Rajasthan – land of kings – land of bright colors – was always in my bucket list. Kids having Dasara holidays and October being the best time to visit Rajasthan, we decided to head towards the land of forts and palaces. My husband could not take more than 6 days off for the trip, I would have liked it to be a 8 days trip, if not 12 days! The best we could do was Jaipur – Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur – Ranakpur – Udaipur.
All these major cities are about 350+ km apart and you will spend a good amount of time in the car. So, opt for a good vehicle! I was recommended Vinayak travels (Mr Jagdish Kumar – http://www.greatrajasthantour.com/) by a friend who had used his services. Apart from the car, he also books the hotels for you (BTW, his rates were better than the online rates!). A hindi/english speaking guide is also provided at every city. Out of all the guides, the best was in Udaipur – Dr Shakti Singh ‘Khakharki’. He is a teacher and since it was his day off, he guided us.
You could specify the star rating for your stay and you will be given the choice accordingly. You could also book on your own. I wanted to stay next to the pichola lake in Udaipur and so booked that. I did try for a heritage property in Jodhpur, unfortunately they were all booked. If you are travelling between Oct – Jan (best time, since Rajasthan gets really hot) you may want to book your stay well ahead. Rajasthan is full of tourists, especially foreigners.
Day 1 – fly from Bangalore to Jaipur
Day 2 – Jaipur sight-seeing
Day 3 – early morning drive to Bikaner and sight-seeing in Bikaner
Day 4 – early morning drive to Jaisalmer (brief stop at Kheechan) and stay in a swiss tent at the Sam sand dunes
Day 5 – early morning drive to Jodhpur and sight-seeing in Jodhpur
Day 6 – early morning drive to Ranakpur (brief stop at Bisnoi village) and then proceed to Udaipur
Day 7 – sight-seeing in Udaipur and fly back to Bangalore
All good things must come to an end. Last but not least, want to thank our driver, Anoop Singh – so polite, punctual and helpful.
There is a wealth of information available on the net which could get confusing. I used Outlook Traveller’s Rajasthan guide. Lonely Planet has one too.
If possible, try doing the Ranthambore and/or Sariska National park. If you are a birder, please add lakes, grasslands to your itinerary.