The most romantic of all the ‘purs’, Udaipur is an oasis within the desert state of Rajasthan. Founded in 1553 by the great Maharana Udai Singh, of the powerful Mewar dynasty, it’s not difficult to see why he chose this particular spot. Ensconced by the verdant Aravalli Range and known as ‘The City of Lakes’ it is a magical setting. Of its five water bodies, the most prominent is the shimmering Lake Pichola, around which the Old Town is situated, where Udaipur’s still flourishing miniature art scene is in full force. Take a boat out on its placid waters or a tour of the 18th-century City Palace. Coolest between October and March, Udaipur is considered by many to be at its most beautiful during monsoon, from July to August.