Top Jaipur Attractions and Places to Visit

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Top Jaipur Attractions and Places to Visit2018-06-26T12:58:10+00:00

India’s desert capital of Jaipur, affectionately referred to as the Pink City because of the pink walls and buildings of the old city, lures visitors with its stunning remnants of a bygone era. The most popular Jaipur attractions and places to visit are the ancient palaces and forts, with elaborate architecture that serves as a resplendent reminder of their royal heritage. Many can be seen on this do-it-yourself Walking Tour of Jaipur’s Old City.

Those who are feeling adventurous can also go on a hot air balloon safari in Jaipur. In addition, Experiences and Vedic Walks also offer excellent immersive tours beyond standard sightseeing. Or explore Jaipur differently on a Segway.

Amber Fort and Palace

Around half an hour’s drive from the city centre, like something out of a fairy tale, Amber Fort sits atop a hill overlooking Maota Lake. It was the home of Rajput rulers until Jaipur city was constructed, and contains a series of breath-taking palaces, halls, gardens, and temples. Inside, elaborate mirror work adds to the grandeur. The evening sound and light show, which brings alive the Fort’s history, is impressive. The Anokhi Museum of Block Printing near the fort is another attraction. Workshops are held there. Plan your trip with this complete guide to Amber Fort.

Location: North of Jaipur. Frequent buses depart from the Hawa Mahal to Amber Fort. Taxis are also available.

Entry Cost: 500 rupees for foreigners. 100 rupees for Indians. Night entry into the fort is 100 rupees per person.

Opening Hours: 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. during the day, and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at night. Note that elephant rides are only possible in the mornings until 11.30 a.m.

City Palace

Upon visiting the magnificent City Palace, it’s easy to see that the royal family of Jaipur was one of the richest in India. The palace’s huge complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings blends both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The royal family lives still live there, in the graceful Chandra Mahal. It’s possible to access the private rooms, with a personal guide, for an additional cost. Also, inside the City Palace complex is a museum, art gallery, and interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons. A new exhibit dedicated to paintings and photography was recently added, including old photos of the woman of the palace. In addition, note that it’s now possible to visit the City Palace at night and see an outstanding sound and light show.

Location: Chokri Shahad, Old City, Jaipur.

Entry Cost: There are various ticket options for the City Palace, depending on how much of you want to see.

Hawa Mahal

The intricate and fascinating facade of the Palace of the Winds is probably Jaipur’s most recognized building. Constructed in 1799, it has five floors that contain rows of small windows and screens. Wind used to flow through the openings, giving the palace its name. However, the wind has now gone from the Wind Palace as most of the windows have been sealed shut. Legend has it that the palace, which overlooks the main street of Jaipur’s lively Old City, was built so that the women of the royal household could watch the streets below without being observed. A panoramic view can be had from the top of the building.

Location: Next to the City Palace. Enter from the rear of the building.

Entry Cost: 200 rupees for foreigners. 50 rupees for Indians.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily.

Jantar Mantar Observatory

Jantar Mantar, built by King Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734, literally means “calculation instrument”. More than just a curious collection of sculptures, each structure at the intriguing Jantar Mantar observatory has a specialized astronomical function. There are 14 structures in total, which measure time, predict eclipses, and track stars. The most impressive one is the huge Samrat Yantra sundial. At a height of 90 feet (27 meters), it has a shadow that moves roughly the width of a person’s hand every minute. It’s a profound display of how quickly time does in fact go!

Location: Next to the City Palace, Jaipur.

Entry Cost: 200 rupees for foreigners. 50 rupees for Indians.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily.

Nahargarh Fort

Nahargarh Fort, also known as Tiger Fort, is perched high on the rugged Aravali Hills overlooking Jaipur city. The fort was built in 1734 to help defend the city. It found fame in 2006 after many scenes from the movie Rang De Basanti were filmed there. Nahargarh Fort offers spectacular views, which are best seen at sunset. Several new attractions recently opened there including a wax museum, sculpture park, and fine-dining restaurant. There’s also a government-owned cafe on the premises, which serves alcohol and snacks until 10 p.m. The fort looks particularly attractive at night when it’s lit up.

Location: Northwest of Jaipur city center. Get there by local bus, taxi, or a steep half hour trek directly up the hill.

Entry Cost: 200 rupees for foreigners. 50 rupees for Indians.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset, daily. Palace opens from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily.

Jaigarh Fort

Massive Jaigarh Fort was built in 1726 and holds great appeal for military lovers. Flanked by towering gateways and watchtowers, it contains the world’s largest cannon on wheels. The cannon has never been fired though, and neither has the fort been captured. As a result, the fort has remained intact over its long life, and is very well preserved. Infect, it’s one of the best-preserved military structures of medieval India. Jaigarh doesn’t have the delicate interiors of Amber Fort, and therefore appears as a real fortress. Climb the Dina Burj watchtower to get an excellent view over the plains.

