5 Places To Visit In Jaipur You’d Never Dare Miss!
Jaipur offers a glorious parade into the alluring riches of ancient India. If you really want to see the Pink City in all its glory, here’s our top 5 picks of the best places to visit in Jaipur!
Photo Credits: Adwait Rajeshirke
Why Is Jaipur Known As The “Pink City”?
“Atithi Devo Bhava” is a phrase in Sanskrit which means “A guest is God himself”, and thus would be treated with utmost honour. Back in 1876, when the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria decided to visit India, they were greeted well by the king and all his people. Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city of Jaipur in Pink – since pink represents hospitality. It was then that Lord Albert exclaimed Jaipur to be a ‘Pink City’, and the name sticks even to this day.
Top 5 Places To Visit In Jaipur:
Also known as the “Pink City”, Jaipur flaunts a cultural extravagance of India’s royal monarchy. With palaces and forts, legends and mysteries, great architecture and colourful streets, Jaipur is rightfully part of the Golden Triangle of India that includes India’s top 3 destinations: Delhi (the capital), Agra (flaunting the Taj Mahal) and Jaipur (land of Hawelis & legends). Undoubtedly, Jaipur has travellers visiting from across the globe; and so it is crucial to have an idea of the best places to visit in Jaipur and plan accordingly.
Amer Fort, Grandeur In Disguise!
Not too far from Jaipur’s city centre stands the Amber Fort sitting atop a quaint hill overlooking the Maota Lake. An amalgamation of both Hindu and Muslim cultures, the Amer Palace boasts the sheer magnificence of India’s royal heritage.
What’s amazing about the Amer fort is that no matter how simple it looks from the outside, it’s absolutely gorgeous on the inside. The Amber fort is famous for its its mirror studded palaces, grand halls, ancient temples and beautiful gardens adorning this heritage site. This is clearly the best of all the places to visit in Jaipur.
You Can’t Walk Into Jaipur & Not Visit The City Palace!
Situated in the heart of the old Jaipur City, the City Palace is a marvellous structure with an impressive blend of both Rajput and Mughal architectures. It houses many notable structures inside the palace enclosure like the 7-storeyed Chandra Mahal, Diwan-E-Khas, Diwan-E-Am, Sileh Khana, Mubarak Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Pritam Niwas Chowk, etc. to name a few. They were built in different eras, a few dating back to the early 20th century.
You’d be impressed to see a fine collection of textiles such as the royal formal costumes, sanganeri block prints, embroidered shawls, Kashmiri pashminas and silk saris exhibited hereIt also houses the famous set of voluminous clothes worn by Sawai Madho Singh I, that was 1.2 metres wide and weighed 250 kilograms!
One of the most interesting items in the palace are two sterling silver jars that are officially recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest sterling silver vessels. This has attracted a major chunk of curious visitors to the City Palace of Jaipur and hence is one of our top places to visit in Jaipur!
Further ahead is the inner courtyard, which provides access to the Chandra Mahal known as the Pritam Niwas Chowk. An interesting bit about this courtyard are the four beautifully embossed brass doorways. Each doorway represents four different seasons dedicated to four Hindu gods.
Besides these two gates, there is a Peacock gate representing autumn, and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu; and a vibrant Green gate representing spring, dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
At present, the descendents of the former rulers of Jaipur live in the Chandra Mahal. This being said, only the ground floor is accessible to public attraction. When you’re here steal a glance at the flag atop the Chandra Mahal. Note that this flag is unfurled only when the Maharaja is in the palace. And while the king is away, the queen’s flag is hoisted on the building.
With unique courtyards, symbolic interiors and a historic significance of its own, the City Palace of Jaipur makes it on to every traveller’s list of places to visit in Jaipur, and for good reason.
Stop By At The Tallest Building In The World Without A Foundation!
You’d be pleased to know that this five-storey building is carved out of red and pink sandstone and remains upright without a foundation to this day only because of its curved shape! Hawa Mahal was built by Maharaja Rajput Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. Being a devotee of Lord Krishna, the palace was built to resemble the shape of His crown!
