Jaipur the pink city

Jaipur The pink city

The city palace

Jaipur The pink city is so named after the pink coloured sandstone from which many of the buildings are built, that shimmer in the hot Rajasthani sun. We are also from a pink city, Toulouse, named after the pink brick used in the building work, but I digress.

The city Palace is smack-bang in the centre of Jaipur, not far from the more famous Hawa Mahal – the Palace of the wind.

It is a large complex of several courtyards, buildings, pavilions, gardens, and temples. The most popular structures in the complex are the Sarvato Bhadra, Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple, and the City Palace Museum.

Inside the Sarvato Bhadra are two huge Gangajalis specially commissioned by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II to carry the water of the Ganges to drink on his trip to England in 1901 (for Edward VII’s coronation).

When we were there, a Bollywood film was being made inside the Sarvato Bhadra, which apparently, is not unusual in Jaipur.

The Hawa Mahal

The Hawa Mahal is probably the most iconic building associated with Jaipur The pink city, and it is pretty unique and very beautiful. It is said that it is the tallest building in the world that is built without foundations, the five-stores palace was built in the form of Krishna’s crown. Access is through the city Palace, as it was built as a extension of the city palace so that the royal ladies could watch processions in the street outside whilst strictly exercising purdah. The name Palace of the winds, comes from the way that the building has nearly 1,000 small windows that keep the sun out and let the breeze in, although it was originally intended to hide the royal ladies from any public sight.

So much to see

There is so much to do in Jaipur that we have written several blog posts, this one is just around the centre of Jaipur.

There are lots of bazars and shops selling the brightly-coloured Rajasthani textiles, jewellery and spices, as well as the usual tourist and souvenir shops.

Haggling is usual here and you should never pay the announced price.

Walking around the city, there are lots of little streets and alleyways just waiting to be discovered and lots of temples to visit, without guides.

Getting there

Jaipur is part of the famous ‘Golden Triangle’ in Rajhastan and is one of the top tourist destinations after Agra and Delhi.

We were there for two days and we suggest that the following places are well worth a visit ; City Palace, Jal Mahal, Nahargarh Fort, Amer Fort and the centre.

Jaipur is about 270 kilometers from Delhi by road, which took us about 5 hours – flight time is about 50 minutes and is very good and cheap, like most internal flights in India.

If you are doing your own tour, you will probably be arriving from Jodhpur, Agra, Delhi or Bikaner – the roads are not always great and it takes a lot of time.

We were here in May and it was very hot, so make sure you get a hotel with aair conditioning.

Food and drink

There are some fabulous hotels in and around Jaipur. We stayed at a heritage hotel which was excellent and very reasonably priced. If you want to visit everything here, then you will need more than two days, but we decided that we would come back another time to see the rest and stayed just two days, which frankly was enough for us.

Food here is excellent and you must try Dal Baati Churma, pastry type balls with a lentil curry and pickles, the fiery hot lamb Laal Maas is pretty ubiquitous in Rajasthan, but if you like your food a little milder go for the Mohan Maas. Mirchi  Badas are typical street food, stuffed whole green chillis fried in batter – delicious.

If you have a sweet tooth try the Churma Laddoos, sugary balls with added almonds, Rabri Ghevar looks like a little tart filled with a mix of sweet cream and spices, try the Ras Gula made from paneer, pistachios and spices in a well of sweet cream. To finish off, order a cool mango lassi, which can be drunk at any time during the day.

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