Jaipur:The Pink City
When you say Authentic India, Rajasthan is the state that will show you every bit of it. Rajasthan’s biggest and busiest city is no other than the “The Pink City” Jaipur.
Jaipur represents most of the Royalness of Rajasthan as it really preserved the Palaces of Maharajas and Maharanis, Forts, and Temples behind where both locals and foreigners can visit.
Despite the fact that every corner of this city is INSTAGRAMMABLE, here’s a list and brief description of the places I have been to that might also guide you in this humble yet Grandiose Pink City of India.
Hawa means “Wind”, Mahal means“ Palace”. This beautiful Mughal structure is surprisingly standing right in the main street with 953 windows on the outside wall which used as a viewing holes of the Kings and Queens during local Street Events. According to the locals, Hawa Mahal is designed like a honeycomb of a bee’s nest. Since it was built, the Palace has been the iconic symbol of the city for its eye-catching beauty made up of pink sandstone. If you happen to be in Jaipur, never miss or you will for sure never miss the enchanting beauty of Hawa Mahal.
As up to this date, Hawa Mahal does not close on public holidays or Sundays.
Time Opens: 9:00a.m. – 4:30p.m. Daily
Entrance Fee: INR 50 (Locals)/ INR250 (USD4.00)
Nahargarh Fort also means “Abode of Tigers”, is such magical architectural treasure of Rajasthan. This Fort like most of the Forts has some mysteries. It is believed that the fort was cursed by the spirit of the former owner, Prince Nahar Singh Bhomia. Maharajas, including Sawai Jai Singh planned to build a fort here. As the construction happened, part of the finished fort has been destroyed so Maharaja Sawai decided to make a small temple inside the area in honor of Prince Nahar that might be made his spirit glad.
This Fort is extremely beautiful that also showcases a peaceful ambience and a great view of the city. Definitely a Must-Visit Fort in Rajasthan.
Nahargarh Fort is open daily 10:00AM to 5:30 PM
Is one of the untouched forts in Rajasthan. If you want to know how does an ancient Indian architecture looks like, then you should visit Amer Fort. The fort is located more or less 10km from the main street of Jaipur. For foreigners, entrance fee is INR500 or $10.
Outside itself shows how big it is. It is composed of different buildings inside including the Mirror Palace of the Queen.
There are few signages, so if you really want to learn each details and incredible stories of Amer Fort, you can rent audio guide or hire an English speaking guide. They are mostly in the entrance of the Fort.
One of my favorite part of the fort are the walls. They are painted with ornaments which is a combination of Rajput and Hindu architectural style.
There are so much to look and learn because the portraits of royalties, leaders, paintings, ancient hunting weapons and transportations of the Kings and Queens are displayed. Each corner has its own detail, left and right, up and down.
The Fort has souvenir shops and small cafes if you want to have some hot or cold drinks. Or dine like a royalty at Surabhi Restaurant which serves various cuisine for lunch and dinner. Outside Amer Fort is a parking area where you can also find restaurants and snack bars.
Amer Fort is open daily 8:00AM to 6:00PM
Albert Hall Museum
This museum is named after Prince of Wales, Prince Albert Edward during his visit to Jaipur in 1876. The museum was completed in the year 1887. It displays Industrial Arts of the local craftsmen. Paintings and illustrations, murals and other pieces imparting knowledge of history of civilizations. The purpose of this activities is to encourage the locals to improve their skills by showing them best examples of art work and handicrafts of India. It also empowers people to protect and preserve traditional art and the rebirth of their skills and massive employment for the artisans in Jaipur.
Albert Hall is open daily 9:00AM to 5:00PM/ 7:00PM to 10:00PM
Note: Museum has several holidays that causes closing time.
Panna Meena Ka Kund
If you happen to be at Amer Fort, then might as well check on this interesting structure that used to be a community gathering place. It is located on Jaipur-Amer Road, a secret area in the North end of the Amer Fort and or ask some locals around. This less explored area is definitely not in the map and is not for tourism since when we got there, the security guard had hesitation in letting us go down.
However, after several convincing techniques, we were able to take some photos.
This step-well and rainwater catchment is there since sixteenth century. This is an area where people can swim or shall we say, bathing purposes. The cold water of the well during the old times was perfect for relaxation as they said.
But nowadays, people are not allowed anymore and water is quite dirty already.
What makes it interesting is the geometrical patterns that is indeed very instagrammable and there is a temple as well at the top. Less tourist, more photos.
The name Jantar Mantar is from sanskrit word “yantra” which means, “ instrument, machine” and “mantrana” meaning “consult, calculate”.
This monument is one of a kind and a very interesting monument I have ever visited! When you get inside, it looks boring with so many gigantic structures made up of stone and marbles, however, if you get closer to each of them, you will realize that these are astronomical instruments. There are nineteen structures built by Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh II.
The observatory has the World’s largest Stone Sundial, and is part of UNESCO World Heritage site. It also features different instruments that measures time, predicting eclipses, tracking location of major stars as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. Isn’t is amazing?
Being inside this place is such a WOW! I can’t imagine how smart the Rajput King and also those astronomers who restored some of the instruments when it got damaged in the 19th century.
Now this is Intellect. No need of electricity or battery, just from the Sun and you can determine time and all with your own naked eye!