Jaipur is a vibrant amalgamation of the old and the new. Also called the Pink City, the capital of the royal state of Rajasthan, was ruled by the Rajputs for many centuries and developed as a planned city in the 17th century AD. Along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle and hails as one of the most famous tourist circuits of the country.
With the old city surrounded by walls and gates decorated with drawings on the backdrop of a beautiful pink hue, Jaipur, the pink city successfully manages to retain its old-world charm. Home to a few UNESCO World Heritage sites including Amer Fort and Jantar Mantar, Jaipur holds many magnificent forts, palaces, temples and museums and brims with bustling local bazaars where you can shop to your heart’s content. Popular bazaars in the city include Bapu Bazaar, Tripolia Bazar and Johri Bazar. The city is also very well known for its local food and the most famous dishes include the Ghewar, Pyaaz Kachori and Dal Baati Churma.
One of the largest cities in India, Jaipur is also home to all the modern amenities with some of the most exotic hotels and resorts in the world. The city boasts an international airport and is also very well connected by rail and road. The metro, local buses, shared tuk-tuks, auto-rickshaws and taxi aggregator apps including Uber and Ola solve the commute problem in the city quite comfortably.
Majestic buildings, tales of heroic battles, resplendent forts and palaces, and multi-faceted characters, Jaipur has long been one of the shiniest cultural jewels in the history of the Indian subcontinent. With people known for their hospitality, Jaipur offers a plethora of options for travellers.
Places to Visit
In the Pink City of Jaipur, cradled on the top of the Aravali Hill lies the Amer Fort, one of the most magnificent palaces in India. Also commonly known as the Amber Fort, this majestic building with its maze-like passages and serpentine staircases is an architectural masterpiece and with significant importance in Indian history. Only 11 kilometres away from the capital city of Jaipur, Amer Fort is clad in pink and yellow sandstone and is a part of an extensive complex. Built by one of the most trusted generals of Akbar, Maharaja Man Singh I in the year 1592, Amer Fort served as the main residence of the Rajput Rulers.
The Amer Fort through its large ramparts, several gateways and paved paths overlooks the Maotha Lake in the town of Amer, which used to serve as the capital of the erstwhile Jaipur princely state. The fort is big enough that it will take you at least two to three hours to explore it in detail, and you can also choose to avail of the audio guides to lead you through this fascinating building while explaining the history of the place. Getting an elephant ride up the stairs to the Amber Fort is also a popular tourist activity. The fort sees over five thousand visitors daily and rightfully, the Amer Fort was inducted into UNESCO World Heritage Site list as part of the “Hill Forts of Rajasthan” along with five other forts.
The magnificent City Palace in Jaipur is one of the most famous tourist attractions located in the old part of the city. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during the years 1729 to 1732, the vast complex of the palace occupied one-seventh of the walled city. In fact, it was once the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The palace is divided into a series of courtyards, buildings and gardens including the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal. The museum showcases various unique handcrafted products and other things that belong to the royal heritage of the City Palace.
The facade itself is designed with acute and detailed handiwork and showcases a blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture styles. The outer wall was built by Jai Singh II, however, the palace itself has been subjected to various changes over the course of time, with some of them even belonging to the early 20th century. The City Palace has three gates, out of which the Virendra Pol and Udai Pol are open to the public.
The massive edifice of Hawa Mahal stands at the intersection of the main road in Jaipur, Badi Chaupad and was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799. Hawa Mahal derives its name from its unique structure, which is a mesh of small windows that allowed cool wind to enter the palace and hence kept the palace comfortable during the hot summer months. The main reason behind the palace’s construction was to allow the women of the royal house to observe the festivities on the streets whilst being unseen from the outside as was the custom of the land. It is located right on the edge of the City Palace Jaipur and extends right to the ‘zenana’.
Hawa Mahal is a structure made of red and pink sandstone and has a pyramidal structure which almost resembles a crown. It has been embellished with 953 tiny windows, also known as ‘Jharokhas’ and embellished with gorgeous latticework. From within, the Hawa Mahal palace is based on five floors each of which has a uniquely decorated chamber. A charming fountain welcomes you inside the main palace, from where you can make your way up to the different floors. The top of the palace offers a brilliant view of the City Palace, Jantar Mantar and the ever-busy Sri Deori Bazar. There is a small museum as well which holds some rich relics and miniature paintings.
Located near the City Palace in the regal city of Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is the largest stone astronomical observatory in the world. Owing to its rich cultural, heritage and scientific value, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur has also been featured on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. This ancient study boasts of nineteen instruments built out of stone and brass and was built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh in 1727-33. The intelligent construction and placement of these instruments allowed the observers to note the position of heavenly bodies with their naked eye alone. Time has failed to lay dust upon this engineering marvel and it still works as well as it used to in the olden times.
