Jaipur the capital city of Rajasthan State is one of the must-visit places on India Trip. The city of Jaipur with its grand palaces, Havelis, remarkable temples, magnificent forts and lip-smacking snacks and sweets lures travelers and tourists from around the world. The city of Jaipur offers a myriad of attractions for a rich cultural experience to its visitors. You would need at least a couple of days to cover the major sightseeing attractions of the city of Jaipur. The best way to explore the city is to hire a taxi.
Jaipur – The Pink City of Rajasthan
The city of Jaipur is popularly known as the ‘Pink City’ for the row of pink buildings in the city. There are is a story behind painting the buildings in pink color. In 1876 when the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur got the whole city of Jaipur painted in pink. The color pink is said to represent hospitality. The tradition has since been followed and now the residents in the historic center of Jaipur have to abide by the law and maintain the pink color for their houses and the buildings.
Top Tourist Places to Visit in Jaipur
Amer Fort or the Amber Fort
Amer Fort one of the magnificent forts of Rajasthan is located around 11 km from the city of Jaipur. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates back to the 16th-century. The fort architecture is a wonderful mix of Rajputana and Mughal architecture and features remarkable artwork with marble and red sandstone. Amber Palace sits on a hill surrounded by the rugged Aravalli Hills.
The fort comprises of numerous gardens, impressive gates, grand courtyards, and palaces. Ganesh Pol is the most beautiful gate which has exceptional murals paintings done with vegetable dyes. And the latticework above the gate was used by the queens to watch the performances in the courtyards without being seen by the public.
The interior of the palaces of Amber Fort features beautiful paintings and murals adorned with precious gems and jewels.
The most excellent example of architectural brilliance in the fort is the Sheesh Mahal or the ‘Palace of Mirror’. The entire hall, its walls, and ceilings are decorated with hundreds of thousands of pieces of mirror tiles. The mirror pieces were arranged in such a fashion that a single candle lit in the hall was enough to illuminate the complete hall.
Other points of interest not in the fort are the Sukh Niwas and Zenana Mahal decorated with some beautiful carvings, Jas Mandir, Diwan-i-Khaas and the beautiful Shila Mata temple. Do not miss the ‘Light and Sound’ show that is held every evening on the history of the Amer fort.
About 10 minutes drive from the Amer Fort is the Jaigarh Fort. It was built in 1726 by the Rajput King Jai Singh II. The fort is built of red sandstone features watchtowers, granaries, water bodies, temples and a museum.
There are several small palaces in the fort Laxmi Vilas, Vilas Mandir, Lalit Mandir and the Aram Mandir which are beautifully painted though not as ostentatious as the Amer Fort.
The museum in fort displays an armory collection of guns, swords, shields, and cannon balls including Jaivana, which was once the world’s largest cannon on wheels. During the Mughal period, the fort served as a cannon foundry and was also used to store the arms and ammunition. Jaivana was manufactured in the Jaigarh Fort.
The Jaigarh Fort and the Amer Fort are connected by underground passages and tunnels which was used during the wars for the safety of the royal family.
You can also hike your way up to the Jaigarh Fort from the Amer Fort which will bring you to the Awami Gate close to the museum.
Jal Mahal which means ‘Water Palace’ is located in the in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake with a backdrop of Nahargarh hills. The exquisite five-storied building palace is built in red sandstone and features the Mughal and Rajput style of architecture. Of the five floors, four floors remain underwater if only the top floor is visible.
On the way to or from Amer Fort from Jaipur, you can stop by and take in the views of the palace and click some pictures.
Gaitore Ki Chhatriyan
Gaitore Ki Chhatriyan is the royal crematorium for the Kings of Jaipur. There are cenotaphs built in beautiful Rajput architecture for each of the Kings. The cenotaphs here are a reminiscence of the Ahar cenotaphs in Udaipur which are also one of the most remarkable cenotaphs in Rajasthan. The most magnificent of the cenotaphs in Gaitore is that of Sawai Jai Singh II which is decorated with intricate carvings in marble.
One of the top tourist places in Jaipur the Jantar Mantar is is a monument and an observatory site. It was built by Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh II in 1734 and consists of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments. One of the popular features of Jantar Mantar is the stone sundial which is the largest in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The astronomical instruments are used for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking the location of stars and much more.
Jaipur City Palace
Next to Jantar Mantar is the City Palace of Jaipur. The grandeur City Palace is amongst the top tourist places in Rajasthan and a fine mix of Rajput and Mughal architectural style.
The palace was commisioned by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and completed in 1732. The palace complex consists of several beautifully decorated gates, courtyards, and temples. The interior of the palaces is adorned with rich artworks, paintings, and huge crystal chandeliers. The two major sections of the palace are the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal which also houses museums. The 19th century Mubarak Mahal has a museum on royal costumes and a variety of textiles. The seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal is the most majestic part of the palace complex. Chandra Mahal houses a museum on the items and artifacts from the royal family. Most part of the Chandra Mahal still serves as the royal residence. The most striking part of the Chandra Mahal is the peacock gate decorated with beautiful motifs of peacocks.
About 5 minutes walk from the City Palace is the Hawa Mahal Palace the iconic landmark of Jaipur City. The palace also known as the ‘Palace of Winds’ was built in 1799 by Rajput King Sawai Pratap Singh as a summer resort for the royal family.
The unique five-story structure built in pink sandstone is a wonderful blend of Rajput and Mughal architectural style. There are 953 small latticed windows (called jharokhas) on the facade of the palace which was used by the women of the Royal family to watch the celebrations and processions on the street without being seen by the public.
Hawa Mahal is maintained by the archaeological department of Rajasthan and houses an Archaeological Museum in its courtyard.
