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Jaipur

Achrol Fort

The Achrol Fort and Palace is actually an old haveli, or a large residential complex, located inside Achrol village. Hidden away from the busy Jaipur-Delhi Highway, the village also houses some more old havelis, but it is all in all a very small village. The fort belongs to the Achrol Thikana family, who were an extended relative of the Kachhawa rulers of Jaipur. Not a lot is known about this palace, and official records about the history of the palace are non-existence, except the fact that the Achrol Thikana dates back to 1550 A.D. Because of it’s near invisibility, there is a considerable lack of attention and preservation of this palace. While there seems to have been some attempts at restoring the palace, it wasn’t ever finished. The fort in itself was used for military and strategic purposes, while the haveli was used as a residential quarter. The fort has a wide panoramic view, and beautiful, unique architecture.

Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort

Mehrangarh, also known as Mehran Fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459 in Jodhpur, is one of the largest forts in the country. It is situated at the top of a 410 feet elevated hill and guarded by massive walls. One of the most easily recognisable forts in Jodhpur, it has appeared in many Hollywood and Bollywood productions such as The Lion King, The Dark Knight Rises, and the more recent - Thugs of Hindostan. The entrance of the fort, atop a hill, is majestic and has seven gates. These are called Victory Gate, Fateh Gate, Gopal Gate, Bhairon Gate, Dedh Kamgra Gate, Marti Gate and finally Loha Gate. Each of these was built at different times and serves a very specific purpose. While one still has marks of cannon balls being hit on it, the other has spikes that can protect it from elephant and animal attacks. However, Victory Gate was built to commemorate the win of Maharaja Man Singh over Jaipur and Bikaner armies. The fort also has opulent palaces such as the Sheesh Mahal (Glass Palace) and Phool Mahal (Rose Palace). The intricate carvings on the walls of the fort, the sprawling courtyards, its impressive history, striking palaces, museums and galleries allure tourists from all over the world. The fort also has one of the well-stocked museums of Rajasthan. There are six different galleries in the Mehrangarh Museum: Elephant's howdahs, Palanquins, Daulat Khana, Armoury, Paintings and the Turban Gallery. National Geological Monument, Nagnecha Mataji Temple, Chamunda Temple and Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park are the tourist attractions in Mehrangarh Fort.

Udaipur

City Palace

Built on the banks of Lake Pichola, the City Palace in Udaipur is considered to be the largest royal complex in Rajasthan. The magnificent palace was built in the year 1559 by Maharana Uday Singh and served as the main seat of power, where the Maharanas lived and administered the kingdom from. Subsequently, the palace was made even more splendid by his successors, who added a number of structures to it. The Palace now has an assortment of Mahals, courtyards, pavilions, corridors, terraces, rooms and hanging gardens. There is a museum here as well that showcases some of the finest elements of Rajput arts and culture - from colourful paintings to the typical architecture found in Rajasthani palaces. Nestled in the bosom of the Aravallis, the granite and marble edifice of the City Palace stands in contrast to its quaint natural surroundings. The intricate architecture of the regal palace is a subtle mix of medieval, European as well as Chinese influences and is embellished with numerous domes, arches and towers. The City Palace itself lies on a bed of lush green garden and is quite an imposing sight to behold. The regal beauty of this attraction has quite a few fans in the film industry as well, and several movies such as 'Guide' and 'Octopussy' have been shot here. A gentle amalgam of architectural genius and rich heritage, the City Palace of Udaipur is a wonderful trip down the pages of history.