Jaipur OverviewSummarise the city :
Heritage CapitalBest time to visit (High & peak months) :
October to march Experiences :
Forts, palaces, shopping, City calling code :
0141Recommended no. of days for a tourist :
2 daysBest buys :
Handicrafts; lac bangles; block printed textiles; gems and jewelleryAll about the city :
The cultural hub of India, Jaipur is one of the most enticing and consequently the best selling tourist destinations of the country. In the year 1727 the Rajput ruler Sawai Jai Singh commissioned a Bengali architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya to design a city to accommodate the increasing population of his existing kingdom Amber. Vidyadhar also lived up to his expectations and designed the first planned city of India befitting the glamour, glory and grandeur of the Rajputs. The city was painted in pink, a color of hospitality, to welcome Prince of Wales in the year1876.
With all the modern comforts of life Jaipur has retained an old world charm. The monuments, telling the tales of royalty, never fail to stir a traveler's curiosity and imagination. Every nook and corner of the city corroborates the its cultural richness. Besides the monuments and culture the accommodation facilities at Jaipur also play a major role in wooing a fair chunk of tourists to India. It offers you an opportunity to have a first hand experience of the kind of life, which the erstwhile Rajput rulers lived. As here many of the royal residencies have undergone metamorphosis to become heritage hotels. But fret not if you do not want to burn a hole in your pocket, cheaper options are also available.
The other attractions like the ethnic Rajasthani delicacies, endless variety of crafts and glittering gems and jewelry are all irresistible.
Thus with ample attractions, easy accessibility, and strong infrastructure to cater to the needs of the tourists Jaipur well deserves the place it holds on the world tourist map.
Jaipur Tourist attractions
|Name (suggested time required to see the place)||Description||Entrance charges (if any) for Foreigner ||Close Day (if any) ||Open / Close time|
|Govind dev ji's temple (15-20 minutes) ||Situated in the City Palace complex, the temple of Govinddev ji enshrines the idol of Lord Krishna (along with Radhaji) who is patron deity of the Jaipur's royal family. The image of the deity was brought here from Vrindavan by Raja Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. |
The architectural evaluation of the temple brings out nothing much to wonder about but still everyday it attracts a huge crowd whose devotion, with which they collectively chant the hymns, is definitely noteworthy. The arties (prayers) are performed 7 times a day and each time the costumes of the idols are changed and bhogs are offered. The activities in the temple reach the peak during 'Janmashtmi', a festival to celebrate the birthday of Lord Krishna.
|TBA ||TBA ||TBA |
|Amber Fort ( 2 hrs) ||At a distance of 11 km from Jaipur, on the mighty Aravallis stands the sprawling Amber fort palace. Raja Man Singh started its construction in late 16th century. Few additions were made by subsequent rulers. This palace built mainly in red sandstone and marble is an excellent example of fusion of Hindu and Muslim style of architecture. The strong exterior of the fort symbolizes the might of the Rajputs while the delicate interiors (the fine lattice windows, frescos, finely sculptured pillars) speak about their refined taste. |
In front of the fort was the 'mawatha' lake, which sheltered the crocodiles to protect the fort. In the midst of the lake area lies the Mughal style saffron garden. In the fort, the 'Diwan-i-am, the Diwan-i-khas and the 'Sheesh Mahal' with exquisite mirror work catch attention. The technical water cascade cooling system and the sandalwood door in the Sukh Mahal are very appealing. Besides, the Kali Temple is also worth paying a visit.
