The Capital city of Rajasthan, one of the most important states of India is a treasure to explore. The reason it is known as the pink city is because of the specific pink or red sandstones found in this region. The great forts and palaces are also made by the same sandstones throughout the region.
But the name or structure is not the only thing which makes this place worth visiting but the royal stories, the great culture, architecture, and design the city makes you feel nostalgic about this place. Jaipur can make you transport to a different time via its creations and foundation. Allow me to give you a sneak peek into the few must-visits of Jaipur.
FROM FORTS TO MAHALS
Jaipur is known for its forts and palaces and all the right reasons. It is a hub for ancient Rajasthani royalty. The riches were so prominent in the Royals of Rajasthan that they left no stone unturned to leave some magnificent creations for their upcoming generations to see. From all, our and their ancestors to the upcoming generations, who want to become witness to these marvels, These Forts, palaces, and Mahals can leave you astounded and spellbound.
Also known as Amber Fort is an architectural piece on the land of Rajasthan and was built by Akbar’s favorite General Raja Maan Singh. On the outside, it will amaze you by its magnificent creation and on the inside, you will need approximately 2 to 3 hours to explore all the passages of the palace and all the round and round staircases due to which your mind starts boggling. A travel guide or an audiotape might keep on telling you the old stories of Royalties and can serve a great companion. It has been added to the UNESCO world heritage site among the “FORTS OF RAJASTHAN ” section.
If you were always fascinated by the palaces shown in the historical movies then you are in for a treat. You might get the feeling of nostalgia while visiting the “City Palace” for its architecture and frescoes that have been kept intact for centuries and hence call you to visit them for their beauty. You can visit the great halls where the Maharaja of Jaipur used to do his seatings.
This great palace has been divided into 3 sections for better exploration which are courtyards, buildings, and gardens including Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. Though the entire hall and palace have been emptied of the old items of furniture there is a museum that has been kept intact to know the magnificent ways of royalty living. Handicrafts, types of furniture, decoratives, utensils, etc., you will find all of it here.
For as high as your sight goes, there is Hawa Mahal, which was made for the Royal ladies to watch the ongoings and festivities, on the streets, from the thousands of windows which this palace contains without going out cause that was the tradition of royalties. I used to be called “Zenana” back then when royal ladies used to reside here. The mahal has been carved with beautiful red and pink stones.
So many windows, or khidkis or jharokhas save the mahal from the scorching heat of the sun which Rajasthan is famous for, keeping it as cool as possible by the circulation of air throughout the structure. It has a total of 953 windows which gives the sight to The City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and Siredeori Bazaar.
Nahargarh Fort is a world in itself, reaching the foot of the fort at once and trekking to the main fort is how you will gradually enter into the magnificent grandeur. The main haveli, the “Zenana” and the “Mardana” are the three beautifully carved sections of the fort embellished with lovely paintings and stones all around.
There is a Nahargarh Biological Park, which is a home for royal tigers, lions, snakes, etc. There is a royal restaurant as well besides that to give your taste buds a royal treat.
Situated on the hills called “Cheel ka Teela” in the Jaipur City, Jaigarh Fort tells tales of the Rajput warriors. It was commissioned by the warrior Sawai Jai Singh to be made to protect the Amer Fort. Because it has never been conquered, it is also known as the Fort of Victory.
Evidence of the ancient marvels of architecture and design by the great Vidyadhar of the royal family. Being made on the hill and such a height, you might want to take a look at the entire city of Jaipur from the sidelines of this fort and I promise the view would be breath-taking.
As the name suggests it is built between a jal Sarovar or a body of water. It is another architectural marvel adding another flower to the marvelous hat of Jaipur. Situated just between the Man Sagar Lake, it was being made by the Maharaja Madho Singh. Being on the outskirts of the city bordering the Nahargarh hills, it used to be the leisure place for the Great King and Maharajas. This is exactly where they used to enjoy their evenings with a feast, songs, and dances.
Jal Mahal is a sight in the night as that is when it lights up fully. The reflection of the lake on the surface of the water is so beautiful that you might want to sit there for a while and keep looking at the marvel that it becomes. The tranquility of the scene on a moonlit night feels like the amalgamation of nature and man-made light into one eye-catching rainbow.
If you remember the royal episode of ‘made in heaven’ streaming on Amazon Prime then you might remember the royal Rajasthani wedding in one of the episodes of the web series. I can’t promise that the shooting happended in Rajasthan for the same or not. However, Samode Palace would give you a glimpse of the same kind of hospitality with royalness mixed in one silver platter.
Built-in the mixed architecture of Rajputana and Mughlai culture. The Samodai Palace converted into a luxury hotel can offer you great pieces of art and paintings. The mirror work on the walls and frescoes adorning the Rajputana creations is one complete treat of royalty. An evening here in this palace can make you feel no less than any royal highness and simultaneously will give you a feeling of serenity and pride in the part of such great grandeur and culture.
