Planning a perfect itinerary in India can be a daunting task. Distances are usually quite far and transportation is not always as comfortable and easy. Especially if you have already been traveling around Southeast Asia (and discovering Southeast Asia's Best Adventures!), getting around in India will take you far more time (and nerves!). Our suggested mode of traveling is definitely by train.
Despite this fact, we do think that some areas are a bit easier to plan for a travel to than others. One of them being the state of Rajasthan. Here you have a wide variety of destinations to chose from and the good thing is that the route to take is rather straightforward. In the following we put together an intinerary for a 3-week stay in Rajasthan - which is also a recommended minimum length of time to spend here. The state of Rajasthan is also known as 'Land of Kings' because it is made-up of many different kingdoms that historically battled for the lands. You can find many different palaces and fortifications throughout the entire state.
As you can see from the map above that the direction of travel in Rajasthan typically starts and concludes in New Delhi. You can then proceed either westwards and go counter-clock wise or go eastwards. In the following we listed the route we took along with a personal recommendation of how long to stay in each place. We opted to take the route towards the east and here is the breakdown of our Rajasthan 3 Week Itinerary:
Rajasthan 3 Week Itinerary Route
New Delhi -> Agra -> Jaipur -> Pushkar -> Udaipur -> Jodhpur -> Jaisalmer -> Bikaner -> New Delhi
Delhi is India's capital and offers the best flight connections. Although not in the actual state of Rajasthan (it has its own state - National Capital Territory of Delhi) it is the most convenient gateway to Rajasthan and the best place to start your journey. Its also a way of getting used to India's climate and culture. Delhi offers a large variety of places to visit and explore.
Duration of stay: Spend around 2 days at the beginning and another 2 days at the end of your trip in Delhi.
Geographically also not belonging to the state of Rajasthan but definitely a good fit for the start of your journey. Its a mere 3-4 hour train-ride away from Delhi and home to India's most famous landmark - the Taj Mahal! The iconic Mughal mausoleoum is entirely made of marble and is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The actual city of Agra is solely famous for the Taj Mahal and its Fort. Definitely a great way to commence your amazing adventure in India!
Duration of stay: Spend no more than 2 days here.
Finally made it to Rajasthan 🙂 Jaipur is actually the capital city of the state and home to numerous sights and attractions. The old part of the town is called the 'Pink City' for its trademark building color. Its a very lively and colorful city and a great example of Rajasthani culture.
Duration of stay: You can easily spend 3 days here to see most of the interesting spots.
Pushkar is a lakeside town bordering the Thar Desert. It is a faous pilgrimage site and home to hundreds of temples and ghats (stone staircases to the holy lake water). The town can best be reached by taking a train to Ajmer and then a 30-minute car ride. Its a beautiful place and quite different from other destinations you will find in Rajasthan.
Duration of stay: You can spend 2 days here. This gives you time to explore the lake and the different temples.
Udaipur is also known as the 'City of Lakes' as its set around a series of lakes. There are famous temples and palaces here as well and also serves as a nice place to explore the Rajasthani cuisine. We actually expected a bit more to do here but, nevertheless, had a nice time discovering the area and walking around the lakes.
Duration of stay: You should spend no more than 2 days here wich should cover the time you need to explore this town.
Before reaching the 'Blue City' (some parts of the town are completely held in Blue!) of Jodhpur you can stop by a place called Ranakpur, which is home to one of the nicest Jain Temple complexes in Rajasthan. You can only reach Jodhpur by bus or car from Udaipur so its a great spot to stop over.
Jodhpur is a gateway to the famous Thar Desert and has an abundancy of beautiful spots to visit. From the impressive Mehrangarh Fort to the ornate memorial of Jaswant Thada and the majestic Palace - Jodhpur ist definitely a great spot to visit!
Duration of stay: You can spend 3 days here exploring the sites of this beautiful town.
Jaisalmer is in the heart of the Thar Desert and one of the most western-located cities in India, close to the border to Pakistan. It is known as the 'Golden City' because the buildings are all kept in sand color and shine golden in the desert sun. It also is home to the Jaisalmer Fort which is India's only still inhabited fortification. Also famous for this town are the camel rides into the desert. Definitely an amazing trip and part of the Rajasthani experience.
Duration of stay: You can spend 3 days here exploring town and doing a one-night camel desert safari trip.
Bikaner is a stopover back to Delhi. A city surrounded by the desert, Bikaner is a rather smaller town. It is known for its ornamental , 16th century Fort and famous rat temple. The Karni Mata temple is located around 30 kilometers outside of the town. Its not a very beautiful place to visit but definitely something you wont see anywhere else, not even in India!
Duration of stay: You can spend max 2 days here as there is not too much to see apart from the fort and rat temple.
Following the visit to Bikaner we recommend to spend another 2 das in Delhi to see the places you couldn't see when you arrived. It is a good way to conclude the Rajasthan 3 week itinerary, making you see the best destiations of this beautiful state.