Founded in 1727 by Maharajah Jai Singh II, Jaipur is the classic Rajput city, with its colourful bazaars, palaces and ‘havelis’ (mansions). Drive into the centre of the city to view the elaborate façade of the Hawa Mahal, better known as the ‘Palace of the Winds’ and continue to the Maharaja’s Palace (below right), still home to the royal family, and part of which is now an interesting museum. A further visit is included to the fascinating Jantar Mantar, Jai Singh’s outdoor observatory “for measuring the harmony of the heavens”. This large enclosure just south of the palace (below left) contains 18 huge stone astronomical measuring devices constructed between 1728 and 1734. Most impressive of all is the Samrat Yantra, a 27-metre high sundial which can calculate the time to within 2 seconds.