Welcome to the vibrant and colourful world of Rajasthan, a state in northern India famous for its stunning palaces, mighty forts, and striking hues. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, and one of the most fascinating aspects of this heritage are the picturesque colourful cities of Rajasthan.
The state boasts four cities that are particularly famous for their distinctive hues - Jaipur: the ‘Pink City’ of Rajasthan, Jodhpur: the ‘Blue City’ of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer: the ‘Golden City’ of Rajasthan, and Udaipur: the ‘White City’ of Rajasthan. Each city has its unique story, and exploring these colourful cities of Rajasthan is an excellent way to discover the state's rich history.
We will take you on a journey to explore the fascinating stories behind each city's unique colour and help you plan your trip to this beautiful state.
Explore the culture of the colourful cities in Rajasthan
The colours of these cities in Rajasthan are not just an aesthetic choice but also hold substantial cultural significance. Whether planning a trip to explore the colourful cities in Rajasthan or simply curious to learn more about them, this guide has got you covered. Here, you will find everything you need to know about the captivating colourful cities of Rajasthan.
1. Jaipur, the pink city of Rajasthan
Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is a mesmerising destination that never ceases to amaze visitors with its vivid colours, fascinating history, and stunning architecture. Known as the ‘Pink City’, it is a city that has preserved its ancient charm while keeping up with the times. The city's signature pink hue dates back to the 19th century when Maharaja Ram Singh ordered the buildings to be painted in the colour of hospitality to welcome Queen Victoria. Today, the city is a bustling metropolis with a thriving economy based on tourism, jewellery-making, and information technology. The Aravalli Hills, visible at a distance along with the magnificent Amer Fort, add to the city's charm. With well-designed intersections, straight, wide main streets, bustling bazaars, and enchanting temples, Jaipur is truly a unique and unforgettable destination.
Popular places and things to do in Jaipur
Forts in Jaipur: Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort and Hawa Mahal, among others.
Palaces in Jaipur: Jal Mahal, Rambagh Palace, Raj Palace, City Palace and Samode Palace, among others.
Other tourist attractions: Albert Hall Museum, Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Galtaji Temple, Anokhi Museum of hand printing, Amer Palace sound and light show and Jaipur Wax Museum, among other places.
Shopping in Jaipur: Bapu Bazaar, Sireh Deori Bazaar (opposite Hawa Mahal), Badi Chaupar, Ramganj Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, and Johari Bazaar city among others.
Food in Jaipur: Dal baati churma at Chokhi Dhani, Laal Maas at Handi Restaurant, pyaaz kachori at Rawat Misthan Bhandar, ghewar at Laxmi Misthan Bhandar
and masala chai at Tapri Central Palace, among others.
How to reach Jaipur
By air: Jaipur International Airport connects to major cities across India and internationally.
By rail: Jaipur Junction is the main railway station, and numerous trains connect Jaipur to major Indian cities.
By road: Well-maintained national highways connect Jaipur to Delhi, Agra, and other major cities.
2. Jodhpur, the blue city of Rajasthan
Jodhpur, the second-largest city in Rajasthan, is also known as the Blue City for its sea of azure houses, a stunning sight to behold. Initially, the blue colour was a sign that a Brahmin lived in the house, but over time it became a symbol of identity for everyone. The city is nicknamed the Sun City due to its abundant sunny days. Jodhpur offers an array of attractions, including magnificent forts, palaces, gardens, and bustling bazaars. The towering Mehrangarh Fort dominates the city's skyline and provides a panoramic view of the breathtaking blue cityscape. The city's history dates back to the 15th century, and its textile industry and exquisite furniture shops make it a shopper's paradise. In addition to its practical value, the blue pigment coating on the houses is also believed to repel insects.
Popular places and things to do in Jodhpur
Forts in Jodhpur: Mehrangarh Fort, Jaswant Thada, Balsamand Lake and Palace, Khejarla Fort, and Mandore Gardens among other places.
Palaces in Jodhpur: Umaid Bhawan Palace, Phool Mahal Palace, Rai ka Bag Palace, Sardar Samand lake palace and Lalgarh Palace.
Other tourist attractions: Osian desert safari, Kaylana Lake, Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower), Toorji Ka Jhalra, Mahamandir temple, and Chamunda Mata temple, among other attractions.
Shopping in Jodhpur: Nai Sarak, Mochi Bazaar, Sardar Market, Tripolia Market, and Clock Tower Market, among others.
Food in Jodhpur: Pyaaz kachori at Janta Sweet Home, mawa kachori at Rawat Misthan Bhandar, makhaniya lassi at Mishrilal Hotel, mirchi bada at Surya Namkeen, laal maas at Gypsy dining hall and malai kulfi at shahi samosa among other places.
How to reach Jodhpur
By air: The Jodhpur Airport connects to major cities across India. After landing in Jodhpur, you can hire a taxi or bus to Jodhpur.
By rail: Jodhpur Junction is the main railway station and many trains connect Jodhpur to major Indian cities.
