Visiting the royal capital aka the Pink City of Rajasthan, Jaipur for the first time can be a bit overwhelming as it is overflowing with palaces, forts and architectural beauty in every nook and corner. From our previous trips to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer we had a fair idea of how astonishing the historical cities of Rajasthan are and what to expect during our visit. But to our surprise nothing could make us more prepared for what we experienced in Jaipur, we were even more in awe of the beauty of the Jaipur, its people, and the delicious food we binged on. So, if you guys are planning to visit this glorious city of Rajasthan and are confused on what to do and where to go, we sisters are here to help you all. We have curated a list of top things to do in Jaipur in this post, which we are hopeful of giving you a good kick start to your planning.
The crown jewel of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal or also known as The Palace of Winds is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. The whole structure was built using the red and pink sandstone giving it a distinct rosy pink color. With 953 tiny windows in its front facade which has its shape inspired from the crown of Lord Krishna, Hawa Mahal was used by the royal women to view the festivities and processions in the streets without being seen to the public. Explore the beautiful courtyards, narrow alleyways and tiny windows decorated elaborately with the jharokhas inside the Mahal and get the glimpse of the city from inside the Mahal.
Related Post: Read about the iconic Hawa Mahal, “The Palace of Winds”.
Built in the year 1734 by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II, Jantar Mantar is a world-famous astronomical observation monument and a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a collection of various buildings used in the astronomical measurements. The Maharaja’s curious mind and eagerness to learn in the field of astrology made him establish this observational monument in a large scale (built out of stone and masonry rather than traditional brass instruments) in five different locations across the nation along with Jaipur (Delhi, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura) which helped in obtaining accurate measurement. Tour the grounds of this ancient monument and get mesmerized by the enormity of its structures and techniques used to map the heavenly constellations.
Although the City Palace of Jaipur is located in the heart of Jaipur city, walking through its magnificent gates, stunning gardens and courtyards surrounding various buildings is like being in a whole different world inside. Built and expanded over centuries by the rulers, the City Palace is a complex of varies Mahals, temple, Maharani’s Palace all of which are infused with different architectural styles (Rajput, Islamic and European). One would run short of words to describe the beauty of the interior of this palace which is adorned with unique mirror works and paintings. Do not miss out on admiring the beauty of the four gates in the Pritam Niwas Chowk which represent four different seasons and Hindu gods.
One of the favorite locations for many movie shoots and ads in Bollywood, Amer fort is one of the ancient and important forts of Rajasthan. Amer fort or Amber Fort is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site for its eclectic architecture which, stands as a testimony of the Rajputs power which flourished in this region for centuries. Raja Man Singh built this fort in 1592 which originally belonged to the Meena kings. Amer fort lies on top of the hill overlooking the Jaipur city and Maota lake surrounded by massive ramparts. Amer fort boasts of the beautiful Rajput style of art and paintings on its walls and ceilings, some of where you can also find precious stones embossed on them. Do not miss to admire the magical walls of Sheesh Mahal where once the Rajas and the Ranis spent their romantic time together.
Built amidst the Man Sagar Lake, a man-made reservoir, Jal Mahal or Water Palace is originally a hunting lodge for the Maharaja. At present it has become a must stop for photos as it looks stunningly beautiful especially, at dawn when the lights are lit with the floating mirror image of the palace on the water surface.
The pure white marble structure of Birla Mandir is built below the Moti Durga fort and is a symbol of peace and serenity. The stunning architectural detail of the temple has made it as one of the most famous landmarks of Jaipur. Although Birla Mandir is dedicated to Lord Vishu and Goddess Laxmi you can also see pictures and figures of saints and philosophers from other religion such as Buddhism, Socrates, Zarathustra, and Confucius.
Since Jaipur has been the center for trade of various goods from all around the world for centuries, shopping here also comes under one of the must do’s. Precious stones and jewelry, local fabrics, traditional paintings, species and the world-famous Mojaris or Juttis. Even if you are not interested in shopping, explore the local, traditional handicrafts and cloth dying techniques where they use natural dyes for block printing motifs on the cloths. Also, do not fail to check out their famous 100g quilt which would defiantly make you cozy and sleepy as you hold it since it is unbelievably soft and light as they claim it to be just 100 gms.
Albert Hall Museum
Built in the Indo-Saracenic style, the magnificent building of Albert Hall Museum caught our attention immediately as we were passing through the Nehru Garden road. The foundation of this glorious building was first laid in 1876 on the occasion of Prince of Wales, Albert Edward’s visit but the construction was completed in 1887 where the artifacts collected from different parts of the country was displayed. At present, the exuberant collection of local artifacts showcasing the traditional jewelry, pottery, marble and metal art, sculptures and garments and textiles can be found inside.
Want to grab a stunning, panoramic view of the pink city, then climb up to the Nahargarh fort which is built on the edge of the Aravalli hills. The name Nahargarh means “Adobe of Tigers” but according to the local legend when the construction of the fort started there were few unusually, haunted activities on site. Upon discovering that the place is haunted by the spirit of a Rathore named Nahar Singh the then king, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II built a temple in his honor and named the fort Nahargarh.
When it comes to relishing on local food in Jaipur the name LMB (Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar) is synonymous as their Rajasthani thali with lip-smacking dal-bhati-churma is quite popular among the tourists as well as the locals. Also try their kachoris, mirchi vada and if you have a sweet tooth then do try their delightful Ghewar.
Do let us know what are the other things which can be done while in Jaipur and also which is your favorite city in Rajasthan which you loved the most in the comment below! 🙂