Jaipur is known to be the first planned city of India. Its origin traces back to 1727 when it was established by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber.
The capital city Rajasthan is renowned globally for its coloured gems. Combining the allure of ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis, the bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
Those interested in remnants of the past should not pass up a trip to Rajasthan. Wanderers interested in adventures at the various landscapes should definitely get a glimpse of this venturesome state. For a quiet sojourn gazing at the beauty of the golden sand dunes, Rajasthan tops your list.
Other exciting attractions await in Jaipur as well. Amber Palace (pronounced Amer) is about 11km from Jaipur. Now a Unesco World Heritage Site, the palace located in craggy hills is a beautiful melange of Hindu and Mughal styles.
The contrast between the harsh exterior and the inviting interior couldn’t be more surprising. Made entirely of red sandstone and white marble, visitors are left spellbound by the magnificence of the palace that utilises carvings, precious stones and mirrors.
The splendour of the palace is enhanced by the breathtaking vista of the Maota Lake out front. The palace is nearly seven centuries old and has a legendary past.
An iconic landmark, Hawa Mahal – literally the Palace of Winds – built in 1799 is a unique five-storey structure built from pink sandstone featuring a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture.
Visitors can admire its complete magnificence from outside across the road. However, it is also possible to climb right up to the top for a wonderful view from the windows.
Another interesting sight is the modern marble marvel, Birla Temple, or Lakshmi-Narayan Temple. Located at the base of Moti Dungari, this comparatively modern temple is built on an elevated platform entirely of white marble and dominates the skyline of south Jaipur.
Now a Unesco World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar is considered the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur.
It contains 16 geometric devices designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun. It also houses the Interpretation Centre that helps tourists to understand the working principles and chronology of the observatory.
The exquisitely built Albert Hall Museum (Central Museum) which is housed in the centre of Ram Niwas Garden was conceptualised and designed by Sir Swinton Jacob using styles from the Indo-Sarcenic architecture. The Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the building in 1876.
The museum displays a wide range of metal objects, woodcraft, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones and ivory goods and a large collection of miniatures from Bundi, Kota, Kishangarh, Udaipur and Jaipur schools of art.
When it comes to exploring the beautiful landscape of Rajasthan, ballooning is the way to go. Enjoy the beauty of India’s "Pink City" and absorb its colours, flavours and sounds as you take in the magnificent forts, palaces and bewitching architecture Jaipur is known for.