Rajasthan is a land rich in Culture and heritage, unmatched by anywhere else in the world. The marvellous era of the mighty and brave Rajputs can still be felt travelling through the state. Many historical places in Rajasthan tell their unique story, something that definitely needs to be unravelled.
The stunning Aravalli ranges which stand run through the east border of Rajasthan gives the state an interesting mix of flora and Fauna. There are three major animal reserves located in the state which serve as a home to the Majestic tiger and the Lion, along with hundreds of other endangered animals and birds. Numerous lakes dotting the state here and there add to its charm. Furthermore, Rajasthan is also home to many important places of pilgrimage for Hindus and Jains alike. Thousands of devotees throng to some of the famous temples located in Rajasthan, seeking blessings for a happy life and forgiveness of sins for the hereafter.
However, the major attractions in Rajasthan always remain the historical moments nestled in its lap. The place is so rich on culture and heritage that most of them are considered as a World Heritage site. Visiting them would surely mean a blast from the past and gives us a detailed insight of the life and times of the Rajasthani royalty.
If you are planning to visit this princely state any time soon, we will take you through some of the ancient and historical places in Rajasthan, that will sure to satiate the history buff in you.
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Must-visit Historical places in Rajasthan
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Though Rajasthan is known for a lot of forts, the Mehrangarh Fort located in Jodhpur is definitely a class apart. Perched on top of at 400 feet, the fort is a visual treat to the eyes. The fort was known to be impregnable in its time. It is home to many distinct palaces and temples inside its thick walls, protecting it from any invasions. The palace was known to be a safe haven for the Rajput family in case of enemy attacks. Every wall and pillar in the palace is engraved with unique Rajasthani carvings and paintings, narrating ancient stories.
If you want a closer look at the Rajasthan’s history, you can also visit a museum inside the vicinity that contains relics and various artefacts used by the Rajputs as well as the Moghuls. You may get to see costumes, paintings and the weaponry used by the royals. The ambience of the fort is further amplified by the various folk performances organised by the Rajasthan tourism. The outside area of the fort is covered by the breathtaking Chokelo gardens.
- Entry fees-60 INR for Indians 400 INR for foreigners, 100 INR for video cameras
- Timings– 9 AM to 5 PM Daily
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Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur
The Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur is an example of the diverse culture and values that were imbibed in the great Rajput rulers. An epitome of luxury, heritage, charm and class combined this, this palace has a staggering 347 rooms and was the royal residence of the Jodhpur royal family. It was named after the great ruler Maharaja Umaid Singh. Part of the palace is turned into a luxury hotel and is the favourite wedding venue of the rich and the famous. However, when the Maharaja laid the foundation of the palace, this was not what he had in mind.
According to a prediction by a sage, the end of the good rule of the Rathod dynasty would bring a period of severe famine to the place. And thus according to the prediction, the town of Jodhpur faced a severe drought for three years, something that Maharaja Umaid Singh couldn’t see. He stumbled upon the idea of building a huge palace in order to employ the farmers affected by the drought. This interesting story would surely compel you to visit the place once. The Umaid Bhavan Palace is one of the most important historical places to visit in Rajasthan.
- Entry fees– INR 15 for Indians, INR 50 for foreign nationals
- Timings– 9 AM to 5 PM, all days a week
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Jaswant Thada, Jodhpur
An off best historical place to visit in Rajasthan but surely worth it is the Jaswant Thada in Jodhpur. It serves as a final resting place for the members of the royal family of Marwar. The ancient architectural marvel is also known as the Taj Mahal of Rajasthan because it is entirely built out of white marble.
The scenic beauty of the White marble cenotaphs against the blue skies is something that should be captured in your memories forever. The entire structure is built using thin sheets of delicately carved white marble. Moreover, the glistering water from the lake situated next to it adds to its shine. The pillars and the arches inside are covered with paintings and depiction of the life of the rulers buried in the monument.
It is interesting to note that while the entire structure was built in the Rajasthani style of architecture, the shape and design of the domes wee borrowed from the Mughal architecture. Tourists do not often visit this structure, but it is certainly on our top historical places to visit on Rajasthan because of its stunning beauty and history.
- Entry fees– INR 15 for Indians, INR 30 for foreign nationals
- Timings– 9 AM to 5 PM
City Palace, Udaipur
Udaipur is another major city of Rajasthan which is brimming with lots of interesting historical structures. However, the tour of the city is never complete without visiting the renowed City palace.
Located at the banks of Lake Pichola, the mesmerising City Palace of Udaipur is definitely one of the top historical places to visit in Rajasthan. The palace showcases the elegance and the Grandeur of the Royal family of Mewar quite perfectly. The famous historical structure is built entirely out of marble and Granite, with inlay works of silver and gold, adding to its beauty.
