Melissa C. Koh

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The Must Visit Places In Jaipur

India

Jaipur is a vibrant amalgamation of the old and the new. It is demanding but yet captivating city and can be quite polarising— from opulent and lavish places through to grinding daily poverty. Also called the Pink City, the capital of the royal state of Rajasthan, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle (along with Delhi and Agra), one of the most famous tourist circuits of India.

To get through this chaotic city, a well-planned itinerary and a local guide is highly recommended.
We travelled with Puneet, our airbnb host, who also showed us around his beautiful city.

Here is my 2 day itinerary, which to be honest, felt very hectic but yet eventful as we were constantly being blown away by what we saw. I’d recommend to give yourself at least 3 days in Jaipur so you won’t need 18 hour days.

The days start before sunrise, so expect to set your alarms at 4AM and they end after sunset, around 7PM. Read on to find out how our trip went. 
 
We landed around midnight and settled into our accommodation. 
We set out at 5.30AM to get to Step Well. This felt like some painting I’ve pinned on my Pinterest board. 

Just a 3 minute drive away is Jagat Shiromani Temple. This 400 year old Krishna Temple in Amer is really quiet in a morning, so there’s a chance that you’ll get to enjoy this place all to yourselves.

Then we visited Maharaniyo Ki Chatri and Gaitor Ki Chatri. This place was unreal with perfectly manicured gardens and beautiful tombstone architectures. We got there before they were officially opened by paying the guards a small token fee to let us in. The royal cenotaphs is a hidden gem and is also a royal crematory for women and men, respectively. 
 

On our way back to our AirBnB for breakfast, we made a brief 10-15 minute stop at Albert Hall. I’ll be honest, we got off the car just to take a few shots “for the gram” because there were so many pigeons around and it looked gorgeous under the morning sun. You can very easily get your bird-photobomb shot here. There were also a couple of people doing their pre-wedding shoots there. Albert Hall is actually an arts & crafts museum but the building looks stunning from the outside.

After a quick breakfast and freshen-up at our Airbnb, we were on our way to Patrika Gate and City Palace. We grabbed a muffin for lunch at the cafe in City. Palace as we didn’t want to spend time on a sit-down meal.

Patrika Gate is absolutely gorgeous! It is not overly crowded in the morning and you’ll be able to get your shot. I’d recommend a wide angle lens for this place to capture her vastness and magic.

City Palace is definitely the most “touristy” place we visited in Jaipur. There were troops of tourists streaming in every now and then but it’s no wonder why. The beautiful courtyards and gateways make them a must-visit. We were just so in awe of the intricate detailing of every single gate, wall and door! There were no words. The royal tour is best known for the blue room, which we didn’t end up visiting due to time constraints. A fun-fact: The palace is still used by the royal family of Jaipur as their current residence.
 
We had to rush off to Samode Palace before the sunset. About an hour’s drive away from Jaipur, Samode Palace is a beautiful 400 year old Palace now converted to a hotel. If you’re not a hotel staying guest, there is an entry ticket of 1000 RS per person, redeemable at the restaurant for F&B. We took a quick meal in one of their gorgeous courtyards and were brought on a mini hotel tour. I’m definitely making this place on my list of places to stay in!

Samode was our last stop for the day as the sun had set by the time we were done exploring! We tried to get back early as we had a drive to pick us up at 12 midnight for an overnight drive to Agra the next day. We spent day 2 in Agra before returning back to Jaipur for the next sunrise on Day 3.

Day 3 started with a climb up to Amer Fort. I would say that this is undoubtedly the best spot in the house to watch sunrise. It was a 30-minute climb with moderate difficulty as the steps were steep and we were battling with hardly any sleep, but the view was worth every bit of it. From the top, you get the most beautiful views of Amer town and Amer Fort. I highly recommend this experience, not just for the gorgeous photos and work out but for how magical and inspiring it is. We spent a good 2 hours taking everything in and singing, dancing and making merry before finally making our way down to Amer Fort.

Puneet recommends going to Amer Fort early (before the tour buses arrive) but we got there a little late and were battling with the crazy crowds. 

 

Amer Fort also commonly known as the Amber Fort, this majestic building with its maze-like passages and serpentine staircases is an architectural masterpiece and with significant importance in Indian history. Amer Fort is clad in pink and yellow sandstone and is a part of an extensive complex.  The fort is big enough that it will take you at least two to three hours to explore it in detail, and you can also choose to avail of the audio guides to lead you through this fascinating building while explaining the history of the place.

We made it out of Amer Fort by 11-ish AM in time for lunch. Our lunch spot was at Cafe Palladio— a stunning cafe with amazing food and the most gorgeous interiors. 100/100 Instagram worthy!

After lunch, we decided to explore the streets of Jaipur and tour the local markets. It was a really nice experience but I’d recommend doing this towards the later part of the day when it is not too hot. Don’t forget to bring some cash for shopping!

We made a pit stop to Hawa Mahal. If you’re looking for a place with great views. Head across the road to Wind View Cafe! You could stop there for coffee/tea and admire the view of Hawa Mahal from a distance.

Our last and final stop before leaving Jaipur was Nahagardh fort. If you’re looking to visit a fort without any physical assertion, you’ll be pleased to know that you can take a car/taxi all the way up here. This fort is highly recommended for sunset views. It overlooks the city of Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. 

So that wraps our trip to the pink city, Jaipur. P.S. It is known as the pink city as the historic centre of Jaipur is painted a terracotta pink colour and there is even a local law that instructs all buildings within Jaipur be painted the distinctive pink. The reason is that this pink is a royal colour and the entire city was painted, under the direction of the Maharajah for the visit of Prince Albert in 1876.

The best season to visit Jaipur is during the winter months of November through to February. During this season the temperatures will at their lowest (but it is still hot). However, it will also be most crowded. From April until the monsoon (July) temperatures can reach an unbearable 40C and combined with the pollution and dust makes sightseeing unpleasurable. Jaipur experiences less heavy downpours during the monsoon season (July to September) than the rest of India but is not a great time to visit. Our trip was towards the end Sept/early Oct but thankfully we didn’t experience any passing showers.

India has always been on my travel bucket list and while we didn’t visit Delhi (the last part of the golden triangle), I’m so happy we managed to cover Agra and Jaipur

 
 
 
 

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