Things To Do In Jaipur
Jaipur, the biggest city in Rajasthan, embodies glory and liveliness. This city was founded in 1727 by Jai Singh II and became one of India's most marvelous cities. With breathtaking forts, elegant royal residences, serene sanctuaries, and delightful havelis; Jaipur is the perfect tourist destination. Other than having the most appealing attractions in India, Jaipur showcases impeccably crafted works and exceptional skill in making jewelry and pottery. These creative expressions of art add life and color to the Pink City's distinctive qualities.
An elephant ride is an excellent way to reach the entrance of the Amber Fort and Palace. The fort is surrounded by a fortress wall measuring nine miles long and winding over the hills. This fort is an excellent example of great Indian architecture. You will never tire of watching the play of light on the thousands of small mirrors that decorate the walls and ceiling of the Shesh Mahal building. You will be left wondering how they did this, and how long it took to achieve this wealth of detail and magnificence. It is a striking and highly recommended place to visit in Jaipur.
When To Go:
Arranged at an elevation of 431 meters above the ocean level, the atmosphere of Jaipur is extreme. The city offers a warm temperature during the summer months and can reach a temperature of around 45 °C. Winters show a brilliant sun and mild climate every day. Winters have a fascinating spell on Jaipur, which make it a great time to visit. The climate is mild enough to take an excursion around the city of Rajputs. At the same time, if you are the type who likes to stay away from heavy flows of travelers, visit the city in April. There are relatively few crowds going around to see this spot in the month of April as it gets a bit hot by then.
The most convenient time to visit this city is from October to March, right before the onset of the peak of the summer season in April. This charming climate guarantees that you witness the regal Pink City, Jaipur with complete excitement, and it will reward you with an enriching travel experience and wonderful memories of the city.
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Here are the top places to explore and the things to do when in Jaipur...
Amber Fort and Palace
The Amber Fort and Palace is the most famous attraction on the outskirts of Jaipur. This attraction is magnificent and majestic, and located a few miles outside the city. The fort, situated on top of a rock, can be reached by car or a ride on the elephant’s back. The access works both ways, but if you are not interested in seeing animals get prodded with sticks to move, it is highly recommended to take the car. By car, you can get on top of the castle in just a few minutes.
Purchasing a ticket is required in order to gain admission to the fort. Audio guides are available in several languages.
The palace is exquisite, tidy, and well looked after. It looks truly immense and alternates ample space and beautiful views to a tangle of tunnels, narrow passages and internal staircases that make you lose orientation. The level of maintenance is impressive as well, as are the elaborate details of its interior decoration. The tour lasts at least 3 or 4 hours, and if you want to see all the rooms, follow the step by step audio guide. You can combine a visit to this place with a tour of the nearby Shesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) and the Shila Devi Temple (Goddess). At the end of the trip, there is a cafeteria on the premises of the fort, where, for less than 1 euro, you can enjoy excellent Italian coffee.
Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors)
The Sheesh Mahal, also known as the Hall of Mirrors, is located in Amber Fort, a magnificent palace about a quarter of an hour's drive from Jaipur. It is in the third courtyard that there is a large room completely covered both on the walls and ceilings with tiny mirrors. This helps create a fantastic visual effect- one very unique in its kind. The choice of covering all the walls of mirrors was dictated by the fact that the Maharajah (a noble and great king) of Jaipur wanted natural light as much as possible. The combined reflection of all the mirrors succeeded in producing this desired effect.
Do not miss the glitz of the typical Rajput paintings that characterize all the rooms of the compound. This ancient building is filled with rooms and lovely garden patios. It is not really that large, but it stands above the rest of the other structures in Jaipur because of its lavishly decorated rooms and cultural significance. Everything shines inside, and you can even take photographs of your image reflected in the mirrors. It creates a one of a kind effect that can only be achieved inside the walls of this hidden treasure inside the Amber Fort.
Govind Devji Temple
Architecturally, the Govind Devji Temple is gorgeous and the most interesting part about this sacred place is the intense spirituality and strength of the devotees who go to pray to their lord, Krishna. If you want to experience in person how to pray and sing devotional Krishna music (Bhajans) and learn about Hinduism, this site will not disappoint.
More than making the mandatory visit, it is an unforgettable experience. The sanctuary gained international recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records for having the widest (RCC) flat roof construction. This implies there are no columns or pillars in the middle of the main hall of the temple that distracts the view of its devotees.
The revered icon in the sanctuary faces the window of what was once the ruler's official bedroom in the Jaipur Palace. The Royal family had some profound and specially tailored bejeweled outfits made for the icons. There are five of these worn on exceptional events, such as the day of Diwali (a yearly spiritual and holy celebration every autumn season).
Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing
The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing is located within the fortress of Amber and shows an impressive collection of more than 2 million objects of art from India and around the world. Some have existed for more than 5,000 years in history. Anokhi has a vast collection of the following: Neolithic tools and jewelry made from shells and bones from the ancient Hindu civilization, Mohenjo daro archeological collections from Pakistan, and objects from other countries and Hindu cultures. The wide selection mostly covers prehistoric objects, archeology, jewelry making, and painting.
Visit the Haveli (central courtyard) of the museum, and admire the progression of ancient to modern clothing with its vast array of national costumes and impressive collection of hand printed textiles.
The museum is small but worth a visit, on the top floor, there is a wood carving workshop and artisans who will demonstrate how to create the stamp designs or the intricate patterns on fabric. It is fun and you will be given instructions and a chance to try your hand at designing one. If you want handy souvenirs to bring home to your loved ones, there is a gift shop located within the grounds of the museum.
