Jaipur is majorly known asThe Pink City. It is also known as the Paris of India due to the number of tourists visiting these monuments and paying tribute to the historical traditions of the city, The regal cuisine, unrivalled architecture, and raw natural beauty of the Rajasthan countryside would be enough to make Jaipur into a world class destination. Yet, there is so much more to this city. Jaipur is packed with spellbinding festivals, richly decorated elephants casually going about their work, enchanting cultural insights, and a labyrinth of colourful dream palaces at every turn.
- Why is it called the Paris of India?
- Why is it called the pink city?
- Best time to visit
- What to pack?
- Festivals celebrated
- Places to visit in Jaipur
- Places to visit near Jaipur
Why is it called the Paris of India?
Due to the number of tourists visiting these monuments and paying tribute to the historical traditions of the city, this city’s nickname is Paris of India. Being one of the most majestic and vibrant cities in India, Jaipur got its nickname a while back when an outsider stepped in and witnessed the royal decor, ornate temples, busy marketplaces, magnificent wildlife, a fantastic nightlife, and so many trees to keep the environment light and fresh.
Why is it called the pink city?
The Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria announced their visit in 1876. The King of Jaipur, Maharaja Ram Singh, mandated that the city be painted its now famous reddish-pink hue. This is because pink is believed to be the colour of hospitality.
You can see the exotic cityscape completely washed in a soft, glowing shade of blush that deepens as the sun sets each evening.
Best time to visit-
October to march are undoubtedly the best months to visit Jaipur as the summer heat has abated. December and January are the peak of winter and are exceptionally cold and dry. Temperatures start rising in February and remain pleasant till March which is the ideal weather for a holiday!
What to Pack?
- Lightweight cotton clothing for the summer as temperatures can peak beyond 40C.
- Essentials like a good pair of walking shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses which will be helpful during the long walks around palaces and forts
- A jacket just in case it gets cold at night.
Festivals celebrated –
Elephant festival, Kite Festival, ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, Teej Festival, Gangaur Fair.
Places to visit — (Scroll down to get some really good tips)
The City Palace is in the central-northeast part of the Jaipur City. Until 1949 the City Palace was the ceremonial and administrative seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. It now houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, and continues to be the home of the Jaipur royal family. The royal family of Jaipur is said to be the descendants of Lord Rama. There are few prominent and most visited structures inside the palace such as Govind Dev Ji temple, Entrance gates, Sarvato Bhadra (Diwan-e-Khas), Pritam Niwas Chowk, Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal and The Clock Tower. The City Palace of Jaipur is a beautiful blend of the Mughal and Rajasthani architecture representing the elegance and royalty of the Pink City!
Amber fort / Amer Fort
Amber Fort is about 20 minutes northeast of Jaipur’s city centre. Many people choose to remain at the fort for the evening sound and light show, night viewing, and dinner. Made out of sandstone and marble, Amber Fort consists of a series of four courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens. At its entrance lies the primary courtyard, known as Jaleb Chowk. It’s here that the king’s soldiers assembled and paraded themselves around.As you pass through the second courtyard, you reach the third courtyard, accessed through the ornate mosaic Ganesh Pol, is where the king’s private quarters were located. It has two buildings separated by an expansive ornamental garden. It’s here that you’ll marvel over the fort’s most exquisite part — the Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audiences). Its walls are covered in intricate mirror work, using glass imported from Belgium. Hence, it’s also called Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors). The upper part of Diwan-e-Khas, known as Jas Mandir, has delicate floral designs with glass in them. At the rear of the fort lies the fourth courtyard and Palace of Man Singh, which has the zenana (women’s quarters).
Nahargarh Fort is one of the majestic and magnificent forts of Jaipur, situated in the Aravalli Mountain ranges. Nahargarh means ‘abode of tigers’ and was named so after the tigers which were believed to have roamed around the hills. The fort comprises of many structures like two temples, a two storey building and Diwan-i- aam. The fort was built for defence purpose but was never attacked by enemies. The main attraction here apart from the view are the twelve queen boudoirs which are well connected and decorated with beautiful murals.
Hawa Mahal also known as the ‘palace of winds’, is an extension of the royal city palace of Jaipur. It allows the royal ladies who at the time strictly observed “pardah”, to be able to watch any processions and activities on the street without being seen by the public. The five-stores palace was built in the form of Krishna’s crown because Sarai Pratap Singh(The king at the time of construction) was devoted to Krishna, the Hindu god. The mahal has a total of 953 small casements each with small lattice worked pink window, balconies and arched roofs with hanging cornices. This allows cool breeze blow through the mahal and keep it cool and airy in summer. Despite the large number of windows, each of them are size of a peep hole such that the royal ladies were not to be seen by the public. In the recent times it has become a little unhygienic and a little out of the place but government is taking small steps to get it back on track.
