Jaipur is Rajasthan’s biggest city and its capital. It is known as the Pink City due to the distinct color of its buildings. The ‘pink’ of the Pink City is Gerua (or ochre) in which the city was coated during the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1905-06. Jaipur is known as much for its fascinating monuments and colorful markets as it is for its gorgeous handloom garments and wonderfully laid-out gardens. It is really not very difficult to fall in love with Jaipur the moment you land here. Along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism.
It is a common sight to see camels, colourful rickshaws, old fort, food and much else.
Hawa Mahal symbolizes Jaipur in a way that Gateway of India symbolizes Mumbai and Shaniwar Wada symbolizes Pune. Built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, it is made from red and pink sandstone and stands right at the edge of the City Palace. Its purpose was to act as a high screen for the women of the royal household.
Hawa Mahal has been designed to look like the crown of Krishna and stands tall at five stories, its façade resembling a honeycomb. With 953 intricately latticework jharokhas or small windows, Hawa Mahal served as a perfect cover for the Rajput women to watch the everyday goings-on and the special processions on the streets below.
Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is one of the five observatories constructed by Jai Singh II. Jantar Mantar is a fine example of Ptolemaic positional astronomy and has instruments that operate in each of the three main classical celestial coordinate systems: the ecliptic system, the horizon-zenith local system and the equatorial system. It has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites and remains a gem of Jaipur that cannot be missed.
Located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake is the spectacular Jal Mahal. At first glance, the palace that was constructed in 1745, appears to float on the waters of the lake (thus giving it the name). Jaipur’s Lake Palace is modeled on the Lake Palace of Udaipur. Man Sagar Lake, amidst which it stands, is an artificial lake that was formed when a dam was constructed over the river Dharbawati in the early 1600s. Jal Mahal has been converted into a luxury hotel and is managed by the Taj Group. Restored and refurbished, Jal Mahal Palace Hotel has 94 rooms and six suites as well as multiple restaurants. Since Jal Mahal is a private property, it remains out of bounds for public. The only way to see Jal Mahal from the inside is to either stay there or book a table at one of these restaurants.
Things to do in Jaipur
Watch the Sunset from Jal Mahal
A great piece of architecture, it looks stunning and you’ll get some amazing pictures of the iconic palace. But what makes your experience even better is watching the sunset in the backdrop. It is an experience you must not miss out if you are in Jaipur.
Get a Taste of Rajasthani Culture
at Chokhi Dhani
They say that you haven’t really explored a place unless you enjoy part of its culture. In Jaipur, one of the best places to enjoy cultural activity is at Chokhi Dhani. At this village themed resort, you can enjoy a variety of local experiences. You can go on camel, elephant and bullock cart rides, enjoy warm Rajasthani meals, be part of cultural programs and even enjoy a few adventure sports.
Go on a Shopping Spree
Apart from temples and palaces, Jaipur is famous for its bazaars. Across the city, you will come across many local markets, some of which are iconic. Jaipur is famous for its carpets, handicrafts, cloth, textiles and sandals. Some of the must buy things in Jaipur are carpets, jewellery, miniature painting and artisanal pottery.