Jaipur is known as the Pink City (the buildings and outer walls of the Old City have retained the colour which they were bedecked in for a visit by British royalty in the 1860s), Jaipur is the modern-day capital of Rajasthan and home to quite probably India's best shopping experiences. The seemingly endless maze of streets, lanes and alleys of the Old City is a fantastic place for bargain hunting, people watching and sampling all manner of food and beverages. The major sightseeing attractions of Jaipur are Amber Fort, the City Palace and the odd but undeniably interesting Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory
Jodhpur in western Rajasthan marks a transition between the semi-fertile agricultural land south and east and the arid deserts further north and west. Many Rajasthani cities have a colour-related nickname- in the case of Jodhpur it is the Blue City- light blue being the colour of choice to keep mosquitoes away. For miles around the city the skyline is dominated by the mighty and imposing Meherangarh Fort - a vast and sprawling complex which takes more than half a day to explore. Also of interest is the market area which is clustered around a slightly incongruous Edwardian clock-tower.
Jaisalmer is truly the last frontier of Rajasthan and has something of a 'wild-west' feeling about it (albeit in a very Indian way!). Known as the Golden City and dominated by a beautiful fort, this is a great staging post for camel treks into the dunes (or multi-day camping safaris by camel). Jaisalmer Fort is the only 'living' fort in India - it is home to a large resident population- and exploration around the complex is always fascinating.
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