Forts, palaces, temples, colours (lots of them!), food, history and heritage- welcome to Jaipur, the ideal gateway to royal Rajasthan. The largest and the capital city of the state, Jaipur is a bustling metropolis where modernity and heritage co-exists in a manner that leaves people in sheer awe.
Fondly known as the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur gets its name from the terracotta shade that colours the walls of the old city. The city never fails to enthrall its visitors- frequent or first-timers. The awe-inspiring Amber Fort located at the periphery of the city’s limits, is one of the most popular tourist attractions for anyone visiting Jaipur. From the magnificent City Palace to the extraordinary Hawa Mahal, from Jantar Mantar to Nahargarh Fort that stands majestically on the edge of the Aravalli Hills; Jaipur offers grandeur at every nook and corner. Shopping in Jaipur is an absolute delight. With colourful clothes, tie and dye fabrics, exquisite handicrafts, artefacts and beautiful silver jewellery on offer, it’s almost impossible to visit Jaipur and return without any shopping bags in hand! Much like the rest of Rajasthan, Jaipur, too, is a paradise for foodies.
Along with Rajasthani delicacies like daal baati choorma, there is also a wide choice of restaurants and cafes in the city that serve all kinds of cuisines. The food tastes more delicious because it’s served with sheer love and warmth of the people of Jaipur!
In and Around
The Palace of the Winds, or Hawa Mahal, was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh for royal women to view the busy streets of Johari Bazaar, while staying veiled behind the jharokhas. Go atop the five-storey building to take in that view.
Amber (or Amer) Fort
Amber Fort is the iconic attraction of Jaipur and a must on your itinerary. Suraj Pole, the sun facing royal entrance to the fort, is one of the classic blends of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Marvels like Ganesh Pol, Sila Devi Temple, Sheesh Mahal, Magic Flower Fresco and Man Singh Palace await you in the interiors of Amber Fort. An elephant ride up to Amber Fort is an absolute must. It’s an exhilarating experience to ride up along the cobbled path to the magnificent Fort astride an equally majestic elephant. Watching the Light and Sound Show at the Amber Fort is also a great way to spend an evening in Jaipur.
Once the seat of Jaipur’s Maharaja and today a rich museum, the main citadel of Jaipur’s City Palace is a marriage of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The Palace complex is home to historical attractions like Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Diwan-I-Khas, Diwan-I-Aam and Maharani Palace.
Gaitore, one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur, is a royal cremation ground for the Kachhwaha Rajput kings and the members of the royal family. The word ‘Gaitore’ is believed to be a mispronounced form of the Hindi phrase, ‘Gaye ka Thor’ which means ‘resting place of the departed souls’.
Jaigarh Fort, which once held the royal treasury and acted as the defence system of Amber, is today a marvellous archetype of walls, watchtowers and bastions. You will be awed by the sight of Jaivan, the largest moving canon in Asia, which was thankfully fired only once. Also see the armoury section (Vijay Garh), and the extravagant palace compound with its museum.
An amalgam of science, art and religion; there are a total of 5 such structures in India. However, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is by far the largest and the best sundial in the world apart from being listed as a World Heritage Site. This unique structure houses many architectural and astrological instruments that provide exact time measurement, sun declination, constellation positions and other data pertaining to astronomy. Note that a guided tour (30 minutes to 1 hour) is recommended, and would cost Rs. 100. While you are here, you can also visit nearby attractions like Jaipur City Palace and Jaigarh Fort.
Also called the Tiger Fort, Nahargarh Fort is a cryptic fortress that was used as summer residence by royalty. The most splendid aspect of Nahargarh is the view of the city from the top, especially in the evenings. What’s more, it is a great place to drink and dine and a meal for two costs Rs. 1,500. Visit the temple of Nahar Singh Bhomia, whose spirit once haunted the place and thwarted any construction and Madhavendra Bhawan.
Govind Dev Jee Temple
Owing to its multitude temples, Jaipur is often called the ‘City of Temples.’ One of the oldest temples in Jaipur, Govind Dev Jee is devoted to Lord Krishna and is visited by millions daily. Located in the City Palace campus, this temple exhibits superb architecture.
The Statue Circle
The Statue Circle is a historical landmark in the Pink City. Reminiscent of the rich history and architecture of Jaipur, the Statue Circle is a tribute to the founder of Jaipur – Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. The Statue Circle got its name from the majestic statue of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II that it holds. The statue is made of white marble and illustrates the Maharaja holding an astrological diagram depicting Maharaja’s love for astrology.
Ganesh Pol Gateway
Elegant and regal, the Ganesh Pol Gateway is named after the famous Hindu deity Lord Ganesha. The magnificent gateway is the entrance into the palaces of the maharajas. The gateway leads to three private palaces built around a Mughul-style garden, Charbagh. Tourists from all over the world flock to the Ganesh Pol Gateway to admire the architecture of the gateway – a fusion of Mughal and Rajput architectural styles. Particularly famous are the ornamented archways and the fine latticework.