Location: North of Jaipur, behind Amber Fort (within walking distance).

Entry Cost: 35 rupees for Indians and 85 rupees for foreigners.

Hours: 9 am to 4.30 p.m. daily.

Markets and Shopping

Jaipur is an excellent place to shop and you’ll find an enticing variety of goods available there. Some of the most popular items are precious gemstones, silver jewelry, bangles, clothes, blue pottery, and textiles. Here are some of the top places to go shopping in Jaipur. For a splash of fragrant color, don’t miss stopping by the wholesale flower market (pool mandi) just inside Chanda ki Taksal gate in the Old City. It’s on from 6 a.m. Head there on Saturday mornings to catch the adjacent Hatwara flea market, which is delightfully free of tourists.

Location: The main shopping area is M I Road. Johari Bazaar, in the Old City, is renowned for bangles, inexpensive costume jewelry, gold, and silver. Maniharon ka Rasta is an entire lane full of lac bangle makers.

Hours: Many shops are closed on Sundays.

Monkey Temple

Getting to this rather ruinous but holy Hindi temple, nestled in peaceful surroundings between two granite cliffs, is quite an adventure but it’s completely worth the effort. The temple is part of a larger temple complex, which also has three sacred pools of water. One of the pools has been taken over by thousands of monkeys that congregate there to swim and bathe. They’re generally friendly and love to be fed. Unfortunately, the area is not well maintained. Be prepared to encounter dirty and trash, as well as priests and pseudo holy men coercing people for money. These days, most of the crowd consists of tourists rather than locals.

Location: At the far eastern side of the city, outside Galta Pol, near Agra Road. To get there, take a rickshaw, walk up the hill to the white Sun Temple, then follow the steps downhill into the gorge.

Entry Cost: Free

Hours: Visit late afternoon, near sunset, when the monkeys flock to the temple.

Government Central (Albert Hall) Museum

This old and famous museum was modelled on the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, with a fusion of Islamic and Neo-Gothic architecture. It was established as a public museum in 1887. The collection includes portraits of local kings, costumes, woodcarvings, paintings, and arts and crafts. The museum is particularly notable for its Egyptian mummy, belonging to the Ptolemaic dynasty. Unfortunately, photography isn’t allowed. The museum is beautifully illuminated after dark and it opened for night viewing in 2015.

Location: Ram Nivas Bagh, south of the Old City, Jaipur. 

Entry Cost: 300 rupees for foreigners. 40 rupees for Indians. Museum @ Night tickets cost 100 rupees for foreigners and Indians.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. And 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for night viewing.

Museum of Legacies

Another brand-new museum in Jaipur, this one is India’s first museum especially for jewellery and jewelled objects. As its name suggests, it was founded by Amrapali, a renowned Indian luxury jewellery house favoured by Bollywood stars. All the exhibits in this remarkable museum are from the personal collection of the brand’s owners, which they’ve amassed over 40 years, from the time they started sourcing jewelry and opened their business. There are some very unusual items such as silver anklets for horses, a Parsi necklace with a hidden message, a holy water flask, bejeweled tooth cleaners, and ruby-studded back scratcher with concealing blades.

Location: K-14/B Ashok Road, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur. 

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Amrapali Museum

This new government museum, which was still in the process of being set up in early 2018, is dedicated to promoting the cultural heritage of Rajasthan. It’s housed in an atmospheric heritage building dating back to 1825, which once served as the Rajasthan School of Arts. There’s more than 10,000 square feet of exhibition space featuring previously unseen private collections of textiles, jewellery, stoneware and inlay work, paintings, pottery, photography.

Location: Kishanpole Bazaar, Modikhana, Jaipur.

Hours: Noon to 8 p.m., daily except Mondays (closed).

Elefantastic

Elefantastic offers an ethical opportunity to get up close and personal with some of India’s much-loved elephants for a day. An elephant sanctuary in an elephant care village, Elefantastic was formed in 2012 to promote the wellbeing of these giant creatures and show tourists that not all of them are mistreated. Before starting Elefantastic, Rahul (the founder) worked as an elephant rider for nine years. At Elefantastic, you’ll be able to wash, feed and water the elephants, learn about elephant decorating and have a painting class, and learn about the elephants’ medicines and treatments. Bareback rides are also possible. Many similar elephant parks have opened in the area but Elefantastic is the most reputable and popular one.

Location: 90 Chandra Mahal Colony, Delhi Road, Amer, Jaipur (near Amber Fort).

Cost: Foreigners can expect to pay 4,000-5,100 rupees per adult (discounts available for children), depending on the time of year.