We took a 4-day trip to Jaipur, a city in the Northern part of India called Rajasthan. I really like Rajasthan for its historic palaces, extraordinary forts, and excellent shopping. And we even took a picturesque elephant ride! It’s different than anywhere else I’ve traveled, and that’s why I liked it so much!
This series of posts will cover the logistics of getting to Jaipur, the hotel we stayed in, the activities we did, and restaurants we visited.
Jet Set to Jaipur Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Planning and Introduction
- Part 2 – Getting to Jaipur, India
- Part 3 – ITC Rajputana Hotel Overview
- Part 4 – ITC Rajputana Hotel Room
- Part 5 – Activities in Jaipur – Amber Fort and Elephant Ride
- Part 6 – Activities in Jaipur – City Palace and Jaigarh Fort
- Part 7 – Shopping in Jaipur and the Hunt for Lacquer Jewelry
- Part 8 – Eating in Jaipur
- Part 9 – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
Activities in Jaipur
The City Palace isn’t just 1 structure – it includes courtyards, gardens, and buildings. Built between 1729 and 1732, it’s been added to many times over the years! It’s an amazing complex!
The entrance fee was ~$5 for visitors.
We paid an extra 300 rupees (~$5) for a guide.
We walked around the palace, and were told about the old kings who created it, and kept adding to it.
I loved seeing the sculpted marble and arched doorways.
It was like stepping back in time. Mubarak Mahal, which means “Auspicious Palace,” was built in the late 19th century. You can really see the blend of European, Indian, and Islamic architecture.
It is now a textile museum that has outfits worn by the kings, shawls, and saris.
To enter the City Palace, you have to walk through these gates.
There were men dressed up outside of the palace doors. You could take a picture with them, but they expected a small tip. 20 to 50 rupees (30 to 75 cents) each would be sufficient.
There wasn’t much old furniture or jewels to admire, but it was still very pretty.
In 1 courtyard, there were 4 covered arches that each represented a different season and Hindu gods:
- Northeast Peacock Gate (with peacocks on the doorway) represents autumn and Lord Vishnu
- Southwest Lotus Gate (with flowers) represents summer and Lord Shiva-Parvati
- Northwest Green Gate, also called the Waves gate (green) represents spring and Lord Ganesha
- Rose Gate (flower pattern) represents winter and Goddess Devi.
The arched doorways were painted so beautifully!
The guide tried to get us to buy things from the shops in the palace. Prices are high though, so don’t buy anything from these shops. The guides most likely get a commission which is why they are so eager to show you.
Another fort, called Jaigarh Fort, is located next to the Amber Fort, so we went to check it out because we were so close.
After returning from my trip, I learned about an underground tunnel that connects both forts. This was used in case the royal family had to relocate from 1 fort to the other for safety reasons. I would have loved to explore the underground tunnels, but never saw any option to walk through them. It was probably closed off to visitors.
We made our way up to the top of the fort, and were again treated with beautiful views.
The fort is made of thick red sandstone walls and is spread over ~2 miles and a width of about half a mile.
Mark and my mom liked exploring, too!
Daraius found a cannon… One of the large cannons at the fort was manufactured there, and was then the world’s largest cannon on wheels.
At a point, Jaigarh Fort was 1 of the world’s most efficient cannon manufacturers because of the nearby iron ore mines.
We learned that they were so good at making cannons because they created a wind tunnel that sucked air from the mountains into the furnace. Then they would melt the metal at very high temperatures!
After admiring the cannons, I met some new friends! These schoolgirls were so friendly and we enjoyed chatting and learning about each other.
So we posed for some fun pictures!
The fort was huge, and I loved exploring the various coves and walkways.
It really was like walking through history!
The City Palace is worth exploring for a few hours. The guide is optional, and it depends what you want. I would have preferred not having a guide to feel less rushed, and his heavy accent sometimes made it difficult to understand him.
Jaigarh Fort is worth a stop if you have time. There isn’t as much artwork or detailing, but I liked that it was like the “Rome Forum of the East” and left a lot to be discovered.
After all the touring around, we were ready for some shopping! And Jaipur didn’t disappoint…