Unarguably one of the most explored states in India is Rajasthan – The Land of Kings and Queens is home to a cultural history that is no less than a fairytale of 1000 years. Rajasthan takes pride in some of the most beautiful forts, palaces, wildlife, and, most notably, its people and culture. If you have visited Rajasthan, you are already familiar with the marvels of the Pink City – Jaipur, the serenity of Venice of the east – Udaipur, the grandeur of The Blue City – Jodhpur, life at Last Living Fort of India – Jaisalmer, or adrenaline rush in Ranthambore National Park. But, there is so much to see beyond these fantastic places where the soul of Rajasthan resides. These hidden gems of Rajasthan represent Rajasthan’s real heart. From quaint towns and tucked-away palaces to historic cities and incredible architecture, a visit to these amazing destinations is more than what meets the eye.

So let’s take a look at the Hidden Gems of Rajasthan you should visit once in your lifetime.

1. Visit the Quaint Village Deogarh 

The quaint town of Deogarh is nestled on the boundaries of Mewar and Marwar regions, about 128 km north-east of Udaipur. This rustic town boasts some of the luxurious resorts owned and managed by the erstwhile royal family of the Deogarh Thikana. 

Hidden Gems of Rajasthan Deogarh.Mahal.at.Sunse-Credit-Deogarh-Mahalt

Things to do around Deogarh

1.      Visit Anjaneshwar Mahadev Temple 

Anjaneshwar Mahadev temple is around 4–5 km from the main town. It is famous for its Shiva linga, which was formed naturally due to rainwater dissolving calcium in the rocks. It was formed similarly to the ice Shiva linga of Amarnath Temple. The temple is in a mountain cave with a small water body on top of it.

2. Enjoy Village Walk around Deogarh 

Enjoy a walk through the Deogarh village and watch villagers performing their day to day activities. Also, witness women around the community well, pulling water out of the well through water buckets (when the bucket hits the water, it dips and fills, and is pulled up with a rope), washing clothes nearby, and carrying water in matkas (or clay pot) on their heads to their homes. 

Do join the group of people sitting under shady trees or maybe in open courtyards, discussing everything from the world of politics to domestic issues. You will also get an opportunity to roam around the village market, to see small shops and buy local trinkets there. Enjoy a cup of tea the way locals in the market.

3. Take the Phulad Train Ride

Enjoy a ride on the local meter gauge train and down the mountainous Ghat section. It is famous for its panoramic views, scrub jungle, hills, tunnels, 100-foot high bridges, and remote one-man stations. You experience real rural life on the train, and interacting with villagers is fascinating.

While traveling on the Ghat section, you will see hundreds of monkeys descending from the forest trees. They often come for handouts given by the villagers. 

2. Stay at Ramathra Fort to Unravel the Hidden Gems of Rajasthan

Hidden Gems of Rajasthan Ramathra Safari - Credit Ramathra Fort

This beautiful fort, now turned into a luxury hotel, is nestled between two famous wildlife national parks, Keoladeo National Park and Ranthambore National Park. 

The three big attractions are The Fort itself, The Lake, and the countryside. Its natural surroundings and serene ambiance are what guests enjoy the most. 

The vast Daang plateau, stretching east to the Chambal River valley and south as Ranthambhore, offers many scenic sights with its isolated gorges and hidden shrines. It is home to species of Deer, Blue Bulls, Wolves, Jackals, Hyenas, Wild Boar, Sloth Bears, and Panthers.

Things to do Around Ramathra Fort

1. Enjoy a walk to Ramathra Village 
Ramathra Fort Village - Credit Ramathra Fort

Ramathra village is a small hamlet of farms and cattle herders. Enjoy a 03 hrs walk to this rustic village and watch all kinds of work associated with tending crops and animals at its best.

2. Take a Night Drive into the Buffer Zone of Kaila Devi National Park
Ramathra Safari - Credit Ramathra Fort

The area around Ramathra is filled with several gorges. Until recently, tigers roamed the area, but visitors regularly see several species of Deer, Blue Bulls, Wolves, Jackals, Hyenas, Foxes, and if lucky, you may even see a wild Boar, Bear, or Leopard.

3. Land of Green Marbles – Dungarpur

Hidden Gems of Rajasthan Dungarpur - Credit Rajasthan Tourism Board

Dungarpur has a captivating landscape with an array of wild and rugged terrain in the northeast and fertile fields of alluvial soil in the southwest. Huddled in the foothills of the Aravali, the River Mahi and the River Som flow through the area. Rawal Veer Singh founded Dungarpur in 1282 AD when he took over Bhil Chieftain Dzungaria.  It is famed for its unique style of architecture, as seen in its palaces and royal residences.

