Moving away from the plains and plateau of south and central India, you can make your foray into the desert state of Rajasthan, Land of Rajas (kings), where valor and chivalry combined to cast their magic spell on the culture of the Rajputs. Against the backdrop of the brown sands arise several forts and palaces in bright red and yellow sandstone. The state capital Jaipur is called the “Pink City of India” because of the pink color of the stones used in the construction of many of its structures. Located close to the border with Pakistan, the yellow sandstone walls of the “Golden City” Jaisalmer beckon visitors to the magnificent citadel dominating its skyline. Udaipur, the “City of Lakes,” presents a cultural kaleidoscope of white marble palaces, lakes, temples and gardens.
Along with Jaipur in the ‘Golden Triangle’ tourist circuit are Agra and Delhi, seat of the Great Mughal empires. Chief among the monuments built in the Indo-Saracenic style in Agra are the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Agra Fort, and Fatehpur Sikri. All the three are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Red Fort in Delhi, which was the seat of power of the Mughals for nearly 200 years, is a massive complex built in red sandstone and consists of apartments, pavilions and water channels.