KOTA, 230km south of Jaipur on a fertile plain fed by Rajasthan’s largest river, the Chambal, is one of the state’s dirtier and less appealing cities. With a population nudging 700,000, it is one of Rajasthan’s major commercial and industrial hubs, with hydro, atomic and thermal power stations lining the banks of the Chambal, alongside Asia’s largest fertilizer plant, whose enormous chimneys provide a not-very-scenic backdrop to many views of the town. Kota is worth a visit if only for its fine city palace, which houses one of the better museums in Rajasthan, while the old town has a commercial hustle and bustle, which makes a nice contrast to somnolent Bundi, a 45-minute drive away.

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