3 road trips to experience Rajasthan Tourism

posted in: Asia, Cities, India, Rajasthan, Tips | 34

Judging from the queries that I have been getting on my last post on Jaipur, it appears that a lot of people are keen on Rajasthan tourism. It is not just Jaipur that seems to hold the charm. Everyone wants to cover more than this city. Rightly so, given the rich heritage and culture that Rajasthan tourism has been promoting. I have been warning people that one trip will not be able to cover all the places in Rajasthan – it is the largest state of India! However, to do justice, you definitely can cover some major cities at one go.

Road Trips - the best way to experience Rajasthan Tourism
Road Trips – the best way to experience Rajasthan Tourism

One of the major queries that I have been getting include which is the best way to experience Rajasthan tourism? Road, rail or flight? My personal opinion is to take a road trip across Rajasthan. There is so much to discover along the way. Given the nature of queries, I thought of sharing 3 best road trip options to experience Rajasthan tourism. Note that these road trips start pretty much after you have flown into a city and end with you flying out of one. The flight tickets are an option and can be replaced with a rail journey is so desired. Also, note that each option covers smaller places like Pushkar, Ajmer and Kumbhalgarh along the way.

So, here goes –

Rajasthan Tourism Road Trip One – Jaipur, Jodhpur & Udaipur

Udaipur - a definite recommendation when experiencing Rajasthan Tourism
Udaipur – a definite recommendation when experiencing Rajasthan Tourism

This one is the most popular circuit covering the pink city of Jaipur, the blue city of Jodhpur and my favorite Lake city of Udaipur. My suggestion here is to book flight tickets into Jaipur and fly out from Udaipur.

  • Fly into Jaipur and spend around 2.5 days here. You can access the suggested itinerary here.
  • Start early to Jodhpur by road.  Along the way, you can stop at Pushkar and Ajmer. Both these destinations are exactly midway between Jaipur and Jodhpur. Again, between Pushkar and Ajmer, the drive time is just 45 minutes. Keep aside one full day for this road journey so that you can explore both these towns before you arrive at Jodhpur.
  • Spend around 2 days in Jodhpur discovering the lovely monuments – including Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhavan, Mandore Gardens and Jaswant Thada
  • Start early to head to Udaipur. Again, keep aside a full day for the journey as you can stop by at Ranakpur Jain Temple and explore the Kumbhalgarh Fort along the way. You are likely to reach Udaipur only by night.
  • Once in Udaipur, keep aside at least two days to explore the gorgeous city – starting with Lake Pichola, the city palace, Saheliyon ki Bari and more.
  • Fly back home from Udaipur
Kumbhalgarh fort - enroute to Udaipur.
Kumbhalgarh fort – enroute to Udaipur.

There are two variations that I can suggest on the above plan. For this, you may need to extend your stay in Udaipur.

Option One –  Cover Chittorgarh from Udaipur. This is just 2 hours from the lake city. Here you can experience the historic tales of Rani Padmavati while touring the mighty Chittorgarh fort.

Option Two –  Head toward the West of Udaipur to the famed hill town of Mount Abu with its stupendous Jain Temple. This is around 3 hours from Udaipur.

Road Trip Two – Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur & Jaisalmer

Desert experience at Jaisalmer
Desert experience at Jaisalmer

Jaisalmer is extremely popular among the tourists in Rajasthan and one does not really want to leave out the Golden city. However, be warned that adding Jaisalmer means adding a long stretch to your journey for it is the further most from all the major cities of Rajasthan. Moreover, you cannot fly into Jaisalmer. The closest airport is Jodhpur. If you are short of time and are looking for just a desert experience , then I would recommend spending time in Pushkar as against Jaisalmer. It is bound to save you time and give you the same or maybe, an even better experience. However, if you are like me and enjoy heritage, there is no avoiding the golden city. So, here goes my suggestion of this road trip –

  • Fly into Jaipur and see the city over the next two days
  • Leave early and head straight to Udaipur via Ajmer and Pushkar. Keep aside this entire day for a road journey as you explore Ajmer and Pushkar along the way
  • Spend around 2 full days in Udaipur
  • Start early to Jodhpur via Kumbhalgarh, Haldighati and Ranakpur. Keep a day for this journey as you will spend considerable time at Kumbhalgarh
  • Stay in Jodhpur for around 2 days and then leave for Jaisalmer. There are no pit stops here for you to explore. It is a straight journey of 5 hours.
  • Spend around 2 days in Jaisalmer. Once you are done, you can either head back to Jodhpur to fly back out or Jaipur (12 hours by road) to head home
Junagarh Fort at Bikaner - a break journey between Jaisalmer and Jaipur
Junagarh Fort at Bikaner – a break journey between Jaisalmer and Jaipur

I had opted for this route, except that in my case, I chose to add a day extra at Bikaner. Bikaner is another half-way point between Jaipur and Jaisalmer. Hence on the way back from Jaisalmer, you can choose to break the journey at Bikaner, stay the night, explore the city and continue back to Jaipur. While at Bikaner, don’t miss the intriguing Rat temple with its live rats at Deshnok.

