30 Mar 2015

Jaipur: The Pink City of India

A heady combination of temples, forts, palaces, lakes, festivals and shopping – that’s Jaipur for you. If you love heritage, there’s no better place in India for you than Jaipur to visit.

Why pink?

Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is the capital of Rajasthan, and is symbolic of majesty and colour. The city, which was founded in the 18th century, is one of the most picturesque destinations in the country. The city is called the Pink City because every building in the walled city has a pink shade. The colour is representative of hospitality and royalty. The terracotta pink that was used is made of calcium oxide, and lasts really long, especially in the dry weather conditions in Jaipur. Yet another story has it that the favourite wife of Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh loved the colour pink. A law was also passed making it illegal for buildings to be painted any other colour. The law continues to be in effect even today.

Places to see in Jaipur

  • The Hawa Mahal is the most iconic structure in Jaipur, and is perhaps the most photographed. The structure has been designed to look like a honeycomb and is made of pink sandstone. The Hawa Mahal also has a museum which is home to paintings and other memorabilia
    Hawa Mahal (Photo Courtesy: http://www.panoramio.com)
  • The City Palace is another impressive structure and has buildings, gardens and courtyards inside the complex, all reminiscent of the royal past of the city.
  • The Amer Fort, located about 10 km from the city, is another monument worth visiting. The Fort has wonderful courtyards, and is built in sandstone and marble.
    Amer Fort (Photo Courtesy: http://geekphotography.in)
  • You could make a trip to the Jantar Mantar observatory, which has a huge sundial, said to be the largest in the world by some.

Things to do

In terms of activities, you could enjoy folk dances or puppet shows – many hotels organize these shows and you could seek further information from the travel desk on other options.

Puppet Shows (Photo Courtesy: https://dpstinkyfinga.wordpress.com)
 One of the best activities is shopping! Who wouldn’t want to lose oneself in the lanes and bylanes shopping for textile, the gem jewellery, and other artefacts such as pottery and brassware. You could visit Johari Bazaar, Rajasthali, Nehru Bazaar, and MI Road, among other places.

You can also check for heritage walks with different themes – there is one which focuses on Jaipur’s printed textiles, for instance.

Some of the other activities include elephant and camel safaris, hot air ballooning and sky diving. You can also enjoy boating in the city’s lake.

Eating out in Jaipur

If you are a foodie, Jaipur is a great place to visit. You can savour Rajasthani cuisine, from Dal-bhati-churma to kachoris and ghewars (the latter are deep fried snacks).

When to visit

The best time to visit Jaipur is between October and March. The city is an important place on the tourist circuit; so plan ahead and make reservations at one of the hotels in Jaipur. If you are looking at luxury options, then you could opt for one of the resorts in Jaipur.