‘A traveler’s paradise’ – Jaipur, Rajasthan, has long held the reputation of being one of the most magnificent cities of the Indian subcontinent. Also popularly known as –The pink city, it was founded by Sawai Jai Singh II in the year 1727. Once a land of mighty warriors and rulers, the town has since then maintained the flavor of royalty, splendor and sophistication.
We share with you a list of 10 places that are a must visit in this city that are sure to make any traveler’s experience worthwhile –
1. City Palace
Located at the hub of the city, and spreading over several acres, is the famous tourist spot, called the city palace. Endowed with elements of Mughal, European era and Shilpa Shastras of India, the architecture of the complex is simply majestic. The grand complex includes the Chandra mahal and the Mubarak mahal; each of them having their own significance. The building complex, a part of which is now a museum dedicated towards Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh and the other part, a home for the royal family, has remarkably beautiful decorated gates. Apart from the main palace there are huge courtyards and also a historic cloak tower.
2. Hawa Mahal
The palace of winds or Hawa Mahal as it is commonly referred to is another wonder of the city. Built in the year 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, it was fundamentally constructed for the women of the royal family, so that they could witness the happenings through the casements of the complex from one side. The mighty structure with five storeys has been intricately crafted in pink sandstone and is remarkably famous for the several ‘jharokhas’ or windows that are there for proper ventilation. The design of the complex excellently represents Rajputana architecture and thus is a must visit for anyone who wants to explore the culture of the ancient land.
3. Jantar Mantar
Built by Sawai Jaisingh in the year 1738 is Jantar Mantar, one of the five astronomical observatories in the country. The observatory is said to be one of the greatest and also features the world’s largest sundial. This place houses several architectural and astronomical instruments and thus attracts tourists and astronomers alike. Further, it also has several geometrical instruments for measuring time and studying about celestial bodies, their movements and other occurrences.
4. Nahargarh Fort
Carefully structured on the footing of the old Aravali Hills lies the Nahargarh Fort. Constructed in the year 1794 by Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh II, the location and the encompassing area make for a perfect picture. The fort is said to have been constructed for securing and defending the city along with Jaigarh and Amber fort. Nahargarh means, an abode, home for tigers, representing the qualities of strength and bravery that the fort is emblematic of. The fort’s layout has been influenced by Indo-European architecture and though much of it is fast dilapidating, it still holds great eminence.
5. Jal Mahal
True to its name the Jal mahal or water palace is based at the centre of Man Sagar lake. The palace stands exquisitely on the tranquil water that sometimes bears the reflection of the palace. Built in red sandstone the design perfectly blends elements from Rajputana and Mughal architecture and has been carefully constructed with special lime mortar to prevent damage from seepage in the palace complex. Established in the year 1750 by Maharaja Madho Singh I, it was constructed as a cottage for hunting in the waters. Though, the building is not open to visitors for exploration, however, travelers are still left enthralled with the view that the place has on offer.
6. Amber Fort And Palace
\A beautifully built castle, standing majestically on a hill top is the Amber or Amer fort and Palace. Earlier a residence for the royal family, the palace has several structures standing within it; each holding their distinct prominence in the palace. Established by Raja Man Singh in the 16th century, the construction draws elements from both ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ architecture and has been delicately created with beautifully designed mirror work. Since the structure lies on a hill top, it can be reached either by traditional means of walking uphill or one can also experience royalty by taking a princely elephant ride to the fort and palace.
7. Jaigarh Fort
Located right above the famous Amber Fort, is the Jaigarh fort and is also remembered as the ‘Victory fort of India’. Set up in the 18th century, the fort was constructed as a centre for weapon and armor manufacturing used during war times, by the mighty Rajputana warriors of the era. Other noteworthy places in and around the fort include, Jaivana, Vijay Garh, a museum, and the Laxmi Vilas palace. The fort is believed to be a home to tremendous treasures that were preserved in the palace from the bygone age and thus has been a popular site for explorers and government officials.
8. Albert Hall Museum
Built during the colonial era, the Central Museum or the Albert Hall museum is considered to be one of the oldest museums of the state. The structure of the museum is constructed in Indo-Saracenic architecture and houses remains of the past era including sketches of rulers, warriors, their clothes, sculptures and other art pieces that effectively represent the history of the state. Standing in the Ram Niwas Garden of Jaipur, the place was named after King Edward VII.
9. Birla Mandir
Pious and pristine, the Birla Mandir in Jaipur is a spectacle to explore. The grand temple, perfectly built in white marble is dedicated hindu gods, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi; and is one of the many Birla mandirs (temples) that are built across the entire country. The intricately built statues and portraits of various Hindu lords and deities are splendid visuals that visitors witness, besides the main structure that radiates and shines at night and is thus fascinating to watch. Standing magnificently on a raised platform near the Moti Dungari hill in Jaipur, the place attracts tourists and explorers irrespective of their religion and belief system.
10. Jaipur Zoo
Sprawling close to the famous Albert Hall museum is the Zoological Garden of Jaipur which is regarded as one of the oldest zoos in the subcontinent. Segregated into two parts, one chiefly for mammals and the other for birds and reptiles the place is under the Wild Life (Protection) Act. The place is an abode to several species of animals and also runs the famous gharial breeding farm as part of their several conservation programs. Besides, the variety in fauna that one sees in the garden the captivating diversity in flora of the place is also unusual.
The multifaceted city of Jaipur oozes with a rare brilliance. The timeless colorful culture of the place is striking and a sure delight for any traveler. A trip to India shall always be incomplete without spending time in the ancient land of Jaipur. Come and experience the magic!