Winters are about to arrive and now a tourist season is also about to begin. October to March is the best period in most parts of India and it’s also an ideal time to make a tour planning. Winters are the best time to visit a no of destinations in India like sea beaches, forts, monuments, deserts etc. You can also head towards mountains if you can withstand very chilled atmosphere and have a strong desire to witness the snowy peaks.
This year (March 2019), I made a trip to Rajasthan. I visited the three major cities- Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and the capital Jaipur. In the post, I am going to provide some details of my Rajasthan trip budget. Please note that the expenses information I am sharing are only indicative, it’s not necessary that the same would be your budget too. I hope this post will only help you to guess the budget of a trip to Rajasthan’s three major cities- Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur.
This is the first thing which is required to be done for making a trip to anywhere. Nowadays it is very difficult to get confirmed railway tickets, so it becomes compulsory to book them at least 2 to 4 months prior to the journey. Even if you are willing to travel by flights, you have to book the tickets quite earlier like trains because they have dynamic pricing system and you may not afford the high fares in last minute bookings.
I made a 3rd AC booking in trains from Tatanagar to Ajmer. If you look at the IRCTC website and check the fares between any two cities, if the distance is 1500 km, average ticket price of 3rd AC berth will be approx Rs 1500. That means, the round trip train tickets cost will be Rs 3000 for one person. If you wish to book in higher berths like 2nd AC or 1st AC, they will cost almost double and thrice respectively.
Jaipur airport is the largest airport in Rajasthan, but Jodhpur and Jaisalmer have also airports. You can find direct flights from any of metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata etc. to Jaipur or Jodhpur. Only Jaisalmer has very limited air connectivity and only Delhi and Mumbai are directly connected to it. If you are thinking of flights, please be ready to spend at least Rs 10,000 for a round trip ticket.
There are plenty of accommodation options in the cities of Rajasthan, ranging from budget to luxurious ones. You can even find a hotel at as low as Rs 500 per night to as high as Rs 50,000 per night, from the cheapest stay to a five star hotel.
Firstly I arrived at Ajmer and then traveled to Jodhpur by a state roadways non AC bus, the fare was approximately Rs 200 for a 200 km journey of 4 hrs duration.
In Jodhpur I stayed at Hotel Rudransh Inn. This hotel was a little bit pricey (regular fare is Rs 2500 per night) for a budget traveler. I had got some some major discounts in hotels during my Rajasthan trip, that’s why I made such bookings. If you are looking for budget hotels, Jodhpur is full of budget hotels starting from Rs 300 per night! Likewise Jaipur is also full of such budget accommodations.
Only you will find the prices on the higher side in Jaisalmer because it’s a purely tourist city. It may be difficult to find cheap hotels in Jaisalmer during peak season like December or January. However, if you book in advance, you can find a hotel between Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per night range. I had made a booking in Hotel Golden Haweli, (regular fare Rs 3000 per night), with breakfast included. I received a great discount in this booking also, otherwise I am also a budget traveler like you.
3. Entry fees of forts, palaces, havelis etc.
Rajasthan is very rich in heritage sites like forts, temples, palaces etc. Every fort and palace tells about its unique and interesting story. Specially forts are the lifeline of Rajasthan tourism. But, you will notice that the entry fees are somewhat expensive in Rajasthan than that of other monuments in different states.
For example, entry tickets price of almost all the forts in Rajasthan is Rs 100, while the same is much lesser in other states. The entry ticket costs hardly Rs 10 to Rs 20 in monuments like Konark Sun Temple or Khajuraho. Recently only the entry charges of the Tajmahal has been revised to Rs 200.
The entry charge for Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, Jaisalmers’s Sonar Fort or Jaipur’s Amer Fort is Rs 100. Only the entry fee of Ummed Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur is Rs 30 only. The entry ticket price of the City Palace, Jaipur is Rs 200 which is too much. The Jantar Mantar (Jaipur) has an entry fee of Rs 50 only. Moreover, the entry fee in almost all the havelis of Jaisalmer like Patuwo Ki Haveli etc. is Rs 100.
During your trip to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur, you will have to spend more than Rs 1000 against the payment of all the entry fees in these monuments.
4. Meals, foods, snacks cost
The cuisine of Rajasthan is very rich in variety. Mostly, you will find a lot of items made of besan (gram flour) like namkins, chanachur, nimki etc. Such items are the popular snacks in Rajasthan.
You must have heard the name of the famous Daal Baati and Churma which is a major traditional meal in this state and mostly available everywhere. But the cost of a plate of Daal Bati varies from place to place, somewhere you will get it at Rs 40 only per plate in a small roadside dhaba, whereas in restaurants, it will cost up to Rs 200 per plate or even more.
The common veg thali containing rice, roti, sabji, daal, chutney and papad (lunch) in Rajasthan will cost around Rs 60 to Rs 80 in Jodhpur and Jaipur. Jaisalmer is a bit costly in this regard. Restaurants are costlier in Jaisalmer as it’s a purely tourist city.
5. The Camel Ride or Desert Safari
Viewing the great Indian desert for the first time in life is certainly a great experience for anyone. Just at a drive of only 1 hour (50 km) from Jaisalmer, you can reach the Sam Sand Dunes to witness the great Indian desert.
There are two ways to explore the desert- either by a traditional camel ride or the modern jeep ride. The camel ride costs around Rs 1200 for two people while a jeep ride may cost Rs 1200 which is same. But these charges are for off season, peak season charges will be on higher side.
If you have booked a night stay camp or tented accommodation (costs around Rs 3000 to Rs 5000) in Sand Dunes, then the package will include the cost of camel ride along with the evening folk dance program, dinner and the next day morning breakfast.
6. Intercity transportation costs
All the three major cities- Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer are will connected by trains and roads. If you travel by trains, the journey will be more comfortable as well as budget friendly. If you wish to travel by road, state roadways buses are always available within all the cities of Rajasthan. If you like to book your own taxi, it will cost much more (around Rs 2000 to Rs 3000 per day or route).