‘Padharo Mhare Desh’ – The song starts playing in my mind the moment I think of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Grand architectures, royal history, interesting stories, their trademark pink buildings, colorful markets and most of all their warm hospitality and welcoming nature, the city fascinated me since I was a kid. On my first visit in 2017, I had the time to experience the culture and explore all the monuments, landmarks, beautiful courtyards and gardens and since then Jaipur has been topping the list of my most visited city in last two years.
Known as ‘The Pink City’ of Rajasthan, Jaipur has been the attraction for millions of people from all over the world, making it the tenth most visited city in Asia and now it is also the “Pink city of India” as UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared in 2019. Jaipur is not only home to beautiful ancient architectures as the grand Amber fort, the magnificent Nahargarh fort, the enchanting Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and many more, but it is also coming up as the new-age city of India for having so many cool places to visit for food, culture and experience. Having said so, I will be suggesting you couple of places that are a must visit (if this is your first time exploring the city), also some cool places to hang out around.
The entire Rajasthan is known for its brave history, warriors, the royal families and their lifestyle. So to begin with, you should definitely take a sneak-peak into the culture and the stories that has been taking round since ages. Monuments are a must to visit and if you are an architecture geek like me, you’ll have a gala time being a tourist in this town.
A 16th century old fort set on a hilltop, located 11kms outside the main city is my first suggestion to you. It used to be the home for the royal family with multiple palaces inside – Mirror Palace, Summer Palace, House of Public and Private Audience. Its a delight to keep walking through intricately painted entrances and be amazed by how well preserved it is. A Local guide or Audio Guide is a must if you are interested in history.
If you are looking for good pictures and want to escape the crowd then I would suggest you to visit early in the morning. You can either climb the stair or take a jeep, some people also ride elephants but its really a bad sight to see the elephants treated badly just for the tourism industry.
Entry fees for Indians – INR 100 For Foreigners – INR 500
One of the most photographed place in Jaipur. City Palace, located right in the center of the most colourful sites you will ever come across. The open courtyards with chandeliers hanging from the beautifully carved ceiling would be enough to mesmerize you. Such is the charm of City Palace.
This used to be the living palace for the royal family and it still is. Its fascinating to see how they have preserved all the weapons and dresses wore by the King and Queen along with snaps of the past with different viceroys of India. There are certain sections of the palace where photography is prohibited – such as museum of apparels and the royal court where the assembly and meetings used to take place. Rest the palace is a blast of colours and you would enjoy every corner of it.
Entry Fees for Indians – INR 200 Entry Fees for foreigners – INR 700
Hawa Mahal / Wind Palace
A 5 storey palace built for the royal ladies to observe and enjoy the festivities of the local people. Located right in the center of the city with more than 350 mirrors is one of the iconic monuments of Rajasthan. This is a must on every person visiting India for not only being so beautiful but also its so much talked about.
All good things comes with a little caution and advice. Be a little careful of the touts/ scammers here as they bother people a bit. And to enjoy the view of the Wind Palace, without any traffic, head to Tattoo Cafe (which is right opposite to Wind Palace)and watch the life go by. The cafe has some good food and music and the best view. (Some tips, only locals can tell you)
Patrika Gate is eight gate among the ones which exist within the walled city of Jaipur which is made keeping in mind of the other seven. On your way to the airport, this stunning architecture is along the way of Jawahar Circle and you can not miss this beauty. All the arches in Patrika Gate gives you a sneak peak in the vibrant culture of Rajasthan. Every wall has beautiful hand paintings which depict scenes of wedding, war and livelihood along with temples and portraits of rulers.
Patrika Gate is now a spot for Pre-wedding shoot and bloggers. During the day you can see shoots happening here. So next time when you are here, do not miss this beauty.
Rest there are other sites as well to explore, such as Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Albert Museum, Patrika Gate, Nahargarh fort and so many others. You will be amazed by how much beauty and diversity India holds.