India // Rajasthan //

Chittaurgarh, Kota and Bundi


The belt of hilly land east of Udaipur is the most fertile in Rajasthan, watered by several perennial rivers and guarded by a sequence of imposing forts perched atop the craggy ridges that crisscross the region. Heading east, the first major settlement is the historic town of Chittaurgarh, capital of the kingdom of Mewar before Udaipur and site of one of Rajasthan’s most spectacular and historic forts. Further east, the tranquil town of Bundi boasts another atmospheric fort and picturesque old bazaars and havelis, while an hour away by bus, Kota is home to another impressive palace.

A prime crop in this area for centuries has been opium. Although grown for the pharmaceutical industry according to strict government quotas, the legal cultivation masks a much larger illicit production overseen by Mumbai drug barons. An estimated one in five men in the area is addicted.

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