Thinking about visiting the wonderfully diverse country India for the first time? Do not know where to start your journey and plan your trip? You opened a book and searching on the internet for the perfect itinerary as a first-time visitor to India. I am pretty sure that most of them will suggest visiting the golden triangle – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur! If you want to see gigantic and historic forts as well as colorful people, Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is the place to visit! From this ultimate travel guide of Jaipur, you will know about the best places to visit in Jaipur.
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City Palace, Jaipur
The city palace is located at the heart of Jaipur and one of the best places to visit in Jaipur. It was initially built by Jai Sing II in 1729. Since then, it had been expanded by several other people. The city palace was the seat of the king once upon a time from where the king ruled the city.
You will enjoy the view of the city palace even before entering the complex. It has four entrances. All the gates are gorgeously designed. In one of them, you will find two statues of elephants guarding it along with the royal guards wearing red and blue dresses along with turbans. Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and the Rajasthani people are proud soldiers. Their mustaches are a treat to watch – big and curvy. Real men should have mustaches like them!
The city palace complex comprises buildings, courtyards, temples, and gardens. The architecture reflects a combination of Mughal and Rajput designs. You will enjoy the greeneries and birds in the compound. This fabulous and mindblowing palace is blessed with latticework, marbles, and subtle ornamentations.
Now, let’s take a look at different places in the palace. Diwan-i-Aam was the place where the general public came to meet the king. The king listened to their problem and tried to provide solutions. It has converted into a museum in current days. On the contrary, Diwan-i-Khas was the place where only the renowned guests could enter and meet the king. You will find two gigantic vessels here which used to hold the holy water from the river Ganges.
The Mubarak Mahal was the place where the guests of the royal families were greeted and welcomed before taking to the places like Diwan-i-Khas. It has a reception hall along with big rooms. As the name suggests, this palace was used to welcome the guests of the royal family.
In the Chandra Mahal, the current royal family of Jaipur lives. It’s a several storied building with carved ceilings, mirrored walls, and a flag of the royal family. Lastly, Pritam Niwas Chowk is a courtyard having four doors representing four seasons. You must not miss this colorful palace once you are in Jaipur.
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Jantar Mantar consists of astronomical instruments – 19 of them in Jaipur built by the famous king of Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh II. Such is its significance and marvel, the Jantar Mantar is declared as the UNESCO World Heritage site and makes it one of the best places to visit in Jaipur.
The word Jantar means instrument and Mantar means calculation. With the aid of different instruments, you can predict the location of stars, measure the orbit of the earth around the sun, and calculate time precisely. This mind sounds easy and funny to some extent now, but, keep in mind that, it was built in 1724.
Jantar Mantar has the largest sundial in the world. It’s fascinating how they could measure precise time with the movement of the sun! Interestingly, there are 4 other similar things in India in Delhi, Varanasi, Ujjain, and Mathura – all built by the same person.
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Jaigarh fort was built to protect the Amer Palace. This is one of the three major forts in Jaipur. The rest of the two are Nahargarh and Amer forts. You will be able to know about them below. The Jaigarh Fort is located on top of Cheel Ka Teela means the hills of the Eagles. The fort was named after King Jai Sing II.
Jaigarh Fort is about 3 Kilometers long and fortified with thick walls. It offers a nice view of the Amer Fort which is located below.
One of the prime attractions in Jaigarh fort is the Jaivana cannon. It was built inside the fort in 1720 and was the largest cannon on wheels when it was built. Interestingly, this cannon was not used in any war as it was not needed. It was fired once and covered more than 35 Kilometers.
Jaipur is a fortified city. It boasts several forts on top of different hills. Nahargarh fort is one of them located at the edge of the Aravalli hills. The word Nahargarh means the abode of tigers.
The fort was build in 1734. The wall of this fort is extended forming fortifications connecting the Jaigarh fort. Although the fort was built for the purpose of defense, nobody attacked it. If you look at the architecture of the buildings carefully, you will see domed ceilings, tall windows, and scalloped archways.
The king who built the fort, Sawai Madho Sing had 10 queens. He built Madhavendra Bhaban inside the fort with 10 identical suites. The architecture and frescos of the suites are quite compelling and eye-catching.
From the Nahargarh fort, you will be able to enjoy a spectacular view of Jaipur city. You will realize that how high the fort is comparing to the city. Nahargarh fort is without any doubt, one of the best places to visit in Jaipur.
When I saw Hawa Mahal for the first time, I thought of it as a collection of telephone booths placed like a pyramid! Those are in fact windows made of red and pink sandstones. This five-story palace is the most iconic establishment in Jaipur. The word Hawa Mahal means the palace of breeze. Jaipur can become extremely hot in summer. This palace is built with 953 windows so that the wind can blow and keep you comfortable during a hot day. If you visit on top of the Hawa Mahal, you will see the City Palace and Jantar Mantar.
What is a palace doing in the middle of the water! That’s might come into your mind when will you see the Jal Mahal for the first time. But, again, its name is Jal Mahal means the Water Palace. Interestingly, four floors out of the five floors building remain underwater when the lake is full. This unique concept of a building in the middle of a lake that looks floating (but actually not) made it one of the topmost places to visit in Jaipur. You gotta visit this place at night when it lits beautiful.
Amber Palace / Amer Fort – Best of the Places to Visit in Jaipur
Among the three major forts of Jaipur, Amber palace or Amer fort is arguably the most popular. Amer is in fact a small town about 10 Kilometers from Jaipur. The fort is built on top of a hill in Amer.
This fort is so huge, you will be pumped up with the excitement to observe its grandeur. Cobblestones, large gates, a huge complex, gigantic ramparts made it a fascinating tourist destination.
The fort comprises an extensive palace complex built with yellow and pink sandstones. There are four sections of this palace with their own courtyards. Jaigarh fort is often considered as part of Amer fort as they are connected with a tunnel.
You can see the main courtyard of the Amer palace above. The soldiers used to do the victory parades here after returning from the war. The royal family used to enjoy it from the latticed window.
Apart from the beautiful architecture and structures, I got fascinated by the animals it was accommodating. The flock of pigeons was a treat to watch. I spent quite some time watching them play.
You are bound to see monkeys all over the Jaipur. However, the ones in the Amer Palace were unparalleled, they gave me several opportunities to grab some fantastic photos – I could have made an entire photo album with their shots.
Just outside of the Amer Fort, you will see the Maota lake along with Kesar Kyari – the saffron garden. Kesari Kyari floats like a carpet of greeneries on concrete and provides the Amer lake a fantastic view.
Sunset outside of Amer Fort
If you can find a proper place, you can enjoy sublime sunset. Just outside of Amer palace is one such place. The Kesar Kyari looks like a floating reflection garden which gets faded as the light dims. The reflection of the fort on the lake looks sublime.
When the sky becomes pinkish, the outline of the fort on the horizon will make you feel like visiting Jaipur time after time again.
Amer Fort at Night
The sun has set, everywhere is dark now. But, not the Amer fort. When the light is switched on, the Amer fort looks like a bride with gold ornaments. You can visit Amer fort between 6.30 to 9.00 P.M and enjoy a light and sound show.
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In a city where Pink is the predominant color, the white Birla mandir is a sweet change. It is a Hindu temple made of white marble. Some people call it Laxmi Narayan Temple. This is an extremely popular temple in Jaipur among Hindus. Even if you are not a devotee, you should visit here to enjoy the beautiful architecture surrounded by a green garden.
Jaipur Wax Museum
Jaipur wax museum is located within the palatial Nahargarh Fort. You will find about 30 wax statues here including Maharajas and celebrities all around the world. The supreme attraction of the wax museum is Sheesh Mahal – a mirror palace containing 2.5 million pieces of glasswork. You cannot do your own photography here, however, you can hire a photographer there for taking pictures.
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Walking in Jaipur – the Pink City
Apart from the best places to visit in Jaipur mentioned above, you should roam around the city. The entire city of Jaipur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will realize after a while why Jaipur is called the pink city. Not only the forts here are pink, but most of the buildings here are also pink, too. Below is a map for exploring Jaipur on foot.
Check the places you are going to cover during the walk.
- New Gate – The starting point of the walk.
- Bapu Bazar – A lively Bazar with an aromatic fragrance of the perfume.
- Johari Bazar – The most famous jewelry market in Jaipur.
- Laxmi Mistanno Bhandar (LMB) – Delicious sweets.
- Jama Masjid – A beautiful mosque with tall minarets.
- Badi Chaupar – A bustling public square.
- Sireh Deori Bazar – The market near Hawa Mahal
- Hawa Mahal – The most iconic building in Jaipur city.
- Tripolia Gate – The main entrance for Jantar Mantar.
- Jantar Mantar – The UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- City Palace – Where the family of the King resides.
- Isariat – Climb up to get a sublime view of the town.
- Maniharo Ka Rasta – Buy the famous and colorful Rajasthani bangles.
- Khanjane Walon ka Rasta – Marbles and Stonewares at their best!
- Indira Bazar – Yet another bazar at your perusal.
- Ajmer Gate – Your city walk in Jaipur ends here.
How to Reach Jaipur?
How to reach Jaipur by Train?
The easiest way to reach Jaipur is by train from Delhi. It takes between 4:15 to 5:30 hours to reach Jaipur by train. You can also reach Jaipur from Agra by train. It will take between 4 to 5 hours depending on the type of train.
How to reach Jaipur by Air?
There is an airport Jaipur (JAI) and direct flight is available from several major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, and so on. Even, some international flights operate to Jaipur from Oman and UAE. However, if you find the airfare unreasonable, fly to Delhi first and take either train or another flight to Jaipur.
How to reach Jaipur by Road?
Jaipur is 280 Kilometers from Delhi and will take less than 6 hours to reach by bus or a private car. Although journey by train is popular in India, the road condition to Jaipur is good and you can choose this option out of the three.
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Best Hotels in Jaipur
Below is a list of the best hotels in Jaipur grouped by different price ranges.
Best Luxury Hotels in Jaipur
- The Oberoi Rajvilas
- The Leela Palace Jaipur
- Royal Heritage Haveli
- Trident Jaipur
- Samode Haveli
Best Mid Range Hotels in Jaipur
- Hathi Majua
- BrijNest Suites
- Holiday Inn Jaipur City Centre
- Hilton Jaipur
- Hotel Pearl Palace
Best Budget Hotels in Jaipur
- Pearl Palace Heritage
- Hotel Sun City Plaza, Jaipur
- Hotel Anuraag Villa
- The Fern Residency
- Nahargarh Haveli
- Leisure Inn Grand Chanakya
- Hotel Arya Niwas
Further Read before visiting India
India is so different, you can read these insider tips before visiting India.