Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded on 18 November 1726 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amer after whom the city is named. As of 2011, the city has a population of 3.1 million, making it the tenth most populous city in the country. It is known (somewhat incorrectly) as the Pink City due to the distinct color of its buildings. Actually the ‘pink’ of the Pink City is Gerua (or ochre) in which the city was coated during the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1905-06.
Jaipur is located on National Highway No.8 connecting Delhi and Mumbai. National Highway 12 links Jaipur with Kota and National Highway 11 links Bikaner with Agra passing through Jaipur.
Places of interest
The main attractions in Jaipur includes City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Jal Mahal. Also the elephant safari at the Elephant Village is a must do thing in Jaipur.
A composite ticket will cover your entrance fees for five of Jaipur’s major monuments: Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall (Central Museum), Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort and Nahargarh Fort. The ticket costs Rs 50 for Indian citizens, Rs 1,000 for foreigners and Rs 30 for Indian students and is valid for two days. This ticket is available at the booking counter of all of the five venues.
Visiting Time: All days 9 00 AM – 4 30 PM
Built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is the most iconic landmark or Jaipur. Indeed, Hawa Mahal symbolizes Jaipur in a way that Gateway of India symbolizes Mumbai and Shaniwar Wada symbolizes Pune. Built as a high screen for the women of the royal household, Hawa Mahal is made from red and pink sandstone and stands right at the edge of the City Palace and extends to the women’s chambers or zenana.
Hawa Mahal has been designed to look like the crown of Krishna and stands tall at five stories, its façade resembling a honeycomb. With 953 intricately latticework jharokhas or small windows, Hawa Mahal served as a perfect cover for the Rajput women to watch the everyday goings-on and the special processions on the streets below. Jhunjhunu’s Khetri Mahal served as the inspiration for this spectacular structure after Pratap Singh was intimidated and inspired by it. In the centuries that followed, it was Hawa Mahal that shot into prominence and became the icon of a city that attracted people from all over the world.
Visiting Time: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
The City Palace is a palace complex, situated in the core of the Pink City Jaipur. The beautiful complex comprising numerous edifices, vast courtyards and attractive gardens, is a souvenir of the majestic history. The Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal are some of the significant structures in the complex.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who ruled Amber from 1699 to 1744, initiated the construction of the city complex that spreads over several acres. He first ordered to erect the outer wall of the palace complex. The construction that was started in 1729, took three years to be completed. The palace complex was completely built in 1732.
The palace and its structures have been designed, combining the architectural elements of the Mughal, Europe and the Shilpa Shastra of India. A perfect blend of colours, designs, art and culture can be seen in every nook and corner of the palace.
Visiting Time : All days 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Before Jaipur was made the capital of Rajasthan, the majestic city of Amer stood tall as the capital of the Rajput. The city was bustling with activity and markets in the 1600s. Nahargarh fort along with Amer Fort and Jaigharh Fort had formed the defense to the then capital.
Nahargarh is located along the Aravalli hills overlooking a beautiful lake. There is a food court and a restaurant at the top of the fort with an excellent view, Padao. The fort now also is home to the Jaipur wax museum and glass palace.
Nahargarh Fort is located around 6 KM outside the city of Jaipur. The best way to reach the destination is to hire a cab. Even autos go till the fort entrance. There are shuttles also available from the foot of the hill.
Visiting Time: All days 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Located at a distance of 15 kms from the Pink City of India, Jaipur the magnificent royal construction Jaigarh Fort grabs the attention of travelers with its unique approach. Particularly the carvings on the walls make it stand as an architectural wonder along with its rainwater harvesting system. This striking construction stands at the top of the Aravalli ranges with several interesting features.
Mostly known as the Fort of Victory this particular fort is constructed to store the weapons and other military utilities. During the rule of Rajputs and Mughals the desert state was a major center of artillery production. Right now every traveler can see the used weapons and other war utilities that are preserved and displayed in the fort museum.
Visiting Time: All days 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory used to measure the distances and positions of celestial objects. India has a total of five such observatories the largest of which is in Jaipur.
The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur consists of 19 large instruments each serving a very specific purpose. The most significant among these is the Samrat Yantra which is the largest sundial in the country.
The Jantar Mantar was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who from a very young age was fascinated by the movement of the celestial objects.
The instruments at the Jaipur Jantar Mantar are made of stone and are very large structures. To ensure accuracy the structures were first made out of wood and the measurements were adjusted. Once the dimensions were perfected the construction was replicated in stone to give us the magnificent Jantar Mantar.
Located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake is the spectacular Jal Mahal. At first glance, the palace that was constructed in 1745, appears to float on the waters of the lake (thus giving it the name). Jaipur’s Lake Palace is modeled on the Lake Palace of Udaipur. Man Sagar Lake, amidst which it stands, is an artificial lake that was formed when a dam was constructed over the river Dharbawati in the early 1600s. Jal Mahal is located on the outskirts of Jaipur en route to Amber. The hills across the lake are dotted with forts and old temples which can be seen in the background of the palace. While boat rides to the palace were available a few years ago, they have now stopped making it a photos-only destination. Constructed in red sandstone Jal Mahal is a five-storied building that blends Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. Four floors of Jal Mahal remain underwater when the lake is full.
Best Time to Visit
Jaipur is situated in an arid, semi-desert region, which has three distinct seasons. Only one season is suitable for visitors, therefore pre-planning is essential before travelling to India and Jaipur. The three seasons of Jaipur are; a warm dry winter, an unbearably hot spring/summer and a brief but intense monsoon season. Unsurprisingly the best season to visit Jaipur is during the winter months, from October or early November through and it’s the time when the city gets the highest number of tourists.
How to Reach Jaipur
By Road : Jaipur, the pink city is linked with the all the major cities of India through the network of National Highways 8, 11 and 12 to name a few. There’s also a very good bus service between Jaipur and Delhi provided by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) with the buses at about every half an hour to and from both sides
By Air : The Jaipur Airport is situated at Sanganer, 7 km (domestic terminal) and 10 km (international terminal) from the main city. It connects the city to all the major parts of India as well as some of the major overseas countries.
By Train : Jaipur is well connected to almost every part of India through the means of Indian Railways. There are several trains which connect this city to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Agra, Jammu, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Roorkee, Kanpur and many more.