Known as the ‘Pink City’ from the distinctive colour of its buildings, Jaipur was named after its founder Maharaja JaiSingh II who was a warrior and astronomer in the 17th century.
These are my favourite sights in Jaipur, please leave a comment if you have more suggestions!
AMBER FORT & PALACE
The Amber Fort looks over the sweeping valley of the town of Amer, 11 kilometres from Jaipur. The palace and fort is built from sandstone and marble and the paint was mixed with the jewel dust shavings from the towns gem factories keeping the colour vibrant and untouched in 350 years!
This is the most popular attraction in Jaipur and the lure of an elephant ride to the top leaves many tourist forced to line up in the blaring Indian sun. Arrive early to beat the crowds and bring water and a hat with you.
Riding on the back of a painted elephant along the winding road to the fort’s entrance is an enticing idea. Several welfare groups have criticised the housing conditions of the elephants after a recent government inspection and elephants now have a maximum amount of trips they are able to do per day in the beating sun. It’s your choice if you choose to ride them.
Don’t miss the Sheesh Mahal, Mirror Palace, in the Amber Fort. An ancient style disco, this sweeping room is covered in countless mirrored squares on the walls and roof. When two candles are lit at either end of the room it is said the entire room is a glow with thousands of stars.
JAL MAHAL (WATER PALACE)
A mysterious palace without a definitive construction date, this palace in the centre of the man-made lake consists of a pavilion and terraced garden above the water and four underwater levels. Built in Mughal-Rajputana architectural style, the palace was originally used as a bird hunting lodge for Jaipur’s Maharajas.
The palace is not open for visitors.
(PALACE OF THE WINDS)
Known as the Palace of the winds this five story palace was built in 1799 and boast a pink sandstone facade and 953 windows.
The interior is open to visitors, inside there is a small museum and most importantly sweeping views across the city from the top floor.
PANNA MEENA KA KUND STEP WELL
If you are a fan of the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, like myself, you may recognise this beautiful step well.
Only a few hundred meters from the Amber Fort and often over looked by the bigger step well in Abhaneri, the precision and symmetry of this structure is photogenic.
Jaipur City Palace, built in the 18th century, is a vibrant pink complex in the heart of the city. There is a museum, several courtyards, intricate carved gates, chambers and a temple to explore in this complex.
There is a ‘Night at the museum’ visit which includes a light show and buffet dinner, a rare chance to see the interior of the palace lit up in all its beauty.
MIRZA ISMAIL ROAD
Mirza Ismail Road is lined with shops selling a plethora of goods from bejewelled bangles to a new stove for your house. Be ridiculously vigilant when you cross this long boulevard as motor bikes, rickshaws and cars race down the straight avoiding the docile cars by millimetres.
MY BEST ADVICE – There is plenty of shopping to do here but by mindful of nifty pick pockets. Bargain hard and fair!
VISIT ONE OF JAIPUR’S BAZAARS
There are many bazaars, gem shops and shopping strips in Jaipur, each eager to receive your money. The two most popular bazaars are:
Johri Bazzar is constantly buzzing with tourist looking to buy gems and gold or silver jewellery. There is a huge array of clothing and sari’s to choose from.
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 7:30pm
Bapu Bazzar has trinkets and textiles lining every inch of each room. Be ready to choose from thousands of materials, textures and styles, you won’t get bored in this labyrinth.
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 7:30pm
MY BEST ADVICE – When I say a labyrinth of shops I really mean the bazaars are ‘insanely jam packed, textile lined plethora of goods’ labyrinth!
The shopping here is not for the faint hearted or disinterested. Don’t even bother dragging a non-shopper with you, they will slow you down and whine the whole time!
INTERESTED IN BUYING PRINTS?
I have been on the road for ten years accumulating an absurd number of images that I would love to share.
Head over to my photography site, IndiaParishPhotography.com to browse prints from across the globe.
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