A journey to India’s pink city Jaipur

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Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is also known as the Pink City, due to the dominant color scheme of its buildings. Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in India and is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Jantar Mantar and the Amer Fort

On 6 July 2019, UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed Jaipur the ‘Pink City of India’ among its World Heritage Sites[13]. An announcement about Jaipur’s inclusion in the UNESCO list was made on July 6 after the 43rd meet of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at Baku, Azerbaijan where the Committee had to examine 35 nominations for inscription and inspected by ICOMOS (The International Council on Monuments and Sites) last year. The historic city met the inspection standards and was thus included in the final list as well. The Committee has given 1 year time to city representative to hold this title for the city as they need to keep developing the city in different terms.

After spending two days in Udaipur, we headed to Jaipur by road. It took us approx 6 hours to reach here.

We visited the below places:

Amer Fort

Amer Fort is a fort located in AmerRajasthanIndia. Amer is a town with an area of 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi)[1] located 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Located high on a hill, it is the principal tourist attraction in Jaipur.[2][3] The town of Amer was originally built by Meenasand later it was ruled by Raja Man Singh I. Amer Fort is known for its artistic style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake, which is the main source of water for the Amer Palace.

Mughal architecture greatly influenced the architectural style of several buildings of the fort. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists of the Diwan-e-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the Amer Palace.The palace was the residence of the RajputMaharajas and their families. At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to Shila Devi, a goddess of the Chaitanya cult, which was given to Raja Man Singh when he defeated the Raja of Jessore, Bengal in 1604. (Jessore is now in Bangladesh).

At the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom PenhCambodia, in 2013, Amer Fort, along with five other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

We were amazed to see this fort and spent approx 3 hours exploring the same. Below are few prominent places inside the fort.

Ganesh Pol

Ganesh Pol, or the Ganesh Gate, named after the Hindu godLord Ganesh, who removes all obstacles in life, is the entry into the private palaces of the Maharajas. It is a three-level structure with many frescoes that was also built at the orders of the Mirza Raja Jai Singh (1621–1627). Above this gate is the Suhag Mandir where ladies of the royal family used to watch functions held in the Diwan-i-Aam through latticed marble windows called “jâlîs

Sheesh Mahal

The building to the left of the entrance gate is called the Jai Mandir, which is exquisitely embellished with glass inlaid panels and multi-mirrored ceilings. The mirrors are of convex shape and designed with coloured foil and paint which would glitter bright under candlelight at the time it was in use. Also known as Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), the mirror mosaics and coloured glasses were a “glittering jewel box in flickering candlelight”. Sheesh mahal was built by King Man Singh in the 16th century and completed in 1727. It is also the foundation year of Jaipur state. However, most of this work was allowed to deteriorate during the period 1970–80 but has since then been in the process of restoration and renovation. The walls around the hall hold carved marble relief panels.

It was really gorgeous and we were amazed to see it . Honestly the pictures don’t give it justice.

Cooling room

This room was used as the cooling room during Summers .They used water via pipes and the Marble helped keep the room cool..they didn’t need air conditioning to chill in Summer.

Traditional head gear

At the end of the tour, we saw this guy selling this traditional headgear. We paid to wear it for few mins and pose for pics.

After visiting Amer Fort we had a lunch break and then visited City Palace next.

City Palace

The City Palace, Jaipur was established at the same time as the city of Jaipur, by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who moved his court to Jaipur from Amber, in 1727.[1] Jaipur is the present-day capital of the state of Rajasthan, and until 1949 the City Palace was the ceremonial and administrative seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur.[1] The Palace was also the location of religious and cultural events, as well as a patron of arts, commerce, and industry. It now houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, and continues to be the home of the Jaipur royal family. The royal family of Jaipur is said to be the descendents of Lord Rama. The palace complex has several buildings, various courtyards, galleries, restaurants, and offices of the Museum Trust. The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust looks after the Museum, and the royal cenotaphs (known as chhatris

We spent approx one hour here, where we got a private tour of few rooms inside the palace. Though we had to pay quite a price of Rs. 1500 per person, it was worth it . We were excited to get a tour of rooms where the royals and their guests lived and where Bollywood movies were filmed. They also served us complimentary “Royal tea” at the end of this tour.

Shobha Niwas or Diwali room:

This is the Diwali room or Shobha niwas inside City palace ..we got to see this part of the palace via a private (paid) tour..though the royal feeling you get when visiting these rooms is worth the money. Quite a few Bollywood movies have been shot in this room like Bhool Bhulaiya, Manikarnika and Jodha Akbar. It was really gorgeous as you can see from the pics.

Sarvatro Bhadra

The Sarvato Bhadra is a unique architectural feature. The unusual name refers to the building’s form: a Sarvato Bhadra is a single-storeyed, square, open hall, with enclosed rooms at the four corners.One use of the Sarvato Bhadra was as the Diwan-e-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audience, which meant the ruler could hold court with the officials and nobles of the kingdom.