Jantar Mantar (Jaipur)
The Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory in Jaipur that is equipped with huge devices. It is located opposite the City Palace in the old part of Jaipur. Once inside you see that all of the items are still in good condition despite its apparent antiquity. It is not surprising to learn that this unique place has become the most important part of the ancient astronomical centers in India. It is the fifth observatory built by Maharaja Jai Sing II, who spoke several languages and was a prolific astronomer.
The observatory has 27 instruments that are still operational and located in a large yard to work with the sun's rays. It is a very interesting attraction that is educational. A tour must be chaperoned by an expert guide to understand the importance and how to interpret the gathered astrological data. However, there are sundials that you can find here that come with complete markers and explanations on how it delivers impressive accuracy to observe the stars, the planets, and the sun.
City Palace of Jaipur
The City Palace of Jaipur is the perfect example of how a Maharajah’s palace should be. It is located in the center of the city of Jaipur amid the presence of daily traffic, noise, and modern buildings. When you enter the palace complex itself, a lavish presentation of Hindu living is displayed. The tour of the different rooms, where the former rulers officiated, is significant and attracts many visitors. There are two large silver vases that have been listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest silver object world. The interior is lavish and colorful, but taking pictures is strictly prohibited and cameras must be left in the entrance lobby.
The current Maharajah still lives in the palace, but in a closed area adjacent to the visitor’s lounge. In the courtyard, you can see the object of the world's largest silver objects. These are huge silver vessels made to carry water from the Ganges when the Maharaja visits, to the UK. The admission fee is not cheap (300 rupees), and the audio guide comes at an additional cost, but every room has an explanation in the English language. Inside, there is a café where you can stop by if you fancy a cold or hot drink. It is well arranged and snacks are served at a reasonable price. Another noteworthy feature of the palace tour is you can see some of the rooms that have been converted into shops or as handicraft centers. And just like in many parts of India, you will see monkeys crossing the rooftops.
Galta - Hanuman Temple
Like most Indian temples, the Hanuman Temple is beautiful and attractive. It has extensive grounds and various buildings to enjoy beautiful views and photo shoots of the buildings as well as the monkeys that live there. To access the top, it is necessary to climb several stairs and enjoy the panoramic view of the entire Jaipur city. It is this stunning, full of magic, and enchanting atmosphere that makes India truly unique.
Go by the Jaipur side to buy peanuts, then go up to the temple of the sun and observe and do some reflection. Afterwards, you can go downwards to the temples and pools of Galta. The moments of Puja (offering ceremonies) are great and very moving. You should take some time to 'feel' the place. Photos can be taken with respect and by always asking the temple staff the permission to do so. The significant presence of devoted pilgrims adds to its mystic charm and authenticity; make sure to visit this temple when in Jaipur.
Birla Mandir (Laxmi Narayan Mandir)
The Birla Mandir or the Laxmi Narayan Mandir is an attractive Hindu temple made of white marble. But the most interesting part is what you will see on its interiors. Inside the walls and engraved in marble are representations of the life of Lord Krishna and his eight reincarnations. It is very impressive and it is unfortunate that you cannot take pictures inside, but the impression is left in the memory forever. The temple is extraordinarily beautiful, especially in the evening. It has a lot of colorful frescoes that depicts the life of Vishnu and his wife, Lakshmi. It was built and opened in 1998 at the expense of rich Indian tycoons. In the temple, you can see pictures of famous people from other religions; Buddha, Christ, Zoroaster, and others.
Moti Dungari Temple
The Moti Dungari Temple is one of the oldest sanctuaries in Jaipur that is dedicated to the Hindu deity called the Lord Ganesha. It is located next to the Birla temple so you can easily visit both attractions within one day. It is a very popular temple, with a friendly ambiance and faithful pilgrims. Wednesday is when most devotees flock to visit, offer prayers and spend quiet moments of contemplation.
While there you will notice, the icon is situated in a sitting position. The complex is also surrounded by many other sacred temples, shops selling sweet delicacies, stalls with flowers, and toy shops for kids. You can stroll through the adjacent park and if you look closely, you can see a lot of colorful peacocks taking a stroll around the walls of the nearby Rajmata Fort.
Hawa Mahal - Palace of Wind
The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Wind has an unusual architecture, but it is a perfect place to shoot beautiful photographs of Jaipur. It is located in the Badi Chauper, where the bangle-dealers set up wonderful and astounding walls of sparkling hued glass and plastic to entice the neighborhood young ladies in times past. Its five-story exterior stucco of pink stone, encrusted with fine Jali craftsmanship and balconies has 953 alcoves and windows. It is impossible to get inside, and picture taking can only be done outside this old but imposing structure in the city.
Monkey Temple (Galwar Bagh)
The Monkey Temple or the Galwar Bagh is the most fun attraction in India. The structure is sandwiched between the gorges and covered by the jungle. It has several levels and you must climb up the steps to reach the top. At the lower levels, you can visit the current Hindu temple. On the approach to the temple, you will see live tailed monkeys making faces, some hilarious and with good-natured disposition.
The monkeys live in this temple. It is particularly interesting to see how they swim in the pool (there are two swimming pools on different levels). In order to see the monkeys, it is best to come at sunset because that's when they come down from the surrounding mountains and gather in the temple. Don’t forget to bring peanuts, camera, and your sense of adventure.
From the Amber, the Jaigarh Fort can be reached by tuk-tuk or on foot along a footpath with high walls of red stone. At the entrance, there is a huge cannon and a decent view of the Amber Fort and the tallest tower. Behind the high walls and closed doors, this fortress used to be a prison where hardened criminals were kept.
It no longer serves as the jail, but an open museum, promenade park, and observation deck where families gather every weekend. The most interesting place is the balcony-veranda around a central garden which offers a unique view of the city of Jaipur.
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