When people think of Rajasthan, the first thing that comes to mind is Jaipur. It is not just a city but a symbolic representation of Rajpuntana’s grandeur. This city is bound to take you back in time. In Jaipur you will find everything, including royal palaces, fortified castles, colorful gardens, majestic monuments, and some of the amazing eateries to relish Rajasthani cuisines. Jaipur is also one of the few cities of India that have been listed as a UNESCO World heritage site. If you want to visit one place in India and see the maximum number of historical and grand places then it has to be Jaipur.
The hues of pink of the city of Jaipur, are going to make you go ga ga. We know that visiting every place in Jaipur might take a lot of time, so here is our top selection of places in Jaipur that you must visit.
Amer Fort which is also spelled as Amber Fort is one of the most visited fort in India. It was built in the year of 1592 by Raja Man Singh. The beautiful and mesmerizing fort is listed as a UNESCO World heritage site with the title of Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Inside the premises of the fort you will find many structures such as, Sheesh Mahal, Shukh Niwas, and the Diwan e Khas. The fort has two major entrances which are Suraj Pol and Chand Pol, but the most decorated one is the Ganesh Pol.
You can choose to hop on an elephant ride to enter the fort, or you can also drive in through a cab. The entrances of Suraj Pol or the Chand Pol will lead you to the main courtyard Jaleb Chowk. The fort is also home to some network of underground tunnel where you can witness the history of by gone days. We highly recommend that you also watch the sound and light show held every evening.
The must see structure of the fort is Sheesh Mahal, or the palace of mirrors. The entire hall of Sheesh Mahal is made with pieces if glass or mirror tiles. The placement of mirrors is in such a way, that this hall gets illuminated or gets lightened up even with a single ray of light.
Nahargarh Fort, or also known as Tiger Fort, was built in the year of 1734 by then maharaja of Jaipur, Jai Singh II. It was built to add an extra layer of security to the city of Jaipur along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort. For many years, Nahargarh Fort has been a hunting retreat for Royal Family. Nahargarh fort sits on Aravalli hills, and overlooks the city of Jaipur. The fort offers scenic views of the city at sun sets, and it is a sight that you must not miss.
The top attractions of the fort are the Wax Museum and the Sculpture Park. There is also a Madhavendra Bhawan in the palace, which was the summer destination for the royals, and has corridors decorated with murals. When visiting this fort you must also indulge in eating some Rajasthani cuisines, in royal style at the Padao Open Air Restaurant which is situated in the premises of the fort.
Inside the premises there is also a botanical garden which you can explore in case if you are an admirer of flora and fauna. For Locals of Jaipur this fort has since long been a favorite picnic destination, or a place where they could chill out for a day.
Hawa Mahal which is also known by the name of Palace of Winds was built in the year of 1798 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. It is a five storey building with a honeycomb façade, and the shape symbolizing the crown of Lord Krishna. In total there are 953 windows in the palace, which are also called as Jharokas. The placement of windows is in such a way that they always keep the palace cool. This was the main reason why royal family preferred Hawa Mahal as summer retreat.
Back in time, Hawa Mahal was used by the royal ladies to speculate the festivities of the city around the palace, without being spotted by people. The first floor of Hawa Mahal was built for royal celebrations and was named as Sharad Mandir. The second floor is decorated with colored glasses and was named as Ratan Mandir. The other two floors were named as Vichitra Mandir and Hawa Mandir.
The top floor was an open space and was named as Prakash Mandir. It also offers breath taking scenes of the city of Jaipur. The palace is also home to a small museum which showcases its history and is a must visit especially if you are travelling with kids.
Jal Mahal which means Water Palace was built by Maharaja Madho Singh in 1750. This palace was built for the purpose of being a lodge and hunting retreat. It is located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake which is an artificial manmade lake. With Aravalli hills in the back drop, and surrounded by water from all sides, the views of this palace are very picturesque, and so is the reflected image of the palace in water. This makes it one of the most clicked places in India.
