The largest and without a doubt the most captivating of India’s states, Rajasthan forms part of India’s Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Translated from the Sanskrit phrase, ‘Land of Kings’, Rajasthan today is as fascinating and colorful as its history. The magic and romance of the Maharajahs and Mughal empires resonates through its awe inspiring forts and palaces and is to this day is home to nomadic and tribal desert communities cut off from 21st-century living, bustling village markets, vibrant local fairs and festivals and three tiger reserves.

Rajasthan’s capital city Jaipur boasts some of India’s most beautiful jewels of cultural, historical and artistic importance. Within these pink walls is a vibrant sense of artistry – opulent craftwork in puppetry and intricate jewelry. Each year, it plays host to one of the world’s most important arts festivals – the Jaipur Literary Festival. Beyond Jaipur, the Blue City of Jodhpur has the imposing Mehrangar Fort which looms over the narrow and winding streets of an ancient city.

West of Jaipur,the ancient cities of Jaisalmer, Bikaner and the Shekawati region, all located in the arid and dramatic Thar Desert, and resonating with a rich artistic history and heritage. The ancient sandstone Jaisalmer Fort, royal palaces and several ornate Jain temples are found in this desert of extremes.

South of Rajasthan lies Udaipur, known as India’s ‘City of Lakes’, and among the most romantic spots on the continent for its stunning Rajput-era palaces set along its vast network of lakes.Once you’re done with the main attractions, Rajasthan has some natural wonders to discover – the state is home to three tiger reserves including world famous RanthamboreNational Park, and the avian world of Bharatpur and Kheoladeo National park is almost unrivalled. More than all of these however, it is the people of Rajasthan, that make is so special – from the tribal villages, to nomadic pastoral communities to distant cousins of Rajput kings who run family homestays in ancestral forts, that really make Rajasthan so truly special.