My days in the Pink City

Kesariya Balam Padharo Mhare Desh… a popular folksong to describe Rajasthan with the music of ravanahatha, an ancient bowed and stringed instrument. Throughout the state you will get different versions of this song playing with several musical instruments.



The first planned city of this country which bears the tradition of pink colour and the heritage architectures. One of the shinning city on India, Jaipur. There is a history behind this pink colour. Allow me to introduce each of specular views of the city and I had collected some good memories from the city.

To roam the city Tuk-Tuk (auto rickshaw) is the best option. I bet, you will get fine version of Jaipur if you have hired a Tuk-Tuk. Dilshad Khan, I got his reference from my hostel's attendant Raees bhai. He is an amazing person because not only he guided me starting from the city tour to shopping and followed by lunch but also lastly there is an interesting factor about my next destination, he helped me a lot when I missed the train for Jaisalmer. I will share the story as a memory.


Pink Tuk-Tuk at the pink city,  inside the City Palace

Jaipur is the city of palace, fort, temple, jewellery, embroidery, art, artefacts, badni-block prints, yummy foods items of pulses and of course unique place for photography. Any cities other than Jaipur the Mughal influences such as in architecture, food, jewelleries  are dominant here because Jaipur is the closest to Delhi (280 km far) so due to the communication and some Mughal generals were posted in Jaipur.


Ornamented door at Zenana, inside the City Palace

My duration of stay didn't last for long period in Jaipur as-usual I was travelling in several cities. After saying good bye to Bhopal I boarded the train for Jaipur and reached on the next morning. As a backpacker I prefer to stay in hostels only. And this time my hostel was pre-booked, it was too close to the rail station.

Couple's photo point, have to be in a long queue, at Jaigarh fort. 

So, around 10.30 started to get the view of splendid architectures of vivid the Pink city. I have an addiction to see the heritage buildings and here is a good opportunity to explore those. 

Alike other Indian cities this city also has a history. In 1727,  Maharaja Jai Singh II founded the city Jaipur and the city named according to it's founder. That time the royal family was living at Amber (someone prefer to say as Amer) fort, which is 12 km off from Jaipur city. Due to scarcity of water and place for the gradually growing population he shifted the capital from Amber to Jaipur. Interestingly there is a connection between Jaipur and Bengal. Maharani Gayatri Devi who was married to Maharaja Man Singh II and an architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya was behind the beautiful planned city.


Chandra Mahal at City Palace

In 1876 another ruler of Rajput clan, Sawai Ram Singh I painted the city in pink colour to welcome Albert Edward the prince of Wales. Since 144 years the colour 'pink' is a trademark for the city and it appears as nick name for Jaipur, the pink city.  In Bollywood so many of films have been shot here.

Places you shouldn't miss when you are in Jaipur:

1. Albert Museum:

When King Albert Edward came to visit Jaipur that was the foundation stone day  for this Indo-Gothic architectural style of building. The Indo-Gothic architecture is a replica of style in buildings which includes Rajasthani, Mughal, Maratha. This kind of style mostly used by the British and they referred it as classical Indian style.




It is an oldest museum of the state and situated in the Ram Nivas Garden. I was in Jaipur during end of December and due the school holiday a group of children of some schools were performing some regional cultural program with ethnic costumes. Inside of a heritage building in a winter morning an ambience of cacophony, music, instrumental sound, heavy lahenga, charming sound of ghungroo, flowers' smell, all were in an exact timing and I was really enjoyed that.




It took more than 3 hours to complete the museum tour. It is four storied building and each floor is displayed such a good collection of the art, artefacts, coins, jewellery, consumes, crockeries, sculptures, an Egyptian mummy and many more. The museum has a good collection of antique and ancient memories. The arch on above of the door, batali works, mural paintings, everything in the house was carrying a history, a symbol and I am fond of those.




Two type of tickets are available to see the museum, one is only for the museum and another one is the combo means Jantar-Mantar, Amber Fort, Haha Mahal. 

2. City Palace:

At the same time when Maharaja Jai Singh II shifted his capital from Amber to Jaipur, this palace was built. Vidyadhar Bhattacharya native to Naihati, West Bengal was the chief architect to build City Palace. A scattered distribution with well designed elevation of buildings, pavilion, courtyard, garden and temples are present in the palace.


Diwan-i-Khas at City Palace

The magnificent colour, art, graffiti, decorations on the wall and splendid design of doors are unique to this palace. The most famous blocks of this palace are Chandra Mahala, Mubarak Mahal, art gallery, textile gallery, museum and Govind Ji Temple.


Front Elevalation

The splendid decorations on the marble pillars, ceiling with prominent colour and painting of the  Sabha Niwas (Diwan-e-aam) and Sarvato Bhadra (Diwan-e-khas) are the enchanted views of this palace. Sabha Niwas is for the hall of public audience whereas Sarvato Bhadra dedicated for the special types of guests.


