Kerala Travel Guide

Jaipur Travel Guide

Jaipur, also known as the Pink City is capital of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is famous for its humongous forts, big havelis, folk music, food, chivalry and vibrant culture. It is recognized as the land of turbans, ghoonghat, desert, and camel. Now, imagine, if the state is full of rich heritage then wouldn’t its capital be? Jaipur is and was a glorious city, and the forts, palaces, and tales of heroism, all serve as a witness to its glory.

Most of you might not be aware of the fact that the city was India’s first ever planned city. It was designed and planned by chief architect, Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, from Bengal. Maharaja Jai Singh initially built his empire around the Amer Fort but eventually discussed and developed the plan of building Jaipur with Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. The foundation of Jaipur was laid down by Maharaja Jai Singh on 18th November 1727. It took around four years to place the roads, palaces, squares, and the boundary walls.

All of you might know that Jaipur is also called as the Pink City of India but do you know why? After the demise of Raja Jai Singh in 1744, his sons fought for power, but without a King, the city became open to invasion. The Rajput and the Marathas later controlled the city. In the year 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh decorated the entire city in pink color to welcome the Prince of Wales, King Edward VII, to Jaipur and this is how it got the name Pink City. Several experiments took place before choosing pink as the color because they wanted to select a color that reduces the intense glare from the blazing reflection of the sun.

CURRENT SCENARIO

By now, you know that Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan which was built in the 18th century and is also India’s first planned city. Not only the rich culture and heritage, but this city is also known as the fastest emerging metropolis of the nation. Jaipur owes it all to proper urban planning, sound infrastructure, and modern amenities. It is considered as one of the best places for doing business and living. It is well connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Agra, and Bhopal through six-lane highways.

Education

Jaipur is a hub of educational institutions, from primary level to college level of education. The University of Rajasthan recently completed it 63 years and the schools and colleges present in Jaipur provide an international standard of education which makes this city one of the favorite “education destinations” of parents and students.

Infrastructure

The major rivers passing through Jaipur are Banas and Banganga, which is the groundwater resource for the city. Jaipur airport is located at Sanganer which is like 13 km from the city and is the only international airport in Rajasthan.

Since the city was witnessing increasing traffic, the Indian government approved Jaipur Bus Rapid Transit Service in the year 2006. Under this, two corridors were proposed in Phase 1, covering a total distance of 49 km. RSRTC operates more than 400 regular and low-floor buses, major depots being located at Vaishali Nagar, Vidyadhar Nagar, and Sanganer.

Jaipur got its first metro in 2013, which was like a historic moment for its citizens. The entire project took only two years and nine months, which shows how serious Jaipur is about improving its infrastructure. Jaipur is also the headquarter of North Western Zone of Indian Railways.

Jaipur also serves as a gateway to other tourist destination in Rajasthan, such as Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, and Mount Abu. This city is also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites- one is the Jantar Mantar, and other is the Amer Fort.

Economy

Along with serving as the provincial capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is also an educational and administrative center and the economy of this city is driven by tourism, gemstone cutting, manufacturing jewelry and textiles, and information technology. Apart from being a major hub for arts and crafts, it is also one of India’s largest manufacturers of hand-knotted rugs.

Sports

Sawai Mansingh Stadium is the leading cricket stadium of Jaipur with a seating capacity of 23,185. It has even hosted national and international cricket matches. Most of you might also know that Jaipur is represented in the IPL by Rajasthan Royals and in Pro Kabaddi League by Jaipur Pink Panthers.

Mentioned below are major attractions of Jaipur city:

HANDICRAFTS

Dry and arid weather of the state made it unsuitable for agriculture and farming. This is the reason people got into handicrafts and hand-made art to earn money.  Now you can see that Rajasthani handlooms and crafts are appreciated and liked by people all around the globe. From Textile, Handmade jewelry, Carpets, Durries, Blue Pottery, Wooden furniture, Rajasthani paintings, Ivory to Marble crafts, you name it, and you will have it. Craftsmen in Jaipur are believed to spend their entire life making handicrafts which has developed the city one step ahead in art and craft.