Road Trip three – Jaipur,  Ranthambore, Jodhpur and Udaipur

Tiger at Ranthambore. Photo Credits : Karthik Dwarkanath via Flickr under CC by NC-ND 2.0
Tiger at Ranthambore.                                                           Photo Credits : Karthik Dwarkanath via Flickr under CC by NC-ND 2.0

Rajasthan tourism is not just about heritage. Throw in some bit of wildlife with the tiger spotting at Ranthambore and you can add another flavor to this place. Here is a road trip covering the same –

  • Start with arriving into Jaipur and spending time here.
  • Leave early and head straight to Ranthambore which is around 4 hours from Jaipur. Spend at least one day at a resort here.
  • Head straight to Jodhpur. Again you can take a stop at Ajmer and Pushkar along the way,
  • Keep aside around 2 full days for Jodhpur
  • Start early to head to Udaipur. Remember to stop at the Ranakpur Jain Temple and Great wall of India at Kumbhalgarh Fort, thus, making this 5 hour journey a complete day trip.
  • Spend at least 2 days in Udaipur before you fly back straight home from here.

Travel Tips for road trips to experience Rajasthan Tourism

  • Most of the journeys that I have suggested here are just longer owing to the suggested pit-stops. Should you avoid the same, you will be able to complete most of them within 5- 6 hours. In some cases, the distance is even lesser.
  • Hiring a car is not difficult in Rajasthan. You can find plenty of cab services online as well as through your hotel or resort.
  • The charges for the cab would include a round trip to the city where you are hiring the cab. Even if you are not returning to your city of origin, you will have to include that journey into your trip tab. Other than that, you will have to include the Driver Bata charges and any toll charges.
  • I would recommend stopping along the roadside restaurants for your meals. The small dhabas along the way treat you to some really authentic Rajasthani food. It definitely adds to the experience of the state.
  • Most of the restaurants and petrol bunks have rest rooms for you to use. However note that they are not always the cleanest. Keep a hand sanitizer and toilet paper with you all the time.
  • The road conditions in Rajasthan are fairly decent. A few roads are just single-laned.
  • There are enough food options and shops along the roads. However, I would still recommend carrying some snacks and water in the car so that you do not waste too much time stopping around.

I hope that makes your planning easier now.  Message in and let me know if you have been for any of these road trips or if you are planning one.


P.S: I have several posts detailing the cities and attractions mentioned in this post. You can search them right here on my blog.





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34 Responses

  1. I so wish to go to Jaisalmer. Hoping to cover it with Jodhpur this year. Thanks Ami for sharing. This shall help me plan better. 🙂

  2. Road trip 2 – Jaipur Jodhpur Udaipur and Jaisalmer is the best. I just need to visit Udaipur from this list.
    Great guide Ami…

  3. An Absolutely comprehensive post , well put! Rajasthan is one of my favourite travel destinations in India and can never get tired of visiting it! The best way indeed is a Road trip savouring the landscapes and culture bit by bit!

    You’re awesome with your Rajasthan documentation! ( I think I have told you this before):)

    • Thank you Divyakshi. You have mentioned this earlier but I loved hearing it again 😉 Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. I am Rajasthan but never being to Jodhpur in my life. Thanks for reigniting the thought. 🙂

  5. A very informative post. Beautiful pictures 🙂

  6. Bharat Ram

    Udaipur is to dai for! Some other parts of Rajasthan are equally worth dyeing for – though they believe in Tie & Dye. Of course, till you have been to Kota to see the miniature Seven Wonders – you can never claim to have had your full quota of Rajasthan! I enjoyed this comprehensive post!

    • Thank you Bharat. I agree, Kota is suppose to be amazing but then you can’t cover them all in one trip. 🙂 I still have loads to go myself.

  7. Rajaasthan is on my places to see list. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.

  8. I haven’t explored this region at all … Looks so beautiful and colorful.. the colors of the sun, the fort … gorgeous!!

  9. Such an elaborate post! And mesmerising photographs too. I have fallen in love with Rajasthan!

  10. Rajasthan is so charming! A road trip is a fabulous way to explore this magical state of India.

  11. A very useful post for anyone planning to visit Rajasthan. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Thanks Chaitali. Hoping for the same – people finding it easier to get to Rajasthan after this post.

  12. Rajsthan invites again through your beautiful photos

  13. Rajasthan has been on my to visit list for a while now! And your post will be really helpful.

  14. I am so getting jealous reading Rajasthan posts…I want to go there nowwwww 🙂 Loved it to bits Ami..the pictures are mind blowing and the information bookmarked 🙂

  15. Hello, Thanks for sharing a great detail about to make a road trip about Rajasthan tour. Such a nice post and all images look so beautiful. Rajasthan culture and tradition is main attraction parts that excite everyone to visit this place.

  16. Road trips are the best way to travel and discover places. There are so many gems along the way that go unnoticed when you fly or go by train.

Would love to know what you think