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The Tailor-Made Guide to 9 Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur

Updated: Apr 13

**Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Regardless of this, please be advised that all opinions expressed in this blog post are genuine and authentically my own.**

Author: Barry Pickard

Contents

Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur
Galta Ji

 

Steeped in history and culture, Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is a vibrant city that has something to offer everyone. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site Amber Palace, a sprawling complex of palaces, courtyards, and gardens, to the Hawa Mahal, the "Palace of Winds," with its 953 windows, Jaipur is a city that is sure to amaze and fascinate visitors.

 

Amber Palace

Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, Jaipur, also known as the "Pink City," is renowned for its striking pink buildings that paint the city in a mesmerizing hue. The city's name, which translates to "City of Victory," reflects its rich history, having been ruled by numerous Rajput kingdoms over the centuries.

 



Jaipur's attractions showcase its architectural splendour and historical significance. The City Palace offers a glimpse into the opulent lives of the Jaipur royals. The Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory, reveals the city's scientific prowess, while the Jal Mahal, a palace amidst a lake, exudes an air of serenity.

 

Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur
Jantar Mantar

Jaipur is one of the three most popular tourist destinations in India, along with New Delhi and Agra. These three cities form a triangle on a map, which is why they are called the Golden Triangle. Tourists typically start their trip in New Delhi, the capital of India, then head south to Agra, home to one of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, then ending in Jaipur. The Golden Triangle is a well-travelled route because it offers a good variety of experiences. Tourists can see historical monuments, experience different cultures, and enjoy the natural beauty of India.

 

Golden Triangle Hints and Tips Guide


Don’t forget that Tailor-Made Itineraries delights in creating bespoke self-guided tours. So, if visiting any of these attractions appeals to you, reach out to me by email. I would be more than happy to design a self-guided tour around your requirements incorporating the stunning attractions you should visit in Jaipur, or indeed, a general tour of India.



Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur


9. Amber Palace – An Oasis of Beauty

 

Nestled amidst the rugged hills of Aravalli, the Amber Palace, stands as a testament to the grandeur and architectural brilliance of the Rajput era. Also known as the Amer Fort, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit destination for any traveller seeking to immerse themselves in the rich history and culture of Rajasthan.


Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur
Amber Palace

The Amber Palace was commissioned by Man Singh I, the general of the Mughal emperor Akbar, in the late 16th century, and is a mesmerizing blend of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. Its sandstone and marble walls gleam under the warm Indian sun. The fort complex is divided into four courtyards, each with its own unique architectural features.


Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur
Amber Palace


As you enter the fort through the Suraj Pol (Sun Gate), you'll be greeted by the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), a vast courtyard where rulers held court and met with their subjects. The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) is adorned with exquisite mirror work, creating a dazzling effect that reflects the surrounding courtyards and gardens.


Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur
Suraj Pol
Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur
Diwan-i-Aam
Attractions You Should Visit in Jaipur
Sheesh Mahal

Tailor-Made Top Tips:


  • The palace is very busy with tourists, so an early visit is always a good idea.


  • If you are feeling adventurous, you can ascend the hill to the palace on one of the elephants that ply their trade up and down the path. Quite a memorable experience. If riding an elephant is a little daunting, but you’d still like to experience these majestic animals up close, there are a couple of elephant sanctuaries nearby where you can see them. One even gives you the chance to give an elephant a bath!  



  • There are restrooms within the palace sanctuary, but when I visited, these were closed for refurbishment. Directions to an alternative aren’t forthcoming, but there are a good set of restrooms once you exit the palace. These could be visited before starting your exploration of the palace as well.



  • Also, as you exit the palace, there is an excellent souvenir shop. They have a very good selection of goods, of excellent quality. You can probably get better prices elsewhere in the city, but everything you might be looking for is at hand all in the one place. 




8. Jaigarh Fort – A Bastion of Rajput Heritage

 

Sitting imperiously above the Amber Palace, with views stretching out over the city of Jaipur, lies Jaigarh Fort, an imposing defence, with architectural brilliance. Built in the early 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II, this formidable fortress served as a strategic stronghold outpost for the Kachwaha rulers of Jaipur.

