Maheshwar, West India, India

It’s hard to imagine a more evocative spot for a candle-lit dinner than the roof terrace of Ahilya Fort, on the banks of the Narmada at Maheshwar, in Madhya Pradesh. Dating from 1766, the citadel’s blackened sandstone walls fall sheer to the river, half-a-mile (800m) wide at this point and as still as oil – a spellbinding spectacle just after sunset. The son of the last Maharaja of Indore still lives here with his American wife, and the couple have transformed the place into a guest house that’s a masterpiece of understatement and traditional style: antique doors open on to plant-filled courtyards, beautiful antique furniture and cusp-arched jharokha balconies suspended over the water.

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