Jaipur, the Pink City
“Resplendent in the hues of its noble and magnificent past, the historical city of Jaipur stands out as one of the most spectacular and culturally vibrant destinations in the world.” This beautiful destination, full of mystique and majesty, have been an inspiration for many Wanderlust Gallerie modern home decor designs.
Rajasthan has a reputation for being the most colorful state in India, and some might argue it’s the “true India.” Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital, is part of India’s Golden Triangle circuit along with Delhi and Agra. Dubbed the Pink City because of the pink walls and buildings of the Old City, Jaipur is filled with historical attractions, myriad bazaars, temples, palaces, museums, and gardens — so there’s no shortage of things to see and do here. The city is organized in a grid format, but despite this setup, it still feels like an absolute maze. Despite the crazy and chaotic feel of the city, I always enjoy my stay.
Why is Jaipur Pink?
Jaipur, India is known as The Pink City. But why? When the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria announced their visit in 1876, the King of Jaipur, Maharaja Ram Singh, mandated that the city be painted its now famous reddish-pink hue. This is because pink is believed to be the color of hospitality. It’s hard not to feel welcome in such a beautiful, bustling city! If you go to Jaipur for a taste of local culture, shopping, sightseeing, and of course, incredible photos, you will not be disappointed.
Things to do in Jaipur
Start your sightseeing in Jaipur in the Old City, where you’ll find some of the city’s most significant landmarks, bazaars, and palaces. City Palace is smack in the center of the Old City. This is a huge complex comprised of ornate gates (each representing a different season), courtyards, buildings, and gardens. Take your time exploring and snapping pictures — there are plenty of photo ops in and around the palace alone.
You’ll also want to make sure to see Hawa Mahal, the city’s most famous landmark. Hawa Mahal literally translates to airy palace. Hawa Mahal stands out for its multitude of latticed windows right in the city center of old Jaipur. The windows with their fine lattice work were meant to act like veils; a “purdah” for the royal women. Custom dictated that the public wouldn’t see royal women. They were also not allowed to venture out into the streets.
You’ll also find many of Jaipur’s bazaars inside the walls of the Old City, each focused on specific types of items, from fabric to jewelry. Nehru Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar, for example, sell mainly shoes, brightly hued fabric, local perfumes, and saris. Johari Bazaar is mostly dedicated to jewelry of all kinds, while Kishanpole Bazaar has more of a focus on decorative items and wooden furniture. Simply browse to hang out among locals, or shop for some souvenirs to take home.
Stop by Jal Mahal en route to Amer Fort
The Amer fort is at a distance of 11km from Jaipur and is well connected by local public transport.
On the way to Amer Fort, is Jal Mahal, a palace half-submerged in water standing right in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. The Jal Mahal, also known as the Water Palace, is a 5-story palace of which three are submerged in the lake. Exploring the grounds was a fantastic idea. I was excited about the photo-op here, having seen hypnotic photos of the Jal Mahal bathed in blue and golden light, floating in the lake.
Exploring Amer Fort
The audio guide described the functionality of the different parts of the palace. Walking through the various sections, I began to comprehend how well design and function were synced together.
I was transported back to 16-17th centuries. The dramatic stories about the royals gave me an insight into their lives as well as those times. I was awed by some stories; some others were just outright amusing!
I was expecting to be done with the palace in a few hours but ended up spending an entire day there. It was almost closing time when I got out. The sun was starting to set. I sat down on the grounds of the front yard, enjoying the breeze and the diminishing light. The evening prayer had started inside the palace. Just sitting there in the quiet, the enigma of the place hit me.
I was in a land steeped in history, the land which gave birth to some of the greatest musicians and the bravest warriors the country has ever known.
Rajasthan indeed is a magical land!
The princely nature is integral to this land. It is in the genetic makeup of this place. This is an important part of what makes Jaipur (and Rajasthan) a fascinating experience.