Things to Do in Jaipur
Situated smack in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, on the road that runs between Jaipur and Amber Fort (Amer Fort), the 18th-century Jal Mahal (Water Palace) is a gorgeous red sandstone palace that’s accessible only by boat. Though currently closed to visitors, the dreamlike structure is still an incredible sight to behold from shore.
High on a hilltop, towering majestically over the village of Amber on the outskirts of Jaipur, this 16th-century fort palace is worth visiting for its grand architecture that blends Muslim Mughal and Indian Hindu (Rajput) elements. Here, you’ll find labyrinthine passageways, elegant royal halls, and fabulous views of desert landscape.
Palace of Wind (Hawa Mahal) is easily one of Jaipur’s most iconic attractions. This stunning red and pink sandstone structure in the heart of the Pink City features rows of carved screens and more than 900 lattice-worked windows that allow in just the right amount of breeze to keep the 5-story complex cool.
Situated in Rajasthan’s Aravalli Hills, not far from Amber Fort (Amer Fort), Nahargarh is the oldest of three forts built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh (Jai Singh II). Dating to 1734, this majestic fort—aka the Tiger Fort—is largely in a state of ruin, but is still worth a visit for its amazing view of Jaipur city below.
Dating back to 1726, the Jantar Mantar is an observatory with 19 fixed astronomical instruments. The tools in this UNESCO World Heritage site can be used for everything from tracking astronomical movements to predicting eclipses. It's one of five such north Indian observatories, all of which were built by Jai Singh II.
The Mubarak Mahal (Welcome Palace), was originally constructed in the late 19th century as a reception hall for foreign dignitaries. Today, this part of Jaipur’s City Palace houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, which showcases royal family artifacts including weaponry and regal garments.
Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the 18th century for his second queen, Sisodia Rani, Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden is a beautiful complex situated on the outskirts of Jaipur. The palace interiors feature exquisite frescoes depicting scenes from the story of Lord Krishna, while the terraced gardens are filled with fountains and greenery.
Although Jaigarh Fort is often overlooked by tourists in favor of the better-known Amber Fort nearby, this majestic garrison in the Aravalli Range is certainly worth a visit, particularly for anyone with an interest in military history. The 18th-century red sandstone structure is also considered among the best-preserved old fortresses in India.
One of the highlights of Amber Palace, the Hall of Mirrors (Sheesh Mahal) is a beautiful room covered with mirror mosaics. Such halls are a typical feature in Rajasthani palaces and are designed to be particularly enchanting at night, when the reflection of candlelight creates a kaleidoscopic effect across the mosaic's surface.
Jaipur is one of the best places in India to shop for handicrafts items, and some of the optimal places to pick up great bargains are located right in the heart of the Pink City. Bapu Bazaar offers a particularly good selection, with everything from jewelry to traditional Rajasthani textiles displayed colorfully in this lively market street.
More Things to Do in Jaipur
Also known as Isar Lat, Swargasuli Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Jaipur. Built as a victory memorial in 1749, it stands 42 meters (140 feet) above ground. You can climb to the top of the octagonal structure for sweeping views of the Pink City, or marvel at the architecture from the ground below.
The 7-story Chandra Mahal, situated within Jaipur’s City Palace complex, serves as the official residence of the descendants of Jaipur’s titular royal family. Beyond the inner courtyard and its magnificent gates representing the four seasons, visitors may explore the palace’s ground floor, a museum of carpets, manuscripts, and portraits of past maharajas.
Officially called Galtaji but usually referred to as Temple of the Sun God or simply the Monkey Temple, this temple complex of many names was built in the 18th century. Multiple storied water tanks, known as kunds, lead up to the main temple, with rounded roofs and pavilions typical to Rajasthan’s architectural traditions.
Often referred to as the Birla Mandir, the Lakshminarayan Temple is a striking white marble Hindu temple in Jaipur. The modern edifice—built in 1988 with an adjacent museum—is dedicated to the god Vishnu (the Preserver) and his consort Lakshmi, and features idols of the two deities carved from a single piece of marble.
Set against the rugged backdrop of the Aravali Mountains, Royal Gaitor is a beautiful funerary complex that houses the intricately carved cenotaphs of many of Jaipur's former rulers, including Jai Singh II, who founded Jaipur. One of the quieter places in town, Royal Gaitor is a great spot to escape the noise of the Pink City.
Considered one of the world’s best examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture, the Albert Hall Museum houses the Government Central Museum (the oldest museum in Rajasthan). Inside this striking building, you’ll find an extensive collection of international art, miniature paintings, and artifacts—there's even an Egyptian mummy.
Located in the 18th-century Nahargarh Fort, the Jaipur Wax Museum is a family-friendly attraction with many different displays. In addition to seeing some of their favorite celebrities, visitors to the Jaipur Wax Museum can also learn about the history and culture of the Rajput maharajas and maharanis of Rajasthan.
One of Jaipur’s top attractions and the official residence of the titular royal family, the City Palace is a historic complex that masterfully blends Rajasthani, Mughal, and European architectural influences. Within its walls you’ll find striking courtyards, elegant pavilions, royal halls, an armory, and an art gallery.
A landscaped garden that combines Mughal and Rajput styles, peaceful Vidyadhar Garden (Vidhyadhar Bagh) has terraced lawns, lakes, fountains, and pavilions. Visitors can admire pavilions decorated with mirror mosaics and murals from Hindu mythology and spot peacocks and monkeys throughout the grounds.
Situated on a hilltop in Rajasthan, outside of Jaipur, Rusirani Village is a typical traditional village that attracts travelers who want to see what life is like in rural India. Along with traditional homes, there's a Shiva temple that is believed to date back at least a millennium, along with a market full of local handicrafts.
Situated in the town of Amber (Amer) in the outskirts of Jaipur in Rajasthan, Maota Lake was the main water source for the formidable Amber Fort (Amer Fort) back in its heyday. At the center of the lake is an island covered with lush gardens—including a saffron garden—planted by a 15th-century maharaja, Kesar Kyari Bagh.
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