Qila Mubarak

Top choice in Punjab (India)

The ancestral home of the maharajas of Patiala, this richly ornamented 18th-century fort is an Arabian Nights fantasy of soaring buttresses and latticed balconies. You can’t enter the interior of the fort, but you are allowed to walk between the hugely impressive inner and outer walls, surrounded by crumbling masonry and flocks of parakeets. The fort is 2km south of the bus stand, hidden in amongst a web of old-town bazaars; ₹30 in a cycle rickshaw.

Inside the fort entrance, to your right, the 1859 Durbar Hall has a museum that is undergoing wholesale renovations.