Jaipur, the pink City.
Jaipur is also known as the Pink City, due to the dominant colour scheme of its buildings. It is also known as the Paris of India. Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in India and forms a part of the west Golden Triangle tourist circuit along with Delhi and Agra. Jaipur is a place not less than a paradise. The pink city of Jaipur is a UNESCO world heritage site. At the city’s heart, the city palace is still a home to the last ruling family. Our favorite highlights in Jaipur were:
Ajmer Fort is a castle that served as the residence of the emperors in Ajmer, Rajasthan. It was built from 1592 by Raja Jai Singh I in red sandstone and marble. With 5000 visitors per day (1.4 million per year), it is one of the most touristic places in India. The fort was recognized as one of the six Hill Forts of Rajasthan as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013 and inscribed on the World Heritage List under that name.
Many cities in India have a Fort, but this Fort is very different from the other forts. It is huge, beautifully decorated and located on a mountain surrounded by city walls. For us, this was the highlight of Jaipur and Amer. Individual tickets cost 50 INR for Indians, and 550 INR for foreigners. Also accessible as part of the tourist composite tickets.
The Hawa Mahal is a palace in the city of Jaipur, India. The structure was built in 1799 by the grandson of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of the city of Jaipur. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad. Its five-floor exterior is akin to a honeycomb with its 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework. The outer facade is even on the cover of the Lonely Planet India.
The facade can be viewed easily and free of charge from the street at the front. If you also want to view the inside, you can enter at the back. An entrance ticket is required. Costs 50 INR for Indians, and 200 INR for foreigners. Or as part of the tourist composite ticket. However, we found the exterior much more impressive than the interior.
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the largest built astronomical observatory in the world. Founded in the early 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh, it is one of five similar astronomical observatories in India. Sawai Jai Singh was very interested in science and technology, especially astronomy. The observatory is located near the entrance of the City Palace in Jaipur, and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. There are 18 instruments, most of which still work. In 2010 it was placed on the World Heritage List.
Jantar Mantar is open from 09.00am to 4.30pm. Entrance fee is 50 INR for Indians and 200 INR for foreigners. Also accessible with the tourist composite ticket.
City Palace is one of the few places where one region is reserved for the royal family’s residence and the other is open for public viewing as a museum and courtyard. You will find many weapons from different historical periods here. Explore the beautiful courtyards too, where special guests were hosted in bygone days. The palace is also home to many antique collections of the personal belongings of the royal family.
Opening hours are from 09:30 am to 5:00 pm. Entrance ticket can be purchased for 200 INR for Indians and 700 INR for foreigners. Unfortunately, it is not possible to enter as part of the tourist composite ticket because this palace is privately owned. Unfortunately we have not been inside due to lack of time, but this is another reason to come back. However, the exterior facades looked promising.
Isarlat or Sargasuli Tower is a seven-storied historical heritage monument built by Sawai Ishwari Singh in the year 1749. The minaret is seven storied and once you reach the top of this tower you will get a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse of the whole city. Opening hours from 09:30 am to 4:00 pm. Entrance fee is 70 INR per person for all. Or enter as part of the tourist composite ticket.
tourist composite ticket:
You can get a composite ticket which gives you access to the following monuments in Jaipur: Hawa Mahal, Amber Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawamahal, Nahargarh, Albert Hall, Sisodia Garden and Vidhyadhar Garden. This way you do not have to buy a separate ticket for the above tourist attractions everywhere. This saves time and money, so it is definitely worth considering.
These tickets can be purchased from the ticket office of the participating attractions and is valid for 2 days only. It is not valid for night time tourism. The cost of the ticket is 1000 INR per person for foreigners, and 300 INR for Indians. The tickets do not cover the city palace.
Within the city walls of Jaipur there is a huge amount for sale. There is a large bazaar and also on all main roads it is full of nice shops. The shops in Jaipur specialize in gemstone jewelry, textiles, footwear and many more.
There are also plenty of nice bars and restaurants for an evening out. However, the ones we found were not in the old city, so some research is wise. Our favorite place was Jaipur Beer & More, close to the station. Their own beer is brewed here, and the beer tasting was our favourite. Cheers!