15 Things to do in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Jaipur, the Pink City of India is probably one of the most popular cities that hordes of travelers make a beeline to from all over the world. As the sun sets on the western horizon, shadows of impressive forts and magnificent palaces cast an ethereal spell of magic in Jaipur city. Jaipur is the gateway to the wild beauty of the Thar Desert and a city where the modern juxtaposes with the historical in a pleasing symphony of color and culture. Jaipur travel guides bring alive the beauty of the pink city in glossy terms, however, none of them are able to do justice to the actual experience of being there.
Jaipur which is the capital city of Rajasthan, a western state in India was our first destination and pit stop on our road trip across Rajasthan which covered a distance of 1,322 kilometers. Jaipur is indeed one of the must-visit cities in Rajasthan apart from the cities of Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Ajmer, and Pushkar. Jaipur weaves a different and unique magic of its own and is sure to enthrall visitors with its mind-boggling array of sights and experiences. The days we spent at Jaipur were some of the most satisfying and exciting as we got lost in the history and legends of forts and palaces, yielded to the tempting allure of Rajasthani cuisine, and swayed to the hypnotic beats of Rajasthani culture. Here we have curated for you the top 15 things to do in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Read on to see what are the best things to do in Jaipur. We hope you enjoy the Jaipur itinerary of our Rajasthan road trip as we revel in the fun things to do in Jaipur.
Step into the myriad maze of history at Amer Fort
One of the first things to do in Jaipur for most travelers is to set off on an exploratory journey into history along the cobbled pathways at the historic Amer Fort. The fort encloses within its fold a palace where the King, Queen, and his retinue stayed as well as a mini town. As you walk into the ramparts of Amer Fort, you step into a fascinating world that is sure to give your imagination wings. The Palace inside the Amer Fort is designed on four levels and includes Diwan-i-Aam or the hall where the King used to listen to the issues and complaints of the common people, the Diwan-i-Khas which was a hall where the privileged could get a private audience with the King, the Sheesh Mahal or Palace of Mirrors where the King and Queen could grab some romantic moments, and Sukh Niwas where the royalty could spend time in the cool environs of rooms away from the sweltering heat owing to an ingenious system that can be called as the precursor of air-conditioning. Indeed the Amer Fort is one of the best places to visit in Jaipur.
Take your imagination to dizzying heights at Hawa Mahal
An intricate and exquisite façade apparently designed and given shape lovingly, the Hawa Mahal soars to the sky from the side of a busy street where vehicles and pedestrians jostle with each other. The Hawa Mahal is an extension of a Palace and was meant to give an opportunity to the womenfolk of the Royal family to watch the goings on in the street discreetly through latticed windows that also served as a conduit for fresh and cool air. The façade is a pleasing structure of octagonal bays with 953 niches with beautifully carved Jharokhas or balconies. As you crane your neck upwards to get a full view of the Hawa Mahal, you can almost feel the din of the traffic slowly fading away to be replaced by the mellifluous sounds of musical instruments and the rhythmic dance moves of performers as you are transported back in time. You can almost glimpse the beautifully dressed royal womenfolk chatting and laughing behind the façade. The beauty of Hawa Mahal makes it the epicenter of Jaipur points of interest.
Experience the feel of royalty at City Palace
One can sense the Royal aura of the Kings of Rajasthan as soon as you enter the precincts of the City Palace in Jaipur. A visit to the City Palace, Jaipur is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Jaipur. The City Palace is guaranteed to leave one stupefied with its opulence and grandeur. The majestic array of buildings, gardens, and courtyards are designed to impress. When at the City Palace the sights one should not miss are the Chandra Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple, Museum, and Maharani’s Palace.
Marvel at the intricacies of Time at the Jantar Mantar
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Jantar Mantar was a fascination for us and ranked high in our own list of things to do in Jaipur. Completed in 1734 CE, the Jantar Mantar stands as a silent ode to the ingenuity and knowledge of Astronomy of the people of those times. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur has the largest Sundial in the World. Jantar Mantar houses instruments built of stone and brass that facilitate the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye.
Take a thrilling walk in an underground tunnel to Jaigarh Fort
The Amer Fort has many secrets hidden in its labyrinthine folds, some known and some unknown. One of the secrets that are no longer a secret is an underground passage. The passage connects Amer Fort to Jaigarh Fort and was supposedly an exit plan for the Royal family in case of the Amer Fort being attacked and falling to invaders. As you walk the dimly lit path that stretches 2 kilometers to Jaigarh Fort, your own shadows are sure to play tricks on your mind and you may even hear the frenzied footsteps of the royal family retreating from invading forces. The walk to Jaigarh Fort is definitely one of the most exciting off-beat things to do in Jaipur.
Be Mesmerized by the beauty of Jaigarh Fort
The Jaigarh Fort was built in 1726 with the express purpose of protecting the Amer Fort and the palace within. The Jaigarh Fort is built along the lines of Amer Fort and houses beautiful gardens, courtyards, gates, and palaces, and temples. The Palaces consist of Lalit Mandir, Laxmi Vilas, Aram Mandir, and Vilas Mandir. In addition, the Jaigarh Fort also has a museum and armory.
Feast your eyes on the enchanting beauty of the Jal Mahal
An ethereal-looking structure pleasing to the eye seems to be floating serenely in the middle of Lake Man Sagar with hills rising in the background. That is Jal Mahal a beautiful sight to behold and one of the most pleasing things to do in Jaipur. One can only view the beautiful Jal Mahal or Water Palace from the shore. Though the spectacle of the Jal Mahal is grand what is more intriguing is the fact that the structure is five-storied and four storeys lie submerged in the water, a truly unique feat of engineering as the water does not flow into the palace which has remained strong for over 250 years. The surreal beauty of the Jal Mahal makes it one of the must-see attractions in Jaipur.