Shopping for these artifacts and handicrafts in local bazaars is most exciting activity to indulge in after a long day of exploring the tourist spots. The city is famous not only for handicrafts but it also serves as one stop destination for experiencing uniqueness and innovativeness of craftsmen here. Apart from items mentioned above, you can also find handicrafts like puppets, stationery, home decor, kitchen wears, sheets and covers in the traditional bazaars.

FOOD

Just like the city’s diverse culture and heritage, Jaipur is famous for its spicy and royal food. Rajasthani cuisine is highly influenced by war-like lifestyle of its inhabitants and availability of crops in this waterless region. People preferred food that could last for several days and consumed even without heating. The scarcity of water and availability of fresh green vegetables has significant role to play in their cooking style.

This is the reason you will find food which requires less water, from Dal Baati Churma, Mawa Kachori, Ghewar, Mirchi Bada, and the delicious Rajasthani Sabji.

You might be wondering how Jaipur is famous for non-vegetarian food. The reason is that Rajputs who ruled over this city were mainly non-vegetarians and their diet consisted of game meat and dishes like Laal Maas, Safed Maas, Jungli Maas, and Khad Khargosh. And their eating style is still being continued. You definitely are in for a treat when in Jaipur.

FORTS AND HAVELIS

Jaipur has a lot of things to offer to travelers and visitors, from pageants and festivals to people dressed up in colorful attires, a number of handicrafts, royal legacy of the palaces and sightseeing that will take most of their time. Entire city is a gem of a place, and that is why you should consider walking through the Pink City. Going with a full-fledged plan and schedule is not how you explore this city, be unprepared and enjoy this city as it takes you.

Amer Fort is among one of the most famous forts in Jaipur, overlooking Maota Lake. It was founded by Raja Alan Singh, a ruler from Chanda clan of Meenas in 967 CE. The fort that you see now was built over ruins of this earlier structure. The Rajput royals inhabited it until Jaipur was established. When you are here, you can also visit places nearby Amer Fort, like Shila Mata temple, Jas Mandir and the glorious Sheesh Mahal. Amer fort opens at 9:30 a.m. and shuts down at 4:30 p.m.

Nahargarh Fort, also called as the “Tiger Fort” was built by Jai Singh II in the year 1734 with the motive of providing safety and a strong defense to this city. It stands majestically on the edge of Aravalli Hills, and it is the best place to view the splendid beauty of the Pink City.

Jaigarh Fort was built in the year 1726 and is also known as “Fort of Victory.” The fort is dominated by massive walls and watchtowers and is an excellent example of self-sufficient place.

The Shekhawati Havelis were designed in the 18th century, and it was inspired by the Amer Fort. If you want to experience Jaipur’s royalty, then this is one of the best places to stay in. You will also find that the turbaned service staff here is quite courteous and helpful.

MONUMENTS

Jaipur is a city where you can feed your hunger for sightseeing as the city is full of local culture. When you are in Jaipur, make sure you do things as Jaipurians do.

Hawa Mahal is a monument like no other, in India or the world. It was completed in the year 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and is a magnificent structure with beautiful “jharokas” or small windows brilliantly highlighted on it. The chambers are illuminated with varied colors during the daytime as the sun reflects through its glasswork windows and is brightly lit at night.

Jantar Mantar, yet again another famous structure in the city, located at Kanwar Nagar. It was built by the Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh II and was completed in 1734. If history and astronomical is something that intrigues you, then Jantar Mantar is the perfect place for you. The entry fee is INR 50 for Indian Nationals and INR 200 for Foreigners.

There is so much more to the city which one can only experience while exploring it.

