Jaipur

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Jaipur, (also known as the Pink City), is the capital of Rajasthan in India.

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Points of Interest in Jaipur

Tickets

It's possible to see the ticket price for each point of interest in the Rajasthan Tourist Government Office website [4]

Composite Tickets

Amber Fort, Jantar-Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Albert Hall (Central Museum), Nahargarh Fort 5-monument 2-day Composite Ticket for sale at any ticket booth costs ₹ 50/30 Indian/student and ₹ 300/150 foreigner/student.

City Palace and Jaigarh Fort also share a 1-week ticket for ₹ 300.

Forts

  • Amber Fort (11 km North of central Jaipur, local bus #5 from Hawa Mahal or New Gate),  +91 14 1253 0293. 08:00-17:30. This massive fort-palace complex built in hybrid Hindu-Muslim style dates back to Raja Man Singh and was the royal palace of the Kachwahas from c. 1600-1727. The name has nothing to do with the rather pretty pastel yellow colour; instead, the fort is named after the town of Amber, in turn named after the goddess Amba. The main sights within the fort include the Sheesh Mahal, adorned with thousands on thousands of mirror tiles on the walls and ceiling. The fort/palace grounds are sprawling and the information panels (hindi/english) are somewhat limited, so it might be worth getting an audio guide or a real guide. It's a bit of a hike up from the town, and the touristy thing to do is to hitch an elephant ride to the top (in order to get an elephant it is better to to arrive there in the morning, otherwise at midday the elephants are over. But the road that elephants pass is not so long). The elephant riding costs 900 (fixed government price) as of July 5th 2011. The real guide will cost about ₹ 70-100 and will also take you to the Rajasthan Kala Mandir (a government operated shop) to buy souvenirs. The guide gets a 2% commission on the items you buy. Also see the Amber Light Show below. ₹ 25/10 for Indian/student and ₹ 200/100 for foreigner/student. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera free. Audioguides ₹ 150.
  • Jaigarh Fort (A 1 km walk uphill from Amber Fort, or ₹ 100/200 for motorbike/auto-rickshaw),  +91 14 1267 1848. 09:00-16:30. Never conquered in battle, this was considered the strongest of the three forts in the area. It is best known as the site of the world's largest cannon, the Jaivana, which was test-fired only once — according to legend, despite using only the half the design amount of gunpowder, the cannonball flew 35 km! A better reason to visit the fort, though, are the scenic gardens at the other end and the spectacular views over the Amber Fort and the hills around. The remains of the foundry where the Jaivana (and many more) were cast are also in the fort grounds. Please note, there are multiple board with "no tips allowed" if you have someone bothering you. ₹ 35/85 for Indian/foreigner. Included with the 1-week City Palace ticket. Camera ₹ 50 (note: if you do not disclose that you have a camera and later the police/their person sees you talking a photo (e.g. with your mobile) they may ask you to show your ticket, and if you don't have one, will either ask you to buy the ₹ 50 ticket or penalize you). Video ₹ 200. Automobile ₹ 50.
  • Nahargarh Fort +91 14 1518 2957. The smallest of the three forts, notable primarily for excellent views over Man Sagar lake and the vast sprawl of Jaipur. Built in 1734 by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in a mix of Indian and European styles, the fort also houses the (relatively) compact Madhavendra Bhawan palace, although its former splendour is fading fast under a new layer of graffiti and pigeon droppings. Portions of the movie Rang De Basanti were shot at this fort. To go the area where the "Pathshala" song was shot, take a left turn as soon as you enter the fort. An autorickshaw can be taken from the autorickshaw stand in front of the Amber fort and a round trip will cost about ₹ 250. ₹ 10 entry. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. ₹ 35 for Madhavendra Bhawan. Automobile ₹ 10.

Palaces

  • City Palace (Inside the old city, close to New Gate and Hawa Mahal). An imposing blend of traditional Rajput and Mughal architecture. It is a vast palace complex occupying nearly one-seventh of the Pink City. It was originally built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. The complex is divided into a series of courtyards, sprawling gardens and buildings. It is home to several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, (home to present Maharajah of Jaipur), Mubarak Mahal (housing a textile museum), Diwan-e-Khas (or Hall of Private audience housing the two largest silver vessels in the world, which are duly mentioned in the Guinness book), the Diwan-e-Aam ( or Hall of Public Audience) and the gateway Ridhi Sidhi Pol (with four small doorways decorated with motifs depicting the four seasons). Be warned that although they sell tickets for taking photos with a camera inside, most exhibits inside have a "no photography" sign. ₹ 300, which includes also a 1-week entrance to Jaigarh Fort.
  • Jal Mahal (Water Palace) (On the way to Sisodia Rani Garden). A Rajput style architectured palace sits in the center of the Maan-sarovar lake. The lake is often dry in the winter, but summer monsoons frequently turn it into a beautiful lake filled with water hyacinths. Free on the 18th of May, as well as the Observatory and wind palace.

Temples

  • Govind Devji Temple - For Vaishnavites, particularly followers of Lord Krishna, this is the most important temple in the world after Vrindavan. Lord Krishna presiding in the temple were brought to Jaipur from Vrindavan during Mughal rein. According to popular legend, Lord Krishna's idol in the temple looks exactly like Krishna's form while his incarnation of Earth. It is located at Jainiwas Gardens, Jalebi Chowk, in the same campus as City Palace.
  • Moti Doongari temple is located in the center of Jaipur city. This Temple is the main center of religion for Jaipur people. Moti Dungri is basically a small hill, which means Pearl Hill. There is a Temple and a Palace on this hill. Moti Dungri temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and it is said that at the time of building this city, this temple was constructed first to protect the city.
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple (aka The Marble Temple) (Birla Temple) (below the well known Moti Dungri fort). is a relatively new temple made of white marble with beautiful carvings. It covers a vast area in Jaipur city and is built in a contemporary manner. Birla Temple is completely constructed with finest high quality white marbles.
  • Akshardham Temple (at Vaishali Nagar)
  • Jain Mandir (Shivdas Pura) 15-16 km from Jaipur, is a Jain temple in Shivdaspura and is well known as “Bara Padampura”. This temple comes under district Jaipur. Temple is a unique place of miracles and is famous in north India for its very beautiful statue of God Padamprabhu (The 6th Teerthankar for Jain’s). God is sitting in a crossed leg seating posture. Height of the statue is 2 ft 4" and statue is made of pure white stone. Statue was appeared while digging for foundation of a house.
  • Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site situated 10 km from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra highway near Sisodia Rani Garden. The main temple here is the temple of Galtaji, constructed in pink stone. The temple has a number of pavilions with rounded roofs, exquisitely carved pillars and painted walls. The temple is surrounded by natural springs and reservoirs that are considered holy. There are also seven tanks or kunds here.
  • Galwh Bagh (aka The Monkey Temple) and Suriya Mandir (aka The Sun Temple) are located on the Eastern edge of the city. Both locals and tourists come here to feed the surprisingly tame monkeys, use the temples, and enjoy the views. You can climb to the top of the hill and then down into the valley to see the Monkey Temple, all the while enjoying the company of countless monkeys, goats, and other animals. At the top of the hill, you turn right to reach the Sun Temple for one of the best views of the city, especially at sunset. Monkey food is available for purchase at the bottom of the hill. The Temples are free, but local religious people may ask for donations (optional) and there is a ₹ 50 charge for using a camera.

