Rajasthan is easily the Royal hub of India. If it is the rich culture and heritage of India that you want to dig then Jaipur, the Capital city of Rajasthan is your destination. This vibrant city is a brilliant amalgam of everything Indian- spectacular palaces, well-preserved towering forts, ethnic bazaar, vibrant culture, spicy but absolutely mouth-watering cuisine and a welcoming atmosphere. It is hardly a surprise that thousands of international tourists visit this city every year because there is no place like Jaipur and Rajasthan in this entire world! Here we are giving you top attractions in Jaipur, things to do, places to eat at and just about everything you need to know when packing bags to visit the Pink City of India!
Hawa Mahal is the identity symbol of Jaipur and is known for its spectacular architecture. The reason behind the name- Hawa Mahal or the palace of breeze is the existence of over 900 windows that allow the breeze to pass through and cool the interior. This honeycomb building is a marvelous site of pink sandstone with an impressive façade and amongst the must see places in Jaipur.
Hawa Mahal was constructed in 1799 by King Sawai Pratap Singh. It was originally built for female members of the royal family who could enjoy the view of the city and observe ordinary life in the streets below without being seen. Visitors have access to rooftop in Hawa Mahal from where one can get a 360-degree view of the entire Jaipur City. On one side majestic City Palace greets them and on the other, the famous Siredeori Bazaar.
Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the ruler of Kingdom of Amber in 1727, City Palace tops the list of Jaipur attractions. The present complex of palaces includes many additions that have been made over the centuries by various rulers, the latest in 20th Century. The royal family, one of the richest families in India, still lives in the Moon Palace (Chandra Mahal) within the complex. The City Palace also houses Mubarak Mahal, now a well-known museum. We are discussing it in details in the ensuing paragraphs.
We must mention the armory next to the museum inside City palace, which has one of the most extensive collections of weapons on display. Among them is an 11-pound (5-kilogram) sword. We are still awestruck at the thought of someone fighting with a 5 Kg weapon!
Due to its location, Nahargarh Fort offers some of the best scenic views of the Pink City Jaipur, particularly at sunset. The Nahargarh Fort was built high in the Aravali Hills in 1734 to help bolster the defenses of the Amber Fort. This fort houses a palace within its wall where the nine queens of Maharaja Ram Singh lived in nine individual apartments with the King’s suite in the center. The intricate traditional paintings on the doors and windows of the palace are spectacularly well preserved and still have their rich color and detail. It is strongly recommended that you wait until the sunset. As the darkness shrouds the sky, entire palace lits up brilliantly with night lights.
The winding road leading up to the palace and takes about 20 to 30 minutes on foot, but if you are someone who does not fancy an up-slope walk then taxi service is easily available here. There is a café in the fort precinct for those hunger pangs too.
Time for some 18th-century astronomical science! Jantar Mantar has eighteen devices, built by Jai Singh II. Each of these devices serves a different function, such as predicting eclipses, telling time and tracking astrological bodies. Jai Singh built five observatories and Jantar Mantar is the best preserved. Armed with the knowledge of European astronomical advances, Jai Singh II invented many of the instruments himself. The most impressive of the instruments here is the massive Samrat Yantra sundial with a shadow that moves up to 13 feet (4 meters) per hour. Shun your watch and read the time on Samrat Yantra here! It’s a no-brainer that you need to see this place on a sunny day.
Since everything about Jaipur is beautiful and regal, so is Jantar Mantar. This “Science observatory” is located in a complex of splendid gardens that double up as a picnic spot and one of the more peaceful places in Jaipur too.
Shopping in Jaipur is an experience in itself. In fact the products of this City are very popular in all of India and beyond. Jaipur is famous for its vibrant fabrics that you will not find anywhere else in the world and Bapu Bazaar is the best place in the city to explore the fabrics and textile scene in the city. Due to its location and energy, it is also a great place to witness the local life and pace of the city.
Classy yet rustic block print materials and finely embroidered clothing of Rajasthan is quite famous and widely available in Bapu bazaar. Bargaining is a norm here so go all out to save extra bucks. Besides, it is fun too! Taking an Indian local with you can help you get great rates. Ready-made textiles, colorful bangles and scarves are on display throughout the bazaar and can be picked in dozens for gifting back home. More picks also mean you get to bargain some more! Another highlight for many visitors is the humongous array of camel leather goods like jootis (footwear) and bags. There is another item that Jaipur is famous for- its warm and soft hand-crafted quilts and bedding. Pick one and sleep like royalty for the rest of your life!
