The princely state of Rajasthan encompasses a vast desert liberally dotted with impregnable forts, ancient temples and stark red sandstone mountains. This immensely historical region is home to an extremely valorous people, who have imbued their lives with colour and a lively way of life to contrast the monotone of their desert surroundings. A passage through Rajasthan gives visitors a glimpse of its magnificent architecture, its immense wealth and the pomp and splendour of its rulers.

Kumbhalgarh & Surrounds

Kumbhalgarh

  • Spectacular panoramic views
  • Colourful Rajasthani countryside

The Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the best examples of a defensive fortification in Rajasthan. Standing atop one of the highest peaks in the Aravalli range, Kumbhalgarh is famous for the 365 shrines and temples that were once located inside in addition to a garrison and a village. A walk along its streets today will take you past and through the temples that have survived here and provide spellbinding vistas of the Aravalli mountains.

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Udaipur

Udaipur

  • Picturesque town & lake
  • Beautiful palaces

The royal city of Udaipur, built along Lake Pichola and bounded on all side by mountains, is perhaps the most beautiful of the cities of Rajasthan. Once the capital of the princely Mewar dynasty, Udaipur remained the only city that withstood the onslaught of the Mughal armies, bringing great honour and prestige upon itself. The rulers of Mewar were great patrons of art and magnificent builders as evidenced by the beautiful palaces on the periphery of Lake Pichola. The city is today a ramble of winding roads bustling with people, lined with quaint shops and establishments, making it a truly fascinating place.

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Mount Abu

Mount Abu

  • Jain art & architecture
  • Temples & forts

At the southern edge of Rajasthan, almost at the border of Gujarat lies Mount Abu, the only hill station of the state. Located high in the mountain ranges of the region, Mount Abu is a very important religious spot for the Jain community and has several temples and shrines. The most famous of these are the Dilwara temples, beautifully constructed between the 10th and 13th centuries, featuring plain exteriors and exquisitely worked interiors, very similar to Jain philosophy. There is also the famous Ranakpur temple, much larger than the Dilwara temples, a fine representation of Jain architecture. Mount Abu was leased to the British by its rulers in the 19th century, following which a town came up around the lake. The Achaleswa Mahadeva temple which is said have a toe impression of Lord Shiva, and the crumbling Achalgarh Fort can be easily reached from Mount Abu.

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Chittorgarh

Chittorgarh

  • Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh since time immemorial has immortalized the legend of the Rajputs. It has stood for their courage, valour and determination in times of strife and sacrifice. Attacked several times by overwhelmingly superior armies, the proud rulers of Chittorgarh refused to submit to being subjugated and chose instead to lay down their lives in fierce battle even as their women chose to plunge into burning pyres, choosing death over dishonour. The Chittorgarh Fort, the most impressive structure of the city is a fascinating journey back in time into the lives of these stalwart kings, with the Palace of Rana Kumbha, the Palaces of Jaimal and Patta, the Victory Tower and Padmini’s Palace being particularly noteworthy.

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Bundi

Bundi

  • Traditional murals of Bundi Palace
  • Palaces, forts & step-wells
  • Home of Rudyard Kipling

Bundi is a rustic town of Rajasthan which was once home to Rudyard Kipling, who wrote part of his book “Kim” here when he was residing at the Sukh Mahal. Much before he arrived here though, Bundi was a little gem, with a several forts, palaces and baolis (step-wells). Taragarh Fort, an impressive fortress located atop a steep hill overlooks the town and offers a bird eye view of the blue painted houses all around. Adjacent to the fort lies the Bundi Palace, with its famous murals that provide an impressive insight into the life of its rulers. There are several baolis in Bundi, the most significant being the Raniji ki Baoli, which has beautiful carving work.

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Kota

Kota

  • Large fort complex
  • Ancient Baroli temples
  • Close to Kota Doria weavers’ village

The city of Kota is situated along the banks of the river Chambal in Rajasthan. Occupied since the 12th century, the present city took shape in 1631, when Shah Jahan annexed the region from the Bundi kings. The fort complex at Kota is the largest in Rajasthan and dates back to the 13th century, with exquisitely painted chambers, and also houses a museum. Close to Kota are the Baroli temples, ancient shrines and the Darrah wildlife sanctuary. The village of the Kota dorai weavers’ is also not far and a must visit site, where saree making is the speciality.

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