We flew into Jaipur from Delhi via INDIGO, takes about 40 min by air.
Jaipur, is in the state of Rajasthan, the land of kings, truly encapsulates India as exotic, colourful, pompous & grand and a charm from the past era of Maharajas.
Jaipur, the pink city known for it's pink buildings that are essentially made from brick material. The great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II and his predecessors 1600-1700 moved from their hillside fort at Amber and laid out this pink city.
36 hours in Jaipur you will be able to experience the 500 years of living history for this cultural state of India. If you come in the morning, flying in from Dehli or wherever, the best itinerary would be to first discover ........
10:00am OLD CITY (PINK CITY)
or Palace of the Winds, constructed in 1799 is an example of Rajput artistry with its pink, intricately honeycombed 953 sandstone windows that was built to allow royal ladies to watch the everyday life and festival on the outside without being seen, since they have to obey the 'purdah' law, which forbids them from appearing in public without face coverings. There is a price difference for foreigners and locals, and if you were to visit most of the interesting sites in Jaipur I would surely suggest the COMBO TICKET.
Go up to the top to the Palace to take a breathtaking view of the city, peep through the windows and relive the life of the royal princesses in those days. After discovering the palace from the inside we took a break at the cafeterias which are directly opposite the Hawa Mahal to snap that insta worthy shot.
Have lunch at NIROS restaurant, Mirza Ismail Road, Jaipur! We tried some restaurants recommended by a very popular advisor on the web, and it sucked!! This one was recommended by a local. The food is truly Rajasthani and delicious and the waiters there know what they are talking about!
City Palace Complex (not included in the COMBO TICKET, and entrance for foreigners cost Rp600)
Jantar Mantar, astronomy park
Central Museum, Albert Hall in the Ram Niwase Public Gardens, this museum is very well curated with everything from around the world. I found the yoga clay figurines interesting and there is even a mummy in there!
Note: We were no history buffs and there was so much living history all around the town which we found more dynamic and interactive as compared to the century old artifacts they have on display! So, one museum was really enough for us!
We chose to stay at the Samode Haveli Palace Hotel, this 200 year old building was once home to the Prime Minister of Jaipur. There is an impressive dinning room, intricately printed and decorated lounge and and relaxing terrace at the gardens and also a pool to cool down from the city's heat and hustle and bustle!
Note: Traveling around Jaipur old town be it on foot, rickshaw, car is certainly not a stroll in the park. It is an assault to your senses, sight, sound, smell, touch and taste if you are willing to risk eating or drinking Jaipur street food. If you have too, always ask them if the water is filtered or from the mineral water bottle. Stay away from cut fruits and salad unless it is in a reputable restaurant. Take cooked food and better if it is warm.
There is always going to be the street children, street vendors that persistent salesman who will keep stalking you for that sale, just stay firm and tell them straight in their faces NO, cause if you don't they will just tail you persistently!
Amber Fort, about 11km north of Jaipur, this ancient capital was constructed in 1592 by Maharaja Man Sigh, build on a hillside overlooking a lake and town below! You can climb up the fort, hop on a JEEP or take the elephant! Either one, it take about 10 minutes.
You could hire a guide about Rp300 about 5 USD if you are interested in the deeper history of the area, and make sure he is licensed or he will be denied entry at the gates, make sure they present to you their license!
Step well, Panna Menna Ka Kund
In order to quench my curiosity for step wells, this was the most accessible and closest to Jaipur, otherwise the next closest would be in Abhaneri ( Chand Baori) 95km, away! This step well is rather small and deserted, although it is not far from the Amber fort but many tour guides skip this place. There was no entrance fee at the time of visit but we were not allowed to venture below the stairs.
Built in the 16th century, the boari's (step well) geometrical design is a combo of indian engineering and architectural beauty!
Basically a Banri is an ancient water storage tank or cistern were water can be collected through a flight of steps. In those days women folks will collect the water, and this place was a meeting spot for them to gather and chat. Unlike most step wells around the state, this is rather simple with 4 octagonal pavilions or Chhatris on all 4 corners, which are occupied by the guards who are constantly keeping a watch that you don't venture beyond the steps!
Spend some time here and absorb the scenery and imagine how it was during that era. The step well is also nicely surrounded with the Tiger Fort, Amber Fort and the ancient temple.
Nahagarh, Tiger Fort
This fort was build in 1734 and extended in 1868. An 8km road runs up through the hills and there is sweeping views of Jaipur, the Jal Mahal Palace (Water Palace) on the artificial lake. There is a restaurant at the top of this fort and also a cultural museum. The museum runs traditional puppet show, and I found that really interesting!
Take lunch here and admire the glorious views of the city and the mountains surrounding it!
There is also a step well here in the area of the fort, however the state of preservation is bad and it looks noting more than a huge water tank with some steps!
Jai Mahal, Water Palace
On the way back to Jaipur, you will surely pass by the Man Sagar Lake, where the Jai Mahal palace is situated. No visitor are allowed here so just admire it from the banks of the lake. Take a deep breath, take in all the calmness and serenity of the area because as you enter Jaipur again, all chaos will broke loose!
The area of Amer, Jaipur is truly amazing, so exotic, so full of birds, vouchers monkeys, goats and buffalos, Hindu revelers who are bare footed walking on the street, performing rituals up the fort, loud music everywhere, street children, tattoo artist on the road side, the constant honks of the cars, strange red chalk spit, garam masala in the air ........ it is simply bursting with activities!
I believe everyone should experience this life at least once, to feel it and see it in your own eyes! You will surely come home a different person!
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Time Visited: End September 2019