Chand Pol Moon Gate
Chand Pol (Moon Gate) is one of the finest specimens of Rajput architecture in Jaipur. An imposing structure, Chand Pol offers spectacular views of the famed old bazaar and glimpses of the Rajasthani culture. The gate was the entry gate in the western part of the three mighty walls that used to surround Jaipur. Historical evidence suggests that the musicians and drum players used to perform at the uppermost section of the Chand Pol called the Naubat Gate.
Ridhi Sidhi Pol
Ridhi Sidhi Pol is an important doorway in the magnificent City Palace of Jaipur. A testament to the structural brilliance and artistic grandeur of the people of bygone era, Ridhi Sidhi Pol bears both Rajput as well as Mughal architectural elements. Ridhi Sidhi Pol has four small doorways representing the four seasons. These four doorways include Lotus Gate (summer), Rose Gate (winter), Peacock Gate (autumn) and Green Gate (spring).
Literally meaning as ‘Water Palace’, Jal Mahal is located amidst the Man Sagar Lake and was constructed by Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799. The beauty of the palace lies in its location as the palace cum hotel is standing in the centre of the lake. The palace architecture boasts of a typical Rajput and Mughal style which is quite similar to that of Amer Fort. Made in red sandstone, the palace is actually five-storeyed where only the top story is visible (rest are submerged under water). At the top, there is a garden which has semi-octagonal towers in every corner. Although any time is a good time to visit Jal Mahal but it is during the monsoon season (when the water level rises up) when the views from this palatial hotel are more captivating.
B M Birla Auditorium
Host of many international events and exhibits, cultural programs and festivals; BM Birla Auditorium is one of the prime venues and conference centre (which can accommodate almost 1350 people) in Jaipur. Spread across 9.8 acres of land, it is centrally located and houses a museum, lawns, a computer centre, planetarium, an auditorium and a library. Built in contemporary architecture reflecting glimpses of Rajasthani art, it has many seminar rooms which can accommodate around 400 people. The planetarium inside the centre organises various astronomy shows in Hindi and English, the timings of which can be checked from the authority.
Johari Bazaar is the most popular market of Jaipur and if you have a wedding coming up in your family, this is the place to shop from. From wedding lehengas with tie and dye, hand embroidery, mirror and kundan work to delicate and dazzling pieces of jewellery, you can look for all of it here. Precious and semi-precious stones can be found in abundance and you can trust the stores for authenticity. Every eighth diamond in the world is, in fact, polished in Jaipur and this makes it one of the best places to shop at for jewellery. Johari Bazaar is also a must visit for Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar, the most popular sweet shop in Jaipur.
Laxmi Narayan Temple
The Laxmi Narayan Temple is more commonly referred to as the Birla Temple and it pays tribute to Lord Narayan in his various forms. The intricate carvings and the magnificent structure make the Birla Temple an artistic masterpiece. The special light effects at night, which augment the beauty of the pure white marble a thousand times over, should certainly not be missed.
Albert Hall Museum
One of the oldest museums in Jaipur, it is also known as Government Central Museum and was built by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II in 1868. Boasting of the Indo-Saracenic architecture, the design of the museum is quiet similar to the Victoria and Albert museum in London. The museum building includes many archways, towers and courtyards which boast of a rich architecture. Inside the museum, a vast collection of artefacts like miniature paintings, tribal costumes, jewellery, weapons, clay sculptures, metal and ivory ware, ceramics, musical instruments and marble statues are on display. This museum stores the most famous Persian Golden Carpet which was purchased by Mirza Raja Jai Singh from Persian King Shah Abbas. Even if you are not an art lover, you would love to visit this museum for its interesting collection. Note that photography is prohibited inside the museum.
If you love animals, you must visit the Jaipur Zoo when in the city. With over 50 species of animals and birds, from the spotted and Sambar deer to reptiles and migratory birds, the zoo offers a great experience both for kids and adults alike. One of the best in the country, the zoo also has a crocodile breeding farm, quite unique in nature. The lush green environs of the zoological park are a visual treat. If you’re travelling with kids, you must visit it for sure since they are going to love it.
Moti Doongri Ganesh Temple
The first invitation from every family for any auspicious occasion goes to the Moti Doongri Ganesh Temple. The Ganesha idol is adorned in a new attire every day. In addition, the temple adorns beautiful stone carvings all over and the figures of deities are engraved in shining white marble.
Want to take home some traditional tie-dye or bandhani fabrics? Visit Kishanpol Bazaar, where the wide range will enchant you. There is also a huge variety of other traditional Rajasthani products available here.
(28 Kms) the huge artificial lake, a popular picnic spot. The ruins of the old fort and the temple of Jamwa Mata indicate that it was the seat of power of the Kachhawahas before they moved to Amer.
Famous for the country’s largest inland salt lake, is an ancient city. It was the first capital of the Chauhan dynasty. Sakambhari, as it was founded near the temple of Goddess Sakambhari, famous for its holy Devyani tank, the palace and the nearby Naliasar: where the 3rd century onwards sculptures and terracottas were found in excavation. This place is situated on the Sambhar-Naraina Road.
