The colourful city of Jaipur is one of India's first planned cities. Bustling markets, historic buildings and hidden temples and oasis of peace set against the majestic backdrop of the Amer Fort make this a must visit city in Rajasthan.
Jaipur, founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727, is planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra. Jaipur is the only city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the Universe through nine rectangular sectors sub-dividing it. The city is steeped in history and culture. The palaces and forts of yesteryear that were witness to royal splendour and processions are now living monuments. Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed. This fascinating city with its romantic charm takes you to an epoch of royalty and tradition.
Experience a blend of heritage, palaces, culture and art in Jaipur.
In the morning, drive just outside Jaipur to the ancient capital of Amber to see the fabulous Amber Fort, en-route stopping for photo stop at `Palace of Winds', otherwise known as Hawa Mahal.
In the afternoon proceed for the city tour. Among the highlights to be seen while touring Jaipur include the City Palace, an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The palace museum houses collections of rare manuscripts, armoury, costumes, carpets and miniature paintings. Walk to the adjacent Jantar Mantar or Astronomical Observatory made by the Maharaja of Jaipur in 18th century and is one of the five such astronomical wonders built by Sawai Jai Singh and makes accurate predictions even to this day.
City Palace built in 18th century, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is an overwhelming complex of exquisite palaces, gardens and courtyards, decorative art and carved doorways. The Palace houses various structures such as, Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Diwan-I-Khas and the Govind Dev Ji Temple.
The City Palace and its structures have been designed, combining the architectural elements of the Mughal, Europe, Rajput and the Shilpa Shastra of India. A major part of the palace now consists of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. The palace is a unique and arresting complex of several palaces, pavilions, gardens and temples. The most prominent and most visited structures in the complex are the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani's Palace and Shri Govind Dev Temple.
The Amer Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its amazing architecture that combines Mughal and Hindu styles, the fort is a sight to watch and walk through with its high ramparts, many gates, cobbled paths and splendid view.
The Amer Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I in the 16th century and was completed by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in the 18th century. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake, at its forefront. The popular buildings in the fort consist of: Diwan-i-Aam, the Diwan-i-Khas, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), Jai Mandir and the Sukh Niwas.
Jantar Mantar (Observatory)
Jantar Mantar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features the world's largest stone sundial. The observatory was constructed between 1728 -1734. It is the largest observatories among five and best preserved and still running. It is a collection of 19 architectural astronomical instruments.
Built by the Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh in the 18th century, Jantar Mantar boasts a collection of 19 architectural astronomical instruments. It features the world's largest stone sundial and is UNESCO World Heritage site. The monument features masonry, stone and brass instruments that were built using astronomy and instrument design principles of ancient Hindu Sanskrit texts.
Jaigarh Fort was built in 18th century by Jai Singh II to protect the Amber Fort and its palace complex. The fort houses the world's largest cannon on wheels, a majestic palace complex, a museum and an armoury. It provides an excellent view of Aravalli hills and the Amber Fort down below.
Jaigarh Fort is situated on the promontory called the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the Aravalli range and it overlook the Amber Fort and the Maota Lake. The fort, rugged and similar in structural design to the Amber Fort, is also known as Victory Fort. The fort features cannon named "Jaivana", which was manufactured in the fort precincts and was then the world's largest cannon on wheels. Jaigarh Fort and Amber Fort are connected by subterranean passages and considered as one complex.
The Nahargarh Fort was built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. The fort means 'abode of the tigers' was constructed to defend Amber. The majestic Nahargarh Fort is hooked up to the famous Jaigarh Fort from end to end of its ramparts.
The Nahargarh Fort, also known as the Tiger Fort, was constructed as a place of retreat on the summit of the ridge above the city. Situated in one of the oldest mountain ranges of the world, the Aravalli Hills, this fort gives a breath-taking view of the scenic surroundings. The fort is noted for its extended wall which connects it to the Jaigarh Fort.
