into doing more shopping than sightseeing.

Sign on blank letter heads or bills.

Let shopkeepers pack your purchases behind a counter or in another room. It must be done in front of you and signed across the joints or ensure some method whereby no changes can be made.



Exchange from unauthorised money exchangers who do not provide a receipt.



Leave your valuables and goods/ luggage in taxi/auto rickshaw etc.


Hang on to the arms of young men or give them the impression that you find them attractive.

Go in for free lunch and dinner or drinks.

Roam around alone in the late hours of the night.

2 Comment(s)

Disha Juthani:
28/02/2016, 08:34:32 PM

Nice summary of information required for travelling to Rajasthan. Nicely put...

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