Jaipur of Rajasthan (Part I)

Hey guys! I’m back from my travels abroad and thought I’d sit down and share with you all the fun things to see and discover in beautiful Jaipur! In this post, I’ll share a bit about Jaipur’s rich history & culture, it’s colorful festivals as well as some facts you may (or may not know).

Background on Jaipur

Jaipur is the capital of the North Indian State of Rajasthan is named after its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) and is a part of the Golden Triangle, a group of three cities, New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

This royal town has magnificent architecture and is the first planned city of India. It was planned in a grid system with wide straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes and uniform rows of shops on either side of the main roads. Jaipur remains the only place where the nine sectors that sub-divide the city symbolise the nine divisions of the universe. Jaipur is surrounded by a wall having seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and wild animals that lurked just outside in the jungles that surrounded the city.

Jaipur was painted pink by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876. Today, every home within the city is obliged by law to maintain this façade, hence Jaipur is also called the Pink City.

The arts and crafts of the state are amazing especially the fashioned jewellery, the multi-coloured ‘bandhini’ fabrics, richly decorated handlooms, and other trinkets at the colourful bazaars of Jaipur. These bazaars are a lot of fun not just for what’s available, but also for the cheerful people in their traditional costumes that always catch the eyeballs of tourists.

This royal city captivates travellers as it is known for its rich culture and tradition, magnificent art and artefacts, and brilliant past. The serene temples, the long standing forts and palaces, and beautiful havelis with royal touch to add on to the glory of Jaipur. Wonderful landscapes, marvellous flora and fauna, picturesque views, all together create a mesmerizing view of this place.

Getting there

I was lucky enough to have been invited by AirAsia X to visit this stunning city for a duration of 4D3N along with other influencers and bloggers from Malaysia, Indonesia & Australia. AirAsia X is  the only long haul, low cost carrier to fly from Malaysia to Jaipur. They started direct services from Kuala Lumpur to Jaipur, India with four times-weekly flights effective 5 February 2018. We were treated to seats in the Quiet Zone, which is ideal for guests who need that extra peace and quiet (for guests aged 10 and above). We also got to savor a wide selection of Asean inflight meals by pre- booking Santan Combo Meals! Every combo meal also comes with a complimentary beverage.

Where to Visit in Jaipur & When

The Pink City, Jaipur offers a perfect blend of old world charm and new world vibrancy. Some even refer to it as the Paris of India for its many glamorous sights, colors, and energy. There are countless things to do in Jaipur including lavish palaces, historic forts, and massive museums.

  • Jaipur in summer – From April till July

Jaipur gets hot in summer season. The temperature during this time soars as high as 47 degrees celsius with lowest being around 32 degrees celsius. In the month of April, the popular Gangaur Festival is celebrated along with a lively fair. Advised to carry light cotton clothes if you are planning to visit Jaipur in summers.

  • Jaipur in Monsoon – From July till September

Jaipur gets pleasant in the months of monsoon, with August being the rainiest month. Also, this comes as good news for the travelers on a budget as the price of accommodation gets moderate and there is lesser crowd in its popular attractions. Don’t miss cultural folk performances by local artists in places like Chauki Dhaani.

  • Jaipur in winter – From October till March

Winter is the best time to visit Jaipur. Fresh breeze and soothing sun rays make it a comfortable time for sightseeing during daytime. However, at night the temperature drops to as low as 4 degrees celsius. Hence, it is recommended to pack woolen clothes when visiting Jaipur during winter season. Some of the most popular festivals of Jaipur take place during this time like Jaipur Literature Festival, Elephant Buzz and Jaipur International Kite Festival.

Festivals in Jaipur

The land of Jaipur is always covered with the colors of fairs and festivals. At global tourism map, Jaipur is known as the city of festivals.These festivals of the city have their roots in old traditions and culture of Jaipur and are celebrated with all the excitement and fervor in spite of any caste or creed. No doubt, these festivals share unique customs and traditions.

  • Teej Festival

One of west India’s biggest festivals, Teej commemorates two things – a woman’s love for her husband and the advent of the monsoon season. The festival is marked by colourful celebrations where the womenfolk observe fasting and apply mehndi designs on their hands, enjoy long swing rides, song and dance with other women, tell stories and deck up in festive attire to celebrate the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This festival is celebrated in the month of July-August.

  • Gangaur Festival

Gangaur is the most colorful festival of Pink city Jaipur. This festival is celebrated by carving beautiful idols of Lord Shiva and Parvati. This festival is observed in Chaitra during the month of March-April. In this festival, many women and girls pray for the well-being of their husbands and future husbands.On the final day of celebration, the newly carved idols are taken to johars and baori, and women bid them farewell with the hope of marital bliss.

  • Elephant Festival

The Elephant festival in the month of February and March, also marks an important occasion in Jaipur every year. This truly amazing festival is held on the full moon day of ‘Phalgun Purnima.’ Elephant polo and elephant dances are the highlight of this festival. Beautiful bedecked elephants are taken out in processions in all their glory, dressed in vibrant colours, anklets and decorated saddle cloth, and colourful ‘gulaal’ or coloured powder is sprinkled from atop the elephants.

  • Kite Festival

The kite festival is held in Jaipur on January 14 every year. This festivals of Jaipur is marked by the presence of a myriad kites in the skies. Toward dusk, the skies are alive with million kites. Lamps and Fireworks light up the entire city. This is truly an alluring sight for all kite lovers. During this time, many people also take a dip in the holy water of the Ganga river. The international kite festival has participants from all over the world who are passionate about kites, and this day is also declared as a holiday in Jaipur.

  • Jaipur Literature Festival

The Jaipur Literature Festival which began in 2006 has now become the largest literary festival conducted in the Asia Pacific. This five-day festival is attended by people from both national as well as international boundaries. This festival usually takes place in the month of January each year. Both national, as well as foreign authors, indulge in reading and discussion sessions. A number of renowned socialites can be spotted in Jaipur during this festivals of Jaipur.

Interesting facts

  • Almost every city of Rajasthan is color coordinated; Jaipur is pink, Jodhpur is blue, Udaipur is white, Jhalawar is purple and Jaisalmer is golden.
  • In 2008, Jaipur was ranked 31 among the 50 emerging global outsourcing cities in the world.
  • According to Conde Nast Traveller Readers Choice Survey, Jaipur was ranked 7th best city to visit in Asia.
  • The Presidential Suite at the Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur charges Rs 45,000 per night and was listed among the 15 most expensive suites in the world by CNN.
  • One specialty of Jaipur is that every street and market aligns east to west and north to south, where eastern gate is called Suraj Pol and the western gate is called Chand Pol.
  • Jaipur Metro was inaugurated on 3rd June 2015, and became the sixth rapid transit system in India.
  • The art behind every truck is a class. Each story with the funniest one-liner has something to tell.

Click here for Part II, where I share must see attractions and spots for some of the most Instagrammable shots!

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