THEATRE

Raj Mandir is a cinema hall in Jaipur situated on Bhagwan Das Road. This meringue-shaped auditorium was built and launched in 1976 and throughout has witnessed diversity in its audiences. It is considered to be a popular symbol of Jaipur, designed by architect W.M. Namjoshi in an Art Moderne, also known as Streamline Moderne or late Art Deco style. It has served as an important part in the tourist circuit of this city and till date remains house full despite its enormous size.

HILLS AND MOUNTAINS

Apart from the magnificent structures and its rich culture, Jaipur is also famous for hills and mountains. If you are an adventurous person seeking for thrill and experience, Jaipur is the best place for you.

Kuka’s mountain climb is like a mini-jungle near Jaipur and is also known as Khurad Mountain. This place is worth exploring as it is entirely different from the central city. Khurad Mountains are famous for its serenity and beauty and is a perfect getaway. When you are in Kuka, you can even experience a hot-air balloon ride, one of the most popular things to do here. It will offer you a mesmerizing view of the entire Pink city. Best time go on a hot-air balloon ride is either before sunrise or sunset, makes the city look even more beautiful.

The Historic Aravallis dominate the state of Rajasthan and is amongst the oldest existing mountains in the world. Guru Shikhar is the highest point (1721 m) of this range and is located almost 15 km northeast to Mount Abu. It is a vast barren land but during monsoons, Aravalli is a sight to witness. You can encounter leopards and tigers walking in the open. If you are a photographer, then this place is a “dream come true” for you. You will also get opportunity to talk to and explore the various nomadic tribes found here.

You get Trekking and Rock Climbing facilities here. Especially, Mount Abu, it is ideal for trekking and you can venture through the dense forests and lush meadows while trekking at hills. You can also visit Arbuda Devi temple in Mount Abu and be prepared to get enthralled by the spectacular view of the hills.

Rock climbing at Dhauj, Dumdama and Nuh is a great opportunity for mountaineers. If you are really good at climbing then you should try using your skills here. The fantasy of the surrounding hills will keep your spirits high.

RELIGIOUS PLACES

Moti Doongri, also known as Pearl Hill resembles a pearl drop and is famous for its temple and palace. The architecture of Moti Doongri is similar to a castle in Scotland. The palace though is not open to public as it is private property. It is dedicated to Lord Ganesh.

Galtaji is situated 10 km on the eastern side of Jaipur towards Aravalli Hills and is a sight full of majestic temples and natural water springs. The Galtaji complex is famous for its large-scale celebrations of Makar Sankranti, so if you are visiting Jaipur during January, you must visit Galtaji. Galta Ji also called Ramgopalji Temple is recognized as the monkey temple.

ADVENTURES

Famous places for various activities in Jaipur reflect lavish Rajasthani architecture, tradition, and history of city. This city is open to all kinds of travelers; it does not matter if you are here for a luxury vacation or if you are a backpacker. You can enjoy a number of activities while traveling around Jaipur.

Jungle safari is a perfect chance for you to enjoy and spot local wildlife including deer, leopards, peacocks, and others.  You can do this in Elefanjoy located in Amer, and it is the best place for jungle safari adventures. You can also visit Jhalani Safari Park for an incredible wildlife safari tour.

Elephant ride and safari are very popular among tourists. It takes you on a trip to most of the tourist places in Jaipur including Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal, and City Palace. It is a fascinating sight to see how elegantly you can combine adventure with sightseeing.

Camel rides are most thrilling and obvious “things to do” when in Jaipur. Camels are very friendly and obedient animals, and you can enjoy Jaipur’s hotspots from above the back of a camel.

Rifle shooting is a thrilling adventure which gives you the opportunity to learn and handle a firearm at a basic level. This is a must try when you are in Jaipur.

ATV bike ride is another sports adventure that you can enjoy in Jaipur. Jaipur is so much apart from being a city of old palaces and temples. Riding on the ATV bike will offer a unique and thrilling experience through the roughest rides.

