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Tourist 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 list that will help you with the top attractions to visit in the pink city of Jaipur. From Hawa Mahal to Amber Fort, Jal Mahal to Jantar Mantar, Jaipur is filled with amazing tourist places to visit.
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.
Jaipur’s City Palace is another coveted place in the heart of the city. This has been the court of the royal family for almost three centuries and hence retains the last charm of the Rajputs of Jaipur. It is their home even today and also open to public viewing. Some of the most beautiful parts of the palace you can see are the landscaped garden courtyards, Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Pritam Niwas Chowk, Armoury etc. Parts of the palace are also open as a museum and worth touring.
A pristine white marble temple standing in the middle of a pink city, Birla Mandir is a temple dedicated to Laxmi and Vishnu. There are numerous other shrines for many other deities, marble carvings and doors opening to amazing sunsets. Do visit here for peace of mind.
Home to Indian antique jewellery, the Amrapali Museum of Jaipur features gemstones, jewels and designs in a collection of 4000+ pieces spanning two whole floors. From gold to silver to alloys, from embellished studded shoes to crowns of kings from Himachal Pradesh, from bracelets and necklaces to rings of Rajasthani craftsmanship, you will find it all here. And some of it is even up for sale in the Museum shop.
Also called Tiger Fort, the Nahargarh Fort dates back to the 18th Century and is located on the Aravalli Hills. It overlooks the whole city of Jaipur, giving you a majestic bird’s eye view. Due to its perfect defensive structure, this fort was widely used during wars. There is also Madhavendra Bhawan, which doubled up as a summer home of the royals. The murals on walls, parks, wax museums and restaurants make this a perfect picnic spot.
Finding a water source in the desert is akin to finding god. So when the people of Jaipur found a natural spring in the lap of Aravalli’s mountain pass, they called it a gift from the god and dedicated a temple there to Galtaji. A visit to this temple is peaceful and full of discoveries, like that of the sacred water tanks, fountains and man-made frescoes that tell stories of Lord Krishna. Monkeys throng this space like a second home, hence it is also called the monkey temple. Feeding monkeys is a coveted attraction here, but be aware they don’t snatch your belongings!
If Jai Mahal had another name, it would be called a mirage. Looking like an oasis in the desert, this palace floats on the Maan Sagar lake. For now the tourism to Jal Mahal is restricted, so you only get to view it from the shore, but some plans indicate that that might change in the future. Until then, chase a sunset here, or come early to see the sun rise over this palace of water.
Panna Meena Ka Kund
Panna Meena Ka Kund is a stepwell. Locally called a baori, this place was once used and revered as a rare manmade source of water. Meticulously carved steps lead down to the well, from where people filled their pots and drank water in the days of the yore. Panna Meena Ka Kund also doubled up as a hub for the community to meet, especially the women folk who came to fill water every day. Today you can visit this place for its awesome architecture and the hub that it still is for the local communities. Because older people still come to sit around and chat their evenings away here.
There is a set of hills in Jaipur called Cheel ka Teela. Perched atop this set of hills is the Jaigarh Fort. The grandness of its build and its historic significance makes it a must visit when in the pink city. It was constructed back in 1726 by Sawai Jai Singh II in order to defend Amer Fort. But that doesn’t compromise its palatial quality in the slightest. Where there are battlements, there is beautiful greenery too. Today the fort is home to the largest cannon wheels of the world, a marvel you can see for yourself.
A very intricately made step well, the Abhaneri Stepwell is about 20 km from the Jaipur city centre. Locally also referred to as Chand baori, this step well is one of the largest around. The intent behind building this well back in the day was not just to draw water in summers but also to conserve the underground source, hence making it a sustainable source of water. Having been strong and standing for 10 centuries, the Chand Baori is dedicated to Harshat Mata, the goddess of Joy; and is a must visit for its architecture and history.
World Trade Park
India’s second largest mall, the World Trade Park in Jaipur is a shopping extravaganza. With its 52 acres of entertainment and recreational fun, this is THE place for you and your family to chill and enjoy the city vibe on a hot summer afternoon. There are more than 500 stores, movie theatres, food courts and gaming zones in the two tall complexes that are connected by a bridge. It’s a no brainer then that you can shop your heart out here, from clothes and handicrafts to jewellery and cosmetics to toys — brands as well as boutiques.
Raj Mandir Cinema
Raj Mandir Cinema, one of the oldest theatres around, was created in the 60s by Mehtab Chandra Golcha to give the common people a royal cinema experience. This paved way for a new era in Jaipur, one where the commoners got attention and were pandered to. The cinema house is designed just so that every person watching the movie feels like its been only shown for them, with a mystic surreal aura around the architecture. Only 300 people can watch at a time and the seating chart shows the following tiers — Pearl, Rube, Emerald and Diamond seating. Do visit to experience a unique type of cinema.
Narain Niwas Palace
If in Jaipur you wish to take an exclusive retreat, wish to experience the royal life, then escape to the Narain Niwas Palace. It was owned by Amar Singhji -- the Thakur of Kanota, and used as a country resort by the royal family. But today, after almost a century, it is a royal luxury retreat for all. The original architecture and feel have been maintained while modern amenities have been added, so you will be pampered and comfortable.