Get an eagle’s eye view of Jaipur from the Nahargarh Fort
A Fort that overlooks the city of Jaipur and one whose construction itself was obstructed by the scheming of the spirit of a dead man named Nahar Singh Bhomia. The construction of the fort was completed only after the spirit was pacified by building a temple. This is an intriguing myth that envelops the Nahargarh Fort. Also, the views of the city from the fort are breathtaking and makes it a must see in Jaipur.
Get entranced by the divine beauty of Birla Mandir
A beautiful structure in white marble located at the base of the Moti Dungari hill in Jaipur, the Birla Mandir is a beautiful paean in marble. A place that stands like an oasis of serene calm amidst the hustle and bustle of a beautiful city. After a hectic and busy day, the Birla Mandir visit will prove to be one of the most relaxing things to do in Jaipur.
Catch the latest Bollywood flick in vintage style at Raj Mandir
Watching a movie in a theatre may be passé, but watching a movie at the Raj Mandir in Jaipur is an experience not to miss. The opulent theatre designed in a unique style and so representative of the spirit of Jaipur is a must visit attraction. Rajmandir is one of Jaipur’s tourist places which promises a complete entertainment package.
Stroll through a 275-year-old royal garden at Kanak Vrindavan
On your way to Amer Fort, on the right-hand side stands Kanak Vrindavan, a garden that is styled in the form of Vrindavan, the place where Lord Krishna is supposed to have performed Maha Raas. The Garden consists of a temple and many fountains along with intricately carved marble structures. The place is a visual delight and has featured in many Bollywood films. The sheer serenity and calm of Kanak Vrindavan render it one of the best places to visit in Jaipur.
Let loose your shopping streak at Bapu Bazaar
As you step into the old walled city of Jaipur, you seem to have literally crossed the threshold of time as you gaze at the quaint buildings and are enveloped in a halo of pink. The Pink city comes alive with all its old world charm in the lanes and by-lanes of the walled city. Any traveler worth their salt would not even think of not doing one of the most enjoyable things to do in Jaipur, shopping! Bapu Bazaar nestled in the walled city is a paradise for shopping. Bapu Bazaar has everything from dresses with typically Rajasthani motifs and patterns, to bedsheets and pillow covers, traditional Rajasthani footwear which includes the famous Rajasthani Mojris. Shopping in Jaipur is indeed an indulgence for one’s material impulses.
Pamper the foodie in you with the tempting repertoire of Rajasthani Cuisine at Lakshmi Mishtan Bhandar and Rawat Mishtan Bhandar
The Rajasthani cuisine is unique and brings alive the aromas and flavors of the desert. Authentic Rajasthani food holds the promise of a blissful experience with its subtle as well as covert flavors. If you are in Rajasthan and do not taste the richness of its cuisine, it is definitely a case of mission unaccomplished! There are many eateries in and around Jaipur that will cater to your adventurous palate but one of the things to do in Jaipur that we strongly recommend is eating at either Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar or Rawat Mishtan Bhandar or both. Savour the succulent Kachoris from Rawat Misthan Bhandar, which are Indian snacks popular across the country. Ghewar, a disc-shaped sweet cake soaked in sugar syrup is one of the specialties of Jaipur and is irresistible. One can also indulge in a multi-course meal at Lakshmi Mishtan Bhandar which is sure to leave you asking for more. A food crawl in the lanes of Jaipur is one of the most satiating activities in Jaipur.
Peep through the window of history at Albert Hall Museum
Museums are windows to history, culture, arts, science, and so much more. They bring alive stories and information in vivid detail. The Albert Hall Museum is the State Museum of Rajasthan, it showcases the art of Jaipur in the form of carpets, sculptures in stone, ivory, and marble as well as paintings. The building itself is impressive and a wonderful example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. On earlier visits, we had skipped this attraction but having seen it in many Jaipur photos, we wanted to visit the place and were really glad that we did not give it a miss. Make sure to visit the Albert Hall Museum as it may not feature in your typical Jaipur Package.
Be swept away by the magic of Rajasthani Folk Dance
The folk dances and songs of Rajasthan are known for their vibrancy and rhythm, they bring alive in spectacular fashion tales of war and valor, ballads of love, devotion to Gods and Goddesses. There are various Dance forms that bring alive the captivating magic of Rajasthan. One of the most popular and famous is a dance called Ghoomar in which women wearing billowing and colorful skirts twirl in mesmerizing fashion to the music. The grace of the women, the swirling dresses, and the hypnotic music are enough to cast a spell. The folk dances of Rajasthan can be enjoyed at various places in Jaipur including Amer Fort. Experiencing the colorful and visual treat of Rajasthani folk dance is one of the top things to do in Jaipur. A dance performance, however, may not be something that you will easily find in your typical Jaipur City Guide, however, a little bit of research and inquiry will pay rich dividends.
These are some of the activities and things to do in Jaipur, but this in no way is an exhaustive list. The possibilities are endless when you are in Jaipur, Rajasthan. One needs to open up all the senses to really savor each moment to the full and take back sweet memories.
It was soon time for us to leave Jaipur and Rajasthan and head southwards, from the deserts to the lush green hills of Ooty for our next adventure which was awaiting us at Sterling Resorts.
Have you visited Jaipur? If not you should and if possible stay in one of those heritage and palatial Jaipur hotels. Do share with us your experiences at the Pink city.
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