Home to the popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Jantar Mantar and Amer Fort, Jaipur is a rich cultural capital and largest city in Rajasthan. Often known as the Pink City of India, it derives this nomenclature from the colour of the quaint, rustic buildings that dot the skylines of the city. Jaipur lies on the west Golden Triangle tourist circuit and is a much-loved destination for travellers with interest in history and culture as it has much to offer in these areas. If you are looking for a break from the bustling metropolitan culture, but also not looking to retreat to the hills, a city like Jaipur is a must-visit and can provide an ideal location for a refreshing journey into the culture India is known for. Jaipur is any history lover’s paradise and can be a great place to visit with your kids and loved ones. Here is a list of some of the best places to visit in Jaipur to paint the town pink.
The Hawa Mahal or the Palace of the Winds was built in the shape of a honeycomb by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. A historical wonder, it is a five storey monument that rises to a height of approximately 50 feet, commanding respect and awe with both its magnificent architecture and its booming presence. In keeping with Jaipur’s reputation as the pink city, the monument is made of red and pink sandstone and is a stunning example of the fusion of Hindu Rajput architecture and Islamic Mughal architecture that the city is proud of. Located to the south of the city, Hawa Mahal is a must-see on every tourist’s list.
True to its reputation as home to a number of scenic palaces and mahals, the City Palace at Jaipur is an awe-inspiring destination. It is a palace complex that includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal and lies at the heart of the city. The palace holds testament to the impressive city planning that Jaipur is known for, as can be seen from the wide array of courtyards and buildings laid in a grid-like structure within the City Palace area. The Diwan-i-Khas and the Bagghi Khana Museum are other popular choices when visiting the City Palace.
Jantar Mantar Observatory
Built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the Jantar Mantar observatory is a collection of nineteen astronomical instruments constructed in the Ptolemaic positional astronomy that India is often commended for. It is a world heritage site as it features the world’s largest sundial and is testament to the fusion of the culture and science that early India was known for. The Sanskrit word ‘Jantar Mantar’ literally translates to ‘calculating instruments.’ If you love science and want to spend a vacation exploring aspects of your own scientific, historical culture, Jantar Mantar is a place you cannot afford to miss.
Standing at the edge of the Aravalli hills, Nahargarh Fort overlooks the city of Jaipur thus providing a beauteous panoramic view of the entire city. According to popular rumour, the ‘Nahar’ in the name of the fort stands for Nahar Singh Bhomia, whose spirit is believed to be haunting the palace as he was supposed to have attempted to stand against the construction of this fort. It was built to provide a retreat for the city during times of war, and the magnificent fortification and moats that surround it are believed to have been witness to a huge amount of bloodshed and violence. On a brighter note, however, the fort is also a popular shooting destination, and movies like Rang de Basanti and Sonar Kella have numerous shots from here.
Abhaneri Step Well
Originally known as the Abha Nagri well, which translates to the ‘city of brightness’, the Abhaneri Step Well is a major tourist attraction in Jaipur. It is part of the rustic city of Abhaneri and is one of the deepest wells built in India extending to about 30 metres into the ground. It has more than 13 stories and over 3500 steps in total. The step structure of the well is again testament to the architectural prowess of Jaipur and is constructed in this manner to conserve the maximum amount of water possible. It is a site worth witnessing and holds a certain pride for the village of Abhaneri.
Jaipur is known for a large number of parks in the city, and Central Park is perhaps the most popular and beautiful one of them all. Located at the heart of the city, it is a place vital to the culture of the city as people of all ages come together to enjoy the bounty of nature. From picnic lunches to everyday joggers, there is never a dearth of activity in its premises. It is also known for its wide range of birds and insects, that many nature lovers are often amazed by. The park’s other attractions include the tallest flag in India, with a mast exceeding 205 feet in length, and a temple that is frequented by most people within the area of the park. It is ideal for a family visit and is a place that will leave you with memories to cherish.
Jaipur is known for its desert-like climates often, and is scorching hot in the summer while freezing cold in the winters. The months of October-November are perhaps the most ideal to visit this place as a result. So pack your bags and embark on what might be the most memorable and culturally awarding trip of your life. Help your kids have fun while also teaching them the importance of the historical and culturally rich past of the country they inhabit!