 

Jaigarh Fort

Jaigarh Fort’s commanding position atop the hills provided a panoramic view of the surrounding terrain, allowing the fort's garrison to keep a vigilant watch over the region. The fort's thick walls, reinforced with bastions and watchtowers, made it an impregnable fortress, capable of withstanding even the most formidable attacks.


Jaigarh Fort, with the Amber Palace in the background

As you ascend the winding path leading to the fort, you'll be greeted by the imposing gate. Beyond this gateway lies a treasure trove of historical and architectural wonders.


Jaigarh Fort

Tailor-Made Top Tips:


  • There is a once-secret open-air passageway that winds its way up from the palace to the outer defences of the fort. Take this path for an interesting journey to the fort. The entrance to the passageway is within the palace, as you start to exit it. It is sign posted, but easily missed. As you go down into the basement of the palace structure, take a left, and this will take you to the passageway.



  • Make sure you don’t miss the Jaivana Cannon, which is based in the southernmost part of the fort’s battlements. The cannon, the world's largest on wheels, stands as a testament to the fort's military prowess. Its massive size and intricate craftsmanship are awe-inspiring.



  • There is an excellent restaurant at the fort. I found Jaigarh Restaurant was a perfect lunch stop after the rigours of climbing the hill!





7. Hawa Mahal – A Honeycomb of Windows

 

Standing gracefully amidst the bustling city, the Hawa Mahal, or "Palace of Winds," is a mesmerising five-story structure that stands out for its unique honeycomb-like façade and intricate latticework. Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, the Hawa Mahal served as an extension to the royal City Palace, allowing the royal ladies to observe street processions and festivities without being seen from outside. Its unique design also allowed for natural ventilation, keeping the palace cool during the hot summer months.

 

Hawa Mahal

The Hawa Mahal is constructed from red and pink sandstone and its five-story pyramid-shaped structure is adorned with 953 small windows, or jharokhas, that form a striking pattern across its façade. These jharokhas, with their intricate latticework and delicate carvings, allow for filtered light and cool breeze to enter the palace while maintaining privacy.


Hawa Mahal

As you enter the Hawa Mahal through a narrow passageway, you'll be greeted by a series of ramps that lead to the upper floors. The ramps, instead of stairs, were designed to accommodate royal ladies who were often carried in palanquins.


Hawa Mahal

Tailor-Made Top Tips:


  • The best way to see and appreciate the Hawa Mahal, is by having a meal on The Tattoo Cafe & Lounge terrace. Situated directly across the road from the awesome structure, the The Tattoo Cafe & Lounge has a small entrance door at street level, with stairs up to its elevated rooftop terrace. The food is excellent and the view awe-inspiring.



  • Note that access to the Hawa Mahal is from the rear, and you have to enter the palace compound to get there.



Read on to discover an astronomical marvel, a splendid palace and a formidable fort.


Golden Triangle Hints and Tips Guide


6. Jantar Mantar – A Celestial Spectacle

 

The Jantar Mantar stands as a magnificent testament to the astronomical prowess of an era long past. This collection of 19 fixed astronomical instruments was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the early 18th century. These monumental structures, constructed from stone and marble, represent a unique blend of scientific ingenuity and architectural brilliance.

 

Samrat Yantra, Jantar Mantar

Maharaja Jai Singh II, a ruler with a deep fascination for astronomy, commissioned the construction of five Jantar Mantars across India. The Jaipur Jantar Mantar, the largest and most well-preserved of these observatories, was built between 1724 and 1734. Its purpose was to observe the celestial movements of the sun, moon, stars, and planets with the naked eye, enabling the prediction of eclipses and other astronomical events.

 

Jantar Mantar

Each instrument was designed to serve a specific astronomical purpose. The Samrat Yantra, for example, is a massive sundial that measures time with an accuracy of two seconds. Meanwhile, the Chakra Yantra, a large stone sphere, was used to study the zodiac and eclipses.

 




Tailor-Made Top Tips:


  • Jantar Mantar is opposite the entrance to the City Palace, and you can buy a joint ticket to both of these fascinating attractions.



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5. The City Palace – A Jewel in Jaipur’s Crown


The City Palace stands in the heart of the vibrant "Pink City." This grand palace complex, built between 1729 and 1732 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, served as the seat of the Kachwaha rulers of Jaipur until the early 20th century.


