The Land of Royalty-
I grew up on a heavy dose of Charles Dickens literature, so one can very well relate my fascination for the royals. So when i got a chance to visit Jaipur, i jumped on the opportunity. Once you are in Jaipur you can feel the world of Royals, the forts, the palaces, the market all create a sense of nostalgia. I don't want to sound boring but before we start a trip to Jaipur, it is worth knowing, how and when this beautiful city was formed.
Jaipur, the largest city of Rajasthan was founded by Jai Singh II in 1727. The landscape of Jaipur takes your breath away, the city is not only well maintained but very clean. After the mad rush of Delhi NCR , Jaipur acted as a soothing balm. The city has a rich cultural heritage and an amazing architecture. Every spot in Jaipur has a story to narrate and one can see a sense of pride in common people, when they describe the city past. An ideal Jaipur tour should be of four days, in which 3 days can be spent exploring Jaipur and rest one day can be spend visiting Ajmer and Pushkar.
Few of the must see places in Jaipur are Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal etc. In forts one can see Amer Fort, Jai Garh fort, Nahargarh Fort, for these one can easily get a consolidated ticket of Rs 100. It is always advisable to go for consolidated ticket as it not only provides value for money but also saves lot of time.
Hawa Mahal is made of pink sandstone and is five storey tall. The legend behind Hawa Mahal says that the royalty built the mahal, so that the royal women folk can see the whole city from the Mahal without being observed by commoners. It was true fun peeping through the Jharokha, with a knowledge that you can watch everyone, without being watched. Does this sound something out of Sherlock Homes movie??
The next spot to be covered is City palace,very near to Hawa Mahal, almost walking distance. It is right in the centre of old city. This is palace where the royalty still lives, so half part of the palace is unapproachable. It has got Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal, also it contains museum. I would suggest to spend sometime over here, and see the beauty not only of architecture but also carvings on the door and walls.
Jantar Mantar is definitely an astronomical marvel. It was buid by Sawai Jai Singh II, who himself took keen interest in the movement of sun, moon and planets. It is the best preserved observatory. It contains the equipment’s used by the royalty to study the planetary positions. One can also view Hawa Mahal from here. The Samrat Yantra’s or in other words the giant sun dial, its shadow can easily tell the time of the day.
This fort is located 11 kms away from Jaipur and was originally build by Meena Rulers. The fort is located on the top of the hills.
A word of caution is that many travel packages will tell you that you can cover all the three forts in one day, but practically it is very difficult. No doubt that the forts are located very near to each other but covering one fort requires at least 3 hours and lot of stamina.
Months to visit-
The best time to visit Jaipur is from October to March, after that it is very hot.
Also would suggest doing good research before visiting any spot so that one knows bit of History about the place in advance. It would be good if one can hire a guide for Jantar Mantar and Amer fort.
In the evening one can visit Bapu Bazar, Nehru bazar for shopping. The streets are lively and well lit bazaars are filled with bright turbans and ethnic attire, hand-dyed and embroidered textiles, pretty jewellery and delicious food.
Amazing street food is present, do enjoy that. The food of Jaipur is yummy but it might be oily and too spicy for some.The food is not very expensive over here, one can eat a good meal in Rs 150/-