If you’re organising a trip to Rajasthan, it’s well worth making sure your itinerary is as varied as possible. The state is a truly exciting one, and its attractions range from amazing animals and incredible landscapes to stunning palaces and historic temples, so try to cover a few different kinds of site while you’re there.

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Of course, having such a huge amount of choice of where to go can make picking just a few places a little tricky – especially if your time is fairly limited. So, we’ve put together a list of top destinations and their key attractions to help get you started.

Jaipur

Jaipur is Rajasthan’s capital, so if you are planning to take a tour of the state, it is very likely you’ll visit here. This is a great place for getting a taste of the region’s architecture and seeing some of its most famous palaces. Among the sites not to miss are:

• Terracotta-coloured buildings: You can’t really miss these, since there are so many! The peach hue of the buildings in the walled city centre are what earned it the nickname of the Pink City, so you should make a special effort to take a look.
• Amber Fort: Actually situated just outside Jaipur, the Amber Fort was once the Mughal seat of power. Today, it’s a massively popular tourist attraction, thanks to its dramatic position on a hilltop and its stunning architecture, which includes an ornately decorated interior.
• Hawa Mahal: You might hear this referred to as the Palace of the Winds. One of the most striking buildings in the city, it is celebrated for its unusual pattern of windows, which gives the facade a honeycomb-like appearance.

Jodhpur

Jodhpur’s another fantastic place to explore in terms of architecture. Its most famous building is the impressive Mehrangarh Fort, which is perched high above the city, but the destination is perhaps even better known for its blue buildings.

In fact, if you head to the Mehrangarh Fort you’ll get the best possible view of these. It is often said the blue colour was painted on to homes belonging to members of the priestly caste (or Brahmin), but historians have a simpler explanation. They believe that the colouring may be caused by an ingredient used to deter termites being added to the whitewash. Whatever the true story is, it is still an impressive sight!

Mount Abu

Mount Abu is located in the south of Rajasthan, and it’s an excellent destination if you want to see some rare and wonderful temples. Said to be the best spot to discover Jain temple architecture in the state, it is home to some real gems.

The Dilwari Temples are particularly famous, so make a beeline for these if you are keen to see some of the oldest and most fascinating temples in Mount Abu. Inside, you’ll find intricate carvings in white marble, for which the site is particularly well known. It is also worth remembering there is a dress code here, which means that any leather items (including shoes and bags) must be left outside.

Ranthambore National Park and the Thar Desert

After getting a taste of the state’s architecture and history, it’s worth looking at it from a different perspective. Rajasthan’s home to a pretty amazing landscape and some incredible animals, so discovering these seems like a good way to broaden your itinerary.

In terms of the latter, Ranthambore National Park is the top place to go, thanks to its fantastic tiger population. Meanwhile, to contrast the busy throng of the cities, a trip into the Thar Desert is well worth it – especially if you decide to go camel trekking. Just come prepared with lots of blankets and warm layers for chilly nights under the stars!