Rajasthan is not just a state tucked in the northwestern corner of India. Nope! It is like the phoenix that has risen from the ashes. Predominantly a desert land, the amazing people have transformed it into a place so enchanting it has you in raptures with its beauty as soon as you set foot in it. The people here are born fighters who first dealt with barren land and, later, terrible invaders.
Yet, despite it all, they have remained enterprising, vibrant, colourfully cheerful, artistic, and hospitable against the stark background of the barren desert scape. This land evokes a sense of history, royal heritage, splendour, and formidable forts with incredible tales of bravery going back centuries entrenched in the very brick of their forts and within its grand & beautiful palaces.
Read our curated list of some of the unmissable forts and palaces you should see when you visit Rajasthan.
Top 5 Magnificent Forts in Rajasthan
1] Amer Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Amidst the misty Aravali highlands, the Amber fort of Jaipur offers magnificent views of the Maota lake. This fort was built by Raja Man Singh in the 16th century in the Mughal style of architecture with red sandstone & marble, giving it a grand look, and is one of the finest forts in Rajasthan.
✨ Things to enjoy here: Elephant rides, Diwan-I-Khas, Diwan-I-Am, Sukh Niwas & Shesh Mahal, and panoramic city views. You can enjoy the light show here from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
🪙Entry fee: For Indians: ₹100 per adult & ₹10 per Indian student
For foreign nationals: ₹500 per person & ₹100 per foreign student
⏳Timings: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
🌟 Tourist attractions near Amer Fort: Jal Mahal, City Palace Jaipur, Nahargarh Palace, and Hawa Mahal
2] Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
On a visit to the desert city of Jaisalmer, the impressive, majestic fort perched on top of the Trikuta hill is the second oldest fort in Rajasthan. This spectacular beauty overlooking the dunes of the Thar desert was built way back in the 12th century by Rawal Jaisal using yellow sandstone. It is one of the most visited forts in Rajasthan. This fort is known as ‘Sonar Quila‘ or ‘Golden Fort’.
✨ Things to see here: Royal Palace, the four grand entrances, Lakshminath Temple, ShreeNath Palace, Jaisalmer Fort Palace Museum, villas of the merchants, and other Hindu & Jain temples.
🪙 Entry fee: Entry is free. Camera fee: ₹50 for still & ₹100 for video
⏳ Timings: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
🌟 Tourist attractions near Jaisalmer Fort: Bada Bagh and Salim Singh Ki Haveli are two of the best places to visit in Jaisalmer.
3] Chittorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
Another historic and earliest fort in Rajasthan is the Chittorgarh Fort. Built in the 7th century, it significantly impacted Rajasthan’s history. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many romantic tales of Rajasthan associated with it. It is spread over a vast area of 700 acres having seven large gateways known as Pol; It is also termed a Water Fort because it has about 22 water bodies within the fort, making it a fantastic place to be amidst a water-scarce land. With water bodies, this fort is a treat to the eyes.
✨ Things to see here: Padmini’s Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, Kirti Stambha, Meera Temple, Vijay Stambha, Gaumukh Reservoir, Rana Kumbha Palace, and the annual Jauhar Mela.
🪙 Entry fee: For Indians: ₹5 per person
For foreign nationals: ₹100 per person
⏳Timings: 9:45 am to 5:15 pm
🌟 Tourist attractions near Chittorgarh Fort: Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
4] Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
The Mehrangarh Fort, a prominent cultural landmark of Jodhpur, was established in 1458 by the Rathore ruler, Rao Jodha. It is a beautiful fort in Rajasthan with seven massive gateways, signifying a great victory over various kingdoms. This fort has numerous mysteries waiting to be explored.
✨ Things to see here: Views of the Blue City of Jodhpur, the seven Pols, a museum (housing armoury, paintings), temples & palaces
🪙 Entry fee: For Indians: ₹70 per person
For foreign nationals: ₹600 per person
⏳ Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
🌟 Tourist attractions near Mehrangarh Fort: Jaswant Thada, Balsam and Lake, Umaid Bhavan Palace, and Kaylana Lake are among the best places in Jodhpur.
5] Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajsamand, Rajasthan
If you think the great wall of China is incredible, wait till you visit the Kumbhalgarh Fort that towers over the Aravali ranges. The fort’s massive border wall stretches around 36 km, with a width enough to keep eight horses abreast. Located 84 km north of Udaipur in the wilderness, this fort is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region. This fabulous fort holds a large part of history as it served the rulers of Mewar in times of strife as a great refuge. Built by Maharaja Rana Kumbha in the 15th century, the fort was self-contained in all respects to withstand a protracted siege.
✨ Things to see here: View the surroundings, the 36 km long braced walls, Badal Mahal, and Jain & Hindu Temples.
🪙 Entry fee: For Indians: ₹10 per person
For foreign nationals: ₹100
⏳ Timings: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Top 5 Must-See Royal Palaces in Rajasthan
Now, let us look at the fabulous and must-visit palaces in Rajasthan.
1] Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan
If one sees the striking Hawa Mahal in the heart of Jaipur, it would appear as the crown of Krishna. Hawa Mahal is a uniquely designed palace built using superior-quality red bricks and sandstone by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1798. Hawa Mahal means the Palace of Winds and resembles a honeycomb with nine hundred and fifty-three small windows known as the Jharokhas. It was designed for the queens and royal ladies as a veil from which they could observe the everyday ongoing of the street below from the small windows without being noticed. It is also designed to create an air conditioning effect inside the palace using the Venturi Effect.
✨ Notable features of Hawa Mahal: Intricately designed facade windows and colourful glasswork on the windows inside.
🪙 Entry fee: For Indians: ₹50 per person
For foreign nationals: ₹200 per person
⏳ Timings: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
2] City Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
The Udaipur City Palace is a top tourist attraction and architectural marvel in Udaipur. Set on the side of the picturesque Lake Pichola, the opulent palace blends Medieval, European, & Chinese architecture. The Udaipur City Palace is the largest and arguably most impressive of Rajasthan’s palaces. Built in 1559 by Maharaja Udai Singh, the palace complex comprises several other palaces within its periphery. This flamboyantly styled palace was used as a setting for the famous James Bond movie ‘Octopussy’.
✨ Notable features of City Palace, Udaipur: City Palace comprises eleven beautiful palaces built by different rulers, yet they resemble each other. Catch a glimpse of the unique paintings, antique furniture, and exquisite glass, mirror & ornamental tiles work of these palaces and be amazed, making it an unforgettable experience.
🪙 Entry fee: ₹300 for Adults, ₹100 for Children, and ₹100 for Students
⏳ Timing: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
3] Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Udaipur Lake Palace is listed among the state’s most iconic and striking palaces, which appears like a precious pearl placed on the pristine Lake Pichola in Udaipur. Constructed in 1743 under the supervision of Maharana Jagat Singh II, the palace was his pleasure spot and was formerly known as Jag Niwas, named after him. To reach the palace, one needs to take a boat, always available near the lake. Moreover, now the Lake Palace has been transformed into a luxurious hotel that is counted among the most romantic hotels in India, making it a perfect honeymoon location.
✨ Things to do at Lake Palace, Udaipur: 1] A museum tour of the palace that the guests can undertake at ₹75 per person, where the hotel staff and security escort guests for the tour.
2] The Crystal Gallery, which consists of a spectacular collection, can be accessed for a fee of ₹500 per person.
3] A boat ride along the lake is priced at ₹450 per person, providing the guests with a mesmerising view of the Aravalli hills and the other beautiful palaces of Udaipur.
🪙 Entry fee: No entry fee
⏳Timings: Open 24 hours
3] Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Currently the world’s sixth-largest private residence and home of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur has 300+ rooms amid magnificent gardens. The premises house the grand Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, which allows guests to experience royal life with access to world-class amenities. The Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum is a popular attraction here among tourists. On your Jodhpur vacation, ensure you do not miss the grand Umaid Bhawan Palace.
✨ Highlights of Umaid Bhawan Palace Jodhpur: Vintage Cars and lovely gardens
🪙Entry fee: Free Entry at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur.
Entry fee for the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum: For Indians: ₹30 for Indians
For foreign nationals: ₹100
⏳ Timings: 10 am-4:30 pm
4] Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan
The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur has an interesting history. It started as a Garden House in 1835 for the queen’s favourite handmaiden; next, the Maharaja Thakur Sawai Madho Singh converted it into a modest royal hunting lodge in 1887; and later in the early 20th century as the grand palace of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his queen, the most beautiful woman in the world, Maharani Gayatri Devi.
It has been a heritage hotel since 1957, run by the Taj Group of Hotels, and is considered one of the world’s best and most luxurious hotels. Due to its magnificent structure, fabulous architecture, and intricate design, this palace is famous among tourists who visit it with the hope of staying in this hotel to experience its opulence and luxury.
✨ Notable features of Rambagh Palace in Jaipur: The palace retains its original splendour, lavishly decorated with hand-carved marble ‘jalis’ or ornate latticework, sandstone balustrades, cupolas, and ‘chatters‘ or cenotaphs, with elaborate Mughal Gardens.
🪙 Entry fee: For Indians ₹50
For foreign nationals ₹100
⏳ Timing: From 09:00 am to 05:30 pm all in days.
5] Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner, Rajasthan
The Laxmi Niwas Palace in Bikaner was the former residential palace of the king of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Singh, built between 1898 and 1902 CE. It was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob and was constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. The palace is in pink sandstone and boasts superb interiors complimenting the intricate symmetrical structural design. The palace interiors are vibrant, displaying expansive golden frescoes, carved friezes, usta artwork, ornate ceilings, and murals depicting cultural scenes.
The Laxmi Niwas Palace has been converted into a luxury hotel now owned by Golden Triangle Fort & Palace Pvt. Ltd. It is one of the finest heritage hotels in Bikaner and is renowned for providing luxurious stays and regal hospitality to its guests.
🪙 Entry Fee: ₹200 per person
⏳Guided Tour Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
पधारो म्हारे देस! Welcome, To My Land!
Rajasthan was formerly Rajputana, the ‘Country of the Rajputs’ meaning the Country of Raja’s sons or Princes. Visit this Royal state of Rajasthan to experience this extraordinary land, and book flights & hotels with Aertrip to ensure you arrive & stay there in style.