This pink room had gorgeous chandeliers and other collectibles.

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal (English translation: “The Palace of Winds” or “The Palace of Breeze”) is a palace in Jaipur, India. Made with the red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, Jaipur, and extends to the Zenana, or women’s chambers.

The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, the grandson of Sawai Jai Singh, who was the founder of Jaipur[1]. He was so inspired by the unique structure of Khetri Mahal that he built this grand and historical palace. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad. Its unique five floors exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework.[2] The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey the strict rules of “purdah”, which forbade them from appearing in public without face coverings. This architectural feature also allowed cool air from the Venturi effect to pass through, thus making the whole area more pleasant during the high temperatures in summer. Many people see the Hawa Mahal from the street view and think it is the front of the palace, but in reality it is the back of that structure.

Unfortunately it was closed so we only had an outside view of this gorgeous structure. One thing which we didn’t know is that all attractions close by 5pm IST, else we would’ve planned our day in a better way. Anyways we were glad to get a glimpse of the famous Hawa Mahal.

Few places that were on our itinerary but we couldn’t visit due to time constraints:

  • Chokhi Dhani
  • Jantar Mantar
  • Jal Mahal

Accomodation:

We were staying at Hotel Kk Royal which is a gorgeous hotel. You can read our review here.

Food

Below are few restaurants that we heard are good:

  • Chokhi Dhani
  • Laxmi Misthan Bhandar ( for Rajasthani Thali)
  • Lassiiwala at Johri Bazar
  • Tapri Central

Shopping:

Jaipur is famous for shopping especially for traditional and hand made items like bags, shoes etc. We shopped quite a lot here and bought home back some lovely souvenirs.

Folk music:

We enjoyed some traditional Rajasthani folk music at our hotel and outside Amer fort. If you ever visit Jaipur do indulge in some folk music.

We were really happy to cross Jaipur off our bucket list and felt like royals visiting here. The architecture, culture and color really blew us away. We will definitely visit again to cover places that we didn’t get to see this time.

Thank you for reading. If you haven’t been to Jaipur, then you should definitely visit soon. Cheers and Happy Travels! 🙂

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Read about our trip to the Pink city of India or Jaipur in Rajasthan India

P.S: Few of the writing content is sourced from Wikipedia. All pictures are taken by us and should not be copied without prior permission.

10 thoughts on “A journey to India’s pink city Jaipur

  1. Sally

    Oh Jaipur is so beautiful, we visited Jaipur in 2017 with our kids, we were contracted to film a Facebook ad for Scoot Airlines and they choose Jaipur to take us. It was such an amazing experience and its when we fell in love with India. We desperately want to go back and explore more of India, Kerala is definitely high on our list of places to visit.

    Reply
  2. Punita Malhotra

    Seeing your post reminds me that we have to go back and see Nahargarh Fort. Jaipur is a lovely city for shopping and street food too. And now its a Unesco heritage city!

    Reply
  3. Candy

    The photos of Amer Fort were very interesting especially the photos of the elephants. Did you ride on any of them or were they even available to the public? Just curious 🙂 Love that you paid a little to borrow those traditional headpieces for a photo. The photos came out so cute. Happy to hear it is now a Unesco heritage city. Well deserved!

    Reply
  4. Nicola Hilditch-Short

    Jaipur is a dream destination for us in India and somewhere we hope to visit next year. It seems like there is just so much to do here, you had a great tour of all the culture, history and architecture!

    Reply
  5. Alison

    I have always wanted to go to the “Pink City.” Congratulations to the city for attaining UNESCO status. I wonder what they have to do in the first year to maintain the status.

    Reply
  6. Mirela | The Travel Bunny

    From the first photos, I couldn’t see the pink, but then it came 🙂 I’d love to get to India in the next couple of years, it must be an incredible experience, the kind of trip one would title “the trip of a lifetime”

    Reply
  7. Ketki

    I love the amazing vibe in Jaipur. All the heritage, architecture, opulence and food is simply stunning. I’ve been to all the places you mentioned, a long time back and I do want to go again. Hopefully, soon. Lovely pictures 🙂

    Reply
  8. Michael Hodgson

    Read quite a few other travel blog posts on visits to the pink city and the Amer Fort. Your post is yet another that continues to remind that this is one place I need to keep high on the bucket list. Wish they didn’t still support riding of elephants though for commercial tourism … that is one practice that needs to stop.

    Reply
  9. Shreya Saha

    The vibe in Jaipur is too awesome. I would love to revisit this city as I was there when I was too small. The pictures you have taken of Amer Fort are so picturesque. I liked the concept of cooling room during summers via water pipes. I also liked the headgears you wore for the pictures.

    Reply

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