We left Delhi and headed to Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital – such a flamboyant state. It took us about 3 hours on to arrive in Jaipur by train. I felt Jaipur was slightly less chaotic than Delhi.
We stayed at Umaid Bhawan, which is located in a quiet residential area in Jaipur, about 1 km from the railway station. This heritage hotel is a family-run hotel, which is built in traditional style with beautifully carved balconies, courtyards and terraces.
There are a number of things that we did during our short stay in Jaipur:
1) Old City (Pink City)
The bustling Old City is often referred as the Pink City, which was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Avenues in the Pink City is divided into gridded streets. Each of the street specialising in certain crafts. The main bazaars in the Old City are Johari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Chandpol Bazaar.
Johari Bazaar is a favourite street for Jaipur’s women – offering various styles of jootis (traditional shoes) and perfumes. If you are into jewellery, then Johari Bazaar is for you.
Walking in the Old City is really an experience – the sights and sounds. A lot of street food on offer; traditional sweets of many types arranged nicely for purchase; colourful flowers for prayers; many merchants carried out their daily business; customers negotiating hard for items to purchase; some were enjoying their late afternoon snacks and sipping hot Chai tea; colourful jootis arranged nicely on racks,…. that I couldn’t resist to get a pair for less than £5!
I couldn’t stop taking pictures as there many things seem to always be on the move and different from one minute to another! One thing that I particularly love is the vibrant colour of traditional clothing that women in Jaipur wear – so bright in colour!
2) Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal also known as “Palace of Winds” or “Palace of the Breeze” is Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark. It has really unique architecture – built with pink/orange sandstone, dedicatedly honeycombed hive that rises a five storeys. It was built by Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch the life and processions of the city.
3) Amber Fort
Located in Amer, 11 km from Jaipur. It is one of the tourist attractions that rises from a rocky mountainside. This magnificent fort is built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble. It is divided into four main sections, each with its own courtyard. We hired a driver for half a day to see this majestic fort. Views from the fort was beautiful.
4) Jal Mahal
Jal Mahal is really pretty. Rising from the water makes it really special. It is also known as “Water Palace”, located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. The Jal Mahal palace is built in Rajput and Mughal style of architecture providing a picturesque view of the lake and the surrounding hills. It is a 5-storey building out of which four floors remain under water when the lake is full and the top floor is exposed.