Among the places to visit in Jaipur, missing Amer Fort exploration is almost next to impossible. The grandeur that this place shadows over the city is quite remarkable and looks more like a protective shield to Jaipur from one end. Once you reach the area and check out the fort from a distance, the picturesque image will look more like a movie scene. The fort is located outside the city away from the hustle bustle. One of the major attractions here is the Sheesh Mahal or the Palace of Mirrors that surely should be checked out once. Mirror work is embedded on the walls, pillars and the ceiling of the Mahal making it as enthralling as possible. The lush green lawn of the Amer Fort is another of the things worth a mention here. Take a walking tour, shop from the souvenir shop and take a break at the coffee shop to have a fulfilling day.
Jal Mahal also known as Water Palace in English is yet again one of the things to do in Jaipur. It is located in the heart of the famous Man Sagar Lake and near the cenotaphs of royal ladies and Maharanis of the city in the earlier times. Madho Singh was the one behind the formation of the Jal Mahal in the same year as that of Hawa Mahal- 1799. The idea was to get a summer resort made for the royal family. The place was also used for hunting ducks during the warm season. Under the Jal Tarang project going on currently, this place is closed for restoration.
Hawa Mahal - Palace of Wind
As one of the most distinctive part of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal located amidst the busy streets is something that cannot be missed. The grandeur of the place surely catches the attention of each one passing by. The structure is made from pink sandstone and has a honey-comb like shape that makes it all the more interesting. There are 5 storey in the monument and surely looks extraordinary. The place was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799 to help the ladies watch all the happenings on the streets including the processions that took place from time to time. From the extreme top of the Mahal, you can have a spectacular view of the Jantar Mantar as well as City Palace. For those interested in exhibits, the good news comes in the form of a small museum within the mahal that has great paintings, ceremonial armours as well as rich relics. For the entry, move to the backside of the complex.
Yet another beautiful mansion in Jaisalmer, it was started by Guman Chand Patwa. The mansion took 55 years to be completed. Gumans sons completed it later. The most beautiful features of this mansion are the archways, gateways and especially the balconies, known as jharokhas. The golden color of the mansion catches the eye of every visitor at once. The tour of the whole mansion will take not more than 45 minutes. This is no doubt one of the most splendid residences in the beautiful city.
Birla Mandir Temple
A completely marble made Mandir, Birla Mandir in Jaipur is not only famous but one that gives a feeling of peace and calmness to the visitors. Though, there are a number of Birlan Mandirs around the nation, the one in this city is quite hugs. The cleanliness, the maintenance and the well-planned structure and system is bound to take you off your feet. Apart from that, the architecture of the entire monument is worth a heavy sigh. The temple is a dedication to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. It is also known as the LaxmiNarayan Temple for these reasons. There are quite a number of foreign tourists visiting this place all throughout the year.
Salim Singh-ki Haveli
Another beautiful gem of Jaisalmer, this mansion was built by Salim Singh in the year 1815 when Jaisalmer was the capital of the Rajput Kingdom. Salim Singh was the Prime Minister of the court at that time and this was his residence. The specialty of this mansion that makes it stand out from others is the fact that the bricks and stones of this are not joined with cement and mortar. They are joined with long and strong iron rods. The mansion is so huge that it is said the king was also jealous of it. It is also one of the most innovative buildings of that era. The theme from which the design of the mansion was inspired is a dancing peacock. The 38 balconies projecting out resembles a peacock dancing. The intricate designs of the walls and pillars are also remarkable.
Taragarh Fort has a structure like a star (Tara' means 'Star') and was constructed in 1354, by Rao Bar Singh. Unlike most forts (made of sandstone) it is built with serpentine stone (green colored) and is situated vertically on a steep hill side. It is considered to be one of the oldest forts in Rajasthan and has no elements of Mughal or any other architectural influence. It has seen many rulers like the Rajputs, Marathas, Mughals and many battles as well. The fort has another unique feature of many having tunnels built running across the hill. However, these are now inaccessible, one, due to lack of actual map and two, due to the miserable condition the fort is in.Once we were through the beautiful Chitrashala we embarked on the steep climb to the top of the hill, to the Taragarh Fort. The guards at Chitrashala helped us refill our water bottles* and select solid sticks to keep the monkeys at bay and help in the trek.
City Palace is a name that rings a bell of amazing culture and great architecture. It is one of the must things to do in Jaipur. The palace is located in the centre of the city and is a combination of amazing courtyards, buildings and gardens. Jai Singh was the Maharaja to build the outer most wall of City Palace. However, there has been various restorations and adaptations in the following centuries till date. There are various buildings within the palace, many of which were built in the 20th century. Where architecture is concerned, it is a beautiful mix of Rajasthani and Mughal cultures. The entry gate, Virendra Pol leads to the Mubarak Mahal which has a colonial look and a mix of Islamic, European and Rajput style of architecture. Today, this place is a museum that shows various exhibits starting from royal shawls to costumes. Some other places to explore here are diwan-e-khas, diwan-i-am, the armoury and Chandra Mahal.
Vinay Vilas Palace
This palace was built in the 18th century and just like the name suggests, it was built by Maharaja Vinay Vilas. This palace is also known as the City Palace of Alwar and is the main palace in this city. The beautiful monument is a pure and perfect blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. This is an evidence of the relations between the two empires in spite of all the battles and wars. There are a number of other attractions inside the monument. The most important ones out of these are the Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri, Purjan Vihar, the beautiful, artificial lake built by the Maharja himself and the Alwar Museum of course. The Alwar Museum is the most popular out of all and has a vast collection of antiques. There is a huge collection of manuscripts in various languages such as Persian, Urdu and Sanskrit. Some of these are Bostan, Waqiat-e- Babri, Gulistan and others written during the Mughal period goving a vivid account of the royal life of the Mughals. There is also a division of the museum where you will find a collection of weapons of the Indian Army and there is a huge collection of beautiful paintings as well.