Diwan-e-Khas, City Palace

The City Palace is a sprawling complex of courtyards, gardens, pavilions, and temples, each with its own unique architectural style and historical significance. As you enter through the imposing Tripolia Gate, you'll be greeted by a harmonious blend of red sandstone and white marble, reflecting the city's signature pink hue.


Tripolia Gate, City Palace

Tailor-Made Top Tips:


  • Also, take note of the beautiful gateways that line the Pritam Niwas courtyard.


Pritam Niwas courtyard

  • Make sure to visit the Sabha Niwas (Hall of Audience). This spectacular meeting place is very impressive (unfortunately, photography inside is not allowed).




4. Nahargarh Fort – Majestic Sentinel of Rajput Power

 

Built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the formidable defences of Nahargarh Fort played a pivotal role in safeguarding the Kachwaha rulers of Jaipur from potential invasions. Strategically constructed to protect the approaches to the Amber Palace and Jaigarh Fort. Nahargarh Fort, also known as the Tiger Fort, commanded its position atop the hills, providing a panoramic view of the sprawling city below.

 

Nahargarh Fort

Beyond its military significance, Nahargarh Fort also served as a royal retreat for the Kachwaha rulers, offering a serene escape from the bustling city life. It’s cool climate, serene surroundings, and breathtaking views made it an ideal place for relaxation and reflection.


Madhavendra Bhawan entrance, Nahargarh Fort

The Madhavendra Bhawan is the fort's most striking structure. Its white marble façade and delicate carvings provide a stunning contrast to the fort's red sandstone walls. This royal palace had suites for the queens of Jaipur and at the head was a suite for the king himself.


Madhavendra Bhawan, Nahargarh Fort

Tailor-Made Top Tips:


  • Be aware that the drive up to the fort is actually a lot longer than you’d think. Despite hanging over the city, you have to drive back out towards the Amber Palace, before ascending the hill, then driving back along the ridge to the fort. It takes approximately 25-minutes to get from the City Palace to the fort. If you are feeling adventurous, however, there is a very steep, winding paved path that leads directly from the city up to the fort above.



  • A fascinating feature of Rajasthan are its eye-catching and often intricate stepwells, and the fort has two of them. The larger, more impressive one is out with the main walls, near the Ghati Gate, while the more compact one is opposite the Cloud Palace.



  • The Jaipur Wax Museum and associated attractions greet you when you enter the main gate to the fort. The waxwork exhibition may seem a little second-rate, but a visit to the Mirror palace makes the price of the entry ticket worth it. These mirrored royal rooms are spectacular. There is also some traditional entertainment in the museum compound, which is worth hanging around for, and I even had the chance to make a vase!



Read on to discover a monkey temple, an artistic hoard, and a James Bond island palace.



3. Galta Ji Temple – Monkey paradise

 

Galta Ji is a revered pilgrimage site, with natural springs, sacred kunds (water tanks), and intricate architecture, and has been revered for centuries by Hindus.

 

Galta Ji

The origins of Galta Ji Temple can be traced back to the early 15th century when Payohari Krishnadas, a Ramanandi saint, established a hermitage at the site. Over time, the site gained prominence as a pilgrimage destination, attracting devotees seeking spiritual enlightenment and rejuvenation.

 

Galta Ji

The temple complex is a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty and architectural splendour. A natural spring emerges high on the hill and flows downward, filling a series of sacred kunds. Pilgrims bathe in these holy waters, believing they possess healing and purifying properties.

 

Galta Ji

Today, the site is often referred to as the ‘Monkey Temple’ since the surrounding hills are home to a variety of monkeys, which are often seen frolicking around the temple complex. These primates are a popular attraction in themselves.

 

Galta Ji

Tailor-Made Top Tips:


  • Note that there are east and west approaches to the temple. It is the western approach that you will need to take if driving there, with the road taking a long loop out of the city, before arriving at the temple.



  • The monkeys may be one of the main draws to Galta Ji, but don’t be tempted to feed them, make eye contact with them or make it obvious that you are photographing them.



  • If you have approached from the east, it is worth climbing the path up past the temples and further on to the top of the ridge. Once you start to see the city of Jaipur spreading out before you, take a left along the path to the Sun temple. From here, you will get a perfect view of the city.



  • Be sure to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees.