Steeped in tales of chivalry and romance, and famous for its striking desert landscape and colorful festivals, Rajasthan is one of India’s best-loved regions. From its legendary cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Jaisalmer, built by the mighty Rajput warriors, to its indigenous tribal and artisan communities, Rajasthan is a unique combination of royal and tribal India. The variety of its landscape is unparalleled: the region is packed with awe-inspiring forts, sparkling palaces, soothing lakes and gardens, and exquisite temples and shrines. The crafts and folk art produced here are world-renowned. Once called Rajputana (“abode of kings”), this vast land consisted of more than 22 princely states before they were consolidated into modern Rajasthan in 1956. Each state was ruled by a Rajput, an upper-caste Hindu warrior-prince, and the Rajputs were divided into three main clans: the Suryavanshis, descended from the sun, the Chandravanshis, descended from the moon, and the Agnikuls who had been purified by ritual fire. When they were not fighting among themselves for power, wealth, and women, the Rajputs built the hundreds of forts, palaces, gardens, and temples that make this region so enchanting.