Monuments

  • Jantar Mantar (very close to the City Palace.),  +91-141-261-0494. 9:00 a.m-4:30 p.m.. This UNESCO world heritage site is the largest of five astronomical observatories build by Maharaja Jai Singh during the period 1727-1734 in north India. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices (or yantras in Hindi) for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets and determining the celestial altitudes etc. There is signage providing elaborate explanations for the use of each device, and guides can be hired to provide much the same information in a more digestible format. The audio guide at the observatory isn't great and doesn't tell you very much more information than the already existant signage. The observatory, the water and the wind palace are free on the 18th of May. ₹20 for Indians, ₹200 for foreigners.
  • Hawa Mahal (Palace of Breeze). Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Singh as part of City Palace. It was an extension of the Zenana (women) chamber. It's purpose was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. It is a five storey high red sandstone structure complete with over 950 windows. The breeze (or hawa in Hindi) circulates through these windows giving the palace its name. Free on May 18th. The iconic facade is best seen from the street, which is free. ₹ 50. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera free.
  • Gaitore (Gatore) (In the walled city area named Brahmpuri, the foothills of Nahargarh Fort). This is a royal cremation site of the royal rulers of jaipur.
  • Iswari Minar Swarga Sal, Chandpol Bazaar near City Palace (Look for the big tall tower near Tripolia Gate. The entrance is not from the main street, but is around the back of the shops. You can get there from the alley that’s 50m west of the minaret along Chandpol Bazaar, there's also an entrance near the City Palace, which is 50m west of Tripolia Gate and 200m east of the minaret.). There is an alternative to the minor that's open 24/7. Just across the other side of the road (Chandpol Bazaar) from the minaret is a shopping complex with stairs up to a rooftop area where you can get basically the same view as from the minar. To get there, go through the arched gateway almost opposite the minar, then as soon as you get to the courtyard, look to the left for a metal spiral staircase and keep climbing until you reach the roof, walk around the corder to the next set of stair and go up another floor until you know you can't go any higher. Indian/foreigner ₹5/10, camera/video ₹10/20.

Gardens

  • Ram Niwas Garden - Located at the exact center of the city, Ram Niwas Garden was built in year 1868 by Maharaja Sawai Ram singh of Jaipur.
  • Zoological Garden - It is located in the serene environment of Ram Niwas Bagh and the garden boasts about its rich flora and fauna.
  • Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden - It is established by Sawai Jai Singh for his queen Sisodia which is one of the oldest Kingdoms of India.
  • Vidyadhar Garden - The garden is real treat for those who want to see fusion of Mughal and Hindu culture.

Museums

  • Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing (Kheri Gate, Amber),  +91 141 2530226. A beautiful clean museum dedicated to the traditional art of hand block printing textiles, this museum is housed in a recently restored heritage haveli tucked into the back streets of old Amber. Small cafe, clean toilets, small shop, friendly staff & a printer & block carver demonstrating their crafts every day.
  • Central Museum (Albert Hall). Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket.