Nahargarh Fort was built by Jai Singh II the founder of Jaipur in the early 18th-century. The most impressive part of the fort is the Madhavendra Bhawan which has 12 separate and identical suites built by Sawai Madho Singh for his wives all connected by a corridor. The rooms are decorated with beautiful frescoes on walls and ceilings.
The fort has played a significant role in the history of India. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 Nahargarh fort served as a refuge to the Europeans residing in the region especially the wives of the British.
Nahargarh Fort offers some of the great views of the city of Jaipur and the Aravalli Range. Do not miss a visit to the Nahargarh Fort stepwell located just outside the fort. The stepwell, unlike other popular step wells, is built in asymmetric design which makes it unique.
Nahargarh Biological Park is one of the top attractions in Jaipur. The sanctuary rich in flora and fauna is situated in the Aravali mountain range close to the Nahargarh Fort. You can do a jeep safari and explore the exotic wildlife of park which includes Asiatic Lions, tigers, panther, sloth bear, sambhar deer, white tiger and a wide array of migratory birds.
Albert Hall Museum
The Albert Hall Museum built in the Indo-Saracenic architecture features elaborate design details with domes and intricate carvings. The building sits in the beautiful landscaped Ram Niwas Garden. It was built to commemorate the India visit of the Prince of Wales and was opened to the public as a museum in 1887.
The collection of the museum at Albert Hall Museum includes local handicrafts, metal artworks, and sculptures, pottery, armory and a large collection of miniatures paintings. One can do an audio guided tour of the museum.
Sisodia Rani Bagh
About 10 minutes drive from Albert Hall Museum is the Sisodia Rani Garden. The garden and the palace was also built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II the founder of Jaipur in 1728 for the Sisodia Queen. The tranquil aura of the garden was a relaxed retreat for the royal family away from the hustle bustle of the city. The complex features both Indian and Mughal style of architecture.
The Palace is set in a picturesque landscaped garden decorated with fountains, flowerbeds, and galleries. There are two temples inside the garden dedicated to Lord Shiva and Hanuman. Several beautiful murals and paintings depicting the legend of Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna can be found across the garden.
Chand Baori also known as the Abhaneri stepwell is one of the popular and ancient step wells in India. Chand Baori is located in the village of Abhaneri about 95 kilometers away from Jaipur. The step well is over 1000 years old and built in an exemplary architectural style. The step well also has pavilions and rooms used by the royal family.
It is also one of the largest step-wells in India comprising of 13 stories with a total of 3500 narrow steps. The stepwell was built for conservation on the water in the arid land of Rajasthan.
Galtaji or Galta Monkey Temple
Galtaji or Galta Monkey Temple is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage dating from the 18th-century. The temple built in built in pink sandstone is an exemplary Rajput architecture built by built by Diwan Rao Kriparam. The temple complex sits in a picturesque location surrounded by hills and forest area.
The temple features numerous pavilions with domes roofs, intricate carvings on pillars, beautiful murals on walls and seven holy tanks called Kunds filled by natural springs. During the Makar Sankranti festival which usually falls in January devotees gather in the temple for the holy dip in these Kunds.
Chokhi Dhani is an ethnic-themed resort with a typical Rajasthani village atmosphere which can be found in almost all major cities of India. There are several cultural activities planned at the Choki Dhani like the puppet show and folk dances. The restaurant serves traditional Rajasthani Thalis which are a must try when visiting Jaipur or any other cities in Rajasthan.
Must try food: Dal Bati Choorma, Pyaaz Kachori, Mawa Kachori, Gatta curry, Sweet Lassi and Ghewar.
Shopping in Jaipur
Bapu Bazaar and Johri are two popular markets in Jaipur. While Johri Bazaar draws shopper looking for gemstones, jewelry, local handicrafts and traditional Rajasthani clothes Bapu Bazaar is one of the largest camel leather markets in the world. You can shop for the fine quality of leather items like belts, jackets, shoes, wallets, and bags.
Other Jaipur Attractions
There are several Birla temples across the country, each of them is magnificent with beautiful carvings and the Birla Mandir of Jaipur is no exception. The edifice built in white marble is topped by 3 different domes representing the three major religions of India, the Hindu, Islam, and the Christianity. Birla Temple is located at the foot of the Moti Dungari Hill. The exterior and interior are decorated with splendid carvings and sculptures of historical figures and deities.
The Birla temple is also known as the Laxmi Narayan Temple for it enshrines Lord Vishnu and his consort Goddess Lakshmi.
Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing
The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing is a unique museum located in the village of Amer about 10 minutes from the Amer Fort.
The museum is located in a splendid Haveli known as Chanwar Palkiwalaon ki Haveli. The museum collection exhibit comprises of a fine collection of block printed textiles and artifacts providing information on the ancient art of block printing. The museum also holds live demonstrations on block carving and printing by the local artisans. There is also a shop in the museum where you can buy handcrafted textiles, jewelry, and furnishings.
Panna Meena Stepwell
Panna Meena Ka Kund also known as the Panna Mian Ki Naoli is a famous ancient stepwell located near Anokhi Museum in Amer Village. The eight-story stepwell dates from the 16th century and features an amazing architecture with symmetrically built stairs. The stepwell not very popular and you will hardly find any tourist crowd here.
Jaipur City has plenty of green space for parks and gardens. And one of the best and largest parks in Jaipur is the Central Park. The lush park has 5 km long walking and jogging track, Rambagh Polo Ground and Golf Club. The park is a paradise for the birdwatchers for the wide variety of migratory and native birds. The other highlights of the park are the tallest National flag, Musical fountain, and stone states.
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