WILDLIFE

All wildlife fanatics, nature lovers and enthusiastic photographers, you are about to experience the best wildlife in Jaipur.  Wildlife sanctuaries around Jaipur are home to India’s most exotic species and they promise that you have a great time in midst of Mother Nature. Watch beautiful birds and wild creatures as you roam around freely in their natural habitat.

Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in Northern India. It is located in Sawai Madhopur district which is about 130 km from Jaipur. it covers an area of 392 sq. km. including its nearby sanctuaries. Ranthambore is India’s most well-known Tiger reserves, built by the government in 1955. It was initially named as Sawai Madhopur Game Sanctuary. Apart from tigers, it is also home to 270 recorded species of birds.

Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary in Ranthambore is recognized as most beautiful and fulfilled sytem of bio-diversity in the city. This one sprawls over an area of 127.76 sq. km. and was formed in the year 1984. This sanctuary has two sets of eco-tourism sites within it- Balas and Kundal. A beautiful range of flora and fauna including Salar, Dhok, Cheela, Tendu, Gurjan, Hyena, Sloth Bear, Chinkara, Jackal, Butea along with birds like Qualis, Peacock, Vulture, Tits, and others can be witnessed here.

Sariska Tiger Reserve is spread over 866 sq. km. and it was created in the year 1978 in Alwar district of Rajasthan. It is located at a distance of 107 km from Jaipur and is known for its fabulous landscape. With Aravalli range of hills on the background, Sariska offers a natural beautiful sight. It comprises of scrub-thorn arid forests, grasslands, dry deciduous forests and rocky hills.

HOTELS

By now, you know that Jaipur is the best place for vacation and there are innumerable factors that will make your trip a memorable experience, of which the primary reason is accommodation. There are a number of hotels in Jaipur where you can enjoy a princely stay along with a touch of homely vibe. These hotels are value for money and boast an experiential visit with a traditional touch and providing modern amenities.

Rambagh Palace

Rambagh Palace is considered to be one of the best 5-star hotels in Jaipur and is a perfect place for people who like things in a large-scale. It offers a lavish stay and describes the word fancy quite well. The unique old-age architecture and lush green Mughal Garden is a heart charmer. Besides these royal features, it also serves with comfortable royalty-like rooms, multi-cuisine fine dining, and soothing spa treatments.

Jai Mahal Palace

Another beautiful piece of art and royalty is the Jai Mahal Palace, which earlier belonged to the Maharaja. It is located amidst the beauty of the blossoming Mughal garden. It has a total of hundred rooms which are all a perfect display of colonial-style, whereas, the exteriors boast Indo-Saracenic architecture. Entire property sprawls over 18 acres of land with an outdoor pool, spa and fitness facilities and other modern amenities.

Ramada Hotel

This one is a perfect example of a proper combination of luxury, comfort, convenience, and value. All these features make the Ramada Hotel a unique place for accommodation for people visiting the city. It is located only ten minutes away from the Airport and just a few miles from the railway station.

Hilton

Hilton features a trendy and modern lifestyle including restaurants, wellness facilities and expansive rooms for all kinds of travelers. The hotel is only a twenty-minute drive from Jaipur International Airport and just five minutes from the railway station. Places like Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Albert Hall Museum, Birla Temple and Johari and Bappu Bazaara are all close to the hotel.

Shahpura House

Shahpura is set amid an exquisite green surrounding and is a perfect illustration of regal inheritance. Though the hotel comes under the 3-star categories, it offers comfort and luxury like that of a 5-star hotel. The vast property is managed by the present owners, Maharaj Surendra Singh Ji, a descendant of the royal family of Shahpura. This hotel is known for offering world-class comforts enhancing guest experiences.

NEARBY TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

A number of places and hill stations are located in a short distance from Jaipur which is worth visiting when you are in Jaipur.

Mount Abu is regarded as the only hill station in Rajasthan and is approx. 495 km from Jaipur. These two places are well connected by bus, taxi, and train so you will not have to worry about the conveyance. Mount Abu is famous for the Dilwara Temple along with other palaces and forts, including Nakki Lake, Achalgarh Fort, Adhar Devi Temple, Guru Shikhar peak, etc.