Activities and entertainment

  • Visit the bazaar in the city centre. An evening visit is a complete assault on the senses - the colours, the sights, the sounds and the smells. There are different specialist zones, whether it's food, flowers, textiles, carved statues or plumbing. While you should always be wary, be sure not to completely close yourself out to the locals as one of the highlights of Rajasthan is the chance to interact with the friendly people. It is not uncommon to be invited to homes for dinner, parties, and even weddings as many middle class young people are curious of foreigners and genuinely very hospitable as is the open culture of the region (which you will not find in Delhi/Agra). Be sure to spend time time sharing masala chai and chatting with some of the gen Y of Rajasthan.
  • Amber Fort Sound and Light Show, Lower Amber Fort,  +91 14 1270 9162, e-mail: sel.amber@ids.co.in. 7 PM - 8 PM. Experience the history, culture and life of Amber through this spectacular show. Amitabh Bachhan narrates the story of Rajasthani kings with a script written by Gulzar. Don't forget the mosquito repellent. The light show can be watched from outside the fort, but the sound won't be audible from there. ₹ 100.
  • Raj Mandir Theatre. An experience in itself, and another "don't miss". Once known as the best movie theater in India, and still the best in Rajasthan, it offers an overwhelming experience. From the pushing, shoving, and general chaos in the ticket line, to an audience that laughs, cries, cheers, claps, and consistently talks through the entire film, the Raj Mandir provides an insight into Rajasthani culture. The movies themselves are always interesting; Masala movies are action, drama, mystery, suspense, and epics all wrapped into one single movie, teeming with dances and obligatory wet sari scenes, and unabashedly lifting generous amounts of plot devices from Western movies. The theater-goers are very friendly and genuinely curious about overseas visitors who come to the Raj. Expect to answer many questions about country of origin and movie likes and dislikes, as well as take photos of theater-goers themselves with their mobile phones. Don't be put off by "House Full" notices at the entrance. The box office opens again a nominal 45 minutes before the next performance, and there are usually tickets available. Box seats at ₹ 120 go first, so its worth going early to avoid disappointment. Shows at 6:30PM and 9:30PM. A great place to meet locals, with the nearby McDonald's as a central congregation spot.
  • Nad Sadhna [nadsadhna.com]. Provides a platform to learn Indian Music (Vocal, Instrumental and Dance) from an experienced musician.
  • B.M. Birla Auditorium and Convention Centre is located at the heart of Jaipur. This auditorium is spread over 9.8 acre, that includes a computer centre, interactive science museum, an information processing centre, library, a processing planetarium, eight research division, a dissemination cell and an auditorium. Auditorium has the capacity of 1350 people to seat and it is among the largest auditoriums of India. This auditorium is built up to international conference standards.

Other

  • Statue circle
  • Ramgarh

Amber Palace

City Palace

Jantar Mantar

Hawa Mahal

Amber Fort

Johri Bazaar

Jal Mahal

Nahargarh Fort

Birla Temple

Central Museum

Bapu Bazaar

Gaitor

Sawai Mansingh Stadium

Samode Palace

Museum of Indology

World Trade Park

Ganesh Temple

Galta-Monkey Palace

Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden

Bhawani Niketan Girls College

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Popular events in Jaipur in the near future

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About Jaipur

History

Jaipur gets its name from its founder Maharaja JaiSingh II (1693-1744) the great warrior and astronomer. He came to power at the age of 11 on the death of his father Maharaja Bishan Singh. Jai Singh’s lineage can be traced back to the Kucchwaha Rajput, clan who came to power in the 12th century. They were long-term rivals to the Sisodia Rajputs who ruled from Mewar. This rivalry led them to ally with the Mughals, and this alliance resulted in them eventually gaining a pre-eminent position in Rajasthan.

Ruling from the magnificent Amber Fort which they built, the might of the Kucchwahas encompassed the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur) and Marwar (Jodhpur). After Jai Singh came to power, there was moment of disquiet when he supported Aurangzeb’s son Azam Shah’s bid to the throne. Azam Shah lost the battle of succession to his brother Bahadur Shah, who demanded Jai Singh’s removal and the installation of Vijay Singh to the throne of Jaipur. Jai Singh, not one to take setbacks lying down, formed a formidable front against the Mughals by aligning himself with other Rajput states and reinstated himself.

After the dust had settled, peace reigned and the kingdom prospered and its borders expanded. Jai Singh built the city around the Amber fort to serve as his capital, and the city was named Jaipur, after himself. Much of the credit for Jaipur goes to Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, the chief architect from Bengal who, with Jai Singh’s approval, founded the city on strong scientific principles, laid out according to the Shilpa Shastra, the ancient architectural manual. It remains one of India’s best planned cities.However, expansion meant that the limited sources of water proved inadequate for the city.

After Jai Singh’s death in 1744, his sons squabbled for power and without a monarch, the kingdom became open to invasion and neighboring Rajput states and the Marathas usurped large areas of kingdom. The core, however, remained part of the kingdom, which lasted during British times. As with the Mughals, Jaipur maintained good relations with the British and during the war of independence in 1857 remained loyal to the Raj. Yet, the British gradually began to undermine the independence of the state and exercised greater control over the administration.