The most distinctive feature of the fort is the elephant ride that you can opt to climb up the fort but for it you have to shell out some money.
|Entrance fee Rs 150 |
Elephant ride Rs 990 ( for one elephant which can carry a maximum of 2 persons at a time)
|No close days ||8 am - 6 pm |
|Nahargarh Fort (45minutes) ||This comparatively small but sturdy fort at Jaipur was built on a hilltop by Sawai Jai Singh in 1734 to strengthen the defense of Amber. The fort offers a picturesque view of Jaipur. The view of sunset from this place is especially spectacular. Inside the fort are 9 apartments, one for each of the 9 queens of the king. They are arranged in such a manner that the king could visit any of his queens without the knowledge of the other. |
Legends have it that the fort is named after a prince Nahar Singh whose spirit lived at the site of the fort and hindered its construction. When some special prayers were performed it agreed to leave the place but only on the condition that the fort be named after him. Some say it is called so because the place abounded with tigers at that time and 'Nahargarh' literally means abode of tigers. Anyway, now the place is absolutely safe to visit. The famous advertisement for Lays (a snack) featuring Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan was shot at this spot.
|INR 50||No close days ||9:30am - 5:30 pm |
|Jantar Mantar (An observatory) 30 minutes ||Jaipur is the proud owner of the best preserved and also the biggest of the 5 observatories built throughout the country by Raja Sawai Jai Singh. At first sight it appears to be consisting of weird geometrical figures, built in stone and marble, lying in an open area. But a careful observation will give you an idea of their significance and also allow you to appreciate the genius of Sawai Jai Singh. |
The words Jantar Mantar are derived from Sanskrit words Yantram (meaning instrument) and Mantram (meaning calculation). So, this observatory is actually a place where huge stone instruments were used to trace the movements of the celestial bodies so that the king could perform his rituals at the most auspicious moment. Like the 'Samrat Yantra', the biggest sundial in the world records the local time of Jaipur to an accuracy of upto 2 seconds; the 'Dhruva Yantra' helps in finding out the position of the Pole star at night and also those of the 12 zodiac signs.
|Entrance Rs 10 |
Entrance is free on Monday
|No close days ||9am to 4:30pm |
|City Palace [1.5-2 hours] ||Get awed or get jealous by the flamboyance of the Royal heritage, which, with its tastes and achievements, has been having a pronounced influence on the region and its people. |
City palace Museum or Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II museum (or SMS museum!!) captures and showcases such a heritage of affluence and social position in its part of the City palace premises, which itself is a royal residence since the 18th century.
Strong- and delicate-work of 'those' periods are still resplendent in its clothing, paintings, recreational instruments, manuscripts, chariots, photographs & photography instruments, armoury, and arts and crafts and, of course, the Rajput(Rajasthani) architecture complimented by that of Mughal style, that houses these invaluable valuables.
These artifacts have been treasured inside different museums depending upon their type.
The Costume and Textile Museum at Mubarak Mahal:
"Apparel oft proclaims man" and to a greater extent the Royal Gentleman and Lady. A walk and surf through the royal-wears-section at the first floor of the Mubarak Mahal or the Auspicious Palace, which once was the place for the entertainment of the guests, can get one a peek into the princely fashion quotient.
Maharaja Man Singh II's billiards dress and the Polo dress, probably donned while he won for India the 1957 Polo World Cup; the impressive Sanganeri Print; Pashmina Shawals; the all-encompassing ward-robe of 7-ft. tall and 4-ft. broad Maharaja Madho Singh I, where jaw drops and visitors spends sometime digesting this very 'big' fact!
Besides, the precious Pashmina Shawls, 17th and 18th century textiles, and sprawling fine gold-embroidered skirt…hang over in the mind space after visit.
The Armoury Museum at the Sileh Khana:
One of the finest Indian weaponry rests in peace in the Sileh Khana. The proud collection includes Rekhla(small canon); decorated Shields; Daggers; jeweled and ivory handled Swords of the Jaipur's Rulers and the Mughals; gun powder pouches; Jujarba(camel Guns); Howdahs(seat on the elephant's back)…
The Art Museum at the Sabha niwas, former Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public):
Inside this hall, intricately furnished in deep red and gold, what catches eyes are the huge 17th century Afghan and Persian carpets scrolled down, hanging dazzling chandelier, life-size portraits of Maharajas of Jaipur, esp. that of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II, the chariots and coaches, original astronomical and religious manuscripts in Persian and Sanskrit, miniature Rajasthani and Persian paintings, 19th century Photographs and photography instruments, and other exquisite personal belongings and royal accessories.
