There is a haunting air of romance, about the state, which is palpable in every nook and corner. This abode of Kings is one of the most exotic locales for tourist world over. The state has not only survived in all its ethnicity but owes its charisma and colour to its enduring traditional way of life. It is a land of superlatives; everything over here is breathtakingly beautiful, impressive and fascinating! The state is well connected with other parts of the country and is easily approachable by trains, direct bus and air connections that make your travel easy and comfortable.
Jaipur, Rajasthan’s vibrant capital, is a city where culture echoes, traditions speak and diversity delights. Whether you have tourism on your agenda, are a fly-by-night business traveller, have a penchant for shopping or just a gourmand, the city has plenty on its platter for you.
Once in the Sawai Jai Singh’s ‘Pink City’ you could whirl your mind, dazzle your eyes and fall in love with history, a rich fusion of people and their lifestyles, then and now. While in Jaipur open your mind to the times of yore for it is a city where the old and the new throb in absolute harmony.
While you do have the option of exploring Rajasthan on your own, we bring you well studied circuits that could facilitate your itinerary and help you to see all and do all. The conducted half-day and full-day tours will enable you to see the important monuments.
Places of Interest
Where do you begin? Well you have options. In Jaipur you could begin your tour with the 286 years old walled city with narrow winding streets, the Hawa Mahal et al or simply take a tour out to the Forts and gardens. Beginning with the forts is an option most tourists opt for.
The enchanting Amber Palace once the throne of power, in Red Sandstone with marble interiors is a fascinating blend of the Rajput and Mughal architecture. A guided tour will showcase the Kali Temple, with huge silver lions and silver doors also known as Shila Devi Temple and the Hall for Public Audiences, Diwan-I-Aam. Ganesh Pol, the Hall of Victory, Jai Mandir with stunning ceiling adorned with mirror work and inlaid panels are simply fantastic.
On your way back, you could visit the old township of Amber that lies at the foothills with ancient temples that you would like to see. The Jagat Shiromani temple, the Narsingh temple and the Panna Meena ki Baodi are temples worth a visit. Little ahead are the carved cenotaphs that stand memoirs of the Kings and the Queens. Beautifully located Gaitor and Maji ki Chhatri, or the Maharani’s cenotaphs, are a must see.
A little detour would take you on the road uphill to the spectacular Jaigarh and the Nahagarh Fort. Get pedestrian and you could explore the rugged nevertheless majestic forts. Begin with the Jaigarh that houses the largest cannon on wheels-Jai Van. The 15thcentury fort architecture showcases an exemplary art of rainwater harvesting with water channels creating a well concealed stepwell for the queens. And do carry your camera. You can capture some beautiful shots that would stay as pleasant reminiscences.
Done with the hills,then halt at the gardens and lake. The newly restored Kanak Vrindavan temple complex and the Jal Mahal Palace are a sight to behold more so after the rains.
Now take a break from the forts, and go explore the old walled city. Shops stocked with local wares lace the wide streets. And while you fill your bags with the most exquisite handcrafted items to jewellery, exquisite handcrafts, typically rajasthani bandhej (tie and dye) or blissful sanganeri fabric, you have the option of being a part of the artisans at work. While a visit to the Johari Bazaar, M.I.Road, Tripolia and the various streets in the old city are a must for a flavour of the old, don’t miss out on state emporia’s for a wide range of handicrafts, that would make your shopping simpler and haggle free.
Heart of the city, a fusion of Rajputana and Mughal architecture, the Palace of Winds, Hawa Mahal stands tall with the latticed jharokhas. Just behind it is the Jantar Mantar the unique observatory built by the founder of Jaipur-Sawai Jai Singh. The City Palace with its fabulous museum displays some of the most amazing possessions of the Jaipur royal family. A little further away are the important temple of Galta, the gardens of Sisodia Rani and Vidyadhar.
Forty kilometer’s up north is the popular Samode Palace a fairytale palace that has some of the most exquisite mirror work and frescoes. To the east lies the Ramgarh resort with its huge artificial lake and cottages ideal for a weekend getaway. A temple here and the ruins of its old fort would sure interest you. A drive further east, is the historical town of Abhaneri. Though now in ruins, this deserted township has a 8-9th century temple of Harshad Mata and Chand Baori (Stepwell).
Over the years Jaipur has metamorphosed from a historical city to a bursting metro that still retains its old warm charm. So if you are a midnight bird there are ample opportunities with hotels, pubs and discotheques that could sail you smooth till dawn.