Jaipur is a city that still carries, with poise, the appeal that decorated the city for 3 centuries in its history and culture. If classifications amongst travelers is possible, then Jaipur is a treat for every type of traveler alike. The sundry of options that lie before tourists in the Pink City are many, varied and confusing at best, especially if you’re a first timer.
A Brief History
The capital of Rajasthan – Jaipur is a well-formed whirlpool of royal tales that have created history and preserved in the sand and stone, now thrown in a mix with contemporary lifestyles. The everyday life in Jaipur doesn’t differ from other parts in India but the rich legacy does influence some part of it. The Pink colour, legend has it, was coated throughout the city with the wish of Maharaj Sawai Ram Singh to give it the warmth and representation of royalty.
What to See
Jal Mahal – built atop the Man Sagar Lake, the water palace is a unique royal structure. The site, however, is not accessible to the public unfortunately. But an exterior glimpse is recommended specially during monsoons when it is partially submerged. A picture with the palace in the background would be Instagram feed worthy.
Jantar Mantar – This World Heritage Site in Jaipur is a physical representation of the inclination towards astronomy of Maharaja Jai Singh II. He sanctioned the coveted site that became the hub of astrological and zodiac studies in the 18th century. The large structures made in stone that stand up to date are worth a visit.
Nahargarh Fort – the fort is said to be a mix of Indian and European architecture, which translates into a grand design. Cycling trips through the fort are advisable to cover as much ground as possible. According to legend, the fort is haunted by the spirit of Nahar Singh Bhomia, who didn’t agree with the fort’s construction. 12 identical Queen Suites were built in the fort accessible to the king without any of the other queens finding out.
Ranthambore National Park – mesmerizing flora and fauna beckons you to the national park with myriads of attractions. What used to be the hunting ground for royalty of Jaipur back in the day, is now home to some interesting species. You can rent villas in Jaipur near the park to be able to visit and get a glimpse of tiger trails and sloth bears near the Ranthambore Fort. Apart from the pronounced, you may be able to view jackals, Indian foxes, hyenas, leopards and birds including flamingos, parakeets, egrets, pelicans and more depending on the season.
The Shopping Paradise
Johri Bazaar – this is the oldest and the most renowned market for buying stones, gems and jewelry in Jaipur. You might want to get your hands on handmade jewelry that is hard to resist.
Tripolia Bazaar – an absolute wonder for bangle lovers. The varieties of bangles will leave you spoilt for choice. Additionally, you may browse through a variety of designer carpets, brass ware etc.
Kishanpole Bazaar – the best bazaar to buy textile goods at great prices. If you need to take souvenirs for family and loved ones back home, this is the place to be.
Where to Stay
While the historic aura of the city is unmatched, you would do better staying away from the bustle of the centre at one of the resorts in Jaipur. The Tree of Life Jaipur offers villas that are built with the same magnificence as the city was to make your stay worthwhile.
These places are but a fraction of the available attractions in the Pink City. The best tip for first timers is to do their research well in advance in order to make the best of their stay at the beautiful city.