In case you are planning to cover 3 states and struggling to fetch time then here’s a brief itinerary of how can you plan and cover more than 3 states, with a good amount of travelling and sightseeing as well.
Three to four states itinerary- Mumbai -> Madhya Pradesh -> Rajasthan
Check out the route to take for this Itinerary. This is what we have taken, once can mould if you wish to, but we got significantly glad to hop on this route.
Mumbai -> Indore -> Chittorgarh -> Kumbalgarh -> Jodhpur -> Pokhran -> Jaisalmer -> Ratlam -> Mumbai
Day 1 – Mumbai -> Indore -> Chittorgarh
We started around 4 o’clock at dawn time on my car and planned to have a night halt at Chittorgarh. It was approximately 900 km to drive. We stopped for a while in Indore over the outskirts for munching and snacks. The first day was a little hectic as the plan was to cover maximum distance in a day. First halt we took at Indore which is approximately 550 km from Mumbai. We do take small small, tiny-miny breaks in between, but the major one was at Indore where we had my lunch around 2 in the noon. Speaking about roads, they are quite great in condition between Mumbai to Indore. You can easily drive at a speed of 100 km/hr. After taking a stopover of about an hour, we started my journey towards Chittorgarh which was then left around 350 km from Indore. Honestly, roads are not that drivable on this route which takes a toll on your speed. After reaching Chittorhgarh we took a hotel and stayed overnight.
Places to visit in Chittorgarh for sightseeing – We visited Chittorgarh fort which is one of the biggest forts in India and Asia. A UNSECO site was built during the 8th century. Take a guide as you can get a good tour of the fort and you won’t waste time figuring what and where to head upon. With tour guides, you can easily bargain, so you need to have the bargaining power to get an excellent deal.
Day 2 – We quickly saw Chittorgarh fort and moved towards Kumbalgarh as that is one of the places not to miss for. You can call it a hill station (quite developing now). It takes around 4 hrs to reach this destination. In midway, you can also cover Nathdwara which is a holy place for Krishna followers. You need to be wary of time since doors of deity close at 2 pm and reopen at 4 pm so make sure that you don’t reach here between 2 and 4 otherwise you will waste your time waiting for doors to open. for all the food lovers and otherwise, don’t miss to relish fresh gulab jamun or thandai which has a different flavour in itself. We reached Kumbalgarh around 6 and took a halt in one of the hotels. You will find ample places to stay there. We stayed at Kumbha Village Cottages, near to the fort.
Day 3 – Kumbalgarh fort is renowned for having the longest wall in the world after the wall of China. It’s a big fort that spreads in 32 km though there is not much to see out here. Don’t miss visiting Lord Shiva temple which is one of the oldest of its kind though it shines as if it’s newly built. We didn’t get any tour guide there as compared to several other tourist places we visited, strange but you can tune in to the Youtube channel for the history while exploring. Make sure you reach to fort early morning by 8:30 am or so since in that way you will find peace and solace and can enjoy a cool breeze with the fresh sun in the sky. at that place. After visiting the fort we continue on our journey towards Jodhpur which is also called a blue city. It took us approximately 4 hours to reach Jodhpur from Kumbalgarh.
Day 4 – Jodhpur night stay and sightseeing
We connected with locals and was told that we need to have local transport to go around the place which after completing the tour figured out that it was a waste of money. Take it as a disclaimer
There are predominantly three places that you need to visit and they are Umaid Bhawan, Mehrangarh Museum and Fort and Jaswant Thada (which can be covered by your car as well), other than these you can also see GhantaGhar and Toorji ka Jhalra Bawdi (you need public transport for these as the car can’t go to these places). Refrain from taking public transport in case you have your car and not planning to go to the main city as local transport is very very costly and depends on your capability to bargain. You can also check the fare on Ola auto upfront to give you an idea and can bargain accordingly.
This place is called Blue city though there is hardly anything left now since most of the houses now are coloured in different colours. A subtle view inside can be experienced if you walk a bit into the city and from the top of the fort. For shoppers, pay a visit to Tripolia market, clock tower market, national handloom for handicraft and local artefacts.
