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Introducing Jaipur

Jaipur, the City of Victory, is chaotic and congested, though it still has a habit of tickling travellers pink. Stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces fit like footprints from a rich royal past, candyfloss-bright turbans blaze a trail through brilliant bargain-filled bazaars, and fluttering saris catch the eye like butterflies.

As the gateway to the desert state of Rajasthan, however, it’s also a city permanently under siege. Package tourists are captivated by (and offloaded on) the bustling bazaars, world-class hotels and clammy sophistication, while camel carts and cows waddle through diesel-soaked streets, rampaging rickshaw drivers hustle and burn past businessmen and tourists, and scores of street children beg outside huge jewellery shops and palatial hotels.

Jaipur beams boldest at dusk – when it’s well worth walking to Amber – and, much like its founder, Jai Singh II, the Pink City is both proud and resilient.

There’s the Elephant Festival in March, Gangaur is celebrated in March/April and Teej celebrations occur in August.