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Jaipur: The Pink City


Being one of the oldest and maybe the first planned city in India, Jaipur is quite a bustling and yet cultural city to be at. I recently visited Jaipur considering we had a family function going on and seriously speaking, it might have been one of the most interesting places to be at. Excluding all the fun I had at the function, I found out there are quite some good places to visit and things to do at Jaipur which I did not realise. Now, truthfully, I could not visit all places I wanted to but I will still list the places for you to visit. Remember, plan your trip for at least 15 days if you want to have the best experience. Going there during the months of November and January might be a good idea. Do not try summer vacations unless you are use to desert heat


If you are wondering why it is named ‘Pink City’, the reason is very simple. The story goes that in 1876, the Prince of Wales visited India on a tour. Since the colour pink was symbolic of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh (Great King) of Jaipur painted the entire city pink. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold.


City Palace


City Palace has stood at the heart of the Old City of Jaipur for nearly three centuries, shortly after Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II decided to relocate his court from the city of Amber. Protected by huge guard walls, the fairy-tale-like structure is still the home of Jaipur's modern-day royal family, and is more extravagant and enchanting than you might ever imagine.


Jantar Mantar

Although it might look like an abstract art gallery seeing it the first time, it is not a gallery, but instead a special collection of astronomical tools used to measure heaven around three centuries ago. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, all 20 structures performing a specific task. The observatory's massive sundial, known as Samrat Yantra, is particularly striking. At 27 meters tall, it casts a huge shadow that accurately measures time down to two seconds.


Hawa Mahal(Palace of Breeze/Winds)

Jaipur’s most-distinctive landmark, the Hawa Mahal is an extraordinary pink-painted, delicately honeycombed hive that rises a dizzying five storeys. It was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city. It was literally built to resemble the crown of Hindu God Krishna. While its 953 windows allow quite a lot of breeze to pass through thus the name.


Amber Fort

Amber (pronounced Amer) is at a distance of about 11 kilometres from Jaipur. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the bastion of the Kachwahas of Amber, until the capital was moved to the plains, to what is today Jaipur. The palace, located in craggy hills, is a beautiful melange of Hindu and Mughal styles. The contrast between the harsh exterior and the inviting interior couldn’t be more surprising. Made entirely of red sandstone and white marble, visitors are left spellbound by the magnificence of the palace that utilises carvings, precious stones and mirrors. The splendour of the palace is enhanced by the breath-taking vista of the Maota Lake in front. The palace is nearly seven centuries old and has a legendary past.

*There are many more forts worth seeing, but for those who are not really interested in sightseeing but doing instead, we have places for you too.


Markets

Some of the best colours of the city can be seen in its markets, a fact which bears true with Jaipur as well. Some of the most authentic shopping experiences can be provided by the city’s old Bazaars/ Markets, an experience that is amongst the most authentic of all things to do in Jaipur. They are located within the walled expanses of the city and are known as ‘Badi’ and ‘Chhoti Chaupar’.


Choki Dhani

The Chokhi Dhani is a spectacular resort where the old hospitality of the Rajputs comes alive in its true nature and rustic settings. The resort captures the essence of Rajasthan and gives you a chance to explore the magic of Jaipur with its cultural activities and delicious cuisine. It is here that you can indulge in camel or bullock cart rides, live performances, delightful puppet shows, peppy folk dances, magic shows and acrobatics of the village style. What’s more? To accompany this, you can also gorge on the traditional, rich and fragrant Rajasthani ‘Thali’. It is a perfect place to let your kids indulge in game play and let the child in you come alive.


Hot Air Balloon Ride


This is one of the most amazing things to do in Jaipur, if you are an adventure enthusiast. Located near the Jamnalal Bajaj Road, Hot Air Balloon safari is conducted by various operators around the city and is a great way to beat the city blues.


Warning: Do not visit these places without a proper Tour Guide if you want to make full use of your ticket and understand why these sites are so amazing.


Brought to you by Vriti, from ALAGS Pleasure Hunt

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