Welcome to the “Land of Kings”. Rajasthan is a true state of contrasts, and Rajasthan travel reflects that!
From desert scrub to holy lakes, one thing that is hard to grasp for the first-time (or even repeat) visitor is the sheer size of the place. I was fortunate enough to have three weeks to explore the desert state. Even that wasn’t sufficient to get to all of the major sights. I did, however, linger longer in areas that would be easier to pass through in a shorter time frame. I also went well off the path more trodden on a couple of occasions—which meant more travel time.
In researching a state of contrasts, I was happy to find that the relatively well-developed tourism infrastructure is matched by the gradual appearance of eco-friendly options. More than that, were the options which make an effort to connect visitors to Rajasthani culture beyond a superficial level. Thereby creating more opportunities for responsible travel in Rajasthan.
The best (and therefore most popular) time to visit Rajasthan is during winter, between October – March, with the busiest months being December, January and (sometimes) February. During this time the weather in Rajasthan is pleasant – you’ll be warm under the daytime sun, but it does get cold at night!
An alternative time to plan your trip to Rajasthan for, is during monsoon (mid June – September). Rajasthan gets far less rain – after all it is largely a desert – than other states in India, the crowds are fewer during this time and the prices cheaper. Weather tends to be overcast and humid (and can be humid/hot) so admittedly if you’re focused on clear blue skies, winter is your time to visit. Stay clear during the months of April and May as temperatures soar and can reach over 50 degrees centigrade…
Khem Villas, Ranthambhore (High End) – This beautiful, sustainability minded tented camp with easy access to Ranthambore national park and tiger reserve is well worth it. With beautiful luxury tents and rooms you enjoy life in the wild here as the hotel is surrounded by grasslands, but with plenty of luxury, comfort and great service. Check rates and book Khem Villas here!
The first thing to work out for planning your trip to Rajasthan is to work out how much time you have to spend here. Although Rajasthan is “only” one state of India, it’s huge! There is no “ideal” length of time to spend in Rajasthan – you could fit the key sites into a week, but you could easily keep yourself busy for a month here. Most people have round two weeks to travel in Rajasthan, which is a good starting point.
The first being to travel independently and plan everything yourself. You can travel independently no matter your budget – this option is not only for backpackers! Independent travel in Rajasthan allows maximum flexibility and the best opportunity to absorb Rajasthani culture, local food and meet fellow travellers independently, but it also means more time up front making your own travel arrangements which can take a bit of time. If you choose this option we suggest having an idea of where you want to go first so you know which order to visit places in (see our getting around section below). This is the way we travel.
A second option is to get help with planning your itinerary, and / or hiring a private car and driver to get around. This has the advantage of taking the weight of planning off your shoulders but maintaining flexibility in how long you spend in each destination, where you stay and how to spend your time in Rajasthan.
Your third option is to take a group tour, which is perfect for when you would rather travel with others, have a trusted company take care of the itinerary and planning, and be accompanied by a local guide. We have a comprehensive comparison guide to some of our favourite India group tours here and recommend companies such as Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, and Exodus. Find a complete list of Rajasthan Tours here.