Whatever site you choose to see in Jaipur, you can be certain that each one will be reminiscent of an ancient heritage. Here are our top 5 picks.
This was once the home of the royal family of Jaipur, and it shows how some of the wealthiest people in India lived. The main structure, combining Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, is surrounded by landscaped gardens, courtyards, pavilions, and temples. For the most part, the City Palace has been turned into a museum of sorts, with exhibits of art and historical artifacts. The royal family still lives on the complex, but has taken up residence in one of the other buildings.
Jaipur, City Palace, Mubarak Mahal
Also known as the “Galta Monkey Temple”, due to the high population of monkeys who dwell there, this Hindi Temple is tucked away neatly between two cliff-faces. The complex includes three small sacred lakes and several buildings, as well as seven spring-fed tanks that are used for bathing. If you plan to visit, be aware that the monkeys are very friendly and will expect to be fed.
Jantar Mantar Observatory
This observatory was built during the reign ofÂ King Jai Singh II in the early 1700’s. Each of the 14 structures found on the complex serveÂ an astronomical purpose for measuring time and charting stars. The Samrat Yantra sundial even shows the passage of time with shadows that you can actually see moving before your eyes.
The “Palace of the Winds” is one of Jaipur’s most recognizable structures. With 5 floors and rows of latticed windows making up a “honeycomb”, wind would flow through the building maintaining a cool interior for the royal ladies, who had to remain hidden when not covered. Today, the windows have been sealed off with coloured glass so the wind no longer flows.
Jaipur, Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds)
The Jaigarh Fort was built as a military installation in the early 1700’s. Watchtowers and large gates house the infamous cannon that happens to be the largest wheeled cannon in the world, and has never been used. As a testament to its fortitude, the fort has never been taken. This medieval fort is one of the best preserved military installations in all of India.
Dera Amer Elephant Safari
India has a proud population of elephants, and you’ll find no better place to climb on the back of one of these gentle giants than in Jaipur. Beginning the journey from Amber Fort, the ride will take you through villages, over hills, and to ancient sites in the area.