If you haven’t read Part I of the blog post, I shared some insightful info on Jaipur’s rich history & culture, it’s colorful festivals as well as some interesting facts.
In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the must see attractions and spots for some of the most Instagrammable shots.
The ‘City Palace’ is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Jaipur, located in the heart of the city. Dating back to the 19th century, the palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. Showcasing a unique combination of Rajput, Mughal and European styles of architecture with an array of courtyards, gardens and special structures built inside the palace complex, the City Palace gives a deep insight into the excellent architectural skills of the designers and engineers of the bygone era.
One of the major attractions inside the palace complex are the 4 gateways or ‘pols’ each designed in a unique way symbolizing the four seasons. The beauty of these gates with intricate carvings and floral designs is a visual treat to eyes.
One of the most prominent landmarks of the pink city, ‘Hawa Mahal’ is located very near to the ‘City Palace’. Rajput customs used to be very stringent for the royal ladies in the past. Ladies were bound by a strict ‘Purdah System’ and were not allowed to go in public and interact with strangers.
Constructed with red and pink sandstone and symbolizing the shape of Lord Krishna’s crown, ‘Hawa Mahal’ is an architectural masterpiece with over 900 intricately carved ‘Jharokhas’ or small windows. These Jharokhas are designed in such a way that they allow proper ventilation of the air in the palace, keeping it cool and airy even during peak summers.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. It contains sixteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun. It also houses the Interpretation Centre that helps the tourists to understand about the working principles & chronology of the observatory.
Albert Hall Museum
The building gets its name from The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the inspiration for its design. The exquisitely built Albert Hall is housed in the centre of Ram Niwas Garden. Sir Swinton Jacob (who is also the mastermind behind many other palaces in Rajasthan) conceptualised and designed it using styles from the Indo-Sarcenic architecture and the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the building in 1876. The museum displays a wide range of metal objects, wood crafts, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones and ivory goods.
Also known as the ‘Water Palace’, ‘Jal Mahal’ is situated right in the heart of the ‘Man Sagar Lake’, flanked by the majestic Nahargarh Hills. Unique location and charming beauty of the palace makes it one of the best photographic sites in Jaipur. Originally, believed to be built by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh some 300 years back, the palace was renovated by his son later on to beautify its exteriors with courtyards and gardens built in typical Mughal style.
Located in Amer town, at a distance of 11 km. from Jaipur, the ‘Amer Fort’ is one of the most impressive forts of Rajasthan and is visited by an umpteen number of tourists every year. Overlooking the beautiful Maota Lake, the fort is a masterpiece of the Rajputana architecture. Built by Raja Man Singh I in 16th century, the fort is a brilliant specimen boasting of a unique blend of Hindu and Rajput elements.
A visit to the ‘Amer Fort’ is incomplete without an elephant ride that is a unique experience in itself. Make sure to reach the fort early in the morning as the rides are available only in mornings to protect these creatures from harsh sun during the noon time.
Overlooking the ‘Amber Fort’ and ‘Maota Lake’, the ‘Jaigarh Fort’ stands tall atop the ‘Cheel Ka Teela’ hill in the Aravali range. Built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II as a shield to protect Amber Fort and Jaipur city from attack of invaders, the magnificent structure of the fort boasts of the opulence of the Rajput rulers. Owing to the fact that the fort never witnessed any defeat, it also came to be called as the ‘Fort of Victory’.
Overlooking the city of Jaipur, ‘Nahargarh Fort’ is another imposing structure of Jaipur. The scenic Aravali hills serve as a perfect backdrop for this impressive fort. The famous ‘Masti ki Pathshala’ song from the Bollywood movie, ‘Rang De Basanti’, shot at a baori of this fort, has made this place even more popular amongst tourists.
Also popularly known as the ‘Kanak Ghati’ amongst the locals, ‘Kanak Vrindavan’ is a beautiful garden built in a picturesque valley surrounded by the hills of the Aravali range. Located at a distance of 8 km. from Jaipur towards Amber Fort, the garden complex was built on the orders of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, some 275 years back. Owing to its stupendous beauty, ‘Kanak Vrindavan’ was chosen as an ideal spot for shooting of the famous Bollywood movie, Lamhe.
Galtaji Temple aka Monkey Temple
The ‘Galtaji Temple’, located at a distance of 10 km. from the city of Jaipur, is another interesting tourist attraction. Built in the 18th century by the attendant of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, Diwan Rao Kriparam, the temple is surrounded by the majestic hills of the Aravali Range. Huge number of monkeys roaming around the temple complex, have also given this place, the title of ‘Monkey Temple’.
Jagat Shiromani Temple
Situated in Amer town, the ‘Jagat Shiromani Temple’ is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Meera Bai and Lord Krishna. The temple was built during early 17th century in loving memory of the eldest son of Maharaja Man Singh I and his wife Maharani Kanakwati. Splendid architecture of the temple leaves you awe-struck as soon as you get its first sight. Unlike other temples in Jaipur that are made only of one type of stone, ‘Jagat Shiromani Temple’ has extensively been built using sandstone, marble and granite.
Chhatris’ of ‘Gaitore
Located at a distance of 15 km. from the Jaipur city centre, Gaitore is a small valley tucked away on the Jaipur-Amer road. Known to be the resting ground for the departed souls of the royal Rajput family members, this place falls slightly off the conventional tourist trail. The valley is full of grand marble and sandstone cenotaphs built on elevated platforms and decorated with intricate carvings. Each cenotaph houses a tomb of a royal king who once ruled the city of Jaipur.
Located at a distance of 20 km. from Jaipur, ‘Chokhi Dhani’ is an ethnic village themed resort that was established to preserve the art and ethnicity of vibrant Rajasthan. Visited by thousands of tourists every year, this is a great place to get a glimpse of true Rajasthani culture. With a soothing ambience, plethora of entertainment activities and mouth- watering Rajasthani cuisine, a visit to Chokhi Dhani is much recommended for every tourist in Jaipur.
A trip to Jaipur is incomplete without taking an elephant ride. ‘Elefantastic’, situated in the Amber town, is an interesting elephant farm where you can get quite close to these mighty creatures. Run by a small family who have been into the elephant riding business since the 16th century, the elephant farm today serves as a great contributor to the wellbeing of the Indian elephants.
Located at a distance of 95 km. from Jaipur, ‘Chand Baori’ is a beautiful stepwell built opposite the ‘Harshat Mata Temple’ in the Abhaneri village. Stepwells are an indigenous concept of India that was invented to fight the scarcity of water during drought seasons. Considered to be one of India’s deepest stepwells, ‘Chand Baori’ also served the same purpose of supplying water to the villagers during the dry seasons of the year. Often skipped on the conventional tourist map of Jaipur, this attraction is one of the rare gems of Rajasthan.
No trip is complete without indulging in the local shopping experience. The statement holds absolutely true for the vibrant city of Jaipur where your feet automatically starts heading towards its bustling local bazaars. ‘Johri Bazaar’ is a shopper’s delight where you can continuously go on shopping for the ethnic ornamental silver, gold and gemstone jewellery of Rajasthan.
Do also check out my Jaipur vlog below!