Jaipur, Rajasthan Travel GuideOct 01 2022 Attractions Rajasthan Jaipur
Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra and forms the most chosen tourism golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller.
The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance.
Places of Interest in Jaipur
The City Palace is an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture. The City Palace complex houses several palatial structures. In the heart of the old Jaipur city, the City Palace occupies a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. Jai Singh built the outer wall but other additions were made much later, some right up to the start of this century.
The palace is now a fine museum. It houses a remarkable collection of textiles, paintings, manuscripts, and extraordinary weapons. On display there are two huge urns of silver, said to be the largest silver vessels in the world. Nakkarkhana-ka-Darwaza, the imposing gateway of the City Palace guarded by stone elephants, is monumental.
There is also a clock tower and the newer Mubarak Mahal. To the north-west is the stately and graceful seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal, the residence of ex-ruler. The seven-story Chandra Mahal is the centrepiece and commands fine views of the gardens and the Jaipur city.
The complex contains an excellent museum, an armoury and several fine halls. The apartments are maintained in luxurious order and the museum of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II has an extensive collection of art, carpets, enamelware and old weapons.
At a short distance of 11 kms . from Jaipur, the Amer Fort complex stands amidst wooded hills overlooking the Delhi-Jaipur highway, with its forbidding ramparts reflected in the still waters of the Maota Lake below. One of the finest examples of Rajput architecture, it was the ancient capital of the Kachhawah rulers.
Built in 1799, by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh the ‘Hawa Mahal’, Palace of the Wind, is one of the major landmarks of Jaipur. It is an integral part of the City Palace, an extension of the Zenana standing away from the main complex. This five storey building of unusual architecture designed by Lal Chand Usta, is a stunning example of Rajput artistry made of red and pink sand stone, beautifully outlined with white borders and motif’s painted with quick lime.
The monument with a spectacular view of Jaipur city with road avenues, intersections and colourful crowds in the market, was originally conceived with the aim of enabling ladies of the royal household to watch the everyday life and royal processions in the city without being seen by others.
Hawa Mahal from the road side Its facade from the road side makes Hawa Mahal look more like a delicate screen than a palace. This five-story, pyramid-shaped structure has tier after tier of 953 small casements, each with tiny lattice worked (Jali) pink windows, small balconies and arched roofs with hanging cornices, exquisitely modeled and carved.
These small windows circulate cool air (Hawa) even in hot months. The pyramidal outline is even throughout by cramming and multiplying casements; and uses repetition of motifs to enhance its beauty.
The entrance to Hawa Mahal is from the City Palace side, through a stately door which opens into a spacious courtyard. The courtyard has a double storeyed building on three sides. There is a small archeological museum here. Only the eastern wing has three more storeys above, which are just a single room thick.
The building, standing on a high podium, is a fifty-foot high thin shield, less than a foot in thickness, with small intimate chambers , which give this palace its unique facade. There are no regular stairs to reach the upper floors, but only ramps.
Hawa Mahal which is currently under the supervision of the State archeological department provides the visitor with excellent views of the city. The best time to view Hawa Mahal is sunrise when sunlight through the latticed windows gives it a wonderful glow.
Across the road from the palaces is the famous JANTAR MANTAR one of the five observatories in India . Built by Sawai Jai Singh, this is one of the largest and the best preserved. A passionate hobby of the king in the field of Astronomy, numerology, insighted him to execute this observatory and with the help of skilled labourers, they managed to create a collection of complex astronomical instruments chiselled out of stone and most of which continues to provide accurate information to this day.
The most striking instrument is the Brihat Samrat yantra Sundial, an imposing yellow edifice to the far right of the observatory complex which has a 27m high gnomon arm set at an angle of 27degree.The shadow this casts moves up to 4m in an hour, and aids in the calculation of local and meridian pass time and various attributes of the heavenly bodies, including declination the angular distance of a heavenly body from the celestial equator and altitude. This highlight of the observatory has made it a centre of attraction for the tourist visiting Jaipur
The Jaigarh fort is the most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts that overlook Jaipur. In Mughal times, the Jaipur region was a major weapon-producing centre for the Mughal and Rajput rulers, several of which are on display in the fort’s museum.
It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, a granary, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban (Jaivan) which is the largest cannon in the world.
Jaigarh Fort is also known as the fort of victory. The display includes a collection of canons, many of which are exquisitely decorated and were used in the Mughal campaigns led by the Rajput King, Raja Man Singh.