In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh painted the entire city pink, traditionally a colour associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to the city. The tradition has been maintained and today all residents in the old city are compelled by law to preserve the pink colour. Jaipur got the sobriquet of pink city.

Maharaja Ram Singh also built the Ramgarh Lake to supply water to the burgeoning city. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the city’s population spread beyond its walls. In 1922, Man Singh II ascended to the throne and it was during his reign that civic buildings like the secretariat, schools, hospitals and other public buildings were built. After independence, Jaipur merged with the states of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner to form the state of Rajasthan. In 1956, Jaipur became the capital of the state of Rajasthan.

Activities

  • Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing. It is a very small textile museum especially dedicated to ancient craft of block printing. The museum features some unique displays, friendly staff, museum shops and café which serve organic coffee.
  • Food Tour in Jaipur, e-mail: info@jaipurfoodtour.com. A culinary tour of Jaipur city which helps you explore the authentic Rajasthani cuisine in a fun and interesting way
  • Chokhi Dhani. Located around 15km from Jaipur, it is kind of a virtual village which offers magical evening. Just wander through gardens and have a Rajasthani thali in glimmering lamps as well as dine.
  • Rickshaw and Elephant ride. You might have enjoyed speed but have you ever experienced new things while moving in slow motion. Feel it by having Rickshaw or elephant ride while in Jaipur.
  • Heritage Walking Tour of Jaipur (Heritage Walks by Vedic Walks), Jaipur (Old City of Jaipur),  +91-141-2370345, e-mail: vedic.walks@gmail.com. 9AM-11:30AM OR 4PM-6:30PM. Jaipur is one of the Ancient cities of India & the old City of Jaipur is confined in few Kms. The best way to experience & get close with the local traditions & Culture, a walking tour of old City is the best source. Entering the small lanes of Jaipur, meeting the vocation & Artisans of Jaipur, enjoy a hit cup of tea with a local family over chit chat & walk through the market of colourful bridal wear shops. INR 1350 Per person.
  • Day out with Elephants (Volunteering at Elephant Village), Jaipur,  +91-141-2370345, e-mail: info@activeinternationals.org. 2PM-6PM. A day out at Elephant village is a very new & an offbeat possible activity to do in Jaipur. Jaipur is only place in the North region of India where Elephant are pet animals. Jaipur has always been popular for Elephant ride at Amber Fort. However, a group of social workers understood the need for care & love these Elephants need & started this project of Elephant Village. You will not only get to care the Elephants but can also paint the Elephants, Cook for for them, Scrub them in the the water & most of all engage with the local Elephant keeper community to know more about this beautiful Amiman INR 1200 Per person.

Food

  • Chokhi Dhani, Two excellent places to enjoy Rajasthani food served in the traditional mode. Chokhi Dhani a.k.a Lalten Restaurant is a more popular place because of being on the main road near the airport and excellent to do things like horse riding, camel riding, maze, boating, kathputli (puppet) show. Opens at 6PM, and be sure to get here early as many of the sites are difficult to see when it gets dark; 30 min rickshaw ride from Central Jaipur. ₹ 400 per person entry.Nice place to visit but avoid going there during rainy season.
  • Ambrosia, KJ city tower, Ashok Marg, C Scheme (right next to ahimsa circle),  +91 141 3153900. lipsmacking food serving varied cuisines such as lebanese, italian, indian, continental, mexican and chinese located in the heart of the city atop a 100 feet high building providing a breathtaking view of the city.
  • Apno Gaon. Vegetarian food, including fresh vegetables and fruits. Slightly away from the main city one has to go in for a bumpy ride to reach there. Cost is ₹ 350 per person.
  • Natraj, MI Rd. Vegetarian, specialty is the Rajasthani Thali. The main courses are ₹ 90-175 and some thalis a bit more. Credit cards are accepted and they do not serve alcohol.
  • Loharu House, this is the house of a Royal Family in Civil Lines. You can call in advance and request a special dinner. ☎ +91 141 222 5251, +91 141 222 5945
  • Rawat Mishthan Bhandar. Do not miss the famous Pyaz ki Kachori (a spicy onion dish). Situated at Polo Victory cinema and very close to both railway station and the bus stand this is a famous age old kachori hangout
  • Anokhi cafe, 2 Tilak Marg, C-Scheme. Organic home-baked cakes & freshly prepared sandwiches, pastries, savoury snacks plus organic coffee and a selection of good teas. Quiet, relaxing, good value for money &amp situated outside the Anokhi shop,. The shop is great for truly ethical hand printed contemporary & wearable clothes & textiles.
  • Gangaur sweets, bagadiya bhavan market. Sweets for chamcham, also baked sweets and crispy samosas.
  • Niros. Located on MI Rd, Niros is a 60 year old restaurant serving mostly Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes. Expect to spend ₹ 500+ on a meal for two.
  • Jal Mahal. A popular ice-cream parlor located on MI Rd, (near Paanch Batti). An assortment of ice cream shakes, and some very indigenous ice cream flavors. Excellent after a hearty meal at one of the MI Rd restaurants.
  • LMB, 100 Johari Bazaar. Good mid range north Indian restaurant. ₹ 110 for a vegetable curry and ₹ 13 for a roti. Thali, ₹ 360+VAT (big). The restaurant sells good sweets and chat (Indian sweet and savory snacks).

