This 100 year old fair ups the population of the city by about 8,50,000 tourists, and 50,000 livestock. If staying on the ground gets overwhelming, book the one-hour hot-air balloon ride that floats serenely above the tallest Ferris wheels and musical carousals, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the mela. pushkarcamelfair.com
Holi: Head to Jaipur to celebrate Holi in all its colourful regalia. The day kicks off with the Elephant Festival—a favourite with tourists across the world. Local musicians and dancers entertain the crowd with traditional tunes while decorated elephants parade the city. The palace courts are opened for public to play with gulaal (colours) and the royal chefs prepare holi treats including gujia, phirni, and of course bhaang in thandai, pakoras, and chooran. It’s not impossible that you may just end up playing with the Maharaja himself!
Diwali: The Mukund Haveli in Pushkar, a stately property with traditional architecture and décor, already feels like a celebration of culture. But on Diwali, it turns into a luminescent façade where you can be part of Shekhawati: An old, forgotten region in Rajasthan. This concept invites you to participate in pre-Diwali preparations, take private cooking lessons to learn about the native ingredients, and be up-close with the local community.
Spa: Built on sand and surrounded by sandstone-walls, the spa comprises a limited four tents, sequestered in time. A low guest count ensures personal serviceand attention to detail by the staff. Their uniqueness lies in the organic and ayurvedic ingredients that they use for the therapies, all native to the Thar. An all-embracing spa menu lets you customise your treatment to suit your mood. Book the Royal Tented Suite at `78,000 (excluding taxes). sujanluxury.com
Suite: The most expensive suite in India is the Grand Presidential Shambhu Prakash Suite at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur with a whopping tariff of `10,00,000 (excluding taxes) per night! From à la carte bedding and bath products to round-theclock on-call butler service, a doctor and nurse; possibly the best lake-sunset view to a stocked in-room library—it is an abode of ultimate opulence. Ride in a vintage car from the Maharaja’s fleet or treat your palate sailing across the Pichola lake on the 150-year old Gangaur boat—it’s no surprise that the suite has hosted the likes of Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Bill Gates, Nicole Kidman, and Sir Mick Jagger. Believe it or not, you can even set up a 30-minute consultation with the resident royal astrologer! Refuse to be addressed as anything but ‘Your majesty’ after your stay.