From the cackle of its colour-charged cities to the luminous splendour of its sun-kissed desert, Rajasthan is romantic India wrapped in gaudy royal robes. Here the fearsome Rajput warrior clans ruled with gilt-edged words, plundered wealth and blood-thick chivalrous codes. Rajasthan is the jewel in India’s crown. From fairy-tale palaces and epic forts to colourful festivals and wildlife encounters, this is India at its vibrant best.

Rajasthan - India
Rajasthan – India

Rajasthan is a northern Indian state bordering Pakistan. Its palaces and forts are reminders of the many kingdoms that historically vied for the region. In its capital, Jaipur (the “Pink City”), are the 18th-century City Palace and Hawa Mahal, a former cloister for royal women, fronted by a 5-story pink-sandstone screen. Amer Fort, atop a nearby hill, was built by a Rajput prince in the early 1600s.


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Early morning at the Taj Mahal, Agra. India.

Early morning at the Taj Mahal, Agra. India.

Chaotic, bamboozling, intoxicating, crazy, exasperating, wonderful, squalid, beautiful, daunting, overwhelming, and fantastic.

India is all these things, and more. How can you possibly prepare yourself? Start with tips for taking the ultimate travel plunge: going to India for the first time! The most popular India tour is the all-time classic Golden Triangle. If time is short this is a fantastic introduction to three of India’s top destinations, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and you can squeeze it into a week if you don’t mind moving every couple of days. Start in Delhi, with sights such as Humayun’s Tomb and the Red Fort, before hitting Agra and touring the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Then it’s on to Jaipur to explore the Pink City and the fort at Amber, before returning to Delhi’s wonderful bazaars for a final shopping spree before you fly home.

 

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