A break in Ra­jasthan, India,

(Just tell us where this pic­ture was taken…)

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Contents -

Un­lock the magic of India with www.in­di­aun­locked.net and win the chance to see tigers, forts and icons on an £5,000 jour­ney through Ra­jasthan and north­ern India

See­ing all that India has to of­fer can be an im­pos­si­ble task – but it needn’t be. The state of Ra­jasthan is a mi­cro­cosm of this wild, var­ied land, squeez­ing in brightly-hued cities, fine ar­chi­tec­ture and in­cred­i­ble wildlife.

And now, tour op­er­a­tor India Un­locked is of­fer­ing you and a friend the chance to tour its many facets with a place on its Ra­jasthan Forts & Tigers trip. All you have to do is tell us the name of the mag­nif­i­cent fort (and now a ho­tel) in the im­age above – and if you need a clue, head to www.in­di­aun­locked.net for a hint and some fresh, in­spi­ra­tional ideas on how to ex­plore this re­mark­able coun­try.

The Land of Kings

For a re­gion ruled by a mon­archs un­til 1947, it’s no sur­prise that legacy still dots the land. Ra­jasthan is soaked in re­gal cul­ture, with an ex­trav­a­gant col­lec­tion of palaces, forts and tem­ples; a stop at the huge 12th-cen­tury fort in Jaisalmer a gen­uine high­light. Ris­ing up from the desert like a gleam­ing cas­tle, this sprawl­ing ci­tadel and its 99 bas­tions loom large over the ‘Golden City’, en­cas­ing long, twist­ing al­leys and the for­mer rulers’ palace.

Colour­ful towns are a run­ning theme in Ra­jasthan, thanks to the ma­genta glow of Jaipur – aka the ‘Pink City’ – or the pow­derblue fa­cades of Jod­phur. You’ll visit the lat­ter to soak in its fine fort, en­cir­cled by a web of snaking me­dieval lanes. Then shift your fo­cus to north­ern Ra­jasthan, where the re­gion’s great­est se­crets lies. Those who delve deeper into more-rugged Shekhawati will dis­cover that its gor­geously dec­o­rated hawelis (town­houses) are an art form in them­selves.

Earn your stripes

Ra­jasthan’s also home to one of India’s best na­tional parks. Once a hunt­ing ground for ma­hara­jas (rulers), Ran­tham­bore NP has been trans­formed into a con­ser­va­tion cen­tre and is the des­ti­na­tion for spot­ting Ben­gal tigers. With six sa­faris in­cluded in the trip, your odds of spy­ing one are good. Even the set­ting is spec­tac­u­lar: vine-rip­pled chha­tris (burial tombs), an­cient tem­ples and mosques stud its land­scape, while leop­ards prowl the bush and croc­o­diles slink in the wa­ters.

Your jour­ney needn’t fin­ish in Ra­jasthan, either. There’s time still to squeeze in vis­its to Old Delhi’s an­cient bazaars while New Delhi’s mod­ern boule­vards are a stone’s throw. And then there’s the chance to see the Taj Ma­hal bathed in pink at sun­rise. It’s a fit­ting end to a trip that show­cases India at its best. Sim­ply put: it’s the jewel in the coun­try’s crown.

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