The main objective of building this vast observatory was to study and gather information about space and time. The instruments here pertain to Egyptian study of Ptolemaic astronomy and follow three classical celestial coordinates to track the positions of heavenly bodies- namely horizon-zenith local system, the equatorial system and the ecliptic system. Another fact that makes this destination unique is that the world’s largest sundial is situated here. The observatory in Jaipur is a part of a collection of five other such observatories built by Raja Jai Singh, which are located in New Delhi, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. The best experience here is undoubtedly the light and sound show that takes place every evening and Jantar Mantar lights up like a firefly!
Nahargarh Fort is located in the Pink City of Jaipur and is one of the many countless palaces and beautiful historic buildings that speak of the magnificent and rich history of this city. Embellished with delicate carvings and stonework, the Nahargarh Fort is an impregnable structure, that together with its two neighbouring forts – Amer and Jaigarh, once stood as the strong defence of Jaipur city. The Fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the year 1734 as a retreat. With some breathtaking views of the city, the Nahargarh Fort is known for its extended wall that connects it to Jaigarh Fort. The fort is located on top of a hill and you can hire a cab or auto rickshaw to the foot of the hill and trek the rest of the way.
Nahargarh Fort was primarily used as a retreat for the ladies of the royal household and has a ladies quarters by the name of ‘Zenana’. Also known as the Madhavendra Bhavan, the ‘Zenana’ was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Its counterpart, the ‘Mardana Mahal’ was also constructed in the complex for the royal men. Another attraction in the Nahargarh Fort is the Nahargarh Biological Park, which is an asylum for majestic animals such as tigers, leopards and the Asiatic lions. The Padao Restaurant is also a must-visit if you’re near Nahargarh Fort from where you’re sure to enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Jaipur.
Pink City in Jaipur refers to the old walled city that was built in the year 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II. This was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as of June 6th 2019. The wall that marks the boundary of the Pink City is about six metres high and three metres thick and encompasses a number of structures within its confines. In keeping with the magnificence of the structure, there are seven different gates that provide access to the Old City, namely Chand Pol, Suraj Pol, Ajmeri Gate, New Gate, Sanganeri Gate, Ghat Gate, Samrat Gate and Zorawar Singh Gate. Built about 275 years ago, today it presents the glorious past of our country through its culture and architecture. The city is known as ‘Pink City’ as it is built out of Sandstone and reflects the colour pink in the daytime.
Steeped with rich past and heritage, the Pink City of Jaipur is a place of royal heritage, culture and architecture. The city is covered in the tint of pink colour oozing charm and attracting tourists from all over the world. The place offers a feast to its visitors in the form of its historical saga with magnificent palaces and forts and stunning Havelis. A number of important structures such as Badi Chaupar, Jantar Mantar and City Palace are situated in this part of the city. The vibrant bazaars of Jaipur like Bapu Bazaar and Johri Bazaar are paradise for shopping lovers offering beautiful Rajasthani jewellery, fabric, shoes and handicrafts. Bustling with colours, a walk around this old city gives you a glance into is the wealth of handicrafts, the royal legacy of the palace, and a shadow of their rich past.
Choki Dhani, a well-known tourist attraction in Jaipur is known for its rich Rajasthani heritage and cultural manifesto. The name means ‘Rajasthani Culture’ and this resort village is a fair celebration of it since the time when it was established in 1989 and has been serving International and Local tourists since 1994. This resort comprises a series of rebuilt village huts with cow dung plasters and decorative wall art.
Choki Dhani is away from the hustle of the city centre where nature is alive and refreshing. The architecture is deeply inspired by the Indo- Saracenic style. Managed under the chairmanship of Mr Gul Vaswani and Director Mr Subhash Vaswani, this place is a reflection of indigenous Rajasthani traditions. Mini village fairs held here attract a lot of tourist attention with colourful art and clothes.
It was established in 1989 and has been serving local and international tourists since 1994. It has machines & different platforms for performing artists. It also holds mini-village fairs occasionally. Alongside, it is also a 5-star luxury hotel with Royal Cottages, Cottage Rooms and Haveli Suits for tourists to choose from, based on their needs. The resort has a royal décor with ancient relics, vintage furnishings and gives the luxurious look and feel of olden day Rajasthan.
Bapu Bazar in Jaipur is one of the most famous markets of the city for buying traditional Jutis, Bangles, Dupattas, Sarees, Scarves etc. Situated in the heart of the Pink City between Sanganer Gate and New Gate, the market is known for its alluring Rajasthani products including textiles, handicrafts, brass works and precious stones. Bapu Bazar attracts tourists from all over India and the world owing to the authenticity, diversity and affordability of the products sold. You can get some stunning bargains as well as all things – traditionally, Rajasthan!
