Embark on an early-morning hot-air balloon flight over Jaipur and Amberâs remarkable landscape of forts and palaces.
Stop at Chittorgarh Fort, the largest fort in India and the grandest in Rajasthan. Once the capital of Mewar, this massive hilltop fort contains a number of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. The fort was abandoned in 1568 when Emperor Akbar, the third Mughal Emperor, defeated Chittorâs ruling Maharana, Udai Sing II.
Visit the City Palace museum, home to the ruling families of Jaipur since the mid-18th century. The palaceâs many courtyards and sprawling grounds occupied one-seventh of the old walled city of Jaipur, and its ornate architecture perfectly blends Rajput and Mughal styles. Highlights of the museum are the miniature paintings, royal costumes, musical instruments and Mughal-style carpets.
At an exclusive recreational camp not far from Amber Fort, receive a private lesson in the fundamentals of elephant polo, a classic sport of the maharajas, followed by an elephant ride through the nearby forest.
Stop by the Hawa Mahal, or "Palace of the Winds," which dates from 1799 and is one of the most commonly photographed buildings in Rajasthan. Although the building appears to be five solid stories tall, it is in reality only one or two rooms deep, surrounding two interior courtyards. The side of the building facing the street is a highly ornate sandstone screen of several hundred windows that catch the breeze, or hawa, and cool the palace.
Adjacent to the City Palace is the very impressive Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in the early 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II. The complex of 20 massive astronomical instruments and structures was a wonder of science when originally built; even today the Samrat Yantra, a huge sundial, can be used to tell local time within a margin of two seconds. Jantar Mantar received UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2010.
Visit Narain Niwas Palace, previously the country retreat of a noble family, and now one of the most atmospheric of India's heritage hotels. The Palace is decorated with original Rajasthani antiques and artifacts, as well as vividly colored frescoes.
Go on a bespoke shopping tour of Jaipurâs diverse workshops, boutiques and markets. Jaipur's shops are known for, among other things, silks, fabrics, gems, Alwari suits (unisex outfits comprised of baggy pants that taper at the ankles and loose-fitting tops), and many more.