Sightseeing in Jaipur!

 

We are standing at one of the busiest intersections in Jaipur. Teeming with cars, rickshaws, bicycles, trucks and a myriad of tuk-tuks, we can only watch in amazement as the traffic inexplicably flows around the central island. Every now and again, a camel drawn cart saunters into the fray.
Welcome to Jaipur!

Jaipur’s magnificent Hawal Mahal is just down the road. Also known as the Palace of the Winds, we have just stood staring up into the latticed windows of this towering facade imagining what it was like for the ladies of the court who could only glimpse life on the street below through these windows.

Hawal Mahal in Jaipur

The facade of Hawal Mahal

 

Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is actually one of the best planned cities in India. Credit is due to Maharani Jai Singh ll who in the 1720’s began to build a new city. Different streets were allotted for different professions. Johari Bazaar is home to the city’s jewellers whilst Bapu and Nehru Bazaars sell saris, footwear and leather goods. Kishanpol Bazaar sells all things wooden and homewares can be found in Tripololia Bazaar. It all makes sense!

Behind us is Bangle Corner where armfuls of bracelets can be bought for a dollar!

Bracelets at Bangle Corner, Jaipur

Bracelets in every colour!

 

Leaving the chaos of our intersection behind, we head down Johari Bazaar, passing sari shops dotted amongst the jewellers.

Further along, a narrow laneway on the opposite side of the road leads to the local market. Even though it is very similar to the Udaipur markets with baskets of fresh vegetables covering the ground and animals and people roaming between them, we spend quite a while here!

Vegetable Market in Jaipur

Vegetable Market

 

Market after market beckon but we lose ourselves in the silver market and the flower market where we watch girls nimbly threading garlands of flowers that will be used for offerings.

Flower market in Jaipur

At the flower market

 

We have arranged to meet our driver after lunch at the excellent LMB Restaurant, located in the middle of Johari Bazaar. A shopping afternoon is planned. Apart from jewellery and semi precious stones, Jaipur is well know for its textiles and blue pottery. Shops such as Anokhi, Soma and Cottons appeal. For jewels, we head to MI Road and the famous Gem Palace. My favourite is Tholia’s Kuber a little further up the road towards Amrapali, another well known jewellery shop. The list is long. Everyone has their favourites including our driver!

 

Our first day in Jaipur had started with a visit to the Amber Fort. Amber was once the ancient capital. The fort, also called Amer Fort, is a superb example of Rajput architecture with its majestic ramparts rising up. The high entrance gate is made for our arrival by elephant. Best to be up early if this is your preferred mode of transport as the elephants are now only allowed to do a certain number of trips a day.

Amber Fort, Jaipur

Ramparts of the Amber Fort

 

Inside the Amber Fort, Jaipur

The elephants arrive in the inner courtyard

 

Ganesh Gate with it’s stunning painted facade leads us to the private quarters of the royal family.
Above are the latticed windows overlooking the main courtyard that provided a private view for the royal women.

Ganesh Gate in the Amber Fort, Jaipur

Ganesh Gate

 

Latticed windows above Ganesh Gate at the Amber Fort, jaipur

This was the only view the Royal women were allowed

 

Don’t miss Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal (also known as the Hall of Mirrors) and the Sukh Nivas or Hall of Pleasure. The Hall of Mirrors is quite stunning with its mirror covered walls and ceiling, mosaics and marble carvings.

Mirrored decorations and marble carvings in the Hall of Mirrors, Amber Fort, Jaipur

Mirrors and marble decorate the Hall of Mirrors

 

Hall of Mirrors, Amber Fort in Jaipur

Looking from the Hall of Pleasure over the garden into the Hall of Mirrors

 

 

The City Palace is next the next stop on our itinerary. The royal family still live here in the seven story Chandra Mahal, found in one corner of the complex. Other rooms have been converted into museums showcasing textiles, furniture , manuscripts and art.

The City Palace with Jantar Mantar in the background, Jaipur

The City Palace with Jantar Mantar in the background

 

It’s an easy walk around the corner to Jantar Mantar, the astrology park.
When I first came here as part of the obligatory Jaipur tour, I thought, ho hum…. but I ended up being absolutely fascinated by the way these ancient astrological instruments measure time with an amazing degree of accuracy.

Jantar Mantar astrology park in Jaipur

The astrology park

 

As we leave, photos of our morning elephant ride to Amber Fort are thrust in front of us.
So predictable is the day that we are easily found!

