Rajasthan has a multitude of religious places that are all revered alike. While some of them have a deep historical connect, others stand out for their architectural appeal. Irrespective of whether you’re on a pilgrimage or a holiday, these religious edifices are sure to capture your attention. Make time to visit the temples or dargahs that are close to your tour route. Better still; include them in your itinerary to fully appreciate their beauty and significance.

Given several such places of pilgrim interest, you must take time to research and plan your Rajasthan tour package accordingly. Here are some of popular religious places that are likely to interest you.

  • Brahma Temple

Pushkar in Rajasthan is renowned for the only Brahma Temple on planet earth! This beautiful marble temple on the shores of lake Pushkar sports a red spire, and has a silver turtle embedded in the floor with several silver coins also rooted around it.  A Hans(swan) symbolic of the deity, is carved just above the entrance arch.  On entering the temple, visitors can behold Lord Brahma in a seated pose along with Gayathri Devi, his consort.  The 14th century structure also houses life-sized statues of door-men at the entrance, plus ornate pillars with gold embossed carving of the Garuda. This temple is a must see for Brahma (the creator god) is not worshipped anywhere in the world, but here, because he was cursed by Lord Shiva (the destroyer) for a false claim.  The temple, lake and surrounding landscape dotted with several other temples, have a unique appeal. Do note that photography is prohibited.

Brahma Temple

  • Ajmer Sharif Dargah

Dargah Sharif at Ajmer is a sacred pilgrimage center for Muslims.  Here lies the tomb of Kwaja Moinuddin Chisthi, a sufi saint from Persia who came to Ajmer in 1192, who is revered and held in high esteem not only by the Muslim community but by all his devotees.

Sporting a marble dome and bounded by a silver platform, this tomb is located north of Taragarh hills. The Shrine and other buildings within the premises are great examples of Mughal Architecture, with different rulers of the Mughal period contributing their efforts to complete the different structures here. The Nizam Gate, Akbari Masjid and Buland Darwaza are a must see when at the Dargah. The Annual death anniversary of the saint or Urs is a regular event that draws hordes of pilgrims to Ajmer in Octber.

Make sure to dress conservative and cover your head during your visit here.

  • Dilwara Temples

One of the highlights of Mount Abu these Jain temples stand testimony to exquisite architecture and sculpture. Considering the fact that some of these temples took nearly 14-15 years to complete, these are indeed classic examples of dedicated craftsmenship. The “Vimal Vasahi” temple is the oldest structure here dating back 1030’s, while the “Luna Vasahi” can be traced back to 1200’s. There are three other temples that complete this complex- “Mahaveerswami”,”Bhimashah Pittalhar” and “Khartar Vasahi”. Each of these structures is dedicated to a Jain Thirthankar (saint). If you are heading to Mount Abu, remember to visit the Dilwara Temples.

Dilwara Temples

  • EkLingi Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this complex of temples on the shores of Lake Indersagar is home to 108 temples. The black stone statue of the main deity stands 50ft tall and has four faces aligned along the four directions, symbolizing the god’s four forms – Surya facing East, Brahma facing west, Vishnu facing Noth and Rudra (Shiva) facing south.  There are shrines for Goddess Parvati, Lord  Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya and Goddess Saraswathi as well. This complex just off Udaipur is best visited during Shivratri festival when the whole setting is colourful and lively.

  • GovindDevji Temple

An integral part of the City Palace complex in Jaipur, you are most unlikely to miss this temple, which has been preserved and maintained in good shape by the royal inhabitants of this palace.  The idol in this shrine dedicated to Lord Krishna, was brought by Raja Sawai Jai Singh from Vrindavan, as directed by a vision.  The temple later constructed by successor Raja Man Singh was in direct line of sight from the King’s  palace, the Chandra Mahal.  This place of worship set amidst sprawling lawns, sports a gold embellished ceiling, and exquisite Indian paintings illuminated by archaic European chandeliers – quite an impressive setting indeed!

GovindDevji Temple

Participating or witnessing the ceremonies, daily Aarthies (7 times a day), the different pujas and more importantly Janamashtami celebrations proves quite rewarding.

  • Shrinathji Temple

A predominantly pilgrimage site, Shrinathji Temple at Nathadwara off Udaipur, is a Vaishnavite (Vishnu worshipper) destination.  Legend goes that in 1669,  when the Idol of Lord Krishna was transported from Mathura to Vrindavan to escape Aurangzeb’s atrocities, the wheel of transport vehicle simply stuck at this location, preventing it from moving further.  The idol was subsequently installed here.  Pilgrims can catch a glimpse of the Lord at the inner sanctum for short intervals (8 times a day). The calm, peaceful, colorful, well-maintained, airy setting is a great pilgrim retreat.

Shrinathji is reportedly one of the richest temples in the world!

  • Ranakpur Jain Temple

Just 30 Km from Kumbhalgarh, the Chaumukha (four faced) temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Lord Adinath. This is important pilgrim center for the Jain community and a visual treat of exemplar architecture for other tourists. Imposing white marble structure set in the backdrop of the Aravalli ranges comprises 29 halls and 80 domes (shrines), resting on 1444 pillars, each one uniquely carved. Built in 1439 A.D, the temples has nine basements. Don’t miss the intricate carving of 108 snakes featured on a single marble stone. Challenge yourself – count the pillars or simply trace the tail ends on snake carvings while here.

Ranakpur Jain Temple

You can offer your prayers in this spectacular temple complex and also soak in the wonderful carvings on almost all surfaces here. The complex is also home to Amba Mata temple and Sun temple as well.

These are but a handful of pilgrim destinations that await you in Rajasthan. Just remember to dress modestly and check if photography is permitted when visiting these sites!