How to See The Best of Rajasthan in 11 Days

February 23, 2022

Thinking of visiting Rajasthan, but now sure how to do it?

In this post you will discover:

  • Rajasthan’s highlights in 11 days from Jaipur to Jaisalmer.
  • Suggested hotels to stay in.
  • The travel company we used and our experience with them.
  • Info about how much you are expected to tip in India.
  • An extra extension about how crossing the Wagah border from Pakistan into Amritsar and getting to Rajasthan from there.

Day 1 – Jaipur

1. Amber Fort

The Amber Fort is a classic romantic Rajasthani Fort. Here you can marvel at the wonderful blend of Mughal and Rajput styles of Architecture.

Jaipur Amber Fort

2. Palace of the winds (Hawa Mahal)

The Palace of the Winds is a striking facade that you can see from the street. The Royal ladies used to look at the people on the street from behind the little windows. You need no more than a 10 minute stop here to take a few pictures in front of it.

Jaipur Palace of the Winds

3. City Palace

Here you can see the world’s largest sterling silver vessels, and personal belongings of the royal family. The palace architecture is grand and offers lots of opportunities for iconic photos.

Jaipur City Palace

4. Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar is one of the world’s most accurate astronomical observatories. Best of all it was built in 1729! This is truly a remarkable place to visit if you are interested to learn more about the technologies and instruments that existed before modern days.

Extras: Govind Devji Temple, Birla Temple, Ganesh Temples, Albert Hall

Where we stayed in Jaipur: Nirbana Palace. We liked it for its striking Interior and beautifully decorated restaurant.

Day 2 – Drive Jaipur to Agra

The drive is about 4 hours with stopovers.

Fateh Pur Sikri

Aside from the small stopovers for lunch and toilet breaks, we recommend a visit to Fateh Pur Sikri on the way to Agra. It is a fort complex which used to be the capital of the Mughal empire for 10 years before it was abandoned due to lack of water in the area. Plan at least 2-3 hours for your stop at Fateh Pur Sikri.

Fateh Pur Sikri

Extra stop: Bird Sanctuary

Where we stayed in Agra: Agra Holiday Inn. We liked it because it is clean, modern, has a reliable restaurant, comfortable beds and nice toiletries. All in all Agra Holiday Inn offers a pleasant comfortable stay at a reasonable price.

Day 3 – Agra

1. The Taj Mahal

The Taj is universally seen as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the Taj Mahal in 1632 to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

The Taj Mahal

2. The Red Fort

Emperor Akbar made this place his capital in in 1558 before the capital moved to Delhi in 1638. It was Emperor Akbar’s grandson, Shah Jahan, who turned the fort in its current beautiful state.

Agra Red Fort Gardens

Extras:  Baby Taj (Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah) and Mehtab Bagh

Day 4 – Drive Agra to Ranthambore

The drive is approx. 5 hours with stopovers.

If you leave early in the morning you can still make it in time for an afternoon Safari (starts around 13:30-14:00).

Where we stayed in Ranthambore: Nahargarh Ranthambore. You can’t go wrong coming home to a place like this if you haven’t managed to spot a tiger on your safari!

Nahargargh Ranthambore Hotel

Nahargargh Ranthambore is incredibly beautiful and the Indian dishes in the restaurant are delicious! Our package included breakfast, dinner and lunch. Don’t forget to explore around a bit. The hotel has a cosy reading room and a bar as well near the main restaurant. And then of course there is that swimming pool…! The only downside here is the unreliable wifi.

Day 5 – Ranthambore National Park

Spend the day at Ranthambore relaxing, and perhaps try to get in one or two safaris!

Ranthambore National park

Day 6 – Drive Ranthambore to Udaipur

The drive is about 7 and a half hours drive with stopovers.

When you arrive in Udaipur enjoy a boat tour on lake Pichola to admire the lovely buildings around the lake. If you feel tired after your long day’s drive skip it and do it first thing the next morning. There will be more than enough time!

Where we stayed Udaipur: Blu Feather Hotel and Spa. After all the sitting in the car, we quite enjoyed having a massage in the Spa. The hotel has a pleasant bar too.

Day 7 – Udaipur

In Udaipur all the things to see are concentrated around the lake. You will easily be ably to fit in all the main attractions in one day.

Lake Pichola Boat ride

Lake Pichola is an artificial lake built in 1362. Entry at Lake Pichola is free, but a boat ride will cost you INR 400. Boats run from 9am to 6pm. There are four islands on the lake but the most popular one is ‘Jag Mandir’.

Udaipur Lake Pichola

City Palace

Udaipur’s city palace was constructed in the 1500’s. It is a said to be a blend of European, Chinese and Medieval architecture. The Palace is open from 9:30am- 5:30 pm. The entry fee into the crystal gallery is extra, but well worth the visit!

Udaipur City Palace

Extras: Saheliyon ki bari, Jagdish temple, Bhartiya Lok Kala, Pratap Memorial, Bagore Ki Haveli, Udaipur lake

Day 8- Drive Udaipur to Jodhpur

The drive is approx. 5 and half hours drive with stopovers.

On the way to Jodhpur stop over at the exquisite Ranakpur Jain Temple.

Ranakpur Jain Temple

It is considered to be the most spectacular of Jain temples and is completely made of marble. It is an incredibly beautiful place to admire and deserves a special mention in Rajasthan’s highlights!