STREET FOOD & ENTERTAINMENT
Explorers and wanderers have a lot of things in common but what common attributes make to the top of their list are their will to go wild and their love for food. If you agree with that then Rajasthan street food markets are elongating their arms to welcome you in the streets of food festivals, on-road puppet shows, and entertainment all at the same time.
A new addition to the list of the eateries of Jaipur, Masala Chowk is a foodie’s delight and a sight to hold in the evening. This place can offer you 22 varieties of taste all at the same time. An open-air court located in the Ram Niwas Garden, it has numerous small stalls to offer you a variety of food from the traditional ones to your favorite. The best thing that makes it even more interesting is that it not only attracts the tourists but also a topic of discussion among locals.
BAPU BAZAAR / JOHARI BAZAAR
Apart from Havelis and forts if there is anything that Rajasthan is famous for is Ghoomar and puppet dance. The food and shopping at Rajasthani textile are almost cherry on the top of the cake. Bapu Bazaar or Johari Bazaar are the places where you will find the best of Rajasthani food, the regional textiles – all handcrafted and printed.
The street shows of Ghoomar and puppet dance are all a delight to watch and you might come to know more about the local tales of royalties through these dances. The markets of Jaipur are a community hub but they promise to entertain you through everything possible.
AN ASTRONOMICAL WONDER : JANTAR MANTAR
An astronomical wonder that became the face of the Jaipur city and for all the right reasons. Children love this place and it is the spot which leaves people wondering about stars and the mechanism of the universe. Among the best heritage sites, among UNESCO world heritage sites, it was built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh in the nineteenth century. The intelligent structure and the smart architecture of this human marvel works as a sundial, tell the movements of the stars and shows the wheel of the time
DIVE DEEP INTO STEP WELLS
Baori or steeped wells are the major architecture pieces that you might only find in northern India. And if you want to see the variety in the step wells, then you are most welcome to Rajasthan. Though the best of the best are still constricted to the boundaries of Jaipur.
One of the most complex pieces of architecture and situated at a distance of 20 km from the city of Jaipur, Abhaneri Baori, or Chand Baori is as beautiful as its name. Used for the conservation of groundwater and water conservation during monsoons. Such baori has been quenching the thirst for whoever goes to them for more than 10 centuries.
PANNA MEENA KUND
Another Rajasthani Baori which has conserved water for centuries but now is not that active anymore. Panna Meena Kund is architecturally a stepwell but also serves as a community center as well considering various men and women from local towns and tourists find it comparatively cooler than the hot Jaipur to sit and chit-chat a little bit.
A STRING OF TEMPLES
If you have been impressed by the first sand palaces of Jaipur, wait until the temples of Jaipur bind your feet to the lands. Considering this is a place for locals’ beliefs and century-old royalties, their belief in the almighty would be no less royal. And so does the show in their creations of the great temples that they have made around the town.
GARH GANESH TEMPLE
Garh Ganesh temple, one of the oldest temples again, was built by the Maharaja Sawai Singh. It is a temple to worship the child form of Lord Ganesha. It is loathed near Jaigarh or Nahargarh forts on the Aravalli Hills. And is one of the most prominent spots for the tourists to get a sight of the Aravalli hills.
A temple all combined with a palace and is home to the idols of Lord Vishnu, Lord Hanuman and Lord Krishna all in one. It is a source of freshwater spring, a pond, a fountain, and is a magnificent place to pay a visit. You might remember this one for the movie Dhadak, the pond in which Ishan Khattar, jumped in.
Akshardham Temple or Swaminarayan Temple, this place is a site in the night. In the day when it is all whitewashed on the walls but in the night it is all lit up with blue lights and is considered very holy by the Hindus. This wonderful temple is seated in a lush green garden which makes it all the more magnificent to watch.
The Birla Temple, most famous for its whitewashed walls and the templar architecture on the roof, that again serves as the picture of Jaipur is home to the creator “Lakshmi and Narayana.” It has been believed that Lakshmi is the creator of wealth and the protector too. The locals visit the temple regularly and the tourists visit to seek meditation and enlightenment.
KHOLE KE HANUMAN JI TEMPLE
Located on the Delhi bypass in Jaipur, Khole Ji Hanuman Temple is beautiful beyond words and gives a certain vibe of architectural beauty that certainly signifies that you are finally being entering into the land of architecture and design.
It was constructed by the Pandit Radhe Lal Choubey ji as he was once walking through the garden and he observed a rock in the shape of Lord Hanuman. He considered it a sign and hence made a temple surrounding it. There are more stories to this place, some you might discover once you visit it.