Of the Jaipur’s three forts, Jaigarh is perhaps the most motivating. It does not have those delicate structures or palaces like that of Amber but if you want a quick look at a hard-core fortress, this is it. Jaigarh means `Victory Fort’ and was built between the 15th and the 18th century, and stands 15 km from Jaipur, amidst rock-strewn, thorn-scrub covered hills, its forbidding stone ramparts are visible from the Jaipur town. A steep road goes up to the main gate, the Dungar Darwaza, from where the view is stupendous.
Nahargarh Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defence of Amber.
The legend also have it that it was named Nahargarh after Nahar Singh a prince whose spirit would destroy the construction and not allow its progress further. So after a tantrik prayer to the spirit it agreed to leave on condition that the fort is named after him. The Madhavendra Bhawan, built by Sawai Ram Singh II has uniquely a cluster of 12 identical suits for queens and at the head is a suit for the king himself.
The rooms are linked by corridors and retain some delicate frescos as well as toilets and kitchen hearths. It was used by members of the royal family for excursion in summers and is now even a favoured picnic spot. Durg Cafeteria just above the entrance sells meals and refreshments, while Padao Restaurant on the west sells drinks around sunset.
Not so old but definitely an exquisitely land scaped gardens with beautifully carved temple in beige stone, which is a vast complex with terrace sites all around and intricately carved marble columns and lattices.
Located in the foothills of Nahargarh hills on the way towards Amer, this complex is a popular spot for picnic and film shoots. It should be definitely visited on the way to the three garland forts of Jaipur- Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Amber. The greenery after the monsoons give this whole place a feel of heavenly sensation, with JAL MAHAL in the back ground.
Located just outside the walled city is the sprawling Ram Niwas garden, which has always been a place for recreational activities since the reign of Sawai Ram Singh ji . This exquisitely designed garden with forcentry doors and a huge complex with small pools and fountains, flourishing lawns and beautiful flower beds all around was basically a famine relief project.
It mostly attracted the British families where they entertained their guest and families quite often with the lavish gowns of the Men and formal colourful attires of the nobels and the high society club members, this park would come alive with the setting sun. Their individual ‘BAGGIS’ were parked outside in a line and the attendants served around as helpers.
The children basically had a gala timely playing around in ‘JHULAS'(swing) etc. During day time it was opened for the common public and by the evening it was opened for common public and by the evening it was available for exclusive lots.
Situated in the middle of the garden as a centre attraction was the exquisitely built structure of Albert Hall, which was designed by sir Swinton Jacob, a British architect who designed many palaces in Rajasthan. Combining the elements of English and north Indian architecture known as the pride of the New Jaipur opened in 1887 AD, it is a very well maintained and impressive building displaying a rich collection of Art- de- fact like paintings, carpet, ivory, stone and metal sculptures and colourful crystal works etc.
Just opposite the Albert Hall is one of the oldest ZOO in the country, harbouring different species of birds and animals. Another piece of attraction near the Albert Hall, is the Ravindra Rang Manch (theatre) with a modern art gallery and an performing art theatre both indoor and open air. Recently added joints of interest are streets dotted with food stalls which promises a delicious variety of Indian fast food certainly relished by the tourists.
Laxmi Narayan Temple
Birla Mandir or the Lakshmi – Narayan Temple, situated just below the Moti Dungari. This is a modern temple built of white marble on top of a hill, dominating the skyline of south Jaipur. The Birlas (industrialists who have also built several temples in India) built this temple. The temple has been constructed in white marble and has three domes, each portraying the different approaches to religion.
The presiding deities here are Vishnu (One of the Hindu Trilogy Gods) called Narayan and his consort Lakshmi Goddess of wealth and good fortune. The temple is built is white in marble and exterior has carved sculptures of various mythological themes and images of saints.
The interior has large panel in marble of mythological proceedings. The images of the deities are placed in the sanctum sanctorum. Built on raised ground, it is surrounded by large lush green gardens.
Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh
Sawai Jai Singh built it in 1728. The garden is laid in Mughal style and it depicts the legends of Radha and Krishna. The garden is located 8 kms from Jaipur – Agra road .It consists of tiered multi-level gardens with fountains, watercourses and painted pavilions. Sawai Jai Singh built it for his Sisodia Queen from Udaipur. The palace house has several galleries, pavilions and beautiful murals depicting scenes from the life of lord Krishna.