In present times, the government doesn’t allows visitors to enter the palace, but you can still admire the beauty of this palace up close by taking a boat ride in lake. The lake is also home to many migratory birds that flock here due to the flora and fauna around. In evenings the palace is lit by number of golden lights which the palace look even more spectacular.
In total there are five storeys in the Jal Mahal, but when the water is full in the lake the four storeys from ground remain submerged while only the fifth one is visible. In short Jal Mahal is a perfect symbol of Rajputana architecture and their grandeur.
Birla Temple of Jaipur which is also known as Laxminarayan temple because of the two main deities Goddess Laxmi and Lord Vishnu is located on the Moti Doongri hill. It was built by the Birla Foundation in the year of 1985. The land on which this temple is located was donated by the Maharaja of Jaipur in lieu of just one rupee as a token of goodwill. The temple is built in white marble and is known for its architectural design and the faith that devotees have in the deities.
There are three domes in the temple that represent secularism in India. Inside the premises you will also find statues of philosophers and religious preachers from across the world showing the inclusivity of this temple. In evenings and nights the temple is lit by many lights which elevate the beauty of this temple, and make it perfect for a fine picture to be clicked.
Inside the premises on the walls of the temples you will find many scenes and quotes depicted from the Bhagavad Gita. Touring this spot would hardly take couple of hours but the experience is going to be very satisfactory. Also the gardens that surround this temple add much charm to it.
The site where Rambagh Palace is built was formerly a garden house that came into existence around 1850’s. Later it was converted into a hunting lodge, because of its location which was surrounded by thick forests. Then in the beginning of the 20th century it started getting transformed into a luxurious palace based on the designs of Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. By 1931 it had became a primary residence of Maharaj Sawai Man Singh II with addition of multiple royal suites.
In present times it is a heritage hotel that is being run and managed by Taj Group. It has got the feat of having been declared as the best hotel by Conde Nast. The palace is at a short distance from city of Jaipur, and offers all modern day luxuries. The design of the palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajputana architecture. If you want to combine luxury and history, then this is the spot in Jaipur.
Despite of being a five star hotel, visitors that are not staying in this hotel can come here to tour it, and admire the beauty of this palace. At present this hotel has more than 70 well equipped rooms that will give you a glimpse into lifestyle of the royals.
Jaigarh Fort which is also known as the fort of victory is located in the Aravalli Hills. To be precise, this fort is located on the Cheel ka Teela or the Hill of Eagles. Jaigarh fort was built in the year of 1726, by then ruler of Jaipur, named Jai Singh II. Jaigarh fort was built to provide extra layer of security to the Amer Fort. The walls of this fort are built of red sandstone and they run for a total of 3 kilometers in length. The fort is designed in a blend of Indian and Persian style of architecture.
This fort was built for the purpose of producing ammunition and artillery for the then rulers. It was a kind of a military cantonment fort. The fort also boasts of holding the world’s largest wheel based cannon during its time of 18th century which is known by the name of Jaivana cannon. The water storing mechanism of the fort is also spectacular and symbolizes the engineering prowess of that time.
Jaigarh fort is regarded as the strongest fort of Jaipur. The fort also houses several temples that are frequented by the devotees. They are named as Ram Harihar Temple, Kal Bhairav Temple, Aram Mandir, Lalit Mandir and Vilas Mandir.
If you want to indulge in Rajasthani culture and relish some of their best cuisines, then Chokhi Dhani is the place where you should head to. Chokhi Dhani was established in the year of 1990 and ever since its popularity has been growing manifold. It is the only ethnic village resort in India which is given the rating of five star by the Ministry of Tourism. When you will enter Chokhi Dhani it will feel like that you are in a Rajasthani village, where everything is as per their traditions and culture.
The Chokhi Dhani resort is located around 30 kilometers far from the city of Jaipur. We highly recommend that you visit this spot even if that means dropping some other spot from your itinerary. Here you will get the chance of sitting in a mud made huts, with Rajasthani motifs, for enjoying some of the local delicacies prepared the traditional way.