The two big lustrous silver urns, acknowledged as the largest silver object by the Guinnes Book of Records, are displayed at the Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private). Maharaja Madho Singh II carried holy Ganges water to England in 1901 in these lavish urns.
Besides, the flat palatial edifices, on paved square, with ornamented borders, arches, balconies and pillars, the open and spacious courtyards and gardens, the decorated gateways, the Pritam Chowk or the 'Court of the Beloved' with four doorways painted with motifs depicting four seasons, the turbaned caretaker in traditional attire, the view of the exterior of the 7 storeyed present royal residence, Chandra Mahal or the 'Moon Palace', the crafts emporium, bookshops well stuffed with books with enticing cover pages and titles all add up to a real royal feast!
|Adult: Rs 200 ||Public holidays 4:30 p.m. ||9 am - 5 pm |
|Jaigarh Fort [1.5-2 hour] ||A Destination worth a visit for the legendary charm surrounding a not-so-usual fort! |
Overlooking the outlying region of Jaipur and the Amber fort is the 'Victory fort', which sprawls on the top of the hill of eagles (locally called 'cheel ka tilaa'), and represented and reminds of the might of the Rajputs.
Majorly a sturdy military structure, it is well fortified by the extensive rugged walls, with flame-shaped battlements, running all around the 3 km spread bastion of early 17th century.
The fierce firepower of its days, and still, the world's largest canon on wheels, Jaivan, is probably the most pictured at this fort. Its 'vital-stats' were enough to keep the enemies off, so the only time it fired was at its dramatic 'test-firing'. The (test-) fired canon ball landing more than 35 km away had a killing effect on many houses and resulted in a lake like formation where it hit. Also, the lake near this canon is a deliberate and a strategic attempt to help the cannoneer escape as soon as he fired it.
Other legends include the huge capacity water tanks that used to treasure the loot of the Rajputs in the warfare. This buried fortune was the source of construction of old capital of Amber, and Jaipur. Presently, the fortune is sill buried in its legendary past, and one can treasure it via…!
Plus, the puppet shows with melodious shriek of the puppeteer and zigzagging waist and body of the puppets; 7-storeyed watchtower, Diva Burj, where the Jaigarh fort towers above all; the military engineering at the canon foundry; museums collections of swords, shields, 50 kg canon ball, too long guns, conks and containers for oil, coins, and wine, maps, photographs, paintings, and howdahs [elephant saddle] and also, once a vantage point to check the nearing enemy the fort is now a tourist's viewpoint to see the snaking walls and the beaten tracks.
|Admission Fee: Foreigner INR 75 (admission free with City Palace) |
Photography: Foreigner INR 30 Video: Foreigner 100
|4:30 p.m. Public holidays closed ||9 am - 4:30 pm |
|Birla Laksmi Narayan Temple [30 min.] ||A modern catholic approach to religion is carved on the white marbles and architecture of Laksmi Narayan Temple. It is the gift of the Birlas [leading industrialists of India] to the pink city, hence the name Birla Temple. Placed at the foot of the Moti Dongri [the Pearl hill], the impressive view of the replica of Scottish castle called as Moti Doongri Palace topping the hillock and the calm surrounding alongside the busy road, makes it a cool place to hang out, and is visited especially by the locals. ||No entrance fees ||-- ||--- |
|Jaipur has a domestic airport with connectivity to all major cities of the country including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkotta, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur, and Udaipur ||By train, Jaipur is well-connected to all major cities of the country including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkotta, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Agra, Bikaner, Jodhpur, and Udaipur ||Around 261 km SW of New Delhi and Around 208 kms from Agra. |
It is well connected by road to all Northern India and to all tourist destinations of Rajasthan.
