Jaipur is the largest city, but also the capital city of the State Rajasthan, India. It is also called the Pink City. In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh painted the entire city pink to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). The traditional color pink is associated with hospitality. The tradition is still maintaining, all the inhabitants of the old city and are obliged by law to maintain the pink paint.
Jaipur is a city that has much to offer in terms of tourist attractions (forts, markets, temples). But we preferred not to throw our money to see everything moves or not. After careful research, we chose to visit only those things that the city is best known for and its surroundings.
Tourist attractions in Jaipur
Jaipur is the first city in India to have been built after a plan. So it is made up of 9 districts and the royal palace is in the center of the city. The City Palace is a complex of buildings, inner courtyards, temples and two palaces (Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal).
Mubarak Mahal is now transformed into a museum of textile such as royal costumes, but the exterior of the museum is the one that attracts more attention. The exterior is a fusion of architectural styles: Islamic, Rajput, and European. Chandra Mahal would be the most beautiful part of the complex, but the high entry fee (3000 rupees/person) makes it unreachable to everyone. (maybe next time we come to India we will visit it 😊))
The most famous part of this complex is Pritam Niwas Chowk. An inner courtyard with four doors – each door has a different theme representing the four seasons and Hindu gods. Peacock Door – Autumn and Lord Vishnu; Lotus door – Summer and Lord Shiva-Parvati; Green Door – Spring and Lord Ganesha; and finally the Rose Door – winter and Goddess Devi.
The City Palace is open from 9:30. And the visit takes about two hours.
- Visit fee:
500 rupees (~ 6 euro)/ foreign adult
100 rupee (~ 1,25 euro)/ Indian adult
Hawa Mahal or “Wind Palace” is one of the most spectacular buildings we have seen so far. Your eyes can’t stop on only one detail when you look at it, and the pink color makes you look even more.
Part of City Palace, Hawa Mahal is a continuation of women’s chambers. The purpose of this building was for the royal ladies to be able to look at what is happening in the street without being seen. The 953 tiny windows decorate the entire facade. This architectural detail also makes cold air flow and lower temperatures during summer (Wind Palace).
- Visit fee:
200 rupee (~2,5 euro) / foreign adult
50 rupee (~ 0,6 euro)/ Indian adult
Galta Ji – Monkey Temple
Galt Ji is a temple complex at 10 km from Jaipur, in the east. It is well-known because of the large number of monkeys who live here. This temple is built around a water spring, with which many swimming pools are filled. Being considered holy water, pilgrims come here to bathe and wash away their sins. Unfortunately, when we visited these temples on a busy day (pilgrims), so the monkeys were up on the rocks.
There are two ways you can reach this temple: the tuk-tuk/taxi directly to the temple, or a short hike over a hill that takes about 20-30 minutes, the starting point is at the end of Surajpol Bazar Road.
Visit fee: Free, but there will be people asking for a donation.
Tourist attractions in Amer
11 km from Jaipur is the city, Amer. This is the former capital of the state before being moved to Jaipur.
To get here, the simplest method is with Tuk-Tuk. It was 150 rupees (~1,9 euro) on each way (after a little more or less negotiated). Let’s see what this city has to offer:
Amber Fort is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in/near Jaipur. It dates back to the 16th century and is located 11 km from Jaipur.
Being built on a hill there are 3 ways to reach the main entrance:
- Walking is good for health! It only takes 15 minutes (max) to reach the top.
- With the jeep
- On elephants… Of course, I have seen only tourists using this “means of transport”. Although we have enjoyed seeing these wonderful animals, it left us with a bitter taste to see that all the elephants are numbered ☹.
Once you start walking through this fort you will discover corridors and rooms that carry you all-over, creating a kind of labyrinth. The most beautiful part is definitely the room where the Emperor received guests. Its walls are decorated with hundreds of mirrors…
500 rupees (~6 euro)/ foreign adult
100 rupee (~1,25 euro)/ Indian adult
A 10-minute walk from Amber Fort you will find this stepwell that you have certainly seen in pictures so far. Panna Mian Ki Baoli is a stepwell built in the 16th century and is 8-storey depth. Its purpose was to gather water in the rainy season, for swimming, washing clothes and relaxing.
Although it’s free, to take pictures without worrying about someone screaming constantly, you have to pay attention to the security person or anyone else. 😊)
Bihari ji Temple
Just in front of Stepwell is a small and chic temple, but with incredible details. And they are all with elephants! The entry and photography are free, but if you want to film its 35 rupees (~ 0,5 euro).
Sleep and Food
Accommodation in Jaipur
As in any big city, it is ideal to find accommodation that is as central as possible, even near tourist attractions (save money on transportation). Such accommodation we found in Jaipur, near the tourist police, and only 10-15 minutes’ walk to Hawa Mahal and other 5 minutes to the City Palace. Ideal!
Near Hawa Mahal is a large intersection where now (in November’s 2018) they are making a metro. A very important thing to keep in mind is if you find accommodation that is further away from the center but still has access to the subway.
The accommodation was called “Hostel Blue Night” and for 4 nights we paid 4000 rupees (~ 50 euro). For this amount of money, we received a large upstairs room with air conditioning (in November you do not need AC, but it was there just in case), and in one corner you had a table with a chair (we turned immediately in the office :)). It also had a very large bathroom with an instant (boiler), so the hot water was not conditioned by anything (just by the water).
For us, this accommodation proved to be excellent, with no major drawbacks (only the general ones in India).
Where to eat in Jaipur
As in every city, we visited so far, we trusted TripAdvisor for food. We’ve looked around for a location with positive reviews that is as accessible as possible (the perfect combination of cheap and good). We were lucky to find one just a 5-minute walk from our accommodation, on the rooftop of a hotel (Royal Sheraton Hotel) that met our criteria.
Excellent staff and great food. We did not have a problem eating from them, the food was tasty and the portions big. The average lunch price for this restaurant was 600 rupee (~ 7.5 euro) for two people.
Exactly opposite Hawa Mahal, there are some cafes that offer the best view of the tourist destination. We ordered a traditional tea, which was the most flavoured tea we drank until now in India (we are in the third week). A tea here was 50 rupees (~ 0.6 euro), quite expensive, but here you pay the view, and what view…
How to get to Jaipur
Being a very big city, you can get here by almost any means of transport (except the boat). The most common methods are buses and trains, but you can also arrive by car (taxi or drive) or by plane (yes there is an airport).
We got here from Agra with the morning train. We left Agra at 5:05 and arrived in Jaipur at 10:00 in the morning. Being the tourist season, and leaving on last minute to buy train tickets, we managed to get only 2S – Second Sitting. Luckily, it was the morning train, because it did not have AC and the car was full, for sure at noon we were doing a sauna. It was a very interesting experience, we could see the simple people, the locals who commuted to work, but also the families returning home. At one point, on the tiny bench, which had to accommodate 3 people, we were four. If you’re a bit more pretentious, it would be advisable not to go under AC and it’s ideal to find the first class.
From Jaipur we took the bus to Pushkar, so let’s say we used the most common means of transport.