Drinks

Bars & Pubs

  • Hennry’s – The Pub, Park Prime Hotel, Prithviraj road, Near Statue Circle.
  • Hightz, Hotel Man Singh, Sansar Chandra Road.
  • Waves, Hotel Maharani Palace, Station Road.
  • Drop Zone Lounge Bar, 14/82 & 83, Niti Nagar, Opposite Capt Amit Bhardwaj Petrol Pump, Malviya Nagar,  +91 141 2723594, 0141 3155220. 11 AM to 11 PM. Approx ₹ 600 for two (without alcohol), VAT extra.

Shopping

Just remember that nothing comes 'fixed price' in Jaipur, even in the self advertised Govt. (RTDC) approved shops & emporiums.There are a few RTDC approved shops along "Amer road" claiming to be Government owned and FIXED PRICE - but are overpriced by as much as three times, beware. Almost everything, from food to transportation to handicrafts, even accomodation can be bargained down up to a 60% discount on the quoted price. The lowest rates will be found in the bazaars - Bapu & Johari. Even here, keep inquiring in several shops - each one will have a different price for the same item. Don't be ashamed to spend an hour or more in each shop with the friendly shopowners sharing stories over masala chai as you look at their goods. While they are doing their best to run a business, do not overlook the genuinely hospitable culture of Rajasthani people.

  • Bazaar. A brilliant colorful explosion of flowers, elephants, ox carts, and wares. The traveller will smell the deep aroma of spices in canvas bags, the fetid smell of animals and open sewers, the sweet waft of tea, and the crusty acrid burn of dust and exhaust. The noise is chaotic, the people constantly will stare if you are a Westerner and anybody who has something to sell will try to sell it to you, repeatedly. Watch cobras dance out of their wicker baskets, and don't be too surprised if the snake charmer slaps his cobra for having a wayward eye. Be prepared to be asked for money if you plan to take photographs of snake-charmers and beggars.
  • Rajais Jaipur is famous for its 'Rajais' (A type of light quilt stuffed with cotton). You can get colourful & soft `Shaneel ki Rajai' in a velvet finish. These are quiet warm, soft and long lasting. You can shop in the main market area. But remember to bargain. If you want to be sure of quality and are willing to shell few extra bucks, visit govt. stores for rajais.
  • Jewels Jaipur is famous for its many jewel merchants where you can get great deals on semi-precious gems such as turquoise, lapiz, tiger eye, and the magnificent rubystar (a gem found only in India that is distinct for the 6pointed star it shines under natural light). Expect to pay ~₹ 3,000 for a rubystar ring.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Jaipur on Wikivoyage.

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