I am planning a trip to Rajasthan and want to cover the golden triangle of India (Jodhpur, Bikaner, and Jaisalmer) coming winter .. I intend to visit for 8 days alongwith my kids. I want to know from the trippy community on how to plan, the best route and the best places to visit and how to do it on a low budget.. I don't mind local transport and food at good dhabas.. also my kids are adventerous :)
I wouldn't have taken the route that you are planing with kids. Simply because, Rajashthan is a desert state and weather does get very extreme there. I would rather suggest (if you are traveling from Mumbai), Udaipur - Ajmer - Jodhpur - Mount Abu
Jaisalmer and Bikaner are almost similar; visually and culturally. This can be a drag for kids especially considering the distance you are planing to cover in a week.
Udaipur - Historic significance and charm of palaces is so mesmerizing even for kids. The light show at City Palace is worth the 200 bucks.
Jodhpur - Just few kilometers from the city you get the same experience of Jaisalmer sand dunes in Khetasar Village in Osian tehsil. It is untouched by tourist and you can easily arrange night stay on desert under the open sky.
Budget accommodation should not be an issue in the old city once you cross the Ghanta Ghar (clock tower). Dont miss the Lassi at Shri Mishrilal Hotel and authentic Rajashthani cuisine Gypsy Restaurant.
Mount Abu - Abu has every charm of a hill station. Perfect weather (very chilled from November to Feb), slow laid back city and perfect view.
I hope this help. Happy traveling :)
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I spent about 2mths in Rajasthan a few years ago & loved it - it was one of my favourite places in India though it was really hot when I was there. In winter it shouldn't be too bad.
These were the highlights of my trip there:
Udaipur - city with impressive forts & palaces on a lovely lake. I'd recommend getting a room with a view of the water. There's a few inexpensive hotels just north of the City Palace.
Pushkar - great town on a Holy lake quite close to Ajmer. Its a bit of a side-trip but a nice place to chill out. It's also the site of a famous camel fair around November. I stayed at the Pushkar Palace hotel right on the lake - the hotel was good but I chose to eat elsewhere in town.
Jodhpur - the 'blue city' is best known for its massive fort. Make sure you check out the old part of the city with its narrow winding streets & markets.
Jaisalmer - I loved Jaisalmer & spent about a week there. I'd recommend staying in the old medieval fort rather than in the town itself. Its not often you can stay in a place that's almost 1,000yrs old. Great views over the Thar Desert. One of the best things I did on my trip was a camel trek. I did a 3 day trek where we camped out under the stars & it was awesome, but you can even do one for a couple of hours around sunset time. Your kids will love it. Make sure you check out a couple of the Havelis - the mansions of the wealthy.
I didn't make it to Bikaner so can't comment about it.
There's other places I could recommend like Jaipur, Mount Abu, Bharatpur which has a world heritage bird sanctuary, and Ranthambore National Park which is a great park for wildlife including tigers. But obviously you've got limited time so you'll have to be selective.
I'd generally recommend travelling by train - not a big fan of bus travel in India, though they do play Bollywood movies which might keep the family amused. Stick to the express or luxury buses as they're more comfortable, less crowded & stop less often. Rajasthan is an exception to my rule as the rail is a narrow gauge so you travel a bit slower.
Enjoy your trip.
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Rent a Car. The road s beautiful