Places to See in Jaipur: The Pink City | India

As the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan, Jaipur is one of India's most popular cities among tourists. Part of the so-called "Golden Triangle" with New Delhi and Agra, travelers come to Jaipur to experience a city teeming with palaces, temples, magnificent forts, colorful bazaars, and of course—lots of cows. All these plus stunning architecture, culture and a lively culinary scene all combine to make what is also known as "the Pink City" a can't miss destination in India.

Places to see in Jaipur

To help you plan your trip to Jaipur, here is a listing of fascinating places to see in Jaipur.

Hawa Mahal

Marky Ramone Go staring at Hawa Mahal

The iconic facade of Hawa Mahal is one of the must-see landmarks in Jaipur. Also known as the "Palace of the Winds", this architectural marvel standing pyramidical 50 feet high is made of red and pink sandstone and highlighted by 953 jharokha windows embellished with latticework. Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 and is a prime example of Rajput architecture prevalent in Jaipur during those days. It served as an extension of the women’s chamber where the royal ladies would peek at the windows to observe the everyday life outside. The narrow design of the hallway and the direction it faces allows the wind ("Hawa" in Hindi) to circulate inside—thus giving the palace its moniker.

City Palace

Jomie Naynes

Oozing with a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the City Palace covers a palatial complex nearly the size of one-seventh of the whole of the Pink City. Inside, you can get magically lost into a series of lush gardens, royal residences, private halls, courtyards, museums and olden buildings. The Chandra Mahal—the residence of the current Maharajah of Jaipur—is also located inside the City Palace compound.

Albert Hall Museum

Levy Amosin

Also known as the Central Museum, the Albert Hall Museum conveys a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, it was first opened in 1987. Today, the museum is visited by art enthusiasts because of its impressive collections of paintings, metal sculptures, crystal works, carpets, Ivory and other historical artifacts.

Amer Fort

Cheekie Albay

Spread atop the rolling Aravali Hills, the 16th century Amer Fort's massive walls and maze of passageways, once shielded the Mughal Empire from fierce enemies. Today, it has become part of "Hill Forts of Rajasthan"—along with five other forts—inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Impressive architecture abounds inside in the form of temples, gates, ramparts, royal residences, courtyards and halls—with each of the structures telling interesting bits of history.

Jantar Mantar

Marky Ramone Go

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jantar Mantar is a complex that houses nineteen 18th-century architectural astronomical instruments including the world's largest sundial. It was completed in 1734 upon the order of Maratha Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II. This observatory that measures celestial positions and timings uses the methods of "Ptolemaic positional astronomy" used by earlier civilizations. The instruments at Jantar Mantar used to supply accurate readings before towering modern buildings blocked the view of the nighttime sky.

Nahargarh Fort

The smallest of the three forts in Jaipur but famous for its location atop a hill overlooking the Pink City and the stunning sunset. Built in 1734, the Fort houses an array of palaces and temples designed in a fusion of Indian and European architecture. You can also visit Jaipur's Wax Museum inside.

Jal Mahal

Sandra Ledesma

The Jal Mahal Palace was built in 1734 and served as a palace of the Maharaja of Amber before rising levels of the lake bed submerged the palace's four floors and leaving the fifth floor and the rooftop as the only visible structure. Today, this Rajput-architecture designed palace appears floating magically over the calm waters of Man Sagar Lake. The intricate walls and arching pillars are still visible even from afar. A visit here is in order especially if you are coming from Amber Fort—as this lake palace is located along the way going back to Jaipur's Pink City.

Jaipur Bazaars

In Jaipur, bazaars fill all corners of the 'Pink City' with at least 7 main bazaar districts. To fully explore these bazaars, it is highly recommended to walk from Hawa Mahal going to Chandpole and Bapu Bazaar. Along the way, you will pass by countless shops selling an assortment of items from jewelries, colorful fabrics, footwears (especially the "jootis" –a specialty women's shoes of Rajasthan), utensils, carpets, trinkets, blanket, elephant pants, sarees, leather bags and a whole lot more. It’s safe to assume that you won’t leave Jaipur without an extra luggage filled with assorted fancy items.

Galtaji Temple (Monkey Temple)

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Located 10 kilometers outside of Jaipur, Galtaji Temple is a complex comprised of a series of temples and is known as an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site. Galtaji is highlighted by a natural spring that streams out of the hill and fills a series of pools referred to as "sacred kunds", where the pilgrims bathe. It is also known as the "Monkey Temple" because of the presence of countless Rhesus Macaques. 

(Writer's note: the photo above was not from the Monkey Temple as I wasn't able to visit it).

Raj Mandir Theater

Bollywood Cinema in Jaipur

Said to be one of the most beautiful movie theaters in India, the Art Deco Raj Mandir Theater is the best place to experience Bollywood in Jaipur. Watch a Bollywood film with a crowd of locals oohing and singing along while munching on some of the favorite movie snacks of Indians.

The Patrika Gate

the stunning facade of Patrika Gate

Said to be the 9th–and the most impressive–gate in Jaipur, the Patrika Gate, aside from being the entrance to Jahawar Circle Park, is an elaborate pink gate adorned with fabulous paintings, sculptures and eye=popping architectural details. Constructed in 2016, the design of the Patrika Gate is based on the original seven heritage gates that protected the walled city of Jaipur. An 8th gate called Naya Pol was erected in the 1940s.

...and cap your exploration of Jaipur with some sumptuous food-tripping adventure

Although Jaipur may not be a hotbed of fine-dining establishments serving gourmet cuisine yet, the local culinary culture here is made more fascinating by the bountiful street food scene where one can taste a variety of street food and numerous hole-in-the-wall establishments.