Yesterday Jessica took us through her explorations of the bazaars on her India safari. Today she’s recounting her tours of the palaces, forts and museums.

I was in awe of all the marble, elaborate inlays, intricate carvings, exquisitely painted walls and ceilings and the luxurious textiles throughout the palaces. The expansiveness of the forts was mind-boggling, and the museums fascinating!

Starting in Jaipur, we visited the Amber Fort that sits high on a hillside outside the city. The views were amazing! Next stop – City Palace with its maze-like complex of mini-palaces. Once of the fascinating places we visited within the City Palace was the Textile Museum that contains the garments that were worn by the kings and members of the royal families from the medieval period.

We felt like royalty dining at the Rambagh and Samode Palaces – both of which were homes of the royal families and have been restored to the grandeur of their past.

An interesting stop before leaving Jaipur was the Royal Astronomy Observatory home of the world’s largest sundial.  This massive structure requires a special instrument to read to sharpen the shadow cast by the sun.  A note for anyone visiting here – bring a hat!  This outdoor observatory needs the sun to operate the instruments so shade is scarce.

On the way to Agra, we stopped at the World Heritage Site Fatehpur Sikri outside of Bharatpur. Fatehpur Sikri is a complex of monuments and temples that includes one of the largest mosques in India. I was amazed that this “abandoned city” was so well-preserved.

It seems everything in India is a World Heritage Site! Another one we visited was Agra Fort, a red sandstone fortress that contained the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. Talk about marble! Several of the buildings are made from pure marble and the carvings are spectacular!

The grand finale was the magnificent Taj Mahal. It really is everything you expect it to be and it was definitely the highlight of my trip! I was fortunate enough to see it at sunrise and words can hardly describe it.

Check back tomorrow to hear about my wildlife encounters on my trip through Ranthambore National Park!

This is a great time to start planning a trip for fall, which is a perfect time to travel to India – the monsoons are over and the extreme heat has subsided. We will customize a trip to meet your specific travel desires, whether it’s exploring the amazing markets, visiting the grand palaces, meandering through villages or searching for tigers on elephant-back. Our private guides can travel with you throughout your trip, providing excellent insight into the culture and history of all the sights along the way.

Contact us at 800-405-9463. We would love to help you explore India’s boundless treasures!