5 Places around Jaipur that deserves more tourists. 

26th Nov 2018
Photo of 5 Places around Jaipur that deserves more tourists. by Shalbha Sarda

While the city of Jaipur is going to be crammed with tourists in the peak season, there are few places at a stone throw distance from Jaipur where you can ditch the typical tourist trail and have some time by yourself to explore

Bundi- a rural hinterland


150 km from Jaipur lies the medieval town of Bundi. The town has a distinct appeal than any in Rajasthani town. It is raw and austere, a true glimpse, and a rural hinterland. The whitewashed blue color houses, propped against a hill when illuminated at night looks spellbinding. The stepwells, alleyways and the crowning fort make people linger here for a while more than they intend to. The climb to 14th-century Taragarh fort is rather strenuous and although does not have a grandeur of the other Rajasthani forts, however, it offers terrific views of the manicured lawns of the palace and the town itself

Abhaneri - an engineering and architecture marvel

A 100 km away from Jaipur lies the largest and oldest step well of Chand Baori in the small town of Abhaneri. This 1000 years old structure has been in the backdrop of many movies like Batman, dark knight and the exotic marigold hotel. the 30m wide and 20m deep well is a riveting example of both royal and sensible architecture catering to the needs of the barren lands with an Ingenious system designed to circulate the water and reduce the temperature with magnificent details. This multitasking structure was used to store water, served as the summer palace for the royals and a place for daily congregations for people looking for respite from summer heat. This symmetrical, geometrical structure have 3500 steps like an Escher maze juxtaposing with the sun to create an interesting play of light and shadows during the day for the shutterbugs. The age-old Harshat Mata Temple near the stepwell is though in ruins due to Islamic invasion yet is frequented for its marvelous structure of bygone eras resembling the temples of Cambodia.

Bhangarh- the bucket list destination for curious travelers

Day 1

The Fort city of Bhangarh lies around 85 km from Jaipur. In the ruins of the erstwhile prosperous city prevails folklores of supernatural existence which makes it the most haunted place of India. Venturing here post-sunset is not allowed so the best idea would be to leave early morning and be done by sunset. Besides the fanciful paranormal tales, the sprawling fort is also an architectural delight having a vast periphery. There are remains of havelis, gardens , temples, marketplaces and palaces. Most of the structures are roofless crumbled after the initial two floors owing to some curse. Some of the better preserved intact structure is the Gopinath Temple and the Krishna temple. The climb atop the four-story fort is worth the views of the city in totality.

Sambhar- the native alternative to Rann Of Kutch.

The saline shallow wetlands of Sambhar lake is located around 100kms from Jaipur. This largest inland salt basin in India stretches for immense 200 square kilometers. The land here is barren, deceptive and glistens white with salt, stretching as far as eyes can see, giving an illusion of Martian territory. The best time to start the trip would be late afternoon to reach by evening and camp out at night. A visit to the of Shakambhari Devi temple on its shores gives a spiritual sense to this otherwise adventure trip. The lake shimmers with the canopy of stars as the dusk transcends into the night. It transforms into stargazers paradise at night searching for planets, constellation and the milky way. With sunrise on the horizon and the arrival of migratory birds in the morning, it now becomes a Shangri la to photographers and birdwatchers.

Mandawa-an open art gallery

The sleepy hamlet of Mandawa in Shekhawati region lies 170 km away from Jaipur. It was once a major trading outpost, inhabited by rich merchants in the past. The narrow deserted alleys of this town are dotted with havelis that still manage to retain its period charm. The buildings are an influence of Rajput, Mughal and Colonial opulence. The walls, ceilings, niches, and pillars of these havelis are packed like sardines with frescos, mirror work, and paintings inspired by Ramayana and Krishna Leela. Some of the noteworthy havelis are of Murmuria, Jhunjhunwala and Goenka clans. Castle Mandawa is amongst the prime attractions of this place. It testifies the glorious past with turreted towers, ornate balustrades, painted archways, and sprawling gardens. The palace has a display of artifacts and paintings belonging to the royal family. A Visit to the Poddar Museum in Nawalgarh on the way back is highly recommended.