Day 5 – Head towards Jaisalmer and cover Pokhran in between
We started early and en route, we covered a couple of things. Pokhran where we visited its fort, you can’t visit the famous crater which Pokhran is known for as it’s under military now. The fort itself is unique where you see people putting their photos, visiting cards in front of the shrine, not sure why. Quite a strange thing to witness.
Nearby to Pokhran, there is a famous temple of Ramdevra, it’s not at all far and worth a visit. The roads of Rajasthan are amazing and you can enjoy your drive en route. Once you move from Ramdevra and go towards Jaisalmer there is a Bhadariya village. Make sure that you visit this place which is famous for two things, one it has a library which can seat over 4k people together. This is Asia’s biggest library and you will find all the books that you have not heard of. Please visit the temple office and ask them to open it for you as this is worth a visit. Another thing that this place is famous for is Babaji’s Shrine who was the visionary of this library and envisioned this remarkable thought for learning and education.
Asia’s largest library Pokharan
We directly headed to Sam – sand dunes near Jaisalmer. Stayed overnight at Rajputana Desert Camp. We planned it to reach by max 3 in the noon as the desert is open post 4 pm. It is advisable to visit sand dunes in the evening only and in this way you can use the rest of the time in the camp enjoying local food and Rajasthani dances. There are ample places to stay again your bargaining power will be tested.
Day 6 – Cover the local market and stay overnight in Jaisalmer
In the morning start early and in place of going to Jaisalmer directly visit Longewala, Tanoj Mata ka mandir and zero point. They are approx 100 km away from the sand dunes. Make sure you have ample fuel in your vehicle as at the end point of the dunes you won’t get any fuel station till you reach back to Jaisalmer. The feeling of being on the sand and in the middle of nowhere where the acclaimed 1971 war was fought can’t be expressed in words, trust me it gives you a different kick altogether, how 20 odd men defeated an army of over 10k soldiers. AND WE WON!
When we reached Jaisalmer we covered the fort and local market on the same day as the fort is not that big and the local market is very small, but worth a visit as the fort dates back from the 14th century and the market is full of beautiful handicrafts and souvenirs to buy.
Day 7 – Start Return Journey from Jaisalmer and night stay at Ratlam
We started heading back to Mumbai and it cannot be done in one day so we decided to have a halt at Ratlam. Though before starting back we covered one more place which is an abandoned place called Kuldhara that is famous for a lot of other haunted and spirited stories.
When we stepped at that place we found unusual serendipity. Please avoid making any noise or nuisance at that places. It is not a place where you should do all that masti (fun) which would disturb the silence of the abandoned village Kuldhara. It is surprising to see that how such a big village was made barren overnight – history has its stories. (keep watching this space for a dedicated blog on this abandoned village).
Day 8 – Reach back to Mumbai
We start early morning from Ratlam and reached Mumbai late at night. If you are someone who loves driving trust me this route will give you all the thrust that you look for. Rajasthan has the best of the roads with not much toll that you have to pay. Keep your maps in place as they help us in taking shorter routes and cover a lot of distance in a short period.
Note – Finalise a couple of hotels in advance and when you are about to reach the destination call them and you will get excellent deals since normally hotels provide the best deals at the last moment contemplating you are not travelling on some holiday weekends. Also in place of buying Bisleri for water, you can get your water bottle refilled from the hotel as they ordinarily have RO water with them. SAVE WATER, SAVE PLASTIC, REUSE, DO NOT LITTER.
I have a couple of suggestions where you can stay over.
Sand Dunes – Rajputana Camp they are very polite and give best of the deals. The food is awesome and cooked by heart.
Jaisalmer – Heritage House Hotel. Best place to stay, clean, beautiful has a heritage and chic look and one of the best in terms of hospitality which we have never seen in so many years of our travel life. It’s just perfect.
Kumbalgarh – Kumbha Village Hotel, the cottages and tents have a different feel and hosts are also warm and friendly, who give you proper guidance to roam and explore.