Jaipur forms the golden triangle that also comprises of Delhi and Agra. Being the capital of the state of Rajasthan, it is a bustling business center that provides all the amenities provided by a modern metropolis. Yet, it is the age-old charm of Jaipur that can really surprise any traveler. After all, old Jaipur is a city that is painted in Pink that remains a reminder of its legacy of romance and chivalry.
Jaipur is a city that was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1744 A.D. The city is an evidence of his strong grounding in science as well as astrology. It is a city known for its forts, gardens and monuments. The not to be missed structure remains the Hawa Mahal which is the landmark of Jaipur. It is a 5 storied structure that remains known for its 152 windows. It was basically designed for the royal ladies to watch the royal processions and other activities, without being seen themselves by the common public. The windows are designed in a way that everything can be seen clearly from the inside, but it is impossible to see anyone from outside.
The Rajasthan tourism authority has thoughtfully provided audio guides here. You can rent these at the entrance itself. These are available in 18 languages presently, including most of the European languages. The audio tour takes close to 90 minutes and explains in detail the various wall carvings, the baths and the windows in the structure. The place today houses a museum too.
Next in the list has to be the Jantar Mantar, an observatory that was built by by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The unique and mammoth sun dials still provide accurate time.
Jaipur is a city known for its forts. This includes the Amber Palace, Nahar fort, Jaigarh fort, and City Palace. These are a living example of the rich history of this city.
You cannot come to Jaipur and not do shopping. This is a city that is bustling with trinkets, apparel, footwear, gems and practically everything else. Jaipur is also known as The Pink City. You will find a lot of miniature sculptures made from the same stone. This city is known for its gems and jewelry made from semi-precious stones. Next is the typical Indian clothes made from "Bandhani", a type of tie-and-dye technique to color the clothes and give them a unique appearance. If you can, you must buy the unique hand painted and hand crafted wood furniture here. It is a way of carrying home a piece of the Rajasthan legacy with you. In case furniture is too bulky, you can still fulfill your desires by buying wooden pens, walking sticks or photo frames. You need to try out the "morjaris" and "kolhapuris" here. These refer to a particular type of footwear that is native to the state of Rajasthan.
You can reach Jaipur from Delhi by air, rail, deluxe bus or cab. But while in Jaipur, it is best to use the "rickshaw". It is affordable and perfect for taking you around in the narrow by-lanes of Jaipur. This is a truly unique way to enjoy and experience the real Jaipur.