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Jaipur, the Pink City: A Travelogue

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Jaipur, the resplendent capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the "Pink City" because of the colour of the buildings in the old city. Jaipur is the city of forts, monuments, palaces, golden sands, warm people, delicious cuisine and a rich culture. I have lived for more than two decades in Rajasthan and so the state holds a special place in my heart.

We decided to go to Jaipur for winter vacation as my son had never been there and he was keen on seeing the forts. It is almost ten hours drive to Jaipur from my city. Since it’s too foggy in these wintery mornings, so we decided to travel by air. It took us one and a half hour by flight and from the airport, we headed straight to my aunt’s place where we stayed during the trip.

Galta Ji

Galta Ji

Galta Ji

Galta Ji

Galta Ji

Galta Ji

Day 1

After having lunch with my aunt, we set off for sightseeing. Our first stop was Galtaji which is at the outskirts of the city. It is an ancient pilgrimage centre with beautiful temples among lush landscapes. The natural springs here are said to have curative properties. The small temple of the Sun god, built by Diwan Kriparam on the top of the highest peak is visible from all parts of the city.

The place doesn’t have net connectivity and since we had gone there by Uber cab, it posed quite a challenge. You will not find any autos or cabs there and so it’s better to make arrangement beforehand. Luckily our cab driver agreed to stay back and we had a sigh of relief. Galtaji is also known as ‘Monkey Temple’ due to the large number of monkeys all around. Not many tourists visit here due to its secluded location but the temple is definitely worth a visit.

From there, we went to the Birla Mandir- the beautiful temple in milky white marble with intricate carvings. It is located at the foot of the Moti Dungri Hill in Jaipur. The temple doesn’t have any historical significance but is still thronged by tourists due to its majestic beauty.

Our next stop was Govind Devji Temple which is dedicated to Lord Krishna The deity Govind Devji was originally installed in a temple of Vrindavan, and reinstalled here by Sawai Jai Singh II as his family deity. The temple is located in the central pavilion of the Jai Niwas Garden within the City Palace complex. When we reached there, evening arti was going on. It was so blissful to spend time there amidst the chants and resounding beats of the mridanga.

Afterwards, we stopped by the famous Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar at Johari Bazaar. We relished kachoris, chaat, fruit cream and sweet lassi. The bazaar or market were beautifully lit up during night and looked amazing.

Resplendent in the hues of its noble and magnificent past, the historic city of Jaipur stands out as one of the most spectacular and culturally vibrant destinations in the world.

— Kate Smith

Amer fort

Amer fort

Amer Fort

Amer Fort

Amer fort

Amer fort

Sunset Point at Nahargarh fort

Sunset Point at Nahargarh fort

Nahargarh fort

Nahargarh fort

Jal Mahal

Jal Mahal

Day 2

We had decided to visit the famous forts on the second day. It is better to hire a cab for the whole day for sightseeing when you are planning to see the forts. Amer Fort was our first stop. This magnificent fort is a beautiful blend of Mughal and Hindu styles. Painted scenes of wars and hunting expeditions adorn the walls which are set with precious stones and mirrors. The main attractions of the fort are the Sukh Mandir, cooled by a stunning water cascade and the Sheesh Mahal or Mirror palace. The fort can be reached through snaking pathways on elephant back for a truly royal experience. Shila Mata Temple inside the Amer fort is a temple dedicated to Shila Devi, the patron deity which was brought by Raja Man Singh from Jessore in East Bengal to be installed here. It takes around 2-3 hours to see the entire Amer fort and if you wish, you can also see the light and sound show held in evenings.

Our next stop was Jaigarh fort. A significant military structure of the medieval period, the fort offers a great view of the plains. The fort is famous for Jai Baan- the world’s largest cannon on wheels. Diwa Burj- the watch tower and the elaborate water storage systems are also worth seeing. The fort also has a reasonably priced restaurant where we relished dal bati choorma for lunch.

Next was the majestic Nahargarh fort situated high up on the Aravali hills. The panoramic view of the sprawling city of Jaipur from here is simply breathtaking. Along the ridge road, it provides magnificent views of the Man Sagar Lake.

While returning, we stopped by Jal Mahal which is located in the middle of Lake Man Sagar. This 5-storey palace has 4 storeys beneath the surface of water but is closed for public. However you can view the palace from a distance. The beautiful lake and the scenic views of the surrounding Aravallis make the palace look absolutely stunning.

Our last stop for the day was Khole Ke Hanuman Ji which is an ancient temple situated at Laxman Dungri. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and there are various other temples also in the premises dedicated to different deities. The natural view of Aravali hills is magnificent from the temple.


Isar Lat

Isar Lat

City Palace

City Palace

Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal

Day 3

Day 3 started with a visit to the famous Jantar Mantar -the largest and best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. We were amazed to see the complex instruments, whose settings as well as shapes were scientifically designed. One can’t help marveling at the medieval Indian astronomy!

Then we went to Swargasuli (Isar Lat) which is nearby. The seven storeyed tower dominates the skyline of the western side of the Tripolia Bazaar. It was built by Sawai Ishwari Singh in 1749 AD to commemorate a grand victory. This isn’t much frequented by the tourists. Enthusiastically we climbed up the tower but soon were out of the birth. However once we reached the top of this tower, we got a wonderful opportunity to get a glimpse of the whole city. We didn’t spend much time on the top of the tower as I felt dizzy at the height and was real scared looking below.