Ranakpur Jain Temple

Day 9 – Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh Fort is considered to be one of the most magnificent forts in Rajasthan. It occupies 5 km of land space on a hill and sits 125m above the surrounding plane.

Jodhpur Mehrangarh Fort

Jaswant Tada

Jaswant Thada is a beautiful marble mausoleum which reminds one a bit of the Taj Mahal. It is a strikingly beautiful place to visit and deserves a top spot in Rajasthan’s highlights!

Extras: Clock Tower, Sardar Bazar, Toorji Ka Stepwell

Here below is the beautiful interior of the hotel where we stayed at in Jodhpur.

Where we stayed in Jodhpur: Pal Haveli. Our room was not super comfortable, but the place itself is quite beautifully decorated. The hotel also has the best roof top restaurant in town where you can get great views over the Mehrangarh Fort. And the location of Pal Haveli is right where the action is happening in the city center near the clock tower.

Day 10- Drive Jodhpur to Jaisalmer

The drive is approx. 5 hours and 45 minutes drive with stopovers.

Sam Sand Dunes

In the late afternoon enjoy a camel or jeep ride on the dunes in village near Jaisalmer. The sunset views over the desert are beautiful!

View from our fantastic Boutique hotel in Jaisalmer. *They only serve vegetarian food.

Day 11- Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is a small city. You can easily see everything at leisure in one day

1. Golden Fort

The entire fort is made of yellow sandstone and it is one of the few remaining living forts left in the world. It is an incredible experience to visit the fort and the beautiful Jain temples inside the fort!

2. Patwon Ki Haveli

This is considered to be one of the most formidable Haveli’s in India. It belonged to a very wealthy silk route trader in the 1800’s. The house looks like it is made from wood, but it is all sandstone!

3. Sunset Point

Extras: Salim Singh Ki Haveli and Gadisar Lake

Where we stayed in Jaisalmer: The Gulaal Hotel. For a boutique experience go here! The Gulaal is a stylishly decorated haveli and the beds are so comfortable! Best of all is the restaurant on the rooftop where you can enjoy real coffee while gazing at the fort.

End of the Itinerary! Depart from the airport or stay over in your hotel one more night.

Travel Company Experience and Prices

We used Leisure India Holidays (not sponsored or affiliated with!) to arrange our trip. They are able to customize your trip fully according to your specific needs. Leisure India Holidays provided for us the following services at 999 Euro+5% GST.

  1. Transportation and sightseeing in an exclusive air-conditioned Toyota Innova Crysta car equipped with first aid kit and daily complimentary water bottles. The same driver stayed with us throughout the journey.
  2. All airport and hotel transfers.
  3. An English speaking guide who accompanied us for the day in each city we visited (excluding Ranthambore).
  4. Fuel, toll-tax, driver’s allowances and parking charges.

We chose Leisure India Holidays because they were very quick in their communications, and we read good things about their services online.

All in all, our driver was responsible, prompt and courteous, and guides were always well informed. Expect to be taken to a shop at the end of the day where you will be shown the local crafts of the city. Usually guides will have their own shop that they recommend, but don’t feel pressured to go if you don’t want to!

Tipping in India as suggested by Leisure India Holidays

Guide- Paid at the end of your sightseeing, depending on his services, knowledge and courtesy provided to you. Prices range from INR 700- INR 2000 per day.

Driver- Depends on his services provided to you and the tip is usually paid at the end of your tour itinerary. Prices range from INR 500- INR 1000 per day.

Staff at hotels- The porter who takes your bag to your room gets INR 50 per bag or INR 100-200 per trolley. If you stay in 1, 2 or 3 star hotels the tipping will be less.

Restaurants- Don’t tip when service charge is included on the bill. Otherwise tip 5-10% of the total bill.

Crossing the Wagah Border from Pakistan into India

The Wagah-Attari Border is famous for the daily flag lowering ceremony held in the early evenings. In front of thousands of spectators, Indian and Pakistani soldiers engage in a nationalistic show, taunting each other across the border marked by a double gate (one on each side).

This is the same gate you will go through when crossing the border. Make sure to arrive by the border well before the ceremony (before 16:00), as it is more cumbersome to cross when the ceremony is in preparation.

If you have a car, make sure that you have permission to cross the border. Otherwise, leave it in Lahore/Amritsar and take a taxi. There is no parking space at the border.

Proceed to immigration and get the exit stamps from the country you’re leaving. Then proceed to the border itself. Cross it, and go through the immigration process on the other side. Obviously, check the visa requirements beforehand!

All in all, the process is rather straight-forward and should not pose many difficulties. Of course, we are currently living in the COVID pandemic, so make sure to double check entry requirements before attempting to cross.

The Golden Temple in Amritsar

Tip: arrange a pick-up on the other side. During COVID, there are few people crossing the border, and it can be difficult to find onward transportation at the border itself. It is more convenient to arrange pick-up by your hotel in Amritsar or Lahore.

We stayed at Ramada hotel in Amritsar and they arranged for a driver to pick us up at the border for 22 Euro.

There you have it dear readers! Hope this information was useful and entertaining, in case you are considering a trip to Rajasthan.

For more similar sort of itineraries check out Explore Normandy in 6 days, or Occitania and Andorra Roadtrip in 7 days.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sincerely,
Elaine
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