The area is also famous for its wildlife. Common inhabitants of the place are Jackal, Jungle Cat, Indian Fox, Hyena, Black-faced Monkey, Porcupine, common Mongoose, etc. Here, the most commonly seen birds are Partridges, Peafowl, Quails, Cuckoos, Eagles, and Vultures. In winters, various migratory birds also visit the area.

Things to do around Dungarpur

1. Stay in Udai Bilas Palace
Udai Bilas Palace - Credit Rajasthan Tourism Board

Named after the legendary Maharana of Mewar and founder of Udaipur, Maharawal Udai Singh II, this remarkable Palace was built in the 19th century. The Palace is built using local grey-green granite, depicting a perfect blend of Mughal and Rajput styles. It also features minutely carved balconies, arches, and windows. The Palace is bifurcated into three main sections – Raniwas, Udai Bilas, and Krishna Prakash. All these sections equally have exquisite architecture, but the most beautiful among the three is the Krishna Prakash, which with its ornate balconies, sculptured pillars, carved panels, and bracketed windows, is the finest example of Rajput architecture. 

2. Visit Juna Mahal
Juna Mahal - Credit Rajasthan Tourism Board

Constructed on a high platform, stands the huge Juna Mahal, It is located on the foothills of Dhanmata Hillock. In the 13th century, the initial structure containing a seven storeyed edifice was built. The additional rooms, wings, and courtyards were added by the successive rulers. The Palace is decorated with some magnificent frescos, murals, and mirror inlays representing Rajput techniques’ uniqueness and how it evolved over centuries. Decoration styles like color paintings and glasswork arrangement seen in some rooms are hard to find in other Rajput heritages. 

3. Visit Deo Somnath
Deo Somnath - Credit Rajasthan Tourism Board

Deo Somnath Temple, a very close replica of the Somnath temple in Gujarat, is located on the River Som. This beautiful temple is located about 24 km from Dungarpur. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva (the destroyer). The shrine is made of marble and possesses three double-storied gates based on the west, east, and south of the temple. The temple is said to have been constructed in the 12th century. There is an old inscription on temple walls that can be traced back to 1493 AD. 

4. Land of Hundereds of Island – Banswara, a true hidden gems of Rajasthan

Hidden Gems of Rajasthan Banswara-Cover-Image-Credit-Rajasthan-Tourism-Board

Banswara, ‘the city of a hundred islands”, is a truly among the hidden gems of Rajasthan. It gets its name from the bamboo trees which once grew here. This quaint city is dominated by Bhil tribals, who are popularly known as the bowmen of Rajasthan. The main attraction of Banswara is the Arthuna temple complex. Arthuna has temples dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. All these temples have stunning designs. Due to its many temples, Arthuna is often called ‘the village of old and broken temples”.

Things to do around Banswara

1. Visit Tripura Sundari

Tripura Sundari is a dramatic and inspiring black stone deity, locally known as Turtia Mata. The deity has eighteen hands, each symbolizing a specific belief. There is a massive crowd of devotees here on two Navratri in a year. A special ceremony takes place in the region during Navaratri as well. This temple is also mentioned in the ancient Shaktipeeth. It has special significance due to Shri Yantra, a form of a mystical diagram (yantra) used in the Shri Vidya school of Hinduism, being inscribed below the Goddess’s feet.

Another exciting ritual that takes place in the temple is the different color clothes adorned by the Goddess every day. On Monday, white clothes are worn by the Goddess, on Tuesday Red clothes, on Wednesday Green clothes, on Thursday Yellow clothes, on Friday saffron clothes, on Saturday Sky blue clothes, and on Sunday cloth made of five colors (a panchrangi) is worn by the Goddess.

2. Visit Abdullah Pir

Abdullah Pir, the resting place of the Muslim saint Abdul Rasul, is one of the most important places of worship for the Bohra community of Muslims. It is an enchanting place to visit once in your lifetime. The pearl white mausoleum, the saint’s shrine, is visited by many followers to seek blessings and attain inner peace. Every year, a cultural festival Urs is celebrated religiously by the community members. 

3. Visit Arthuna Temples

Situated about 60 km from Banswara, resides the living lesson of the history through the ruins of numerous Hindu and Jain temples of Arthuna. These ruins provide a peek into the 11th-15th centuries. Some beautiful artwork emerges from these temples’ remnants. One such example is the statue depicting Shiva, Parvati, and Ganesh, in an intertwined position which is a testimony of fine craftsmanship. One of the Shaivite temples in a village around Arthuna has the Nandi Bull, the vehicle for Lord Shiva, carved at the entrance as if guarding it against intruders. Similarly, many Jain temples make Arthuna a holy place to visit to satisfy all your spiritual needs.

So while planning your next trip to Rajasthan, be sure to include these hidden gems of Rajasthan in your itinerary.