A royal ex­pe­ri­ence in Ra­jasthan’s old palaces

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - Holidays For Seniors Feature -

IN­DIA’s princely state of Ra­jasthan is home to many mag­nif­i­cent palaces.

Al­though the In­dia of to­day is of­ten as­so­ci­ated with poverty and hard times, it was not al­ways so.

The grandeur and scale of In­dia’s ar­chi­tec­tural and his­tor­i­cal won­ders of­fer us only a glimpse of the op­u­lent lifestyles that the ma­hara­jahs must have led.

And un­like the damp and draughty im­age of Euro­pean cas­tles, In­dian palaces can be a mar­ble won­der­land set amid de­light­ful ex­otic gar­dens.

Some of the palaces in In­dia, such as the Lake Palace Ho­tel in Udaipur and the Ram­bagh Palace in Jaipur, are fa­mous be­cause they have been ren­o­vated by large ho­tel chains and con­verted into lux­u­ri­ous and ex­pen­sive tourist re­treats.

Al­sisar Palace, Khim­sar Cas­tle and Kuchaman Fort are lit­tle­known gems scat­tered through­out the desert state of Ra­jasthan.

Here the trav­eller can truly soak up the mood of a by­gone era and en­joy the bus­tle of a small vil­lage or the peace and quiet of a jun­gle re­treat at the same time.

Asi­aquest Tours runs a 21-day Palaces and Cas­tles Tour to Ra­jasthan be­tween Oc­to­ber and March ev­ery year.

This is the ul­ti­mate royal ex­pe­ri­ence where trav­ellers stay at palaces and visit oth­ers which have been con­verted to mon­u­ments and mu­se­ums.

No trip to In­dia would be com­plete without a visit to the Taj Ma­hal.

Al­though not a palace, this mon­u­ment is the fi­nal rest­ing place for a queen and a sym­bol of en­dur­ing love.

Its colour and translu­cency change with the light, en­sur­ing that it never looks the same no mat­ter how many times you visit.

Fi­nally, it’s on to Delhi and the end of a fairy­tale jour­ney through the life and times of In­dian royal fam­i­lies.

More: Asi­aquest Tours, phone 1800 144 738.

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