Peacock Gate and a Jharokha inside the City Palace

The ticket price is quite high, person 200 for the entry only and if you wish to visit the Zenana (Women's chamber) extra charges have to pay. It will take 3 - 4 hours to see and feel the palace.



A recently watched Netflix series 'Beecham House' and some epic movie like 'Jodhha Akbar' was shoot in the palace.

3. Hawa Mahal:

A trademark of Jaipur, the stone-carved screen, small jharokhas, arched roof, coloured glasswork on the pink-red sand stone structure in the prime location Jahori Bazar of the city is an attractive spot for tourists. The Palace of winds are made mainly for the royal ladies to see the user world from inside the palace without being seen as they had a strict rule of Purdah. This palace is the greatest source of latticework which is inspired from the Khetri Mahal of Junjnunu, Rajasthan. The five storied arched shaped structured which can be seen directly from the city main road is looked alike of beehive. There are 953 jharokha of stone works in the whole building.




The name hawa mahal signifies the architecture which allows the cool air to pass though the latticework to keep the temperature cool during the extreme summer weather.




This heritage is a fashion work of both Rajput and Mughal architecture. The lotus, floral pattens, pillar work denotes the Rajput style whereas the stone inlay filigree work and the arches indicating the Mughal style of work. This building was built in 1799 and the latticework is the extension of Zenana which is the rear view of the building.


4. Jal Mahal:

One of the most picturesque view of Jaipur. A palace in middle of the Man Sagar Lake which is surround from east side by the Nahargarh hill, a range of Aravalli range. A mind-blowing spot for the photographer and who loves to take photos too. You can get the magic of lights during the time of both sunrise and sunset. The blue water, red sand stone palace with it's central and four corner chhatris and the shades of red-orange literally create the stunning view of that area which is a great affluent for me.




The water palace or Jal mahal is a five storied building where most of the floors are remained submerged in the water. Just few years back the restoration works have been done with the traditional material which was used in the ancient time for plastering the walls. The combination of material is sand, gugal (fragrance resin of a tree), jagerry, lime and methi powder. It has been notices that this combination prevents the seepage of water.



You can get some awesome authentic Rajasthani gharana's photo as the photographers will supply the costumes and jewellery to click. Some craft shops are also available at the adjacent area where you can do shopping.

5. Amber palace:

Another main attraction of Jaipur Amber palace, which is also known as Amer fort. The fort is a witness of several battlements and invasions. The fort and its events have betrayed the betrayer. Before raising of Jaipur Amber was the capital and this fort was the royal residence.




The original fort is too old as it was built 10th Century by a tribe called Meena. The fort extensively extended when Rajput had been captured the fort. There are four storey along with wide courtyard for each floor. This gorgeous fort is appearing just behind the Maota lake with it's stunning beauty. Maota lake is the main source of water. The combination of bright red sandstone and white marble create a series of gates, cobbles path which are the artistic elements. The Rajput and Mughal architectural style are predominant in the fort plan.



The attractions for the elaborate work of the fort are Shees Mahal, Jai Mandir, Hamam (bathroom in Persia language), Zenana, Courtyards, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas. Amber fort is declared as UNESCO world heritage site for the intricate style and beauty. Amber fort was the birth place of Jodhaa bai.
Ticket price is 100 for Indians and 500 for the foreigners.

6. Jaigarh Fort:

This fort also builds by Jai Singh II to protect the Amber palace so the name was after him. A thick wall of red sandstone used to build and the length of this fort is around 3 km. There is functional subterranean tunnel connects the Amber palace to this Jaigarh fort.



This distance is will be 2 km approximately. You can go to visit the Jaigarh fort directly from the Amber palace through this tunnel. It was a worthy experience to me to walk though the tunnel as this was the secret route to hide when any attack used to happen either in fort or in palace. The fort features the largest cannon on wheel called Jaivana cannon and inside the fort there was the canon foundry due to the availability of ample amount of iron metal. A 360-degree way to view the whole area of Amer region can be seen from this top of this fort as the fort is situated 400 m above of the Amber palace.



In 1976 there was a search order of t\all the buildings of the fort by Income Tax department which was declared by Indira Gandhi but ultimately it was a futile search.   

Ticket price is 50 for Indians and 85 for the foreigners.

7. Shopping place:

Who doesn't love to do shopping? Obviously there are few exception, but I am emphasising the shopping cart and the people who love to collect some pieces as memory from the places where they have had been.



To me shopping is mainly on the native collection, specially the antique and unique one. Sometimes a good term has been cited with those people. So, basically Jaipur is the place of plenty collections of  Saree, Lehnga, boutique cloths, mostly the Indian colourful ethnics. It is the house of The crafts specially the blue potteries, jewelleries, bead works. You will love those and it is quite difficult to choose among them.