As you enter the first courtyard of City Palace, the remarkable site of Mubarak Mahal greets you. It was built in the nineteenth century to host guests. Well, these days we have guest bedrooms, but in the bygone era, they had entire palaces for the guests! The palace now serves as a museum housing the royal heirloom and musical instruments of the royal family. The white palace is an example of Mughal, Rajput, and European style architecture. The carved exterior of this palace is quite a work of Art and it is one of most well-known museums in Jaipur
Formal costumes, traditional block prints, a variety of embroidered clothing made out of precious fabrics like silk and Kashmiri pashmina and royal carpets are exhibited in the Textile and Costume Museum on the first floor of Mubarak Mahal. Brightly colored saris in rich colors and gold work are some of the most beautiful items here.
A fairly new landmark in the history of Jaipur, this marble temple was built in 1988. The idols of Lord Vishnu and his consort, goddess Lakshmi have been carved out of a single marble block. The temple walls depict mythological tales of Hinduism. This stunning modern temple is surrounded bysuperbly maintained lush green gardens where one can choose to spend time in some peace and tranquility. A part of this temple serves as museum where the exhibits related to one of the richest families of India and sponsors of this temple- Birla family, are kept. A visit to this temple is a must in Jaipur because it offers abeauty to eyes and peace to mind- a definitely hard-to-beat combination.
The Albert Hall Museum was built in the 19th century to welcome the Prince of Wales, Albert Edward and just like the other museums in Rajasthan, it is not serious or boring. In fact, it is a stunning sight! I am not a fan of museums, but when it comes to Rajasthan museums, I never miss a chance.
Albert Hall museum affords an opportunity to see the traditional metal art, beautiful pottery, a vast collection of jewelry (that I wish I owned!), famous miniature paintings of Rajasthan, clay art, sculptures, marble art, ivory goods and Rajasthani carpets amongst others. The exhibits are so beautiful in this museum that you would feel like a child in a toy store here!
In the pristine waters of Maan Sagar Lake, sitting royally is the beautiful Jal Mahal. The entire structure is made of pink sandstone and the architecture is an integration of Rajasthani and Mughal styles. This palace has several levels submerged in the water and it is amazing how these strong stone walls have kept the water from seeping through into the palace for over 200 years! Restoration work is on inside the palace and it is being converted into a hotel. Though visitors cannot enter the palace compound but watching the palace from the dam gives you great glimpses of this scenic and very unique place. You can plan a picnic around the lake or come here to steal some quiet moments from the bustling city of Jaipur. A boat service used to run here but unfortunately it has been discontinued.
Jaipur Puppet Show.......play it by the strings!
How can you miss the unique and authentic Rajasthani experience that comes with a puppet show in Jaipur? These puppet shows display brightly colored, dancing puppets conveying Indian folklore, legends, culture and royal history accompanied by traditional Rajasthani music. They are a popular art form in this region. The narrative takes you into a world of valiant kings, beautiful princesses and powerful magicians, giving you a glimpse into an Indian way of life. You can book a tour in Jaipur for witnessing a grand puppet show while feasting on the rich local cuisine.
Though technically Amer fort is not in Jaipur but about 7 miles away but a visit to Jaipur is quite incomplete without a visit to this splendor! The fort is also known as Amber fort. The fort was built by Raja Man Singh I in 1550. The palace has a Sheesh mahal (mirror palace) inside, whose interiors are completely made of glass. The king had this palace made in mirror so that the queen felt like she was sleeping under the gaze of stars in the night. There is another palace called Sukh Niwas where you can see the artificial cooling technique of the olden days. Channel carrying cool water runs through this palace to keep the temperature inside this building low. The courts called Diwan-e-aam and Diwan-e-khaas are quite famous for their beauty that comes from painted and carved walls.
This beautifully preserved building is open to visitors and charges an entry fee of Rs. 25 for Indians and Rs. 200 ($3) for foreigners. The light and sound show at 7.30 pm is highly recommended and the charge for the same is Rs. 200 ($3).
