As they say, the best way to explore India is via India’s trains. It’s your windowseat view of the ever changing culture and landscape in this country, and it’s much cheaper plus convenient than the other modes of transport available in India. So, if you’re planning a trip to Rajasthan, then it is recommend that you cover the trip via train routes, instead of going by road, as that’ll be hectic. However, while covering Rajasthan by train, there are a few different routes that you need to choose, thus to have the best experience plus to get to enjoy your train ride as well.
Moreover, if you’re new to Indian railways, check out our post on Indian railways first by clicking here: http://www.tierraindia.in/travelblog/2014/03/13/guide-to-indian-train-travel/
Which routes to take while covering Rajasthan by train:
- Delhi – Jodhpur – Jaisalmer – Delhi: There are hordes of trains running from Delhi to Jodhpur, the best one being Rajasthan sampark kranti, which runs overnight. Jodhpur will be your introduction to Marwar kingdom, and you can visit the stunning Mehrangarh fort, ruins of Mandore, Umaid bhawan palace etc. from Jodhpur, the best way to get to Jaisalmer is to take the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer express that runs daily. Once you reach Jaisalmer, the golden fort of Jaisalmer will welcome you, plus the havelis in the city are perfect for a sightseeing trip before you head towards the enchanting sand dunes near Jaisalmer. There’s a daily Jaisalmer-Delhi train, for your return trip.
- Delhi – Jaipur – Delhi: It’s one of the shortest of the routes, but Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, has a lot to offer if you don’t have enough time to explore Rajasthan. There are forts, old city markets, palaces etc. to see in Jaipur, plus wonderful street food as well. Take the double decker AC train from Delhi to Jaipur, it runs daily, and you can take the same train for the return journey.
- Delhi – Jaipur – Ajmer(Pushkar) – Delhi: If you’ve more time to spend, visit Ajmer after Jaipur. Take a Shatabdi train from Jaipur to Ajmer, or there are many other trains as well that take around 3-5 hours to reach Ajmer. Ajmer is also the nearest railhead to Pushkar, one of the most sacred of the Hindu towns. Visit Dargah Sharif when in Ajmer.
- Delhi – Chittaurgarh – Udaipur – Mt. Abu – Delhi: This is probably the most interesting train route in Rajasthan, as it’ll take you into the deepest of the Mewar kingdom’s histories. Board Chetak express or Mewar Express from Delhi to Chittaurgarh, where the huge Chittaurgarh fort will be standing tall with great historical tales hidden in its belly, or else you can also take a day trip to Chittaurgarh from Udaipur, it’s only 100 kms away. Your next destination will be Udaipur, which used to be the capital of Mewar kingdom, and is a city of lakes. There are various historical places near Udaipur including Kumbhalgarh, where you must visit. From Udaipur, you can move to Mt. Abu, a hill station situated in the Southern parts of Rajasthan, via road. There are few trains from Mt. Abu to Delhi for return journey, including the superfast Garib Rath express.
There are other train routes as well, which will introduce you to the different parts of Rajasthan:
- Delhi-Alwar (for national park and historical places)
- Delhi-Bikaner-Jaisalmer (for historical places and desert safari)
- Delhi-Barmer (for desert safari)
- Delhi-Loharu (for Shekhawati Region)