I have been to Jaipur many a times since childhood but never visited it like a tourist. And now when I finally did, I fell in love with it all over again 🙂
Jaipur – Also known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and the home of the Jaipur Literature Festival that is held in January every year. Jaipur has been one of the most popular tourist destinations not just among domestic travelers but foreign tourists too. The Pink City is dotted with grand palaces, hilltop forts, lively bazaars and a host of eateries dishing out lip-smacking Rajasthani food.
Best time to visit Jaipur would be in Winters (October to March).
Best places to stay in Jaipur:
Luxury Stays -The Oberoi Rajvilas, Taj Rambagh Palace, Narayan Niwas, ITC Rajputana Formerly Sheraton Rajputana Palace Hotel, The Lalit, Jaipur Marriott, Hotel Crown Plaza, Hotel Fairmont etc.
Normal Stays – Hotel Ramada, Holiday Inn, Hilton, Hotel Choki Dhani etc
Best places to Eat in Jaipur:
Try out some authentic Rajasthani dishes like dal baati churma, mawa kachori and ghewar.
- Chokhi Dhaani at Tonk Road is great for the perfect Rajasthani meal. Chokhi Dhani recreates a Rajasthani village ambience and serves authentic vegetarian Rajasthani thalis.
- Suvarna Mahal at Rambagh Palace serves one of the best thali spreads.
- Laxmi Misthan Bhandar or LMB (Johari Bazaar) pampers your sweet tooth with its extensive sweet counter. Don’t miss their Rajasthan thali and their most popular signature kulfa a mix of kulfi and falooda.
- Rawat Mishthan Bhandar for Pyaaz Kachori
- Lassiwala at MI road
- Indian Coffee House (MI Road) is a part of the chain of Indian Coffee Workers’ Co-operative that has over 400 outlets around the country, offers a wonderful cup of filter coffee and snacks at throwaway prices.
- Punjabi Food available at various places in Raja Park
- Sodani sweets at Lal Kothi famous for its Rabri Ghevar and other sweets
- Sharma Dhaba – a popular dhaba in Jaipur
The list goes on… Try out these places/dishes and enjoy 🙂
Best places to shop in Jaipur:
- Bapu Bazaar for Rajasthani wears
- Johri Bazaar for Jewellery
- Gaurav Towers for local shopping
- Tonk Road, MI road, World Trade Park etc for branded shopping
Must Visit places in Jaipur:
1. Amer Fort : The Amer fort is at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur and is well connected by local public transport. Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. The aesthetic ambience of the palace is seen within its walls. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard.
We were transported back to 16-17th centuries. The dramatic stories about the royals gave us an insight into their lives as well as those times. We were awed by some stories, some others were just out right amusing! We were expecting to be done with the palace in a few hours but ended up spending almost an entire day there.
Amer Palace is huge with many rooms, passages, mahals. It consists of the Diwan-e-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace
The palace has an underground prisoner cell. This cell is connected to tunnel connecting Jaigarh and Amer.
On the way to Amer, is Jal Mahal, a palace half submerged in water. Jal Mahal is currently closed.
2. Jaigarh Fort : Amer palace, along with Jaigarh Fort, is located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills. The fort is connected with Jaigarh Fort through fortified tunnel. The tunnel was built for the royal family members and others during the escape during the times of war, to take them to Jaigarh Fort, which was far safer place.
We decided to walk the tunnel connecting Amer to Jaigarh. The tunnel is covered upto 1km and open after that. There are e-rickshwas at the other end of tunnel which give a ride(of course at a cost!) upto Jaigarh and back.
The fort features a cannon named “Jaivana”, which was manufactured in the fort precincts and was then the world’s largest cannon on wheels.
3. Nahargarh Fort: Nahargarh Fort stands on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, overlooking the pink city of Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The view of the city from the fort is impressive.
Along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh once formed a strong defence ring for the city. The fort was originally named Sudarshangarh, but it became known as Nahargarh, which means ‘abode of tigers’. The popular belief is that Nahar here stands for Nahar Singh Bhomia, whose spirit haunted the place and obstructed construction of the fort. Nahar’s spirit was pacified by building a temple in his memory within the fort, which thus became known by his name.
4. Hawa Mahal: “Palace of Winds” or “Palace of the Breeze”.
The palace of winds was built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1747. It has latticed windows that allowed royal ladies to have view of the market place. Hawa Mahal has beautiful interiors.
Constructed of red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, and extends to the zenana, or women’s chambers.From the top one can have a view of Jantar Mantar and the City Palace on one side and the Siredeori bazaar on the other side. Jaipur very much looks like Hawa Mahal.
5. City Palace: The City Palace is in the central-northeast part of the Jaipur city, which is laid in a grid pattern with wide avenues. It is a unique and arresting complex of several palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples. The most prominent and most visited structures in the complex are the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani’s Palace, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
There are several shops within the fort, where one can buy traditional Rajasthani costumes.
6. Jantar Mantar: The word Jantra is derived from yantra, instrument, while the suffix Mantar is derived from mantrana meaning consult or calculate. The words jantar and ‘mantar (or yantra and mantra) means calculation instrument. It is one of the five observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh in 1718. It houses a huge collection of astronomical instruments and the world’s biggest sundial. Jantar Mantar is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The jantars have evocative names like Samrat Yantra, Jai Prakash, Ram Yantra and Niyati Chakra; each of which are used to for various astronomical calculations. The primary purpose of the observatory was to compile astronomical tables, and to predict the times and movements of the sun, moon and planets.
7. Albert Hall Museum: It is the oldest museum of the state and functions as the State museum of Rajasthan. The building is situated in Ram Niwas Garden and is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts like paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, colourful crystal works etc.
8. Birla Temple: Birla Temple, Jaipur At the foot of Moti Dungri fort is the Birla Temple. This temple forms one of the major attractions of Jaipur. Birla Temple of Jaipur looks stunning, when it is brightly lit in the night. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Narayan), the preserver and his consort Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Birla Mandir is constructed in the finest quality of white marble. The three huge domes of the temple represent three different approaches to the religion
Besides the above tourist places, Jaipur has few other places to visit as well. Hope your visit to Jaipur is fun 🙂
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