The vivacious market, bustling with shopaholics at all times, is most famous for Mojari- the footwear made from camel skin. Among the myriad shopping options available are traditional Rajasthani lehenga- choli and Bandhej salwar suits as well as sculptures and figurines made from marble and sandalwood, hand-crafted home décor gifts and paintings, conventional block printed bedspreads, cushion covers, fabrics and a lot more.
Albert Hall Museum
Situated in the Ram Niwas Garden of Jaipur, the Albert Hall Museum is the oldest museum in Rajasthan. Built in 1876, it was initially envisioned to be a concert hall and resembles the architecture of the Victoria and Albert Hall Museum in London, hence, the name. It is a standing example of Indo-Saracenic architecture and is also known as Government Central Museum. Albert Hall Museum has an extensive collection of artefacts brought from the different regions of the world that are divided over a whopping 16 art galleries! The museum takes on a whole new facade as the night falls and the entire building glows with yellow lights, which looks extremely beautiful. You can relax in the gardens with the stunning view of Albert Hall in the backdrop. It is certainly a great place to get a peek into the history and ancient culture of India.
Flanked by lush green gardens, the foundation of Albert Hall was laid on 6 February 1876 when Albert Edward visited India. The galleries of the museum have a collection of antiques and artefacts from the past that will blow away your mind. The ancient coins, marble art, pottery, carpets and especially the Egyptian mummy are a treat to the eyes of history buffs. The building itself from the outside has an alluring architecture. The Indo – Saracenic inspired domes and intricately carved arches constructed from sandstone is mesmerizing.
Located on the outskirts of the regal city of Jaipur, Galtaji Temple is a prehistoric Hindu pilgrimage site. Outlined by the striking Aravalli hills, it consists of several shrines, holy kunds, pavilions and natural springs. This majestic temple is situated at the heart of a hilly terrain that is bounded by a beautiful gorge which attracts tourists here every year. Galtaji Temple was built using pink colour sandstone and is a vast temple complex housing varied shrines. Located inside the City Palace, the walls of this temple are beautifully adorned with carvings and paintings that make this place worth visiting. The Galtaji temple is unique in its architecture and has been constructed like a palace.
It is situated in the Aravalli hills and is bound by thick plush trees and bushes. This remarkable building is decorated with painted walls, round roofs and pillars. Apart from the kunds, this pre-historic Hindu pilgrimage place also has temples of Lord Ram, Lord Krishna and Lord Hanuman within the temple. One of the main tourist destinations of Jaipur, the temple complex boasts of natural freshwater springs and seven holy ‘kunds’ of water tanks. Among these kunds, the ‘Galta Kund’, is the holiest one and is believed never to get dry. Pure and clear water flows from the ‘Gaumukh’, a rock shaped like a cow’s head, into the tanks.
This spectacular temple is designed to look more like a grand palace or ‘haveli’ than a traditional temple. The Galta Monkey Temple has a scenic and gorgeous landscape featuring rich green vegetation and has a spectacular sight of the Jaipur city. This temple is known for the many tribes of monkeys that are found here and the religious hymns and chants, along with the natural setting, offer a peaceful ambience to tourists.
Must Try Food in Jaipur
1. The Eclectica
2. Peacock Restaurant
3. Govindam Retreat
5. Hawk View Restaurant & Bar
10. Jaipur Adda
How To Get Here
Since people from all over the World visit Jaipur, connectivity is not an issue at all. Jaipur (Sanganer) Airport is well connected to Mumbai, Delhi and other main cities. Jaipur Railway Station is connected to many cities by direct train connections. The place holds a good network of roads, and hence the luxury buses will conveniently connect you to almost all places.
Air travel is the most convenient way to reach the pink city. The Sanganer airport is well connected to the major cities of India as well as the globe through a number of airlines operating on a regular basis. Flights to international cities like Kuala Lumpur, Sharjah and Dubai are also easily available. Buses, taxis and cabs are easily available from the airport to reach the main city.
Nearest Airport: Jaipur International Airport (JAI)
The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) runs luxury and deluxe buses between Jaipur and other cities within the state of Rajasthan. There is a regular service from cities like New Delhi, Kota, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Vadodara, and Ajmer at reasonable fares.
The Indian Railways offers a number of express trains to reach Jaipur from other parts of India.Trains like the Shatabdi Express connect Jaipur to almost all major cities of India. An additional attraction is “The Palace on Wheels” which offers a royal ride to Jaipur. A train journey through the desert is an enthralling experience in itself.