Also known as Laxmi Narayan Temple, Birla Temple is a modern architectural marvel, surrounded by lush green gardens. Made in pure white marble, Birla Mandir appears startling, when it gets lighten up in the night. It is renowned for its fine carvings and delicate work.
The enormous temple was built during the year 1988, by Birla Group of Industries, one of the business tycoons of India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Narayan), the preserver and his consort Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Delicate carvings of Hindu symbols and ancient quotes from the Geeta and the Upanishads ornament the walls of this fascinating temple. A work of art, this temple truly represents architectural beauty, in a modern form.
Albert Hall Museum (Central Museum)
Albert Hall Museum, also known as the Government Central Museum, is one of the oldest museums of Jaipur and retains the essence of the Maharajas of Jaipur. The museum is known not only for its exquisite collection but also for its wonderful architecture.
Albert Hall Museum houses a number of courtyards, archways and towers standing as a symbol for the rich architectural heritage of the country. The museum features Indo-Saracenic architecture and stone ornamentation. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts like paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, colourful crystal works etc.
Cenotaph (Gaitore or Chattris)
Gaitore is the royal crematorium for the members of the royal family. The cenotaphs are made of marble and sandstone with Rajastani carvings, dedicated to legendary kings who ruled Jaipur.
Cenotaph is constructed with a combination of Mughal and Hindu architecture. These are open domed pavilions which are built on a raised platform. This site has many cenotaphs for each Maharaja of Jaipur. Each chattri cenotaphs depicts the carvings which represent the taste of Maharaja in whose honour it was built.
Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, Hawa Mahal or Palace of Wind was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside. The main highlight of Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or 'Jharokhas' which are decorated with intricate designs.
Well-known for its rich cultural and architectural history, Hawa Mahal is a fusion of Rajput and Islamic architecture. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, it features unique five-storey exterior with its 953 small windows called jharokhas decorated with intricate lattice work. The intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen.
Galtaji Temple (Monkey Temple)
Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site which consists of a series of temples built in to a narrow crevice in the ring of hills that surrounds Jaipur. The temple is famous for its natural water springs, which accumulates in tanks (kunds). There are seven tanks, the holiest being the Galta Kund, which never goes dry.
Temple of Galtaji is built in pink stone. The temple features a number of pavilions with rounded roofs, carved pillars and painted walls. The complex is set around a natural spring and the waterfalls that create two tiered pools, the upper and lower pool, used for bathing by pilgrims. Even though the temple is home to hundreds of monkeys the Galtaji Temple is dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant god and not Hanuman, the monkey god.
Sound and Light Show @ Amer Fort
The Sound and Light Show is a fascinating attraction of the Amber Fort. Admire the colourful lights that illuminate the structure and reflect beautifully on Maota Lake and gain an understanding of Amber Fort's legendary past.
Watch a stunning spectacle mixing of music, sound, light and folklore narratives to paint the unique story of the 600-year-old royal fort. They tell the story of Rajputs and the attractive narration takes through the memory lane of Amer, describing its traditions and the grand lifestyle of the royal family.
Dera Amer Safari
Dera Amer, situated behind the hills of the famous Amer Fort, is the great location for outdoor recreational and adventure activities in close proximity to the city of Jaipur.
The camp is located at the foothills of the Aravali Range and surrounded by the wilderness of a reserved forest with no urban civilization in the vicinity, just a few hamlets housing the local villagers occupied by farming on the their fields bordering a pretty lake. The elephant treks are conducted in the original Aravali forests surrounding the camp and follow a route passing by hutments, agricultural fields, hills and ancient monuments. The birdlife in the forests is thriving and leopards inhabit the jungles as well as hyena and the wolf has been sighted along with antelopes and jackals.
Rickshaw ride is a great way to discover a different aspect of Jaipur and experience the energy of the city.
Explore Jaipur in the most unique way with "Rickshaw Ride". Cruise around the old city with its colourful shops, latticed windows houses and rose pink colour streets. Witness the architectural marvels, ethnically dressed men and women. The rickshaw ride offers an insight into the local life.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
The Hot Air Balloon Ride offers an opportunity to see the city and its spectacular forts, hidden palaces, breath-taking terrain and traditional local villages from a very unique perspective.