 

 

Stay
Samode Haveli 
Gangapole, Jaipur
Tel: 91 141 2632407
Samode Haveli 

 

Eat
Niros Restaurant
MI Road, Jaipur
Tel: +91 141 2374493
Niros Restaurant 

 

 

 

 

You may also like:

Faces of Rajasthan Faces of Rajasthan

Dhobi Ghat in Mumbai The Dhobi Ghats of Mumbai

Kumaon Village Walks Kumaon Village Walks

Romantic Udaipur Romantic Udaipur

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22 Responses to Sightseeing in Jaipur!

  1. jan March 6, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Flower threading! Love the photo. The buildings, the elephants, the markets. All wonderful.

    • atasteoftravel March 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Thanks Jan. Jaipur certainly has it all! It’s a great city to see and do so much in

  2. marina March 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Wonderful words and photos! Latticed windows, garlands, markets, palaces. What a mix of people and lifestyles. Incredible India really!

    • atasteoftravel March 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

      Thanks Marina. Incredible India is such an apt logo and Jaipur certainly reflects this as well. I just love the mix of colour, sights, sounds and smells. You can be busy or days here.

  3. Debra Kolkka March 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Amazing!

    • atasteoftravel March 7, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      It certainly lives up to the ‘Incredible India’ tag!

  4. Turkey's For Life March 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    These colours are just absolutely amazing. I love strong colours and it looks as though India isn’t shy about displaying them! 🙂
    Julia

    • atasteoftravel March 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      India is full of colour Julia, especially Rajasthan. It’s one of the things I love about the country as well as the food, the people and the incredible forts and palaces.

  5. Krista March 7, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Oh my word! What stunning photos. 🙂 I’m in awe. 🙂 I feel a surge of anger regarding the barricading of royal women behind that screen, but a deep breath and all is well again. 🙂 Thank you for sharing these beautiful glimpses of such an incredible place. 🙂

    • atasteoftravel March 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

      It’s a pleasure to share Krista! Jaipur is a fascinating place and none more so than the Amber Fort. It’s interesting how the royal women were kept behind their latticed windows but that was the way in those days. It was such a privileged life, I’m sure there were compensations!!

  6. jade March 8, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Wow- that flower market- amazing! the colors are so vibrant, gorgeous!

    • atasteoftravel March 9, 2012 at 7:10 am #

      The flower markets in India are incredible to wander through. The colours of not only the flowers but of Rajasthan in particular are stunning.
      It’s part of the reason I love India! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jade.

  7. Johanna March 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    As usual your photos blow me away. I visited Jaipur and Udaipur in 1983 when I was backpacking, and your photos reminded me of so many things I’d forgotten. My faded shots taken with old film are now sepia tinged and don’t bring back the quality of the light and the suggestion of the smells of India that your photos so readily conjure up. I’m Stumbling this one, and Pinning your door frame.

    • atasteoftravel March 13, 2012 at 12:41 am #

      Jaipur and Udaipur have probably not changed a lot-just bigger and more chaotic! Your faded shots sound beautiful.
      Thankyou for the stumble and pin!

  8. Tony July 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Great shots! Brings back the memories from 2006. Did you hike up to Amber Fort? I remember it being a bit of a slog up there lol.

    • [email protected] July 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      I’ve only walked up once Tony and that was enough….it certainly is a hike! On other occasions I have taken a jeep and the elephant. Think I’ll stick to the jeep as I get upset sometimes with the way the mahouts treat the elephants. Thanks for stopping by and commenting

  9. Becki Orth November 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    What a great read! And your photographs are really breathtaking. My fiancé and I cannot wait to visit India some day, hopefully sooner than later.

    • [email protected] November 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

      Thanks Becki.India is a fascinating country. Once you start visiting it gets under your skin and it’s hard not to keep going back! Rajasthan is one of my favourite areas and a great place for your first visit.

  10. Tash October 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Stunning photos! One of my favourite places in India! Your post reminds me of all those great sights, and puts me right back there – the noise! The smells. The heat! The magic!

    • Jenny Freedman October 19, 2013 at 12:14 am #

      Thanks Tash.Jaipur is fascinating isn’t it. I think I need to go back very soon!

  11. Sally - My Custard Pie February 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    Came across this post after my return from Jaipur so sadly couldn’t try out your restaurant recommendations. It’s certainly a vibrant and captivating place.

    • Jenny Freedman February 11, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

      I’m sure there’ll be another time Sally. India does that to you…it gets under your skin, making you want to return time and time again!

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