86 K.m. on the Shahpura-Alwar road, The site of ancient Viratnagar is of great antiquity. It contains the relics and structures of Mauryan, Mugal and Rajput periods.
(40 kms) a quaint village amidst the hills, the Samode palace set in fairy tale surrounding, has beautiful wall paintings & mirror works, now this is a heritage hotel.
(35 Kms.) the village on the Ajmer road, is known for its hand block printing, the characteristic prints are called as Bagru prints. The fort here is still in a good condition.
(16 Kms.) another centre of hand block printed textile and hand made paper. The town is entered through the ruins of two Tripolias (Triple Gateways) The town is an important centre for crafts industry and produces some of the finest hand printed textiles from units of block and screen printers. This textile is popular all over country and abroad.
Abhaneri, Jaipur is a place around 95 kilometer from the capital city of Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan and this place has an aura of it’s own. Famous for the step wells or ‘Bawdi’ as the they are known locally, the site is on the marvels of the medieval era of the Indian history. The place is situated in the district of Duasa which is neighboring location around Jaipur. The town of Duasa is famous for it’s archaeological heritage which is no lesser than that of Jaipur. While the Pink city was ruled by rulers of Kacchwah dynasty, Dausa fell in the kingdom of Gurjar Partihar kings.
Bairath is located 90 kms away from Jaipur on Jaipur Shahpura Alway highway. It is belived that this place was mentioned in the great hindu epic Maha Bharat. And pandwas lived here for one year after their exile. Archeolgical survery reveals that this place was under mauryan empire as a Budhist establishment.
Bhangarh is famous for historical ruins and ghost story. Bhangarh Fort is located on the way between Jaipur and Delhi and at border of Sariska Tiger Reserve in state of Rajasthan, India. The best way to Reach Bhangarh from Jaipur is to take the national highway heading towards Agra, reach Dausa and then Bhangarh town is 25 kms away from highway. The distance between Bhangarh and Jaipur is of nearly 90 kms.
Karauli is a small village located nearly 190 kms away from Jaipur, founded in 1348. Madan Mohanji Temple is very famous of this place which id dedicated to lord Krishna. The village was fully fortified by red sandstone, but only remains are left now.
Ranthambore National Park
Ranthambore National Park is located at 130 kms from Jaipur on eastern part of Rajasthan surrounded by mountains. It is one of the best tiger reserves in India, you can find the wild animal at their calm in this forest. Many man made lakes and water storing methods are constructed here. This place used to be the hunting place for the royal family.
Shopping in Jaipur
Exotic jewelry, stunning gems, semi precious stones, kundan and minakari work (enamel work on gold), striking cotton fabric including sanganeri prints, tie and dye, and excellent kota doria sarees, interesting blue pottery, enamel ware and brass, woollen carpets, cotton rugs, leather footwear, especially the embroidered jutees (footwear) are some of the specialties of Jaipur. The city is also a good place to buy furnishings for home. Johri Bazar is your best bet if you plan to look for sarees and lehangas in colourful bhandhej, or glittering gemstone jewellery. As the name suggests, Johri Bazar is essentially a place for gems and jewellery. You can pick up some pretty costume jewelry in Chameliwala market.
Its proximity to India’s lone desert in Rajasthan –Thar, makes the temperature in Jaipur hot in summer and moderate in winter. Weather is best between October and March. In winter the temperature ranges between 21°C and 8°C, making it a pleasant time to travel. Summer is the off season as it is intensely hot with temperature frequently touching 45°C, but one can get good deals on hotel accommodations.
How to Reach
The Jaipur airport is situated close to Sanganer, almost 13 km to the south of Jaipur City. Domestic airlines connect the city to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Agra, Jodhpur and Udaipur. The Jaipur airport also provides international flights to Dubai, London, Muscat and Sharjah. Taxis are available to and from airport. Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, etc. fly daily to Jaipur.
Jaipur is connected well with other cities by Indian Railways. A number of daily trains connect Jaipur to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Agra, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Kota, Alwar and Ajmer. Daily links are also available for Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Kolkata, Jammu, Pathankot, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Roorkee, Haridwar, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur and Bhopal. Besides, a luxury train called “Palace on Wheels’ starting from Delhi covers all tourist destinations in Rajasthan.
Jaipur is well-connected with all major cities through National Highways including NH 8, 11 and 12. Taking a bus to Jaipur is convenient if you are looking to have a budget holiday. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) runs regular, Volvo (air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned) and deluxe buses between Jaipur and other cities within the state and also to and from Delhi.
Stay / Eat
Where to Stay
Hotel Chokhi Dhani
12 Miles, Tonk Road,
Via-Vatika, Jaipur – 303905
Jai Singh Circle, Bani Park,
Jaipur – 302016, Rajasthan, India
Hotel Ramgarh Lodge
Ramgarh Lodge,Jamuva Ramgarh,
Where to Eat
Opposite GPO, MI Road,
Polovictory Cinema, Railway Station Road,
Sindhi Camp, Jaipur
Hari Bhawan, Achrol House,
Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur