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Forts, Palaces and Deserts of India - Experience the royal charm and majestic rusticity

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One of the few countries that offer remarkable and really enticing tourist destinations is India. Aside from its rich and interesting culture, it also has a number of forts, palaces, and deserts which, of course, are undeniably attractive. Since there are so many cheap flights to Delhi and other parts of the said country, anyone who wishes to experience authentic Indian culture and traditions may now do without spending that much. Listed below are some of the best holiday spots India has to offer.

The grand deserts of Gujarat and Rajasthan are the lands of mirage and miracles. The painted villages and finest frescos on mud huts offer a treat for your eyes. Camel safaris and havelis of Bikaner and Jaisalmer ooze the rustic charm of India. Indian palaces and forts are heaven for art lovers and historians - they have amazing collections of antiques, paintings, armories, costumes of ancestors, canons, and ancient coins.

The truly colorful and vibrant land of Rajasthan is also home to villages that used to be caravanserai [a roadside inn for travelers] in the past; the havelis built by royal Rajputs and other rich and famous. Local musicians and artisans offer a treat to ears with their music of tunes of the desert. The local markets are a shopper's paradise and full of flavors and colors, art and handicraft souvenirs. The palaces of Rajasthan take you to the dreamy illustrations of Rajput valor and chivalry.

Some of the majestic forts, exotic palaces and grand deserts of India

Thar Desert, Rajasthan

Enjoy the folk music played by natives; camel and elephant rides while observing people in colorful costumes and majestic palaces and forts making the backdrop. Thar Desert is home to various sandgrouse species, desert cats, desert foxs and reptiles. Also known as the 'Great Indian Desert', its huge spread of over 200, 000 sq. km, talks of its vastness. The silence of the desert is beautifully conquered by the folk music and feats of acrobatics. Indus valley civilization remains have also been recently unearthed here.

Rann of Kutch Desert, Gujarat

The only home of wild ass in Indian peninsula and lot of other unique fauna, is scattered with islands and elevated mounds over an area of around 8700 sq. km. The isolated islands and hillocks of salt add to its dazzling whiteness in summers. The colorful attire of various tribal groups adds a nice contrast to the monotony of the desert colors. The experience of wading deep down in the waters of a salt marsh, with flamingos around makes the desert experience even more wonderful.

Lake Palace, Udaipur

Lake Palace, built in 1754, is built on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola. It is a beautiful treat for eyes that'll captivate your imagination and envelope you in its royal mystique. Lake Palace used to be the summer residence of Mewar's rulers and is now converted to a luxury hotel. Its d\E9cor and interiors offer you the luxurious comfort amidst ornate furniture, sumptuous silks, beautiful lounges and luxurious amenities. The panoramic view of hills and lakes will simply induce you to savor the regal world inside with a view of pristine beauty outside.

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

One of the grandest and majestic palaces, built between 1929 and 1943, was constructed in Indo-Art- Deco style by 3000 artisans. It was originally envisaged to be a famine relief measure to provide employment to over 3000 droughts affected people. The palace offers experience of royal living, priceless artifacts and antiques, landscaped gardens and spacious lawns. Set amidst 26 acres of lush greens, is one of the most beautiful palaces. It has drawn inspirations from Rajput tradition, western and eastern architecture and has now been converted as flagship hotel of one of the India's premier hotel chains.

Red Fort/Lal Quila, Delhi

Constructed by Shah Jahan between 1639 and 1648 was originally the residence of the royal family. Its other main attractions are Diwan-i-Khas [Hall of selective audience], Diwan-i-Am [Hall of Public audience], Hamam [bathroom set], Mumtaz Mahal, Naubat Khana [Drum House], Moti Masjid [Aurungzeb's mosque]. Its ornamental artwork beautifully reflects Shahjahani style of art that is a synthesis of Indian, European and Persian arts.

Fort of Fatehpur Sikri, Agra

The political capital and architectural legacy of Mughal Emperor Akbar, gave birth to the legends of Akbar and his nine jewels [famed courtiers]. The fort was constructed during 1571 and 1585. The numerous mosques, halls and palaces inside reflect the creative impulses of Mughals. The key buildings of the fort are Naubat Khana [Drum House], Diwan-i-Am [Hall of public audience], Diwan-i-Khas [Hall of selective audience], Panch Mahal, Raja Birbal's house, Buland Darwaza, Jodhabai's palace, Miriam Palace, Turkish Sultana's house.

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior

Built by Lt. Col. Sir Michael Filose in 1872-74 and housed in the town of Lashkar [established in 1809], Jai Vilas Palace resembles an Italian palazzo. It is a residence to Gwalior's present Maharaja. Its royal attractions like a crystal staircase, Durbar hall; ceilings with gold leaf work, two of the world's largest chandeliers, Rolls Royce on rails, largest carpet of Asia, a train carrying the cigars and brandy after the dinner are some of the few things that speak of its uniqueness.

Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

The ancient kingdom of Golconda [1364-1512] is home to the Golconda Fort that is located on a granite hill. It is renowned for its magical acoustic effects and Deccan was ruled from this grand fortress. Golconda was once known for its diamond trade and its diamond mines, from where famous diamonds like The Hope Diamond, Darya-e-Nur, The Koh-i-Noor, The Regent Diamond were excavated. The fort's major attractions are its canons, palaces, underground tunnel, tombs of Qutub Shahi kings, beautiful gardens, carved stones and water supply systems.

The Golconda Fort is just one of many fascinating locations that one can visit in Hyderabad. The Falaknuma Palace is also an interesting attraction that visitors can enjoy. All it takes is a few moments online to set up a Hyderabad hotel reservation. There are plenty of affordable options for all potential Hyberabad visitors, meaning that a Hyderabad adventure is possible for anyone capable of saving some money and using the internet. Book a room near the Golconda Fort today and take in the fascinating culture of this Pakistani city.

Mysore Palace, Mysore

Constructed in 1912 and then reconstructed at different times, it was the official residence of former royal family of Mysore. Visit the palace in autumn and indulge in the wonderful performances done by leading artists in the 'Mysore Dasara' festival that is hosted in the palace every year. Kalyana Mantapa [marriage hall], Gombe Thotti [gallery of dolls from nineteenth and early twentieth centuries], Diwan-i-Khas are some of the uniqe attractions of the palace. The palace also houses twelve Hindu temples; the oldest one is from 14th century. Around 97000 light bulbs further enhance the image of this palace. Its architecture is a beautiful amalgamation of Oriental, Roman, Indo-Saracenic and Dravidian styles.

Amber Fort, Jaipur

Built in 1592 is handiwork of three rulers - Raja Man Singh, Jai Singh I and II. It looks stunning with its wonderful mirror work and carvings. Take a royal ride through the fort on elephants back and get a glimpse into Maharajas' style of living. Its Ganesh Pol gateway, Diwan-i-Am, Sukh Nivas, Charbagh garden, Sheesh Mahal, steep ramps, offer enough glimpse of medieval lifestyles.

Visit India for more exquisite experience of lot more majestic forts, imperial palaces and grand deserts. Track desert lifestyle, know about legendary pasts of rajas and maharajas, and explore flora and fauna in wildlife reserves.

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