India’s desert capital of Jaipur, affectionately referred to as the Pink City of Rajasthan because of the pink walls and buildings of the old city, lures visitors with its stunning remnants of a bygone era. The most popular Jaipur attractions and places to visit are the ancient palaces and forts.
Best Time to Visit
Winters are from October to March and are the best time to enjoy holidays in Jaipur city.
Top Places to Visit in Jaipur
- Amber Fort and Palace
It was the home of Rajput rulers until Jaipur city was constructed, and contains a series of breathtaking palaces, halls, gardens, and temples. Inside, elaborate mirror work adds to the grandeur. The evening sound and light show, which brings alive the Fort’s history, is impressive. The Anokhi Museum of Block Printing near the fort is another attraction. Opening Hours: 8 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. during the day, and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at night. Note that elephant rides are only possible in the mornings until 11.30 a.m. Entry cost will be there.
2. Hawa Mahal Palace of the Winds
Constructed in 1799, it has five floors that contain rows of small windows and screens. Wind used to flow through the openings, giving the palace its name. However, the wind has now gone from the Wind Palace as most of the windows have been sealed shut. Legend has it that the palace, which overlooks the main street of Jaipur’s lively Old City, was built so that the women of the royal household could watch the streets below without being observed. A panoramic view can be had from the top of the building. Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily. Entry cost will be there.
3. Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort, also known as Tiger Fort, is perched high on the rugged Aravali Hills overlooking Jaipur city. The fort was built 1734 to help defend the city. Nahargarh Fort offers spectacular views, which are best seen at sunset. A number of new attractions recently opened there including a wax museum, sculpture park, and fine-dining restaurant. There’s also a government-owned cafe on the premises, which serves alcohol and snacks until 10 p.m. The fort looks particularly attractive at night when it’s lit up. Opening Hours: Sunrise to sunset, daily. Palace open from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily. Entry cost will be there.
4. Jaigarh Fort
Massive Jaigarh Fort was built in 1726 and holds great appeal for military lovers. Flanked by towering gateways and watchtowers, it contains the world’s largest cannon on wheels. The cannon has never been fired though, and neither has the fort been captured. As a result the fort has remained intact over its long life, and is very well preserved. Climb the Diwa Burj watchtower to get an excellent view over the plains. Opening Hours: 9 am to 4.30 p.m. daily. Entry cost will be there.
5. Jantar Mantar Observatory
Jantar Mantar, built by King Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734, literally means “calculation instrument”. More than just a curious collection of sculptures, each structure at the intriguing Jantar Mantar observatory has a specialized astronomical function. There are 14 structures in total, which measure time, predict eclipses, and track stars. The most impressive one is the huge Samrat Yantra sundial. At a height of 90 feet (27 meters), it has a shadow that moves roughly the width of a person’s hand every minute. It’s a profound display of how quickly time does in fact go! Opening Hours:9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily. Entry cost will be there.
6. Markets and Shopping
Jaipur is an excellent place to shop and you’ll find an enticing variety of goods available there. Some of the most popular items are precious gemstones, silver jewelry, bangles, clothes, blue pottery, and textiles. Here are some of the top places to go shopping in Jaipur. For a splash of fragrent color, don’t miss stopping by the wholesale flower market (phool mandi) just inside Chandi ki Taksal gate in the Old City. It’s on from 6 a.m. Head there on Saturday mornings to catch the adjacent Hatwara flea market, which is delightfully free of tourists. Many shops are closed on Sundays.