Tip – The best time to visit Hawa Mahal is in the early morning when the sun enters the rooms from the windows. The mahal is illuminated with golden sun lights.
Jal Mahal is also known as the ‘the water palace’. The Jal Mahal is 4km to the north of Jaipur and is located on the main Amer-Jaipur road. The Jal Mahal was constructed from pink sandstone and follows the classical Rajput symmetrical style which is found throughout of Rajasthan. Possibly the most serene sight amidst the noisy roads of Jaipur is the beautiful Jal Mahal. This low-rise symmetrical palace, that once was a shooting lodge for the Maharajah, appears to float in the centre of Sagar Lake. The light sand coloured stone walls of the Jal Mahal Jaipur are at a stark contrast to the deep blue of the waters of the lake, while from the innards of the palace lush foliage sprouts. This has now been taken over by Taj and is an exclusive hotel.
Tip – Jal Mahal looks really beautiful at night as it is light up with lights.
Tip – It is a splendid place to create some good memories and take pictures.
Jantar Mantar Observatory
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a fascinating astronomical observatory, located at the heart of the city. Built in 1734, it has the worlds largest sun dial. This is one of the largest observatories in the World, comprising of interesting stone structures that help to interpret the position of celestial bodies and calculate local time. After extensive research and studying the gathered data, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II(founder of Jaipur City and the ruler of Amber) constructed stone made instruments to determine the position of planetary bodies and measure time. It took 7 years to build and its stone instruments are considered to be more accurate than others.
Tip – It is advisable to take a local guide or an audio guide for a clear understanding of the instruments and how the instruments work.
Tip – The best time of the day to visit Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is noon. During mid-day, the Sun is vertically above and it is easy to understand the process of interpretation of the readings of each instrument.
Pink city bazaars
The old city is a shopper’s paradise with shops selling a plethora of things. There are five main bazaars — Johari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, Nehru bazaar, Kishanpole Bazaar and Tripolia Bazaar. Along with shopping don’t forget to taste the delicious local food.
Street food you cannot miss – Golgappa, Pyaaz Kachori, Masala chai, Kaathi Rolls, Pavings bhaji, Chicken tikka, lassi and aloo paratha.
Tip – Don’t forget to visit Gaurav tower(GT mall)!! The shopping and food there is mind blowing!!
Tip – Always bargain when you shop.
Other places include – Jaigarh Fort, Albert hall museum and Birla Temple
Tip – You can go meet elephant and feed them, paint them and even ride the! You can talk to your tour guide who will connect you to a local place where they keep all the elephants.
Places to visit near Jaipur
Pushkar is one of the most ancient cities of India. Located in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district in midst of Aravali range, Pushkar is often called tirtha-raj, which literally means the king of pilgrim sites. It is also among the five pilgrim sites or dhams for people following Hinduism. Pushkar is also famous for the Pushkar Lake, which has 52 ghats. Pilgrims from across the country visit the lake to take a dip in its holy water. The sacred Pushkar Lake resounds with the chants and hymns from the 400 blue colored temples located on its banks. Pushkar is also called ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, because of the flower farming in and around the city.
Ajmer is bustling city, located 130 km southwest of Jaipur and just 14 km from the pilgrimage town of Pushkar. The city of Ajmer gets its name from “Ajay Meru”, which can be roughly translated as “invincible hill”. Home to a number of tourist places, Ajmer can be a perfect representation of the diversity of the Indian culture and ethics, and displays a perfect blend of religion, community, and culture. Ajmer remains a popular tourist attraction, in addition to being a pilgrimage centre for both Hindus and Muslims. The final resting place of the Sufi Saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti, is visited by Muslims from all over the world; in fact, the The Ajmer Sharif Dargah is revered equally by both Hindus and Muslims. The city is surrounded by the expansive lake of Ana Sagar and the rugged hills of Aravalli.
Ranthambore is famous for its wildlife sanctuary and fort. Ranthambhore wildlife sanctuary is known for its Bengal tigers, and is a popular place in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. The mighty powerful fort of Ranthambore has seen an immense number of attacks and conquests. The fort was the major barrier for the invaders because of the difficulty they faced to capture and the well-planned construction of the fort. The Ranthambore Fort is situated inside the Ranthambore national park which was the hunting grounds for the Maharajas of the Jaipur dynasty.
You can always plan a short weekend and visit these four gorgeous looking places together
Words are not enough to describe Jaipur. Wandering around through Jaipur’s streets and shopping and having delicious food was a treat. If you are visiting Rajasthan, Jaipur is a must on your list!