Jet Set to Jaipur: Part 6 – Activities in Jaipur – City Palace and Jaigarh Fort

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Jet Set to Jaipur: Part 6 – Activities in Jaipur – City Palace and Jaigarh Fort

Million Mile SecretsJet Set to Jaipur: Part 6 – Activities in Jaipur – City Palace and Jaigarh FortMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Back in March 2014 when we were a couple, Daraius and I flew to India as part of an around-the-world trip for my parents.  During our journey, we visited India, the Maldives, and Hong Kong.

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!

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
We Had a Terrific Time Visiting Historic Sites Like City Palace in Jaipur, India

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:

Activities in Jaipur

Riding an elephant up to Amber Fort was my favorite activity in Jaipur.  We also went to the City Palace and Jaigarh Fort.  Jaigarh Fort is near Amber Fort, and is worth a quick visit.

City Palace

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.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Visiting the City Palace Isn’t Expensive and Well Worth a Trip!

We paid an extra 300 rupees (~$5) for a guide.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Check Out the Beautiful Architecture and Intricate Decor

We walked around the palace, and were told about the old kings who created it, and kept adding to it.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
The Grounds Are Extensive and Decorated in Pastel Tones

I loved seeing the sculpted marble and arched doorways.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
The Entryways Were Gorgeous and Very Well Maintained

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.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Mubarak Mahal Combines Architectural Styles. Now It’s a Museum Displaying Textiles and Outfits Worn by Royalty

To enter the City Palace, you have to walk through these gates.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
The Entryways Provided Welcome Shade on a Very Hot Day!

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.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Don’t Mess With My Bodyguards!  🙂

There wasn’t much old furniture or jewels to admire, but it was still very pretty.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Not as Cool as the Real Elephant, but Still Pretty Neat!

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!

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
At the Rose Gate, Which Represents Goddess Devi and Winter

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.

Jaigarh Fort

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.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
You Could See for Miles!

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!

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Like Nothing They Had Visited Back in the US!

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!

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Jaigarh Fort Was a Leader in Cannon Manufacturing for Many Years

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!

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
One of My Favorite Things About Travel – Making New Friends!

The fort was huge, and I loved exploring the various coves and walkways.

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
Lots of Nooks and Crannies to Explore at Jaigarh Fort

It really was like walking through history!

Activities In Jaipur - City Palace And Jaigarh Fort
We Learned a Lot on Our Visit!  Don’t Forget Sunscreen and Comfy Shoes!

Bottom Line

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…

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Thanks for sharing your feedback! We booked the car through the hotel, but there are other ways that may be easier/cheaper.

@ Mark P- I am jealous! The tunnel is totally up my alley. If I’m ever back there, I will have to check it out. 🙂

@ Tim- I’m so happy you got to take your kids to India! It’s such a magical place. And the music store sounds awesome. Many Indian shopkeepers are very eager to share their goods with you. I love how they sometimes offer you tea/water and to stay a while, and in the meantime they bring out dozens of styles and colors. It’s a real treat!

My wife and our two youngest enjoyed a night and day in Jaipur in 2007 as part of a four-day weekend whirlwind tour of the ‘Golden Triangle’ (Jaipur, Agra and Dehli. Doesn’t look like it’s changed much. We had an India-based travel company arrange the whole thing, but I don’t remember how expensive it was or who the company was. I do know that we found them on the web while there. I think it was, but I’m not sure. On short notice, they arranged the flight from Bangalore, hotels (we stayed at ‘heritage’ hotels, which were converted historic palaces), driver/car, and guides in both Jaipur and Agra. We ended up using them for three other weekend trips while I was working in Bangalore for a couple of months. Ride the elephants, totally fun. Our kids also got a cool ride on a camel too, which the guide negotiated for us. One thing we did was visit a music store, I was considering buying a sitar as a souvenier. The store was tiny, but the operator was very enthusiastic to demonstrate (read: free sitar concert and mini-lesson). We didn’t buy the sitar, but we did get a hand-drum for my son back home, and some unforgettable memories and videos of the whole thing.

@Lively there are many apps that you can use to hire cabs/taxis in India including jaipur. Uber, Meru Cabs, Jugnoo (for tuk-tuk) are just a few and they will provide you more reliable and cost effective way of transportation given you have internet connection. Otherwise, you can pre-book them via some operator or haggle on-spot.

The underground tunnel from Amber Fort up to Jaigarh Fort was one of the coolest things ever. You go down into this dungeon-like room in the Amber Fort, and there is a passage that leads out the back into this walkway that then climbs up the mountain. It really does feel like you are secretly escaping one fort and running up the mountain to the next!

@Lively We hired a tuk-tuk for the entire day to drive us from the ITC Rajputana to Amber Fort. He picked us up at the top of the mountain at Jaigarh Fort and took us back to Jaipur after stopping at the 3rd fort which is overlooking Jaipur, the Nahargarh Fort. The cost for the entire day (with tip) came out to be around $20. Totally worth it!

We are going to Jaipur (and staying at the ITC) next month. We are planning to do many of the same activities you’ve done. You don’t mention local transportation. Did you take a taxi or rent a car? How did you get around to these places?