Rajasthan is full of breathtaking landscapes, historical cities, mouthwatering food and colorful traditions.
Literally, Rajasthan means “Land of Kings” as the history of this Indian state is full of kings and their kingdoms.
Some of the cities are also known for their colors- Jodhpur (Blue City), Udaipur (White City), Jaisalmer (Golden City) and Pink City – Jaipur. The Pink City of India is also the capital of Rajasthan and the most populated city in the state.
The city based on Vedic principles
Maybe the history is not as old as many other Indian cities but the city has definitely a lot to offer. It was founded on 18th November 1726 by Maharaja Jai Singh II whose plan was to shift the growing population of Amer (just 11 km from Jaipur) to a new city. But he didn’t do it without a proper plan – Jai Singh II consulted some well known architects and his goal was to use the principles presented in Vastu Shastra (ancient Vedic text which focuses on architecture) and Shilpa Shastra (another Vedic text which is about art and designing). Thanks to his commitment, Jaipur became a planned city.
How to reach Jaipur?
Jaipur has an airport but if you prefer admiring landscape, I recommend taking a car or a bus. Jaipur is nicely connected with Udaipur, Delhi and Mumbai. Jaipur is also connected with the main cities of India by rail, so this is also a great option for you to travel and have the chance to observe more. Remember that Indian railway offers you different classes – from the cheapest one which can cost you barely 135INR to around 1000 INR. Now it is totally up to you , which option you choose. But please, bear in mind that different amount means different quality. I know some international tourists who were on a budget trip and they bought the cheapest possible ticket. Later they said that Indian railways were in a terrible condition. What such people fail to understand is that Indian Rail provides services to all kinds of people – from the richest to the middle class and also the poorest.
So tourists should understand that if they pay more, they get better facilities. But don’t judge the entire Indian Railway just on the basis of the cheapest travelling class. Indian Railway also runs some extravagant trains like- Palace on Wheels, Deccan Odessey etc.
Hotels in Jaipur
It is something that you definitely don’t really have to worry about. This city is full of tourists as it is also a part of the Golden Triangle which is pretty famous. Apart from Jaipur, it includes Delhi and Agra. From five star hotels to heritage hotels to budget hotels, Jaipur has quiet a variety.
Shiv Villas in Kookas (a little bit outside the city) has amazing interiors and a great staff.
You are not going to die hungry in Jaipur 🙂 Go for delicious and iconic Rajasthani thali! This is definitely a must-try. To find out what thali is check this post . Apart from this, Jaipur is famous for excellent pyaaz ki kachori which is a snack made of spiced onions which are filled in some dough balls and are fried later.. Yummy! If you have a chance, try Ghevar – a sweet made of different types of flour and soaked in special sugar syrup.
Forts around Jaipur
And finally let me introduce to the sightseeing options. There are three forts in and around Jaipur. Amber (or Amer) fort is very massive and it is also the most famous fort in Jaipur.
In Amber fort you can take an elephant taxi to reach the Sun Gate. Another great fort is Jaigarh Fort. Jaigarh was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1726 and the idea was to protect the main Amber Palace. From there, you will be able to experience an outstanding view of Aravalli hills and Amber fort (as Jaigarh is situated higher than Amber). Those who are interested in armory can find a real masterpiece – Jaivana Canon. During the time it was produced, it was the biggest canon on wheels in the whole world (by the way it was never used in any battle but only test-fired).
The name of the third fort is – Naharghar Fort and it offers great views of the city as well.
City Palace is an absolute must. The main attraction is the City Palace (a big palace complex). I think this is the most beautiful part of Jaipur.
Jantar Mantar – the Observatory
Sightseeing in Jaipur can not be completed without seeing Jantar Mantar (if we translate it, it is something like “Instrument for calculation”), It is the largest observatory in India. The Observatory was constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II who was known for his love for ancient science. The instruments were used for observation of constellation and stars in the sky.
Hawa Mahal – a must-see in Jaipur
Close to the City Palace complex, Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is located. The building consists of five floors and 953 small windows.
I recommend at least two to three nights in Jaipur but if you are in a hurry, even a day is enough. And when you visit the city, do not forget to share your experience with me.