The best part of this place is that the experience get compliment by some live Rajasthani folk music and some traditional dances. If you are travelling with kids they are going to enjoy the puppet shows and the magic shows that too are hosted in Chokhi Dhani.
Jantar Mantar of Jaipur was built in the year of 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. There are 4 other Jantar Mantar that are built in other cities, but the one in Jaipur is the grandest. The Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is an astronomical observatory that was built to track time and the movement of celestial bodies. Even to this date the time shown in the huge sundial of the Jantar Mantar is precise by 2 seconds.
There are around 20 structures in the entire premises. The massive sundial of this spot is named as Samrat Yantra, it is 27 meter tall and is the world’s biggest stone sundial. Then there is another structure named as Jai Prakash which tracks passing of the time, through a metal plate suspended over a sunken bowl structure. There is Rama Yantra that locates the exact position of celestial body.
The best time to visit Jantar Mantar is at noon to observe the accuracy of the structures. In present times it has become a perfect spot for kids to admire the mathematical prowess of by gone Indian days. The place also hosts sound and light shows in the evenings that are must watch.
Albert Hall Museum
Albert Hall Museum is the oldest museum of Rajasthan. It was built in the year of 1876, to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales, Albert Edward. The museum is also known to have a stark similarity with the Victoria and Albert Museum of London. It is built in the Indo Saracenic style of architecture and by red sandstone. If you want to gain insights about the culture and traditions of Rajasthan then this place is a must visit.
In its early days, the museum was home to the artistic work, handicraft works of the local artists of Rajasthan. But with the passage of time it has attracted artifacts and items from all across the world and now has an international repute. The Albert Hall Museum is also home to the one of the six Egyptian mummies in India, which was gifted to them by Museum of Cairo.
In present times the Albert Hall Museum is home to Persian paintings, ivory structures, 18th century costumes that were worn by different caste people, 19th century clay figures depicting yoga poses, jewelry, crystal work and sculpture. If you are travelling with kids then this a must visit spot.
Sisodia Rani ka Bagh
Sisodia Rani ka Bagh was built in the year of 1728 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. It was named Sisodia Rani ka Bagh because it was dedicated to his second wife, Princess of Sisodia from Udaipur. The garden is built in the Indian Mughal Style of architecture. This garden was also built to symbolize the love of Lord Krishna towards Radha. The garden is adorned with fountains, water courses and many colored pavilions. The visit to this garden is like a breath of fresh air.
Given its location which is only few kilometers away from the main city of Jaipur, it is easily accessible and can be wrapped in couple of hours. Inside the premises of the garden you will also find the temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman. The walls inside are painted with stories depicting tales of Lord Krishna and Radha. You will feel transported into a romanticized spiritual state.
Ever since the creation of this garden, this spot has been a favorite place for the royal queens and princesses. Inside the gardens you will also find many species of rare flowers. People bitten by photography bug will find plenty of avenues for amazing pictures.
Galta Ji Temple
Galta Ji Temple was built in the 18th century by Diwan Rao Kriparam in the honor of Saint Galav. It is situated in a narrow pass of Aravalli Hills between two granite mountains and is surrounded by lush green forests which keeps the temperature moderate around the temple premises. The site of this temple is blessed with water bodies that are rare in Rajasthan. The temple complex has seven ponds, and the Galta kund is the holiest of them, which never dries.
Galta Ji Temple is also known as Monkey temple owing to a large population of monkeys in the temple complex. These monkeys are the permanent resident of this temple and are infamous for mobbing and robbing people of their belongings. If they see you carrying some food items, or see you eating food in public, they are going to go for it and snatch it. The species of monkeys here is macaques and langurs.
The main Galta Ji temple inside the premises always has moneys surrounding the shrine. Inside the temple you will also find many frescoes depicting the tales of Lord Krishna. The premises also have shrines and temples of Lord Rama, and Lord Hanuman.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!