By road: Jodhpur is well-connected to major cities via national highways. The distance between Delhi and Jodhpur is approximately 600 km, and it takes around 10 hours to cover the distance by road. You can also take a bus or taxi to Jodhpur from Jaipur or Agra.
3. Jaisalmer, the golden city of Rajasthan
Jaisalmer is a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan known as The Golden City due to the yellow sand and sandstone that give the city its yellowish-golden tinge. The city is located in the heart of the great Indian desert, the Thar Desert. It is the largest district of Rajasthan, and the Pakistani border hugs it on the west and southwest. Jaisalmer Fort is the main attraction of the city, built-in 1156 by the Bhati Rajput ruler Jaisal. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the hill forts of the state. The fort is a living fort and home to about a quarter of the city's population. The fort has many attractions, including the Maharaja's palace, the Jain temples, and the Laxminath temple. The city is also known for its Jain heritage, with seven Jain temples within the Jaisalmer fort, adorned with exquisite art and architecture.
Popular places and things to do in Jaisalmer
Forts in Jaisalmer: Jaisalmer Fort (World Heritage Site).
Palaces in Jaisalmer: Patwon Ki haveli, Nathmal Ki haveli, and Salim Singh Ki haveli.
Other tourist attractions: Jain temples within Jaisalmer fort, desert national park safari, Bada Bagh, Sam sand dunes, Kuldhara village, Thar heritage museum, Gadisar lake and Tazia tower.
Shopping in Jaisalmer: Sadar bazaar, Bhatia bazaar, Pansari bazaar, and Manak chowk.
Food in Jaisalmer: Rajasthani thali at Zoya ka Zaika, laal maas at Milan restaurant,
ker sangri at Trio restaurant, and chai and snacks at Jaisal Italy restaurant.
How to reach Jaisalmer
By air: Jaisalmer has its airport, Jaisalmer Airport, connected to Delhi, Mumbai, and Jodhpur. Another option is to fly to Jaipur International Airport and take a connecting flight or drive to Jaisalmer.
By rail: Jaisalmer railway station is well-connected to major cities in India, including Jaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi, and Mumbai. The famous luxury train, The Palace on Wheels, also stops at the station.
By road: Jaisalmer is connected to major cities by well-maintained national highways, including NH-11, NH-15, and NH-114. Bus services and taxis are readily available, and driving from Delhi to Jaisalmer takes about 12-14 hours.
4. Udaipur, the white city of Rajasthan
Udaipur, located in southern Rajasthan, is known by many names, including The City of Lakes, The Kashmir of Rajasthan, and The White City of Rajasthan. The city's white marble palaces and buildings are the reason for its title as The White City of India. The Rajput kings built palaces of marble, and the houses in the town were also mostly painted white, adding to the title's validity. The City Palace, the largest palace complex in Rajasthan, was built by Maharana Udai Singh II. The palace was constructed over the valley where the Maharana met a meditating hermit on a hilltop overlooking the picturesque Lake Pichola. The palace's construction spanned over 400 years and was built with architectural inspirations from Chinese, Medieval, and European styles. The City Palace is covered in unique Rajputana granite and marble. Udaipur is also known for its calming lakes, exciting camel rides, and unique art form called jal sanjhi or water art, making the city a must-visit destination.
Popular places and things to do in Udaipur
Forts in Udaipur: City Palace, Sajjangarh Fort, and Monsoon Palace, among others.
Palaces in Udaipur: Jagmandir Palace and Bada Mahal, among others.
Other tourist attractions: Lake Pichola, Saheliyon Ki Bari, Vintage Car Museum, Bagore Ki Haveli, Shilpgram, and Ahar Museum, among other places.
Shopping in Udaipur: Hathi Pol Bazaar, Bada Bazaar, Chetak Circle, Maldas Street, and Shilpgram crafts fair, among others.
Food in Udaipur: Dal baati churma at Natraj dining hall, laal maas at Ambrai restaurant, Rajasthani thali at Jagat Niwas palace hotel, and kulhad coffee at Cafe Edelweiss.
How to reach Udaipur
By air: Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur connects to major cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Bangalore, among others.
By rail: Udaipur City Railway Station is connected to major cities across India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad, among others.
By road: National highways NH8, NH76 and NH27 connect Udaipur to other major cities in India like Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) runs regular buses to and from Udaipur to other cities in Rajasthan and neighbouring states.
Rajasthan is a colourful and vibrant state, home to four cities, each with unique character and charm. Jaipur, the Pink City, perfectly blends history and modernity. Jodhpur, the Blue City, is famous for its stunning forts and palaces. Jaisalmer, the Golden City, is a magical desert oasis with majestic sand dunes and intricate architecture. Udaipur, the White City, is known for its royal palaces and serene lakes. These four cities in Rajasthan offer a different experience and a glimpse into the vivid and rich culture of the state. Visiting these colourful cities of Rajasthan will create a memorable journey touring the royal state.
Maximise your first-time tour of Rajasthan with a comprehensive guide that includes things to do in Jodhpur and things to do in Jaipur. Explore things to do in Udaipur to make the most of your stay and get everything you need to know about the famous Suryagarh Palace in Jaisalmer.