Rajasthan is one of the biggest and most often visited areas of India for its spiritual heritage and world-renowned beautiful garments. Without a doubt, Rajasthan’s unique and rich culture is displayed everywhere, from its stunning fortresses, palaces, food, artwork, and last but certainly not least, its temples — which are arguably far superior to its other attractions.
This list, though small, is a great way to plan a trip, or just to have in the back of your mind when thinking of spiritual desitnations to visit. For me, I think #3 is my favorite. What about you?
1) Mount Abu
Surrounded by lush greenery, Mount Abu has the Dilwara temples, which is said to be one the most gorgeous pieces of architecture in the country. If you love history or ancient buildings, you can’t miss this spot! Over 1000 years old, the temples were made to look austere from the outside to turn away looters. But on the inside, it offers stunning artistry. You can also visit the Nakki Lake, which offers beautiful sunsets over the water.
If there was ever a place that encapsulates the eastern Indian vibe it’s Bikaner. Filled with camels slowing meandering across sand dunes and ancient palaces and forts, you’ll understand why it’s known as a desert kingdom. Bikaner is a blend of ancient charm and rich spiritual destinations. This is a great place to go to get away from it all. And hey, If you’re game, Bikaner also hosts an international camel festival once a year!
This beautiful city holds some of the most important shrines of Hindus and Jains. But surprisingly, some of its most famed carvings are erotic — and are actually World Heritage–listed temples! The Western Group of temples, in particular, contain some stunning sculptures that together make up some of the finest temple art in the world. Amongst the many temples that this town is host to, the ones that stand out in their beauty and grandeur are the Surya or Sun Temple, the Sachiya Mata Temple and the main Jain temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira. Endowed with golden sand dunes all around, one can get a majestic aerial view of this place from the Sachiya Mata Temple.
Known as the ‘rose garden of Rajasthan’, this is one of the oldest cities in India and embodies a certain intellectual and cultural flare not found in many places. Home to the only temple dedicated to Brahma, it’s one of the top pilgrimage spots for Hindus. Ghats are often filled with devotees, chanting and bathing for purification. Due to its spiritual significance, it’s difficult to find meat or alcohol in restaurants around the area.
It’s said that this city is much more tranquil than most, so if you’re looking to see the rural life of India this is the spot.
Ajmer is a town known for the tomb of Saint Muinuddin Chishti, a Muslim holy man buried in a stunning tomb called the Sharif Dargah. Located near the center of Rajasthan, Ajmer is overflowing with natural beauty. During the festival of Urs, the festival commemorating the death Saint Moinuddin Chishti, spiritual seekers from around the world come to this spot. Many Hindus also venerate his legacy.
This city was at one time the capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century but was deserted after 15 years due to the lack of water supply.
Fatehpur Sikri was established by Emperor Akbar from the twin villages of Fatehpur and Sikri as a tribute to the famous Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti. The saint accurately predicted the birth of Emperor Akbar’s much longed for son. Fatehpur is a religious place, with Jama Masjid (mosque) and the tomb of Sufi saint Salim Chishti located behind the towering Buland Darwaza (Gate of Magnificence). It’s free to enter. Sikri, the main attraction, has the unorthodox palace complex where Emperor Akbar, his three wives, and son lived. A ticket is required to enter it.