Each flight is spectacularly different. The ride offers an exclusive sneak-peak into daily Indian life and its hidden treasures and to witness the amazing patchwork of colours and contours of the sky. Capture a privileged view of traditional Rajasthani villages and the smile of friendly local people gazing up.
Explore the city in auto-rickshaw, which is a convenient mode of travel around the city.
Explore the alleys and streets of Jaipur in the local style in an auto-rickshaw, also popularly known as Tuk-Tuk (a three-wheeled taxi). Drive around the old city with its colourful shops, latticed windows houses and rose pink colour streets. Witness the architectural marvels, ethnically dressed men and women. The rickshaw ride offers an insight into the local life.
Jeep Ride at Amber Fort
The jeep ride will spare the trouble of walking up to the fortress. Once at the fort learn about the Hindu and Mughal traditions that influenced the design of this impressive structure.
The drive to the fort through Amber village is beautiful and reflects the Rajasthani culture. Reach the top of the Amer Fort, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.
Elephant Ride @ Amber Fort
The elephant ride will spare the trouble of walking up to the fortress. Reach the top of the Amer Fort, stroll through the sprawling complex of courtyards and halls.
Elephants are decorated with traditional painted patterns and effortlessly transport visitors up the steep slope to the fort. The Amer Fort elephant ride is a fantastic experience.
Rajmandir (movie theatre)
Rajmandir Cinema, a famous movie theatre in Jaipur, is known for its large size as well as opulent and meringue interiors. This beautiful theatre was designed in a very artistic stylish modern way and gave the place very elegant and stunning look.
This meringue-shaped auditorium opened in 1976 and over the years has seen many movie premieres of Hindi films and has become a popular symbol of Jaipur. It was designed by architect W.M. Namjoshi in Art Deco style. Rajmandir is known for its large size as well as opulent and meringue interiors. The place looks more beautiful during the lighting in the nights.
Chokhi Dhani is a mock Rajasthani village in the south of Jaipur. There are a bevy of traditional entertainment - dancers, acrobats, snack stalls - and adventure-park-like activities. It's a great place to sample Rajasthani Cuisine at its best.
The Chokhi Dhani showcases the activities and performances which exhibit Rajasthani village folk culture. The thatch dwellings, a fragrance of wet mud and beautifully carved furniture gives a rustic look with cultural environment. It features beautiful machaans where artists perform folk dance and music show every evening. The biggest attraction though is the authentic Rajasthani cuisine served in a traditional way, seated on the floor with plates made from leaves and drinks served in clay glasses.
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Spend Time at Elefantastic
Spend time with elephants; feed them; paint them and learn more about these gentle giants from their Mahout.
First contact is always important! Make them feel comfortable by stroking and talking to them while looking into their eyes. The famous saying that love "love goes through the stomach"…well, elephants are no exception. Feeding is the easiest way to gain their trust.
Painting- Learn about the completely natural paint that is used to paint the thick elephant skin. Learn how to create a traditional painting on the elephants face.
A Ride: The elephant safaris last between 50-60 minutes. The elephant shall be fully decorated and painted on its face and front legs in keeping with the traditional elephant attire of our culture. The rider will also be in complete uniform with a traditional turban on his head.
Enjoy Vintage car ride in modern part of Jaipur, away from the clamour and the chaos of the Old City.
Drive past some of the notable landmarks of modern day Jaipur whilst cutting across wide roads, avenues and roundabouts. Enroute drive past the beautiful Birla Mandir. The joy ride ends at Narain Niwas and hosted by the Kanota family. What sets this royal house apart from the rest in Rajasthan is their culinary expertise which is widely acknowledged. All the cooking will be done under the supervision of the family members. The Kanota family even has their own Liqueur named "Chandra Haas" which they once upon a time brewed in their private distillery. Take this opportunity to participate in an interactive cooking session of 2 Kanota recipes with one of the members of the Kanota Family and sample the liqueur which was once exclusively for and by the Kanota family. This will be followed by dinner.
