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Jaipur, Jaipur

Rajasthan, India, Asia: Elephants outside of one of Jaipur's many palaces, Rajasthan
India's insider take:

Most of Jaipur's highlights lie within the confines of the historical center of the Pink City, so-called for the light terracotta color of the buildings. A walk around its streets and bazaar is entertainment in itself, but be prepared for a lot of hassle from touts and vendors. Two of the most popular attractions, the City Palace and the breathtaking World Heritage site Jantar Mantar (the Royal Observatory), are right next to each other and well worth a visit. Persistent would-be guides can be kept at bay if you rent an audio guide; getting there early to avoid the heat and crowds is always a good idea. Just around the corner is the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, whose facade is more impressive than its interior. A little further afield is the Jal Mahal (the Water Palace), which is good for a quick snapshot on the way to the jewel in Jaipur's heritage crown, the Amber Fort. Just a few kilometers out of town, this stunning hilltop palace built in the late 16th century is not to be missed. The front gate can be reached by car around the back of the hill, or directly from the front by elephant, if you really feel like indulging in deep tourism. A rickshaw is a good way to get around town, but for longer excursions or days of intensive sightseeing, consider hiring a car with a driver. The brothers Anil and Mukesh Trivedi are highly recommended (91 97 82 624 606).—Vanessa Able

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Palace of Winds

Jaipur is referred to as the "Pink City of India". The best way to get a feel of this "Pink City" is to take a 45 minute ride in a... more

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