The City Palace, Jaipur
Known as the Pink City, Jaipur is one of the most colorful places to visit in India. We spent a few quick days there to enjoy some good old fashioned sightseeing. After the whirlwind that was Amazon India Fashion Week in New Delhi, admiring the ethereal architecture of Rajasthan seemed like a great way to shift gears. No trip to Jaipur is complete without a visit to the City Palace. When you’re there, make sure to get both tickets including the private residence. You won’t want to travel all the way to India and miss these jaw-droppingly gorgeous rooms, once visible exclusively to the royal elite.
We visited Jaipur in October. The temperature was in the high 90s and the air of was incredibly dry. For all of your outdoor activities, I highly suggest wearing comfortable and light cotton clothing, especially loose dresses, not jeans. For my trip to the City Palace, I wore this lovely midi dress c/o Inderooh, an affordable and chic clothing line located in Jaipur. Even though this dress has long sleeves, it kept me cool in the hot temps. If I could, I would live in their designs everyday.
One of the things I adore about visiting the palaces of Rajasthan are all of the tidbits of history behind its historic architecture. The Jaipur City Palace is home to the Maharajah of Jaipur, currently a 19-year-old national polo player who counts Prince William as a friend. The palace fuses both Rajput and Mughal architecture across its vast gardens, courtyards, and majestic buildings. The pink arches in the left image above are part of the Hall of Public Audience where Maharajas of past consulted with their courtiers, ministers, and nobles on kingdom business.
On the right, the vibrant green door is one of four small gates that represent the seasons. These ornately carved doors surround a courtyard that was traditionally used for dance performances. They also lead to Chandra Mahal, the private residence of the royal family.
The Chavvi Niwas (Hall of Images), decorated with blue and white painted florals, was a monsoon retreat for the King. Pictures don’t do it justice, but it truly is this blue in real life.
The main entrance/exit to the Chandra Palace. The vibrant colors of Rajasthan stand out here at Jaipur’s City Palace.
Gatore ki Chhatriyan
For an unexpected treat, we visited Gatore ki Chhatriyan, a stunning slew of temples and tombs. This location was a crematorium for the royals of Rajasthan. The beautiful domed structures are monuments in tribute to these royals. Below is an image that takes you inside one of the cenotaphs.
Hawa Mahal & Albert Hall Museum
No trip to Jaipur is complete without a visit to Hawa Mahal (below left), the iconic structure of the Pink City itself. On the right, the Albert Hall Museum is a beautiful place to spot birds.
Next on our agenda was a visit to the iconic Amber Fort, made from red sandstone and white marble. It was built by Rajah Man Singh and expanded on by subsequent royals. Amber Fort is a vast complex. You could spend an entire day and still not have enough time to see everything.
Amber Fort is full of grand halls, each one more dramatic than the next. Possibly the most famous is the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), a structure full of tiny mirrors shaped into beautiful mosaics picture below.
Up the hill from Amber Fort lies Nahargarh Fort, another residence of the royal family. The structure was once said to be haunted by Nahar Singh Bhomia. The spirit was settled by a temple built within the fort in his memory, hence the name. The fort was built to provide further fortification around Jaipur and also served as a retreat above the city.
Finally, the Jal Mahal (the water palace, below left) sits on Man Sagar Lake. Four of its five floors remain under water. The palace used to serve as a lodge for the king’s duck hunting parties. While you may visit the pathways outside the palace, the building itself is currently closed to visitors.
Have you visited Jaipur? This is my second trip. I’d love to hear any recommendations for my next visit!