Built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh, Jaipur holds the distinction of being Rajashtan’s biggest city and India’s first planned city. The capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur also serves as the gateway to the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. A city that was once ruled by a royal family, Jaipur’s streets continue to be soaked in the colours of both pink, as well as those of regality. Jaipur is more popularly known as the ‘Pink City’ owing to its signature pinkish-red buildings and monuments which attract travelers from all parts of the world.
Jaipur’s majestic forts are easily its biggest attractions with the famed City Palace being the most significant of them all. The palace continues to house the royal family that once ruled Jaipur with a major chunk of the complex being open to tourists. The Chandra Mahan and Mubarak Mahal are City Palace’s most recognizable parts. A guided tour through this massive fort complex makes for one of the most essential Jaipur experiences. At a stone throw’s distance away from City Palace lies the magnificent Hawa Mahal, yet another popular tourist attraction in Jaipur. The red and pink sandstone palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh so that ladies of the royal household could watch the life and processions of the city through its 953 windows! A 10km drive off the main city gets you to the hill fort of Amer, a must-visit place when it comes to sightseeing in Jaipur. The massive fort complex is spread across an area of 4 square kilometers and was once the seat of power of the Rajput Maharajas. Amer Fort is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts history lovers who come to witness its Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Sheesh Mahal and the Sukh Niwas.
While Jaipur’s monuments are all about grandeur and sophistication, its streets, particularly bazaars are soaked in colour and are the best place to experience Rajasthan’s vibrant culture. The colourful bazaars of Jaipur are lined with shops selling traditional handloom, handicrafts and jewelry are one of the best places to visit in Jaipur for compulsive shoppers. Head to Johri Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and MI Road with your bargaining skills on point and shop till you drop!
Jaipur’s city center also happens to be surrounded by several ancient temples that hold a strong significance in Hindu religion. The Galtaji Temple is considered to be the jewel of Jaipur owing to its natural fresh water springs that are said to have healing powers. Similarly, Govind Ji Temple is also a popular tourist attraction in Jaipur and is said to be the second most important Krishna temple after the one in Vrindavan. The Moti Dungri Temple and the Swaminarayan Temple are also popular temples that deserve a spot on your itinerary of sightseeing in Jaipur.
If there’s anything more popular than Jaipur’s larger than life mounuments, it is the city’s vibrant culture, something that the state of Rajasthan is known for throughout the world. Located at a distance of about 20km, Choki Dhani is a popular luxury resort and a great place to experience everything that Rajasthan stands for. The resort is modelled around a traditional Rajasthani village and hosts an array of folk performers, offers rustic stays and gives visitors a chance to explore the flavours of Rajsthan.
If you’re someone who takes their food seriously and would love to dwell deeper into Rajasthan’s exciting palate, its streets will simply come across as paradise to you. The city is famous for its super spicy meat preparations such as Laal Maas and Junglee Maas which can be best experienced at Jaipur’s local institution, Handi Restaurant. Street food lovers can head down to yet another famed place to visit in Jaipur for all foodies, Rawat Mishtan Bhandar. Located close to the famous MI Road, Rawat does unmatched kachoris, Rajasthani thalis and sweets that will have you drooling endlessly and fall in love with the Pink City!