State of Ruins

Asia's largest fortress was built to last. Rising out of a rocky plateau, the ramparts of Chittorgarh encircle a 240-hectare hilltop. They have withstood centuries of war and outlived dynasties, the many layers of outer fortifications snaking around crumbling palaces, small shrines, a few holy-water pools, and a forlorn marble victory tower, erected to commemorate a 15th century battle. My tour guide, an affable man born in the shadow of Chittorgarh's ruins, smiles broadly, gestures between imposing battlements and delicate temple carvings and asks, "Isn't this Rajasthan at its best?"

It's hard to say. Unlike similar sites elsewhere...

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