The walls of the palace are covered with exquisite paintings of the royal family along with interesting murals. The outer landscape of the palace is beatified by an elevated garden, complete with water fountains. You can also find an art gallery in the palace that houses art pieces from China as well as Denmark. The architecture of the Palace is heavily influenced by four types of architecture- The Mughals, The Rajasthani, the European and the Chinese.
- Entry fee– INR 30 for Adults, INR 15 for children
- Timings– 7 Am to 11 PM
Gadsisar Lake & Tilon-Ki-Pol, Jaisalmer
Almost all the major cities in Rajasthan had to face severe drought and shortage of water due to its climate, even in ancient times. But the Rajas and Maharajas of Rajasthan were smart enough to provide solutions to their people. This endeavour eventually led on to the construction of the human-made Gadsisar lake. Located in the south of the Golden city of Jaisalmer, The Gadsisar lake was built for the sole purpose of providing a reservoir of water to the people of their region.
This lake has now gained significant historical importance due to the stunning visuals and history. The bank of the lake is covered with many ancient temples and shrines. The entrance of the lake is adorned with a huge golden arch, Tilon Ki Pol, that turns yellow with the first rays of the sun. Boating is quite popular in the lake. It is said that the lake and the gate look breathtaking in the wee hours of the day when the sun rises.
- Entry fees– fee
- Timings– 8 AM to 8 PM
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The Karni Mata Temple, Bikaner
The Royals of Rajasthan were devout Hindu and that you why you can find many elaborate and beautifully decorated temples all around Rajasthan. These temples were dedicated to the Major Hindu gods and have managed to become important places of pilgrimage. Since they were built in the era gone by, some of them would make it to our list of major historical places to visit in Rajasthan.
The Karni Mata temple situated in the sleepy town of Bikaner is dedicated to Goddess Karni Mata. She is known to be the reincarnation of Goddess Durga. The most interesting part of the temple is a huge colony of rats running about it. The locals believe that these rats are a reincarnation of the devotees of Goddess Karni mata herself. It is considered lucky if you find rats squirrelling over your feet.
But do remember not to step on them as you may have to replace a dead rat with one made of gold or you may have to face the wrath of the Goddess. With people from all over the world wanting to satisfy their curiosity of seeing a temple filled with rate, this is definitely one of the major tourist attractions to visit in Bikaner.
- Entry fees– Free
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasamand
There are a lot of historical places in Rajasthan that can give a major complex to the other wonders around the world. Here is the famous Kumbhalgarh fort, located on the Aravali hills. This fort is said to be the second largest structure of its kind in the world, only next to the Great Wall of China. Built in the 15th century, the fort is regarded to be a Unesco world heritage site.
It holds a great significance in the history of Rajputs as it is the birthplace of their beloved Maharana Pratap. It is majestically perched on top of the Aravalli hills. The strategic location and the surrounding foliage serve as a perfect camouflage for the fort. The Kumbhalgarh fort spans across 36 kilometres in length. The fort houses a stunning Neelkhant Mahadev temple, primarily dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is breathtaking. Perched on 24 delicately carved pillars, the wide courtyard and the 5 feet lingam is what makes this temple a visual treat.
There is a show that is held in the fort every evening at 6.30 PM and shows some of the important glimpses of the Rajasthan Royal family. The Kumbhalgarh fort is also completely decorated during the Kumbhalgarh festival, which takes place once a year. This is definitely one of the most important historical places to visit in Rajasthan
- Entry fees– INR 100 for Adults, INR 50 for children
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Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
The pink city of Jaipur is a charming place, full of ancient history. Though there are many historical places to visit in Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is slightly lesser known than others. It is neither a fort nor a palace but a celestial observatory built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, who was fascinated by outer space. This is said to be the largest observatory in our country.
The place is a Unesco World Heritage site due to the presence of the world’ largest stone sundial, called the Samrat Yatra. There are a number of instruments inside the observatory which helps study the exact position and distance of the celestial objects in the sky. The structure indeed is responsible for lying the founding stone of Astronomy in ancient India.
It is important for you to take a guide with you while sight-seeing at Jantar Mantar, just to understand the purpose and significance of each structure present inside the observatory. The light and sound show is also an important aspect of the observatory. It depicts the life and times of the Rajput dynasty and the history of Jantar Mantar. This historical structure is a perfect mix of science and history. A visit to Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a must if you are on a hunt for some historical places to visit in Rajasthan.
- Entry fee– INR 50 for Indians INR 200 for foreign tourists
- Timings– 9 Am to 5 Pm, all days a week