Amber - Beyond the Fort
This walk is a perfect accompaniment and antidote to any visit to the busy Fort and Palace complex.
This fascinating heritage walking tour rediscovers the treasures of the long forgotten ancient town of Amber, dotted with numerous historic temples and ancient structures.
Amer was a flourishing settlement as far back as 967 A.D, originally occupied by the Meena, a caste who claims their descent from the Matsya Avatar or the fish incarnation of Vishnu. Older than the famous Amber fort and palace complex the now sleepy town of Amber is rarely visited by tourist.
Evening Bazaar, Cuisine & Crafts of Old Jaipur
On this evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst observing local artisans in their workshops and sampling some of the regions culinary delights.
From its creation in 1727 the royal families and nobles of Jaipur patronised the craftsmen and artisans of the city. These traditions continue to this day and as a result modern day Jaipur is considered by many as the craft capital of India. Traditional methods are still used to produce many valuable and highly prized items. Using skills passed down through generations, artisans and master craftsmen can be seen in the areas of Ghat Darwaza and Vishveshwar ji.
On this fascinating evening walk mingle and talk with the locals whilst sampling some of the regions culinary delights; try pakoras, aloo tiki, samosa and sweets from some of the city's most popular street food vendors. Observe local artisans in their workshops; jewellers and silversmiths, gold and silver foil makers. The iconic Hawa Mahal also called the Palace of the Winds is the meeting point at which this two and a half hour walk begins.
Temples and Havelis of Old Jaipur
This is an exciting walking tour of Jaipur; a unique way to explore the living traditions of the city.
Experience the religious life of local communities by visiting colourful temples, interact with residents over tea and snacks in their home and discover some of the architectural wonders of this fascinating aspect of Jaipur. This walk has been carefully designed to offer a rewarding and enriching experience in the walled city of Jaipur. Enjoy this interactive experience to meet the residents and gain an insight into traditional ways of life.
Art & Antiquities Walk
This walk offers an interactive, innovative encounter with the trading communities of the old city.
One of the historic chowkries in the 18th century planned city of Jaipur, the block has an association with the Modis (trader communities) with its Havelis, Temples, public buildings and craft areas; a unique representation of the living heritage of the city.
This one & a half to two hours of walk provides an interactive, innovative encounter with the trading communities of the old city. With some story telling from the resident guides this walk reveals the life style, craft activities and historic buildings to small groups of interested and inquisitive clients.
Cooking lesson at the Dera Mandawa
A cooking demo with your host at Dera Mandawa and understand the intricacy of Rajasthani cuisine and later sharing a meal with them.
Come and discover the Dera Mandawa Homestay and their hosts, who are the best in welcoming people. The Dera Mandawa was built by Thakur Jait Singhji of Mandawa in the 19th century. In this unique place, the silence is broken only by the twittering of the birds. Get to know the owner of the place by sharing a homemade diner, made in a friendly atmosphere during a cooking demonstration.
Bagru Block Printing
This is a hands-on experience to create your own piece of art under a mentor and take it back as a memento of your travels from India.
Bagru is little town 30kms from Jaipur. Known for its unique art of Block Printing, Bagru has emerged as one of the industrial areas for textile printing in Rajasthan with over a 100 small & large scale factories. This is a hands-on experience to create your own piece of art under a mentor and take it back as a memento of your travels from India.
Morning walk in the Old City
A morning walk in the streets and alleys to experience how a city wakes up is not only essential to its understanding but also to what constitutes life and humanity itself.
During the morning, the first stirrings of activities occur as people begin to make their way to work, children go to school and stores open their doors. It is only in the morning when city's true identity comes to the fore, unburdened by the accumulations, struggles and strains which are present at daytime.
Such dream like scenes and sequences are the very stuff that defines a city. A morning walk in the streets and alleys to experience how a city wakes up is not only essential to its understanding but also to what constitutes life and humanity itself.