Jaipur is a city located in the desert state of Rajasthan, India. Jaipur is studded with splendid palaces and forts of such beautiful architectural styles and fascinating historical accounts of the bygone era, that you’re sure to be amazed beyond your imagination!
Founded in 1727 by the then King-Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh II, Jaipur is one of the first planned cities of India built with great attention to detail and also according to Vaastu Shastra! Moreover, the city was painted all in pink (the colour of hospitality) to welcome the Prince of Wales in 1876. Hence, this pink city with its treasure bag full of amazingly stunning palaces and forts welcomes you with arms wide open. Believe me, you’re in for a treat!
Here is a list of five hottest tourist spots in Jaipur that will blow your mind away!
1. The City Palace
The City Palace in Jaipur is a magnificent display of Rajput, European and Mughal forms of architecture and is situated right in the middle of the old city. In fact, the city was so planned that all roads radiated away or towards this place positioning it in the heart of the city! It is a huge complex comprising of gardens, palaces and courtyards. Many palaces have now been converted into museums and art gallery displaying a brilliant collection of clothes, paintings, weapons and what not! All of these depict the life and times of the royal family leaving you awestruck! The Mubarak Palace, The Chandra Palace and the Diwan-e-Khaas hall are worth a visit! Also noteworthy is the stupendous beauty of the peacock gate which displays meticulous craftsmanship of the artisans of the bygone era.
2. Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds)
At the first glance itself you’ll be hypnotised by the beauty of this palace! Unlike the usual castle-like or dome-y appearance of many palaces, Hawa Mahal presents a view like no other! It is almost like a beautiful painting onto a canvas of stunning blue skies, a view that you just cannot miss! Constructed in the late 1700s, it is called the palace of winds because the palace has 953 windows allowing super-duper ventilation!! These were essentially constructed so the queens (which according to the guides were around 100 in number) could sit by the windows and enjoy an interrupted view of the city! Another interesting fact is the palace has no steps. Yep, all it has are slopes by which you can make your way up the building.
3. Amber Fort and Palace
Built by Raja Mann Singh in 1592, this breathtakingly beautiful Amber fort resides on a hilltop overlooking the enchanting waters of the Maota Lake, around 11 km away from Jaipur. While you could walk up the hill to this exquisite fort, you could also enter in royal style on an elephant! Nevertheless, you’ll be mesmerised by the enthralling beauty of this fort that represents a blend of Indian and Muslim architecture in all its glory. The fort houses widespread gardens, immaculate courtyardsnamely the Diwan-e-Aam (the hall of public audience), the Diwan-e-Khaas (the hall of private audience), the Jai Mandir that contains a splendid mirror palace and Sukh Nivas. Be sure to check out all these and take a walk around this wonderful fort that is set amidst the backdrop of lush green hills and a pristine lake. You could also catch a light and sound show in the evening that tells tales of all the fort’s glorious past.
4. Chokhi Dhani
Chokhi Dhani puts forth a summary of what Rajasthan is about. It is an ethnic resort located 20 km of South Jaipur and totally worth a visit! The place is beaming with all aspects of Rajasthani culture be it the food, the cultural experience or shopping. All of it at one place with bucket loads of entertainment! Puppet show, magic show, folk dance performances, camel rides, elephant rides, gaming zone, a tribal show and much more is organised to keep you engaged! And when you’re tired and hungry they’ll stuff you (literally) with Rajasthani food immersed in ghee and heavenly in taste! All in all, a great place to visit for kids and adults alike.
5. Jal Mahal
A water palace! Yes, that’s what this is! Built in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh, Jal Mahal rests amidst the waters of Man Sagar Lake with Aravali hills in the background and offers a breathtaking view! Huge flocks of birds migrate to this region during the winter season and thus it is an ideal spot for bird-watching.
Thus Jaipur with its architectural splendours and mesmerising stories of the many kings and queens is a place that will leave you mesmerised.
Rohit is an architect and a passionate traveller. He loves exploring the various architectural forms be it the majestic palaces or forts or the divine temples or even the caves and sharing the precise yet fascinating details! He writes about Indian destinations at his website – Transindiatravels.com. Apart from that, his articles and blogs appear on many websites and provide a virtual tour of the place.