Next we went to the famous City Palace which is famous for its serene amalgamation of rich Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Two carved elephants in marble guard the entrance. Some parts of the City Palace are open for the general public while the rest is the private residential area of the royal family of Jaipur. The palace has vast courtyards, gardens, a museum, an art gallery and a fascinating display of royal costumes and old weapons. My son loved the armoury which displayed weapons of Mughals and Rajputs, including swords, some of which are inlaid with enamel and adorned with jewels.

Next we went to Hawa Mahal. Entrance to this famous building is from the rear end. The five-storey structure of pink sandstone has 953 niches and windows. It was a royal grandstand for palace women to watch the royal processions.The immensely breezy palace provides a spectacular view of the city below. But one must also go in the front of the building to get a glimpse of the breathtaking structure of this amazing building.

By the time we finished out tour of Hawa Mahal, it was lunch time and we were tired and famished. We went to Kanha Restaurant in C Scheme for lunch. I again opted for Rajasthani food which included dal bati choorma, gatte ki sabji, ker sangri ki sabji with missi roti.

After lunch, we headed to Albert Hall Museum.The exquisite collection of sculptures, paintings and decorative ware at the museum were amazing. The museum building looks even more impressive with its subdued illumination during the night. The main attraction of the museum is Egyptian mummy in the basement.

By the time we finished the museum tour, it was evening. We went to the nearby masala chowk where the famous eateries of Jaipur have opened up their outlets. The faooda kulfi there was worth a try.


Pushkar lake

Pushkar lake

Ana Sagar Lake

Ana Sagar Lake

Ana Sagar Lake

Ana Sagar Lake

Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra

Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra

Day 4

On our last day, we decided to visit Ajmer and Pushkar which is at a distance of 130 km from Jaipur. We went to Pushkar first which is famous for the Pushkar Lake, various ghats and temples spread all around the lake. The areas around the lake are filled with souvenir shops, cafes and hotels with an interesting mix of pilgrims, tourists and backpackers. Pushkar is famous for the Brahma Temple which is the only temple of Brahma, the creator of the universe in the whole world. As my son was a bit unwell that day, so we visited just the Brahma temple and spent time at the ghats near the lake.

Next we went to Ajmer. We stopped by the Ana Sagar lake which is an artificial lake in the heart of Ajmer. Surrounded by grey hills, it provides a lovely backdrop to the city of Ajmer. Then we went to the world famous Dargah of Moinuddin Chishti. It is believed that a person who prays with a pure heart at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, gets all his or her wishes fulfilled. The dargah is visited by pilgrims from far off places.The area around the Dargah is occupied by a vibrant bazar and a lot of small hotels and lodges for tourists. However, one has to be very careful in the Dargah and the nearby bazar as it is very crowded and lots of pickpockets and beggars are there. The other noteworthy place to visit is Adhai Din ka Jhopra that literally means ‘two-and-a-half-day hut’. This dilapidated but a beautiful structure is not too far from the Dargah Sharif. One has to take a steep flight of stairs to reach Adhai Din ka Jhopra. On reaching the top, one can see the seven arches. Inside the assembly hall there is an array of stone pillars with decorative carvings on them

Next morning, we took a flight back to Chandigarh which was slightly delayed due to bad weather. Throughout our stay in Jaipur, the weather was warm and pleasant which was quite a contrast to the chilly weather in Chandigarh. It was a memorable trip and a nostalgic one too as I had lived in Jaipur for a year long back.

18 Best Places to Visit in Jaipur, India

© 2019 Shaloo Walia

Comments

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 20, 2019:

Thanks Umesh ji!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 19, 2019:

A useful article for the people who want to visit Jaipur.

Thanks.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 02, 2019:

@Alexander I hope you'll be able to materialize your dream trip soon!

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on February 01, 2019:

Shaloo, I've been wanting to plan one since high school! XD

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 01, 2019:

Thank you Liz!

Liz Westwood from UK on February 01, 2019:

This gives a very well-illustrated guide to the area. There are some beautiful sights to see here.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 01, 2019:

@John Jaipur is indeed a beautiful place with many historical sites.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 01, 2019:

Thank you for sharing this with us, Shaloo. Jaipur looks to be an intriguing and beautiful place.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 01, 2019:

Thank you Dora! I am glad you liked it.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 01, 2019:

Thanks for this visit to Jaipur, India. Beautiful photographs of you and your son, and of these historical and spiritual monuments. I like articles that this which take me to new places I would never see otherwise. Thanks.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 01, 2019:

Thanks Bill! I always keep telling him to smile when striking a pose but he thinks that he looks better this way :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 01, 2019:

Fascinating...beautiful.....and your son needs to smile more. He is a good looking young man.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 01, 2019:

@Louise It's indeed a beautiful place with magnificent forts, palaces, lush green gardens and beautiful temples.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on February 01, 2019:

@Alexander hahaha....plan a trip to India then :)

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 01, 2019:

I can also say I'm jealous. I'd love to visit Jaipur. It looks such a beautiful place to visit.

Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on January 31, 2019:

I'm kind of jealous. XD

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