Visiting India can feel like a whirlwind of old culture mixed with modern times; where cities boast sprawling malls, but you can still see bull-drawn carriages pulling cargo alongside rural farm land. As much of this mishmash can be seen as confusing, entering the walls of Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, takes you back to an older time, where the signs of the indian monarchies of the past are clear as day, and the old world culture still permeates the packed city streets.
As a visitor in Jaipur, there are many wonderful touristic sites to be seen as you traverse the city. Walking through ornate gates, the Pink City will take your breathe away, and invite you in. The top 6 touristic sites, though there may be more, help form an understanding and appreciation of the old and new Jaipur. And if you attempt to see multiple sites, consider the “Composite” ticket, which is like a city pass for many of the big sites in Jaipur.
This sprawling feat of architectural and creative passion is situated right on the main drag of the old city, Hawa Mahal means “Wind Palace”, and was aptly named as a respite for the royals during the hot days of summer. The building is designed to capture the wind, literally, and allow it to flow through the windows and walls, and cool off those inside. Climbing the stairs of this giant palace gives way to more splendid scenery inside, but the exterior facade is the most recognizable masterpiece in Jaipur.
Home to the monarchs for several decades, the City Palace is the heart of Jaipur. Located right in the center of the old city, visiting this ornate and expansive building is a wonderful lesson in Indian monarchial history. Touring the grounds shows not only images of royal life, but pays homage to the past kings and their glorious lives. No visit to Jaipur would be complete without a stop at City Palace.
This “water palace” is one of the loveliest sites to photograph in Jaipur. Aptly named, for this palace is centered in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake, surrounded on all sides by water, and is a picture of tranquil beauty. You can access the Jal Mahal by wooden boat, or just view it from afar, but you may be limited to exterior views of this lovely attraction.
This site is a archaeological and architectural masterpiece from the 1700s, and shows the ingenious mathematical skills of those who developed it. It is a series of sundials, which when viewed from various angles, can tell dates and times to the second. For something created in the days before modern technology, this is a scientific masterpiece worth visiting.
Also called Amer Fort, this massive construction is one of a few famous forts built to protect the city of Jaipur. Filled with living quarters, armory rooms, lovely gardens, and the famed Sheesh Mahal “Palace of Mirrors”, this site shows the strength and fortitude of the old Rajasthani kings.
Prince Albert Hall Museum
This lovely structure was created by Queen Victoria to celebrate Prince Albert’s visit to Jaipur, and since its creation has been home to a museum of Indian artifacts dating back several centuries. It is a lovely and elaborate building, stunning from any angle, and is worth a visit to learn more about the history of Rajasthan and Jaipur.
While you may be able to fill your days with these sites, there is so much more to absorb on a visit to Jaipur, from the culture of the people there to the food. Jaipur is arguably one of the best touristic cities to visit in India, and one where old world India is still present in modern day.
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