How to Spend Two Days in Jaipur, The Pink City

How to Spend Two Days in Jaipur, The Pink City

Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is a popular stop on any tour around Rajasthan. It was our second stop after Delhi and it took us just over four hours drive to get there. With just over three million inhabitants, Jaipur is nowhere near as large as Delhi, but the traffic in town seemed just as loud and chaotic.

Constant honking aside, Jaipur is a beautiful city. It’s home to opulent palaces, towering forts, incredible architecture, colourful bazaars and holy temples. It’s full of history to learn about and if you can spare a few days there we highly recommend taking the extra time to really appreciate it. We only had two days in Jaipur and it felt a bit rushed.

Why is Jaipur called the Pink City?

Jaipur is known as the Pink City and once inside its historic walled old town you’ll quickly understand why. Every single building is painted in terracotta pink. In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria on their visit to India. In India, pink is the colour of hospitality. The city has stayed pink ever since and all buildings inside the old city must be painted in that colour.

There’s no shortage of things to see and do in Jaipur; but if like us you only have a short time, then here is what you shouldn’t leave without seeing:

Amer Fort

Amer Fort or Amber Fort is perched atop a hill eleven kilometres outside Jaipur. This fort is the most popular tourist destination in Rajasthan. Amer Fort was built in the 15th century and like many forts and palaces in Rajasthan, it has a mix of Hindu and Muslim architecture. This opulent palace is built from red sandstone and marble. It is laid out on four levels and each level has its own courtyard. Inside the palace are ornate archways, hand painted and mirror-work ceilings and walls, expansive chambers and incredible views out over the surrounding area. Try to visit as early as possible. We visited around 9.30 am and it was already packed with tourists. The doors open at 8 am.

Entrance fee: 200 rupiahs for foreigners

Note:

Elephant riding is a common way to reach Amer Fort but we strongly recommend that you pass on this cruel and unethical practice. Elephants are not born to carry people around. They have to be trained to do it and in the process, they are mishandled, tortured and their spirit is broken. They also work so hard that many die of exhaustion. Please do some research about elephant riding before contributing to this cruel practice.

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds is Jaipur’s most iconic landmark. This red and pink sandstone façade is replete with 953 latticed windows. From those windows, hidden from public view, the ladies of the royal family would secretly observe processions and everyday life on the street. This five-storey structure was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 and is a fine example of Mughal architecture.

City Palace

The City Palace was also built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in a Rajput style architecture. The palace is still the official residence for the Royal Family of Jaipur but visitors have access to some parts of the complex, such as the Mubarak Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas and Maharani Palace. There is also a temple and a museum with a fine collection of artefacts.

 

Entrance fee: 500 rupiahs for foreigners

Jantar Mantar

Located right next to the City Palace you’ll find Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observation site. This site dates back to the 18th century and houses twenty instruments, as well as the largest sundial in the world. We didn’t expect to find Jantar Mantar so interesting but it was actually quite neat to see how they used to tell the time and figure out the positions of the planets back before everyone had smartphones!

Entrance fee: 200 rupiahs for foreigners

Sunset at Nahargarh Fort

Nahargarh Fort is another magnificent fort. It’s built on the edge of the Aravalli Hills and from up there you’ll have a fabulous view out over the city of Jaipur. Nahargarh Fort was primarily built for defence purposes but it was never attacked. This fort is a great place to visit just before sunset.

Entrance fee: 200 rupiahs for foreigners

Galta Ji Temple

Galta Ji is located ten kilometres from the city centre and is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage temple. It’s also known as the monkey temple because of the many monkeys who live in the area. Galta Ji is built from pink stone and is surrounded by hills on both sides. It has seven reservoirs filled with holy water, sourced from the streams and waterfalls nearby. It is believed that bathing in those waters will cleanse your sins. Many locals bathe there but we weren’t at all tempted; the water looked filthy! It’s another popular spot to head to watch the sunset.

Entrance fee: Free but there’s a 50 rupiah charge for photography.

Check out the Bazaars

You can’t visit Jaipur without visiting its colourful bazaars. Baapu Bazaar and Johari Bazaar are the main ones to check out. There you can buy all sorts of local handicrafts, clothes, shoes, nik naks, souvenirs, statues, spices, jewellery and more. Sellers can be a little pushy, so know what you want and don’t be afraid to say no.

Where to stay in Jaipur?

Shaphura House

This heritage house is incredibly beautiful, built in a traditional Rajput architecture with a mixture of Mughal and Indian styles. With its amazing interior adorned with frescoes, chandeliers and mirrors, this hotel will make you feel like you are a member of the royal family! The hotel also has a rooftop restaurant that serves Indian food with great views over Amer Fort and Aravali Hills to accompany your meal. Prices start from US$50. Click here for the latest prices.

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How to Spend Two Days in Jaipur, The Pink CityHow to Spend Two Days in Jaipur, The Pink City

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