Founded in AD 1727 by Sawai Jaisingh II, Jaipur the capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the Pink City with broad avenues and spacious gardens. The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is steeped in history and culture. Here the past comes alive in magnificent forts and palaces, blushed pink, where once lived the maharajas. The bustling bazaars of Jaipur, famous for Rajasthani jewellery, fabric and shoes, possess a timeless quality and are surely a treasure-trove for the shoppers. This fascinating city with its romantic charm takes you to an epoch of royalty and tradition.
The ‘Pink City’ of India, Jaipur is a palatial wonderland with its unparalleled beauty, spectacular architecture and vibrant, regal history. With a superb collection of breathtaking palaces, exciting camel/elephant rides, vibrant Rajasthani culture and scrumptious ethnic food, Jaipur is a time travel portal to the old time worldly charms of the Rajahs and their lavish lifestyles, giving Jaipur a unique regal vibe in the contemporary 21st century India.
5 Must Visit Places In Jaipur
1. Hawa Mahal
The Hawa Mahal palace is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument that rises 50 feet (15 m). The top three floors of the structure have the width of a single room, while the first and second floors have patios in front of them. One of the most prominent landmarks of the pink city, ‘Hawa Mahal’ is located very near to the ‘City Palace’. Rajput customs used to be very strict and firm for the royal ladies in the past. Ladies were bound by a strict ‘Purdah System’ and were not allowed to go in public and interact with strangers. In order to enable ladies of the royal family observe the day to day life and carnivals celebrated in the streets of the city, without being seen by the common man, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, in the year 1799 gave the orders to construct this special monument. Constructed with red and pink sandstone and symbolizing the shape of Lord Krishna’s crown, ‘Hawa Mahal’ is an architectural masterpiece with over 900 intricately carved ‘Jharokhas’ or small windows.
2. Jantar Mantar
The term “Jantar Mantar” literally means “instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens”. In Jaipur city there are palaces, temples, gardens and ponds they all have their importance in their place but the astronomical observatory established by the king Sawai Jai Singh have International importance. The Jantar Mantar houses various architectural and astrological instruments that have caught the interests of astronomers, historians and architects around the world. It is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built. It features the world’s largest stone sundial and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.Jantar Mantar is located near City Palace and Hawa Mahal of Jaipur. The monument features instruments operating in each of the three main classical celestial coordinate systems: the horizon-zenith local system, the equatorial system and the ecliptic system.
3. Jal Mahal
The building has a picturesque view of the lake itself but owing to its seclusion from land is equally the focus of a viewpoint from the Man Sagar Dam on the eastern side of the lake in front of the backdrop of the surrounding Nahargarh (“tiger-abode”) hills. The palace, built in red sandstone, is a five storied building, of which four floors remain underwater when the lake is full and the top floor is exposed. Tourists can book boat rides to visit the palace; only the terrace garden is allowed to be accessed by the visitors. Stunning views of the hills adorned with forts and temples from the terrace of the palace leaves you mesmerized for some time. If you have keen interest in bird watching, the palace gives you ample opportunities to spot flamingos and various other species of migratory birds. In the evenings, when the palace gets illuminated with thousands of flood lights reflecting on the waters of the lake, the sight really captivates your hearts and souls.
4. Nahargarh Fort
The skyline above the fort revels in glory when the fort is floodlit in the night; you have to be there yourself to witness this magical scene with your own eyes.Overlooking the city of Jaipur, ‘Nahargarh Fort’ is another imposing structure of Jaipur. The scenic Aravali hills serve as a perfect backdrop for this impressive fort. The famous ‘Masti ki Pathshala’ song from the Bollywood movie, ‘Rang De Basanti’, shot at a baori of this fort, has made this place even more popular amongst tourists. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the 18th century, the Nahargarh Fort along with forts of Amer and Jaigarh, served as a strong defence to the Jaipur city in the past. Major attraction inside the fort is the ‘Madhavendra Bhavan’ that speaks volumes of the Rajput taste for exquisite artwork and craftsmanship. The interiors of the bhavan are beautifully decorated with murals and European stucco designs. Interestingly, the bhavan was used by Raja Sawai Madho Singh as a summer retreat for him and his 9 wives. The temple dedicated to Nahar Singh Bhomia is another interesting site to visit inside the fort complex. Splendid vistas of the Jaipur city and a mystic charm of the sunset from the terrace of the Madhavendra Bhavan; makes this fort all the more an interesting place to visit in Jaipur.
5. Amer Fort
Located in Amer town, at a distance of 11 km. from Jaipur, the ‘Amer Fort’ is one of the most impressive forts of Rajasthan and is visited by an umpteen number of tourists every year. Overlooking the beautiful Maota Lake, the fort is a masterpiece of the Rajputana architecture. Built by Raja Man Singh I in 16thcentury, the fort is a brilliant specimen boasting of a unique blend of Hindu and Rajput elements. Be it the ornamented pillars and delicate mosaic work of the ‘Diwaan-e-Khaas’, splendid ivory and sandalwood work of the ‘Sukh Niwas’, elegant frescoes and fascinating latticed work of the ‘Ganesh Pol’ or a spell binding work of glass in the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ – Amer Fort is incomparable as far as the artistic skills of the artisans and designers of the Rajput era are concerned. Besides the artistic brilliance, the fort also offers you breath-taking views of the surrounding hills and cities. Many famous Bollywood movies such as ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, ‘Jodha Akbar’ and ‘Veer’ have been shot at this enchanting fort. A tourist guide is a must to get an in-depth knowledge of the fort’s minutest details.