Many of these forts and palaces date back to the time when the city itself was founded while others were built subsequently. Most of the former rulers of Rajasthan built palaces as their residence. The history of Rajasthan is full with incidents of how and why these Maharajas opted out of their hometown and built forts and palaces in remote or strategic destinations.
Today, every region of Rajasthan boasts of at least one formidable fort and a beautiful palace. These forts and palaces give the region a distinct identity of its own. Also, many of these forts and palaces have been converted into heritage hotels and museums which mean that not only the remnants of royal era are on display rather the royal lifestyle itself beckons tourists to experience its grandeur.
Not only the rulers of Rajasthan, but the rich merchant class also built massive residences. These mansions are luxuriously decorated and are known as havelis. The merchants were not only interested in the decorations but they were also concerned about the image of the owners that the havelis reflected. They commissioned artisans to ensure that the havelies were constructed in a manner that would reflect the prosperity of the owner. The most famous havelis are those of Shekhawati and Jaisalmer