India’s long history is riddled with tales of conquest and domination, mostly by guys trying to get – or keep – the region’s many literal and figurative jewels. Kingly Rajasthan is studded with an outrageous number of magnificent fortresses and elegant palaces, while Maharashtra, the land of Shivaji, is almost as much of a fort junkie as Rajasthan, with defensive masterpieces all over the state. And Old Delhi has been a strategic city for a few millennia, with a startling number of forts to show for it. The rest of the country has its fair share, too: you almost can’t go anywhere without stumbling on the remains of a fallen empire. Today the forts are serene, with artfully crumbling – or still proudly standing – facades and often spectacular views.