The Hawa Mahal boasts a unique architecture, take this for instance: Initially built as a part of the City Palace, the Hawa Mahal has no direct entrance from the outside. Also, “Hawa” in Hindi means “breeze”, and so, the palace is adorned with 953 windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework! It helps create a dynamic air-flow inside to keep the palace cool even during the harsh summers of the desert city.
Rajput women were not allowed to appear in public places. This being said, it is also believed that the original intention of the palace was to allow royal ladies to see the royal processions, observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. Making it a point to keep the royalties at ease, ramps were built within the palace instead of tiresome staircases connecting the top two floors. There is also a temple located on the 5th floor known as the Hawa Mandir.
All these interesting facts about the Hawa Mahal has listed it on every traveller’s list of the best places to visit in Jaipur. Being an amalgamation of both Rajput and Mughal architecture, this impressive structure was designed by Lal Chand Usta by the order of the king. It is a indeed a matter of fact that the moment you step into this architectural marvel, you’re going to fall in love with it.
The World’s Largest & Deepest Stepwell Is In Rajasthan? Yes, It Is.
Chand Baori was built during the 700 C.E by King Chanda of the Nikumbh dynasty to provide a place of bathing, prayer, and meditation for his people. It has 3,500 steps laid in perfect symmetry across 13 storeys making it one of the deepest and largest step-wells in India.
Located in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan, this is one of the best places to visit in Jaipur. The step-well extends about 30 m (100 ft) in length and so, a gradual drop in temperature is noticed as you descend deeper down the step-well towards the water body. Although, due to increasing tourism and public nuisance, the stairway down the step-well is closed for visitors.
There’s also a guesthouse at Chand Baori which is only visible when the water level depletes. These guesthouses used to be the royal family’s getaway into a naturally cool place to stay at during the harsh summers of Rajasthan. You will also find sandstone statues dedicated to Harsha Mata, the goddess of happiness. The people of Abhineri would wash their hands and feet at the Chand Baori as an important ritual before entering the Harshat Mata Temple, located at close proximity to the step-well. It is believed that the goddess would impart an abundance of joy and happiness to the lives of all who visit her.
Do visit this village during the vibrant two-day Abhaneri Festival held here every September. The event is quite as grand as can get in this remote village of Rajasthan. There couldn’t be any better way to experience the culture & traditional values of its people and that is what makes it one of the best places to visit in Jaipur. The people sure do put on a grand show of Rajasthani folk culture boasting colourful traditional attires, folk music, a variety of dance performances, interesting puppet shows, camel cart rides and a fair with lots of smiling faces – thanks to the blessings of the their beloved goddess of happiness, right? This year, the Abhaneri Festival is scheduled to be held from 10th September to 13th September 2018. Save the date now, will you?
Jaipur’s Bazaars, Street Food & Local Indulgence!
The city of Jaipur is the sheer product of the warmth and soulful essence of its people. And to get to the best places of Jaipur, this city must be explored on foot. Stroll into its many bazaars, eat Rajasthani street food at locally owned restaurants, talk to the people of the land and there’d be nothing like it!
Ever since 1727, various craftsmen and artisans had been patronised by royalties of the Pink City. Following the footsteps of their very talented ancestors, most of the locals of Jaipur have preserved their artistic authenticity using traditional methods and produce highly quality items. It wouldn’t be a shocker to find some of your best buys here. These items are mostly exported or sent across India to large-scale industries.
Every narrow lane in Jaipur leads to a new surprise, and every turn bustles with abundant culture. Here, every street is as unique as the different turbans worn by Rajasthani men; and just like that, the diversity of Jaipur adds value to your every step put forth in its crowd streets.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about our top 5 places to visit in Jaipur! Although, let me tell you how the Deccan Odyssey is really going to blow your mind on its Indian Odyssey & Indian Sojourn journeys. Not only does this luxury train cover Jaipur, it also takes you to other exotic destinations of India in sheer extravagance. You train takes you on a luxury holiday across Delhi, Sawai Madhopur, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Vadodara, Ellora Caves, Jodhpur and Mumbai over a span of 8 days!
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Photo Credits: Adwait Rajeshirke
Words: Jovita Elveera Mendonca