Wednesday, July 6, 2011

7 Things to Do in Jaipur (Rajasthan)

Are you planning on visiting Jaipur or Rajasthan? Within lies a small desire to cater to all the hotspots in Jaipur within the scheduled time. Here is a list of “must see” / “must do” things in the city which is a blend of princely heritage, feudal traditions and genuine Rajasthan hospitality. We offer a summarized stanza putting forth the reviews and suggestions of numerous travelers along with a list of things no tourist can afford to miss. Enjoy reading!
Jal Mahal (at sunset), Jaipur

Hotels in Jaipur to consider for a memorable vacation.

About Jaipur - One of the three cities in the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism, Jaipur gives you a glimpse of the entire Rajasthan. Earned universal renown as the “Pink City ", Jaipur is the country's first modern city to be designed in a grid form surrounded by a crenellated wall with seven gates meant for protection with the imposing Amer Fort, standing at the beginning of the city. Once the capital of the royalty, the "land of princes" flaunts as being the first touch point to the land of Rajputs. Rugged men with handle-bar whiskers sporting bright pink turbans and gracefully boned veiled beauties in outfits of amazing colors and twinkling anklets, Jaipur proudly declares itself as the ‘city of victory’. The crown city of the state has a tale to narrate in every nook and corner.

A traveler relates his experience as, “I’ve always admired the Rajasthani culture. The people, the garments, the festivals and everything. One thing which comes into my mind when I think of Rajasthan is Royalty, the lovely palaces and their grandeur.” Here are 7 things a traveler to the beautiful Jaipur can’t miss. [Here is a list of top rated hotels in Jaipur].

  1. Visit the Amber Fort. A blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture, the Amber fort is made up of red sand stone and white marble and consists of primarily four sections. The light & sound show at the Amber Fort is outstanding and relates the saga of royalty and richness; Rajput, Mughals and undoubtedly draws in a huge crowd. As a traveler puts forth, ‘Standing at a height, looking at the remnants of past, the walls that hold royalty and charisma of Rajputs. Amber Fort has always enchanted my senses.’ Renowned for its craftsmanship the Sheesh Mahal or 'Palace of Mirrors' is a big hall adorned with thousands of tiny mirrors all over and is one of the most spectacular sights in the Amber Fort.

  2. Another must-see tourist attraction in Jaipur is the City Palace. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh the City Palace stands apart, with its outstanding art and architecture. The premises consist of a series of gardens, courtyards and buildings. The breathtaking structural design of the Chandra Mahal with delicate paintings, mirror work on walls and floral decorations, makes it an integral part of the City Palace and a "must-see" for every visitor. Plan on spending at least half-day at this palace.

  3. Hawa Mahal which means 'Palace of Winds' is more like a large screen than a traditionally built palace with rooms that reflect a perfect blend of both Rajputana and Mughal architecture. The Mahal is a five-storied pyramid-shaped facade with small pink sandstone windows called as 'Jharokhas' and decorated with tiny lattice work. Situated on top of the Chilh-ka-Tola the mighty Jaigarh Fort is secured by the Doongar darwaza and Awani darwaza. Known the world over for housing the largest canon the fort includes Vijay Garh, Diya Burj and a museum that showcases the arms and military equipment of the era.

  4. Set against the rolling Nahargarh hills, the Jal Mahal is built in the middle of the serene Mansagar Lake. Despite being a five-storey palace, its first four floors are submerged under water. Mansagar Lake is a bird watcher's paradise as it attracts an array of local and migratory birds. Late afternoon is a great time to visit this place. Camel and elephant rides are available all along the lake.

  5. Jantar Mantar equipped with 14 fixed geometrical instruments is the largest stone observatory in the world. Built in the loving memory of the generous ruler, builder and futurist King Sawai Jai Singh, the Statue Circle exhibits the royalty of the city and is a popular hang-out spot that pulls a huge crowd. The Jaipur Zoo situated close to the Ram Niwas gardens, is the biggest crocodile breeding center in the country and houses a few scarce and endangered species of flora and fauna. Note: Open on all days except Tuesdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

  6. Jaipur is eminent for its Dal Batti, Churma, Mawa Kachori, Ghewar, Mirchi Bada, Rajasthani Subji and special kinds of Chapattis. Eating at 'Niros' Restaurant is a must. LMB (Laxmi Mistan Bhandar) is another very popular place to consider for a relaxing lunch or dinner. They also have dry snacks to take home. Try out the famous Akhrot ki Barfi near Hawa Mahal. Onion & mava kachories of Rawat and roadside pakodies. A full Rajasthani meal served with great affection and respect at Chowki Dhani is mandatory. Best time is in the evening. Plan 2-3 hours for this wonder retreat.

  7. Maniharon ka Rasta and Johri Bazar are some of the marketing hotspots that give your wallets a chase for money. It’s a great place to find carpets, jewelry and handicrafts or to get unusual camel leather slippers or bags. Jaipuru Kurtas, slippers and Jaipuri bedsheets. Don't miss out on the puppets.

Other things to do in Jaipur:

  • Nahargarh Fort is a must visit place if you can spare a few extra hours in the evening. The ride up the mountain to this beautiful fort is well worth it. The peacocks along the drive and the beautiful sunset and the view of the entire Jaipur city from the top will make your trip memorable.

  • Moti Dungri meaning Hill of Pearls or Pearl Hill is dedicated to Lord Ganesha serves as a tourist attraction for the scenic view it offers. The enchanting Moti Dungri Palace is an imitation of a Scottish Castle and still belongs to the royal family.

  • Built completely of white marble and the presiding deity being Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, the Birla Mandir mesmerizes the onlookers, when it glows at night. Standing erect on a raised platform the 3 huge domes of the temple represent 3 different approaches to the religion while the stained glass windows depict scenes from Hindu Mythology.

  • Primarily meant for married women and girls the festival of Teej is celebrated with all the passion and enthusiasm in Jaipur, and the procession being the highlight of the festival. The presiding deity of this festival is Goddess Parvati, who is considered as the symbol of virtue, devotion and fertility.

Hotels in Jaipur
Jaipur offers a wide choice of luxury star hotels and classic palaces for those in search of class and style and on the other hand it also has considerable amount of economical accommodations too. Comfort Inn Hawa Mahal (rates from Rs. 4000) and Hotel Gold Palace and Resorts (rates from Rs. 6999) are semi-luxury hotels that extend to its visitors the true royal comfort. Tordi Haveli (rates from Rs. 1643) and Hotel Umaid Bhawan (rates from Rs. 2800) are some of the other good hotels that have received wide acclaims from our travelers. Online booking for Jaipur hotels is available.

Tips from other Jaipur travelers

  • Take some light cotton clothing along, which is comfortable and absorbs the sweat as well. However, one can take light woolens, if touring Jaipur in winters.

How to reach Jaipur?

  • Airport is located near Sanganer at a distance of 13 km from the city. The nearest international airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.

  • Jaipur Railway Station is a central main station of the state of Rajasthan that connects it with all the other cities of India.

  • Excellent road network enables people to enjoy a comfortable journey. Regular bus services from nearby cities connect it to the other cities.
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