This fort and its palace rises like a golden mirage 11km outside of the city. Look out (and up!) for the immaculately preserved frescoes on the sandstone of its Ganesh Pol and glittering Sheesh Mahal, which was completed in 1727. It is a tourist hotspot so two tips: arrive for opening (8am) and you will have the place to yourself; the elephants that carry tourists are awe-inspiring but opt for the 10-minute walk up the ramparts instead as their welfare has been called into question by many (the heat, hard surfaces and lack of herd).
Amber is the fort everyone talks about, but the fresco colors of Nahargarh (pictured, bottom of page) are inspired: pink, sandstone, mushroom and turmeric yellow combine in the Queen's quarters. The panoramic views from the roof are the best in the city. For the energetic, the trio of forts (Amber, Jaigarh and Nahargarh) can all be visited in one hike in a day.