If you're planning to have a holiday in Rajasthan - whether it's part of a gap year or a career break - one place you can't leave off your itinerary is Jaipur. Also known as the Pink City, it's the state's capital and one of its most colourful destinations.
Indeed, it is its brightly-coloured buildings that earned it the nickname of the Pink City - but there is far more to see than peach hues alone. If you want to find out which attractions not to miss on your travels, read our guide to the destination's top highlights.
Hawa Mahal is one of the most striking buildings you will see here. It acts as the entrance to the City Palace and is famous for its beautiful Rajput artistry and its fascinating honeycomb-like appearance, which stems from its many windows.
There are 953 windows, to be exact, each designed to allow royal ladies to remain in purdah, while still being able to see the goings-on of the world below. So, while they could see other people, they themselves could not be spotted by anyone looking up from below.
The women of the royal household may not use the windows for this purpose today, but you can try it out for yourself by heading inside. It is easy to spend a while people watching from this vantage point, as it is well designed for the purpose. Head up to the top, meanwhile, and you can enjoy excellent views out over Jantar Mantar - another of our top Jaipur highlights.
Located just a short distance away from Hawa Mahal and the City Palace, Jantar Mantar is an absolute must-see. This unusual observatory was created by Prince Jai Singh II in 1728 and today you can view more than 20 large, fixed instruments designed to help calculate various astrological positions with the naked eye.
Each instrument was created to achieve a specific purpose, and the site now enjoys a prestigious reputation as the best-preserved and most comprehensive of the historic observatories in the country. Indeed, it is has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in honour of its significance.
You can take a guided tour, which is a particularly good idea if you're keen to get a firm grasp of what the instruments do. While you're wandering around, think about how significant the site was in terms of bringing together different scientific cultures. Acting as something of a meeting point, it helped start widespread cosmological practices.
The Amber Fort
This is actually situated just outside Jaipur, but it is well worth a visit. With an excellent hilltop location, the Amber Fort - also commonly referred to as the Amber Palace - used to be the citadel of the Kachhwaha's, who ruled before the capital was moved to present-day Jaipur.
Include this on your itinerary and you will have the chance to see one of the most exciting and interesting combinations of Mughal and Hindu architecture in the area. Made from red sandstone and white marble, the building has a particularly incredible interior that's richly decorated. Indeed, at points it is hard to tell where art ends and architecture begins.
These are just some of Jaipur's most exciting and inspiring sights; before you travel, it is worth doing a little research to work out what else you would like to see.