As I mentioned firstly Dilshad bhai was my guide during this trip and I would like to get his Tuk-Tuk again whenever I will be in Jaipur. There is a market in Jaipur called Maharani Gayatri Devi Market which is cheap place to shop exclusive design according to your choice. 

100 gram Razai is a unique product of Jaipur. After folding it will be like a pillow and its warm and nicely weaved. I bought one piece from that market and courier it from Jaisalmer to Kolkata along with some other stuffs.

If possible avoid doing the shopping from  Johari Bazar as it is a great bazar just opposite to the Hawa Mahal so most of us will be despaired but the price of items are too high.

Memories:

I had a booking on Leelan Express, train number 12468 which runs from Jaipur to Jaisalmer. I made an awesome plan to view the sunset from the train so I booked the ticket of this train as it will start from Jaipur at 4:35 pm though it will reach Jaisalmer at too early of the morning.  According to plan  got my favourite side lower berth and was dreaming a sunset view in a cozy berth wrapped in a blanket, having snacks, coffee or tea and with a magazine. You know everything was spoiled out as I reached the station at 4: 39 pm and Leelan already said a 'good bye' to me. Dilshad bhai helped me during that critical time. He was carrying my rucksack, running with me to chase the train and he was plan to pull the chain so that can board the train. Alas, there was nothing to do!

Then with his help I booked a bus ticket to move at the 'Sonar Kella' of Jaisalmer.

Dilshad Khan, Contact# 7792055040

Another thing, I did in Jaipur i.e. I lost the combined ticket to see the some palaces and Jantar Mantar after only visiting the first one.

Food & Accommodation:

Whenever I used to go I have had the regional foods. And the whole Rajasthan is palace where the food items Rajput, Marwari, Mughlai and British are available. As usual, Jaipur is a good source of spicy and mouth watering food. On the way to Amber fort there are couple of food stalls from where you can have food during the lunch. I was chill as Dilshad bhai took that part of having food. Food you should eat in Jaipur:
  • Dal Bathi Churma
  • Ker Sangri
  • Gatte ki Sabji
  • Lal Maas
  • Kadi
  • Gulab Chakri
  • Ghevar
  • Bajre ki Khichdi and Barre ki Kheech
  • Junglee Maas
  • And definitely Papad, Aadhar and murabba



I used to stay a backpackers hostel because of the friendly atmosphere and it's quite cheap. I stayed at the Free Birds hostel which is just four km far from the Jaipur rail station.  I have enjoyed my stays as the staffs were well behaved and the decoration, room quality were good.

Please Don'ts:

Though out the Jaipur city you can find some animal rides, a humble request to avoid those animal rides.


Please avoid.
  1. At Amber Palace you will get some elephants are used to carry people to the first gate from the entrance. 
  2. Inside the City Palace horse carriages are using to roan at the palace area.
  3. During the Christmas the city is over crowded so its tough to get good photos as in most of photos are with human heads. So, it's better to go Jaipur other than December end and January start.

How to go Jaipur?

Jaipur is well connect via Tain and flight from all the cities and Ola/Uber are available for the city tour. But as I mentioned try to view the city in a Tuk-Tuk. I went from Bhopal via train.


My travel route

Jaipur rail station.

Photo Gallery: 


Clock Tower at City Palace

Tolaram, the artist and his art at the Art Gallery of City Palace. He gifted me  a instant  painting. Inside the art gallery  a huge collections of paintings are ready to sale and painters are waiting to depict according to your choice or art. 

and his instant gift to me.

Painting materials 

Ram Singh, an attendant of Jaigarh fort since 42 years.

Diwan-i-Aam at the City Palace

A cute baby posed front of the weapons decoration.

The two ornamented Jharokhas and the famous door painting at the Zenana.


Latticework at Jaigarh fort. At the two sides of the passage there are two latticework. Another one is popular for use of photographic frame.

Inside view of Amber Palace

At the entrance of Amber Palace, if you have time please feed them.

Intricate ornamentation of Zenana Deorhi(Ladies apartments) at Amber Palace

Hammam (Turkish bathroom) is a Arabic word, mostly in all the palace  it was. The chamber for hot and cold water was separated.
The ancient tunnel between the Amber Palace and Jaigarh Fort. Still now it is in functional mode used for the visitors to go these two points.

Outside road to visit Jaigarh fort from Amber palace

Outside view from Amber Palace 

The Jaigarh fort from Amber palace

The view of Amber palace and Maota lake from Jaigarh fort.

The entrance of Amber Palace

In the periphery area of Amber Palace

Ancient mirror at the City Palace 
A ancient painting at the city palace, where a princess met with a Yogini.  The colours used to  paint are all organic .

Another repairing of Royal travel at the Ary gallery.

The large papad

The puppet show area at Jaigarh fort, opposite to the dies there is the balcony with chic purdah for the royal women

Cannon foundry at the Jaigarh Palace

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