Places To Visit In Jaipur
Rajasthan is a state of unimaginable splendour and myriad experiences. While Jaipur is its bustling capital city and a business centre, it is flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. Here is a short list that will help you narrow down the top attractions to visit in the pink city of Jaipur.
Watch the world go by through the hundreds of tiny windows at Jaipur's famous Palace of the Winds aka Hawa Mahal. An important landmark in the city, the pink stone Hawa Mahal is considered the epitome of Rajput architecture. Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh built Hawa Mahal in 1779. It is known as Palace of the Winds due to the fact that it has 953 tiny stained glass windows. The windows are locally called "jharokas". Tourists love peeping out of them to see the beautiful city of Jaipur. Hawa Mahal somewhat resembles a honeycomb thanks to all its symmetrical windows.
Take an elephant ride up the hill to the spectacular Amber Fort (pronounced Aah-mare fort) that was built by Raja Man Singh, way back in the 16th century. Amber is a mesmerizing blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Amber Fort was used by the Rajputs both for defence purpose as well as the residential purposes. Therefore, within its mighty walls, one finds charming gardens and magnificent palaces made from marble and precious stones, richly decorated with intricate stonework and beautiful paintings. Amber Fort houses Jai Mandir, a famous temple, which in turn houses the sublime Sheesh Mahal, a beautiful hall filled with mirrors that are so artistically set that even a tiny ray of light gets reflected in the mirrors and sets the hall ablaze with fiery radiance.
Boggle your mind's eye at the collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734. Jai Singh had constructed a total of five such facilities at different places including Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and most well preserved of all of them. An excursion through Jaipur's Jantar Mantar is a fantastic experience where one gets to walk through a geometrical maze of sorts and study an intricate astronomical system designed to probe the heavens. The instruments are in most cases very huge in size, and their efficacy has always been hotly speculated upon. Today the observatory is used more as a popular tourist attraction than an instrument of astronomical prowess.
The Shopping Bazaars in the Old City
Within the imposing stone walls of the old city of Jaipur are numerous glittering bazaars. Filled to the hilt with gleaming artefacts, shimmering fabrics and other assorted thingamajigs of little use but much curiosity, these bazaars are synonymous with the rich cultural ethos of the grand old city of Jaipur. There are a number of well-defined bazaars here.
At Johari Bazaar, one can get exquisite kundan jewellery and traditional jewellery studded with precious and semi-precious stones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds etc. Thanks to the rip-roaring business this bazaar does, Jaipur maintains its tag of the gem city of India.
At Bapu Bazaar and Nehru Bazaar, you will find the popular Mojri style footwear that is made of soft camel leather and is artistically embroidered. Locally called Jootis, they are known for their comfort and durability. Apart from this both the bazaars also deals in fabrics, saris, leather goods and trinkets.
Kishanpol Bazaar is known for its textiles and for the gorgeous wooden furniture sold here. The famous Bandhini style of tie and dyed fabrics can be found here.
And then there is Tripolia Bazaar, that is known for ironware, brassware and carpets. However, the bazaar has many shops dealing in utensils, rugs, textiles, furniture, trinkets and a host of other items.
Immerse yourself in a recreated ethnic village at the hugely enjoyable Chokhi Dhani. Located on the outskirts of Jaipur in Rajasthan, Chokhi Dhani features 5 star ethnic village themed cottages and haveli suites. Chokhi Dhani is a popular attraction for tourists who wish to have a taste of village life in Rajasthan. You will be able to watch some lovely folk music and dance performances every evening. Other attractions include the puppet show, the magic show and Bamboo calisthenics. In the evenings, the entire resort is lit up with twinkling lights that take you back in time to another, more royal era.
Albert Hall Museum
This museum is supposed to be the oldest one in Rajasthan. It has an assortment of rare and beautiful artefacts on display including textiles, carpets, paintings, metal and wood crafts, pottery, arms and weapons, flora and fauna of the state, toys, dolls etc. It also puts on display the miniature paintings of a number of sub-schools of Rajasthani art. The galleries on the ground floor showcase the dresses, jewellery and artefacts of the various tribes and classes of Rajasthan. One gallery has a showcase of henna art; an exhibition of the typical ethnic Rajasthani motifs and designs. Puppets and Phad paintings constitute yet another gallery. The highlights of the museum, however, are displayed in its central gallery, which is completely devoted to the physical expression of music and dance art forms.