If Udaipur is called the City of Lakes, Jaipur is known to be the Pink City of India. Jaipur is named as such because many years ago, it was said that the whole city dressed itself pink to welcome Prince Albert and Queen Elizabeth II. Now, avenues remain painted in pink which provide distinctive appearance of the city. Also, you’ll find most of the old buildings in the city still painted in pink.
Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan that was founded on November 18, 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. The city is about 8 hours train ride away from Udaipur. Same as the previous city where we came from, Jaipur is a major tourist destination in India. It has a number of forts, monuments, temples, religious places and other places of interests to visit.
After getting sufficient rest, we went out from our guesthouse and decided to rove around the city. A human rickshaw passed by as we waited for a ride to take us to our first destination that day. We were in hesitation if we’ll have to give it a try but later on, we had decided to go on with that kind of transport; just for once.
We told the man that we’ll be going to Hawa Mahal. He asked us Rs 200 for the ride which we felt very costly, so we bargained it down to Rs 100. We weren’t sure if he agreed to the amount that we asked but he still went on on taking us to our destination.
The ride took us about half an hour to finally reached our stop. We paid him Rs 150, more than what we’ve asked for, as we felt pity by the man’s hardship as he tried to pull us through the rickshaw to get to our destination. Suddenly, he asked for more payment. We then ignored him and walked away from him.
Hawa Mahal which is also known as the Palace of the Winds is a palace in Jaipur that was built by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 in the form of the crown Krishna, the Hindu God. The palace which was built of red and pink sandstone is situated on the main road in the heart of the city’s business centre.
Most tourists come here to have a view of the facade of the palace, just like what we had also did, but people can also climb to the top for a wonderful view from the latticed windows. There is also a small archaeological museum situated there. The palace is open from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. A fee of Rs 50 for foreign tourist has to be paid if you’d like to explore the inside of this structure.
As we enjoyed taking photographs of the fascinating facade, a man suddenly approached us and told us that if we could be possibly interested in checking a museum, art gallery or some sort which is just located across the street. We politely declined his offer as we felt it was just a tourist trap but he was so persistent that he even told us that a great view can also be seen in a rooftop of that building. Oh God, this man knows our weaknesses that we were already in an inch of falling from his persuasive talk. But we have to move on to our next stop, so we were left with no other options but to refuse his kind suggestion.
The City Palace is a palace complex in Jaipur which includes a unique and arresting complex of several pavilions, gardens, temples and palaces like Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. The palace complex contains an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and other buildings. The palace was said to be built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II.
The palace complex is situated in the heart of the city, slightly northeast of the very centre of Jaipur. The palace is open for visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with entry fee of Rs 300 for foreign tourists while Rs 75 for local tourists.
It is said that there are also galleries and museums located in the palace complex but we weren’t able to pay a visit anymore as we had only planned to stay in the complex for a short period. After we had able to see most of the parts of the complex, we had decided to leave the area and go to the next tourist spot.
From the City Palace, we walked back to the area nearby Hawa Mahal to look for a public bus that can take us to Amber Fort. When we arrived at the corner of the street near Hawa Mahal, the man who had persistently talked to us to visit his gallery approached us once again. He then asked us if we could possibly have a time already to visit his place. Well, we had refused him once again as we told him that we will be visiting Amber Fort. The man was so kind to teach us the direction even though we had neglected his offer again. He told us to ride this certain bus which passes by the fort.
Amber Fort and Palace
From the main road, we rode a public bus (bus barkers normally call out passengers by shouting “Amer”) that passes by the Amber Fort. Fare is about Rs 15 per person with travel time of more or less half an hour. Buses normally get loaded with passengers with seats only limited to few.
Amber Fort, also known as Amer Fort is a fort located in the town of Amer which is 11 kilometres from the city of Jaipur. The fort was built by Raja Man Singh I and is known for its artistic style of Hindu elements. The complex is one of the leading tourist spots in the area of Jaipur that is set high on a picturesque and rugged hills.
Getting on top of the fort wasn’t an easy one as we had walked through the ascending pathway. It took us about more or less a quarter an hour to finally reach the top of the complex. Well, that also include the time of taking photographs of the surrounding.
The fort is divided into four main sections each with its own entry gate and courtyard. You’ll see some of these numerous courtyards as you reached the top of the fort.
The fort is open from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM. If you’d like to get inside the palaces and its different buildings, once to pay Rs 200 for foreign tourists while Rs 25 for local tourists.
Getting to the top was enough for us already so we didn’t bother to get into the indoor part of the Amber Fort. Besides, it was already past lunchtime and we would like to grab a bite already as we were already feeling hungry and fatigue from all the roving that we did for the past few hours.
After having our lunch in a fast food chain situated in the city, we had decided to resume our tour and looked for a possible ride that can take us to our last tourist spot to visit for the day.
We thought of hailing a cab but nothing passed by from where we were standing. We then have just decided to take an auto rickshaw. We negotiated in one of the auto rickshaws to take us to Nahargarh Fort. He asked us for about Rs 300 back and forth ride and so we agreed.
Nahargarh Fort was built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Nahargarh which means abode of the tigers was built to strengthen up the defence of Amber.
From the city proper, we were able to reach the fort area in about half an hour travelling the road. The road leading to the fort area is steep and narrow.
The fort is open for visitors from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM with entry fee of Rs 50 for foreign visitors while Rs 20 for local visitors.
The place is cozy and relaxing compared to the overcrowded Amber Fort.
The fort which is standing on the edge of the rigged ridge of Aravalli Hills overlooks the pink city of Jaipur and also presents a shining view of the city lights. It also form an impressive northern backdrop of the city.
The view of the city from the fort is breathtaking and astonishing. Indeed, a great spot to end our tour around the city.
It was around 6:00 PM when we left the fort area and went back to the city. We spent our remaining time in the city by walking around the street, looking for some stuff to buy. We had our dinner afterwards in a local Indian Veggie restaurant.