Fondly called the “pink city”, Jaipur has always reminded me of the Hawa Mahal Palace that I have read about in history text books. I have imagined of Jaipur as a city of majestic palaces where the Royals once walked through and lived a life so grand,shops selling colorful handicrafts and block printed textiles.
But, like every other capital city ,Jaipur is dusty, noisy and comparatively less packed than a metro. Now I did not mean to say you can skip Jaipur when you are in Rajasthan. Jaipur has its own lovely things to make you fall in love with the place.As a person obsessed with history, Albert Hall Museum holds a special place in my heart. But here is a list of all things you can do while you are in Jaipur.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Hawa Mahal is probably the first thing that would pop up in your mind when you think of Jaipur. An icon to relate with the pink city. This is a marvel reflecting the Rajasthani style of architecture and the beautifully carved windows were the ones through which the Royal women once watched the celebrations and happening of the city and stayed connected with the outside world.Entry fee to this monument is INR 50 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners. We decided to witness its beauty from the busy streets of Jaipur to avoid the claustrophobic rooms and corridors.
Travel Tip – Walk in to the Wind View Cafe that is located right in front of the Palace for some awesome chai, coffee and some extraordinary pictures of Hawa Mahal in the backdrop.Best time to visit – either before 9 in the morning or in the evening after 5.
Built by Sawai Jai singh in the 18th Century, this place took me by surprise for its contributions to the calculation of astronomical science .The sundials and the other yantra(instruments) to calculate the position of the heavenly bodies is the best preserved of India’s observatories. This is declared as a World heritage site by UNESCO. Entry Fee for Indians is INR50 and INR150 for foreign tourists
Travel tip – If you plan to visit Albert Hall Museum, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Jaigarh fort and Amer Fort Palace on the same day, you can buy the composite ticket that costs approx INR300 per Indian adult and INR50 for Indian student. The same ticket costs INR1000 for foreign tourist. The composite ticket gives you access to the all the above said monuments & is valid for two days.
Being one of the most instagrammed places of Rajasthan, this palace complex has a vast array of courtyards and buildings that are now converted to museums housing the artifacts of the Royals.
We somehow felt this is overly hyped and comparatively less in its grandeur. The cover page of “The Palace of Illusions” has taken its inspiration from one of the gates of this Palace. You will find a lots of Instagram-able corners around the palace.
There is a portion of the palace that can be visited upon paying a hefty fee of INR2500 by an Indian and INR3000 by a foreigner which takes you through the famous “Shoba Nivas” that’s decorated with blue tiles and colored glass ceilings. It is called the “Royal Grandeur Tour”. We decided to save our pockets from the burn!
Travel tip – If you have a student of age 5-15, carry his/her school ID card for a concession in the entry tickets
Albert Hall Museum
A must visit place for any history freak and a place we totally fell in love with. This museum houses artifacts dating back to the era of Guptas and Mauryas, the Mughals and the Sultanates of Delhi .
The architecture with high ceilings and chess board patterned flooring is mind blowing. Entry fee for Indians is INR50 and INR300 for other nationals.There is a special museum that houses an Egyptian mummy is not to be missed. Watch out for this while you exit the museum through the stairs at the rear end.Must visit for anyone who is fascinated by Egyptian Gods and Goddesses.
DSLR cameras are not allowed inside the museum. The security guards keeps shooing away anyone with a SLR. However,mobile phones are allowed to click pictures. Unclear logic!
Jal Mahal is one attraction that will not go missed while you make your visit to Amer Fort. Submerged in lake Maan Sagar, this is a spot for a lot of migratory birds. This spot is to sit down on the promenade to witness the sky turning amber and to soak yourself in the beauty of the palace reflection on the waters of the lake.
No entry fee to this monument. There are lots of local sellers and vendors selling all sort of handicrafts and souvenirs .A slightly crowded place.
Amer Fort & Jaigarh fort
Dating back to the 17th century these forts played a huge role in the lives of the Royals. Amer Fort was the residential complex of the Royals , built beautifully with courtyards, garden, decorated halls and walkways.
This fort is huge and takes a minimum of 2-3 hours for anyone to explore. Not to miss in the Amer fort are the “Seesh Mahal”, the Mughal garden and the “Sukh Mahal”. Jaigarh fort served for strategic military purposes and now holds military and warfare artifacts is located a few kilometers from the Amer fort.
“Panna Meena Kund” is a step well tank near the Amer fort that goes unnoticed most of the time.Speak to the locals to find way to this step well tank . Walk through the cobbled alleys that surrounds the fort to spot this beauty.
Entry free for Indians is INR50 and INR300 for foreign nationals. The fort looks ueterly beautiful after 4 in the evening. So ,plan your visit around 3 in the afternoon. Explore and stroll through the inner complex and sit down on the open courtyards after 4 for the pleasant breeze to caress you.
Situated within the city premises, this is a beautiful spot to witness sunset. The temple follows the usual construction pattern of all the Birla Mandirs – white marble structure with beautifully decorated deities of Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannath. There is no fee charged for the tourists.
Blue Pottery of Jaipur
Jaipur is famous for it blue pottery cutlery and artifacts. The old city is full of shops selling blue pottery kitchen ware to decors. Our suggestion is to visit Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre(Amer Road) for reasonably priced art pieces.
Photo Tip – Make sure you wear something in Yellow or Blue to look stunning against the palaces and museum background
Gems and stones of Jaipur
Stones and gems from Jaipur are famous and you find a shop selling these in every corner of the city. Shivam Gems and Jewelry are the best and reliable sellers in the market.
Block prints of Jaipur
The blocks for making these prints are found in every nook and corner of Rajasthan. There are a lots of places demonstrating the art of block printing and entice you in buying stuff from them. Our suggestion for authentically crafted garments and fabrics is Anokhi Japipur.
Travel Tip – The weather in Rajasthan is extremely hot and dry during the day. So plan your day to visit the pottery,textile and gems museums, Albert Hall Museum and the City palace museum. Head out to Amber fort ,Jaigarh fort and Jal Mahal palace between 3-6 in the evening.
Having said about the must do things in the heart city of Rajasthan,we have more suggestions and travel tips coming up for the “Blue City” of Rajasthan. So, stay tuned.
How about adding these images to your Pinterest board?
Image Courtesy : 1