Places to Eat
Even when Indians travel to Rajasthan, eating out tops their list here! The food in Rajasthan is amazing and though the blend of spice can be too hot for some, they do entertain your request around lowering the spice quotient at most of the restaurants in Jaipur. Daal bati, Churma, Bajre ki roti, malpuas, mawa Kachori, pyaz kachori, laal maas and Safed maas are some of the most famous delicacies you must sample when in Jaipur. Here we are covering absolute musts of dining and street side options in Jaipur.
Lakshmi Mishthaan Bhandar
Located in Johari bazaar, Lakshmi Mishthaan Bhandar is as popular amongst locals as it is amongst the tourists. We at bohotraveller firmly believe in eating at places where locals eat in order to get the authentic taste of the cuisine. This places in one of the oldest sweet and savory joint in the city of Jaipur. For those who think vegetarian food is a drag, we strongly recommend going to this pure vegetarian restaurant. You will be surprised how tasty and out of this world the food is here! Though they serve multi cuisine specialties including continental, but their Rajasthani delicacies including the Royal Thaal that serves famous Daal Baati is what we are carving for!
Peacock Roof Top restaurant
Jaipur’s nights (except in the months between mid April to June) are quite pleasant and the peacock roof top restaurant gives you a perfect opportunity under the sky to enjoy them with great food. Live music with an extensively large menu has something for everyone who comes here. They have Italian, oriental, continental and of course Indian cuisine with wide choice of beverages as well.
Shree Nath Lassiwala
This eating joint is a breakfast place which specializes in one Indian beverage which is supremely popular amongst Indians- Lassi! It is a sweet creamy concoction of full cream and milk that tastes like heaven! They have a one page menu and it figures in the top places to eat at Jaipur, you can only imagine why the place is so popular!
Tapri Central exudes an old world charm and is a nook for spending a relaxed time over some chai (tea) and a book. The specialty of this place is the awesome variety of teas available here. The very name of this café means a road side tea stall and it does serve a mean cup of tea! The breakfast menu is quite amusing, we love the way they have got all kinds of popular breakfasts around the world on this one (typewriter typed) menu!
Choki Dhani is a complete Rajasthani experience with Rajasthani cuisine complete with atmosphere of a Rajasthani Village! The food is served in traditional manner and the village fare, live Rajasthani music and the colorful character of Chokhi dhani is what makes it a memory to cherish forever!
Café Lazy Mojo
Just like its name, this café is really cool and quirky place that serves Mexican, Italian, Oriental, Indian and Continental food. Their shakes and salads are quite a hit with the foodies who throng this place frequently. We recommend booking a table in advance unless you are okay waiting for a table.
Frankly, there is so much more to food scene in Jaipur but these six came out to be the most popular and best rated across the listings.
Now that you know where to go and where to eat in Jaipur, it is time we give you our top picks on hotels to stay in and how to reach the Pink City.
How To Reach
By Road: Jaipur is well connected by road and is about 280 kilometers (174 miles) from the Indian capital city of Delhi via National highway 48. Regular state as well as private buses run on this route that includes luxury as well as ordinary buses. You can also hire a taxi or rent a car to get to Jaipur from Delhi.
By train: A number of trains from Delhi and Mumbai run for Jaipur. But book ahead as they are completely booked most of the time.
By Air: Since Jaipur has such a huge influx of foreigners, an international airport in Sanganerabout 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Jaipur serves the city. The airport also has a sufficient number of domestic flights.
Places to Stay
The land of Royals has no dearth of places…. actually, palaces to stay in. The city offers accommodations that suit everyone’s pocket. Whether you are looking for dive into royal luxury or a humble place to crash, here are our top picks!
There are of course, a lot of other options to stay in Jaipur to suit every budget.
Hope you liked our article on various points of interest in Jaipur, the pink city of India. No matter how many days you spend here, they always seem less. Our advice on the weather here- May and June are really hot, like hot enough to melt the tar on the road! Winters from November to February are pleasant. You may need light woolens during this time. For other months except, May and June, nights really do get cool, so carry a shrug or stole to keep yourself cozy.
So what are you waiting for? Book your flights to this vibrant destination now! Don't forget to check out all the tour packages in and around Jaipur. We in collaboration with Viator bring you the best tour packages at most economical rates. Do let us know if you want us to cover any other city by commenting below. We would love to hear from you.