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Magnificent countryside and scenery, majestic forts and the splendour of desert cities

Magnificent countryside and scenery, majestic forts and the splendour of desert cities lead.jpg

Forts, palaces, kings and sand dunes are some of the words that come to mind when you think Rajasthan. In fact it is not easy to describe this colourful state of India in just a few words.

Steeped in history & culture and brimming with architectural wonders, Rajasthan’s history can be read in every monument. Every fort in the state bears the testimony of its regal character. A colossal open-air museum, Rajasthan is visited by millions of tourists every year from different parts of India and the world.

You can easily plan to spend your entire trip to India in Rajasthan, which is within easy striking distance of Delhi and the Taj Mahal by train, plane, or road.

No visit to Rajasthan is complete without including one of its iconic cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur but to find the real rural India, head off the beaten track to some of its villages and smaller towns.

Red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue – and that’s just the cow horns.

Rural Rajasthan is the stuff of your imagination; sweeping deserts and craggy hills, forgotten forts and fairy-tale palaces, snooty camels and wandering cows, the very essence of India all in eye-popping glorious Technicolor.

Vying for your time is the "blue city" of Jodhpur, which has the state's most impressive and best-preserved fort as well as the largest palace in India; the desert fort of Jaisalmer, the only fort in the world still inhabited by villagers; the tiny yet popular town of Pushkar, built around a sacred lake and host to the biggest camel fair in Asia; the painted havelis of the Shekhawati region; the untainted, almost medieval atmosphere of little towns like Bundi; and the colourful bazaars in Jaipur.

If you are inclined to seek peace and tranquillity away from the larger more obvious attractions, then we recommend you amble from here along the ancient and undulating Aravalli Hills discovering its quaint, manageable villages and truly special hotels.

Arguably it has the most tightly packed collection of cultural sights of any Indian state, thanks to the legacies of the Rajput warriors and Mughal emperors. But perhaps the best reason to visit Rajasthan is to experience its unusual hotels: The state has several heritage properties -- castles, palaces, forts, and ornate havelis -- many of which are still home to India's oldest monarchies.

Known for their valor and honor, the Rajputs are superb hosts, and it is almost possible to believe that you, too, are of aristocratic blood, as a turbaned aide awaits your every wish while you marvel at the starry night from the bastion of your castle.

With its wild desert scenery, ancient sandcastle forts, pastel-coloured cities, dust-speckled light and its swathes of scarlet and marigold textiles, India's largest state is truly hard to beat!

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