Tonk is a small and picturesque town located in Rajasthan, 90 km away from Jaipur. It is also known as “Lucknow of Rajasthan” as it is packed with old mansions and mosques. Sunheri Kothi, also known as Mansion of Gold is quite famous in Tonk. If you simply want to discover and explore more of vintage architecture and chill by the lake area, relishing artwork, then Tonk is the perfect place for you. So if you have a little time left in your hand after exploring Jaipur and you are looking for more places to discover then Tonk is the best thing that can happen to you.

Sariska, located 133km away from Jaipur is one of the most preferred places to visit, especially by people who are more into wildlife and adventure. Sariska is popularly referred to as the “land of Royal Bengal Tigers”. The place offers thrilling jeep safaris and you can even spot tigers, hyenas, leopards, jackals, and a number of endangered bird species. The key attractions here are the Sariska Tiger reserve, Siliserh Lake, Sariska Palace, Kankwari Fort and Bhartrihari temple.

When you are here, you can also enjoy Mughal architecture, forts and ruins of Alwar. From listening to mysterious stories of the forts to the boating and relaxing time in sparkling lakes, Alwar is a complete package offering extreme travel joy. If you are visiting Jaipur in November or December, then you should not miss out on the Matsya Festival in Alwar.  The famous Bhangarh Fort known for its horror stories and as a hunted fort is also located in Alwar. Bala Quilla, Chand Baori City Palace, Jai Pol, Vijay Mandir Palace and Neemrana Fort are key attractions of this place.

Pushkar is another relaxing weekend destination, situated 160 km from Jaipur. People from all over the country visit this city to take a dip in the holy lake of Pushkar. It is famous for its Camel Fair that takes place during the summers. If you are in Pushkar, then do not miss the opportunity to go visit Brahma Temple, Savitri Mata Temple, Gau Ghat, Rose Garden, Naga Pahar and Sarafa Bazaar.

Ajmer is amongst the splendid places near Jaipur that reflects divinity and charm in its own unique way. It is famous for Sharif Dargah, a Sufi shrine which is one of the most visited places in Ajmer. People believe that whoever prays in the Dargah with pure heart gets his wishes fulfilled. Ajmer is also famous for Nasiyan Ji Mandir, Ana Sagar Lake, Magazine Museum and Taragarh Fort. It is located at a distance of 153 km from Jaipur.

Best time to visit the city

Though travelers from all around the world gather in this city throughout the year, but the best time to visit this city is in winter. This is because Rajasthan experiences extreme weather conditions, which means that weather can get very hot and arid during summers. Having said that, each season has one or other thing to offer for travellers. Each season is famous for various festivals:

Summer- Period between April and June are quite hot and dry, and temperature can range from 44°C – 45°C. But it is the best time for fairs and festivals, best being the Gangaur festival. It is one of the most popular festivals of Rajasthan and takes place two weeks after Holi every year. This festival lasts for 18 days, and this colorful affair is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm.

Monsoon- From July to September you will experience low to medium rainfall in this city, but it is the best time for travelers who are on a low budget because it is off-season and you can get pretty amazing deals on hotel stays. Teej is another popular festival celebrated during this time, and you can witness lit local bazaars selling traditional sweets.

Winter- Period between October and March is best time to visit Jaipur as days are cold and pleasant. Nights can get a little chillier with less than 4°C. It is advised you carry heavy woolen clothes while traveling. One of the major festivals- Jaipur Literature Festhappens during January along with the splendid Elephant festival.

After independence, which is in the year 1947, Jaipur merged with its neighboring cities- Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Bikaner to form the largest state (Rajasthan) of the country with Jaipur being the capital. The best part about the city is that even after 290 years of it being founded, Jaipur still retains its unique flavor and the rich heritage.

To know more about the tourist attraction and lifestyle of this city, you can visit….

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Company name- BITS (Kolkata)

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