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India - Rajasthan - Jaipur - Jal Mahal at night - 800x450

 

Fairy-tale palaces, sun-scorched deserts, majestic forts, shimmering lakes, ancient villages and medieval marketplaces

Snuggled in the northwest corner of India, and bordering Gujarat, the Punjab and Pakistan, Rajasthan boasts fairy-tale palaces, sun-scorched deserts, majestic forts, shimmering lakes, ancient villages and medieval marketplaces.  Here cows and camels plod sleepily through dusty lanes hedged by street stalls and tiny kiosk shops.

Jaipur is home to Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, five storeys of pink sandstone built in 1799 to allow women of the royal household in purdah to observe street life below without themselves being seen.

The “Palace of the Winds” allowed women to observe street life below without themselves being seen

The nearby Amber Fort was built around 200 years earlier and contains palaces, temples and halls including Jas Mandir, replete with intricately-carved jali screens and delicate mirror and stuccowork. The colours of Rajasthan are bold and bright.  Jodhpur’s blue shimmer gleams in the golden sunshine beneath Mehrangarh Fort.

The blue of Udaipur’s Lake Pichola nestles the Lake Palace with its white pillars, balconies and cupolas.  Jaisalmer’s golden sand fort looms above the dusty desert plains like a fairy-tale sandcastle.

Rajasthan is India at its most colourful, romantic and alluring.

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