|Name of festival||Dates / Months||Festival details with link for more information |
|Elephant Festival Jaipur ||Feb - Mar On the Festival of Holi ||India's national festival of Colours, Holi, in Jaipur, is the day to witness yet another kind of festival. Amazingly caparisoned elephants, the symbol of strength, take the center stage - elephant parades, elephant races, elephant polo matches, elephant beauty pageant and elephant vs. man tug-of-war. The Royal Chaugan stadium of Jaipur is the setting for this spectacular jamboree that culminates with colorful melee created by throwing of flowers and colors at each other to celebrate the festival of spring, Holi,. Folk songs, music, dances, camels, and horses complete the patchwork. |
|Gangaur Festival ||March - April||Gangaur is Rajasthan's most important local festival. Although celebrated all across the state Jaipur becomes an obvious choice for it offers the comfort of watching the festivities and procession, marking this festival, from atop shops with proper seating arrangements done by the State Tourism Body. If not for the mythical origins the festival can be attended to see the culture of dance, music, food and festivities woven around it. It's an experience to watch whole of the town and nearby villages turned out to observe the ceremonies and cultural procession from Triploia Gate of City Palace. Beside the symbolic image of Godess Gauri there are also traditional dancers and musicians, decorated elephant, camels, horses and bullock carts et al make it worth it. |
|Excursion (distance in kms)||Description|
|Abhaneri (95 kms towards Agra ) ||En route the Golden Triangle, lie Rajasthan's yet another amazing piece of architecture in the form of a step-well, named Chand Baori, at Abhaneri. 20 m deep with 11 levels of zigzag steps and diving platforms of the Maharaja Chand who built it. It reflects the heavenly moon during full moon nights when it passes over it, hence the name Chand ('Moon') Baori ('Stepwell'), as say some guide. A dilapidated ancient Harshat Mata temple is situated next to it. The piles of stone-work and idols around the temple are the reminiscent of act of vandalism in quest of religious supremacy and are worth a 'dekko' |
|Samode (50 kms) ||50 kms North of the Jaipur into the rural settings the small village of Samode rewards you with a view of an old palace that still retains its charm. Medieval architecture is displayed in its exquisite marble work, antiques, mirror work, paintings and interiors esp. in the Diwan-e-khas. |
|Sanganer [16 kms] ||Sanganer near Jaipur is famous for the finest hand-block printing and design, dyeing and ornamentation. The local craftsmen are experts at crinkling, tie-dye, lahariya, mothra, quilting and multitudinous skills of braiding, plaiting and trimming. |
Pushkar [140 kms]
2 hrs drive from Jaipur, the town of Ajmer and Pushkar adds a holy and quaint dash to your Jaipur Darshan!
One of the oldest town of India and an important Hindu Pilgrimage Pushkar is a traveler’s-choice for the mystic appeal around its lake, temples, Ghats and the bazaar. It is said to have been born out of a dropped lotus in the lake and that’s why the name Pushkar, meaning ‘Flower’. Pushkar for Hindu devotees is the place to visit one of the very few Brahma temple in the world. Brahma, in Hindu mythology is the ‘God of Creation’ from whose hand the lotus dropped into this valley and formed the revered Pushkar lake. Few hours at Pushkar should involve a holy dip in Pushkar lake from anywhere along the 52 Ghats (steps), a visit to the 14th century Brahma Temple and Camel safari. And if one wish to see this usually sleepy town bustling – time your visit around the Pushkar Camel Fair.
Ajmer [130 kms]
|Ajmer, at a distance of 12 Kms from Pushkar, is the place to see mausoleum of the Sufi Saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti, The Dargāh Sharīf. The Shrine is revered by all people irrespective of their religion, class, sex etc. Be there to see the heights of reverence and faith, for example, in the two huge cauldron, that devotees fill with rice, grains, money and prayers and vows. Inside the main complex of white marble too on can see numerous red-thread tied on the grill around the tomb as a symbol of a secret prayer or vow. Qawaali, Hindustani music praising the Sufi saint is performed live by the Qawaals, the singers. However, touts in the form of priests and shopkeepers is a little discouragement for a visitor. Other attraction is The Nasiyan. See a sample of Architectural richness of the Jain temple in this Digambar Jain temple built in 1864-1895. Aslo worth a dekko is the Arhai-din-ka Jhompra literally means 'Two-and-a-half-days Shelter', the time it took to dempolish the hindu temple and construct the mosque over the site.|
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