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Jaibur, die pinke Stadt, Bild: Hitman H / shutterstock

Fascinating Jaipur – Lively, Worth seeing, Delicious

When Prince Albert, husband of the British Queen Victoria, visited Jaipur in 1853, the then Maharaja of Rajasthan ordered the city to be painted pink as a sign of hospitality. Since then, today’s capital of Rajasthan in India has also borne the nickname “Pink City”. Especially at dusk, the magnificent facades of the lively old town shine in warm pink and red tones.

Vibrant Jaipur

Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, who moved his capital from Amber, now a suburb of Jaipur, a few kilometers further into the plain. Jaipur’s current old town did not grow organically over time, but was planned in advance as an implementation of the ideal Hindu cityscape and then built. The model was the legendary city of Ayodhya, which was home to the “Sun Dynasty” and thus the ancestors of the ruling house.

Today, the bubbling old town is undisputedly the heart of the metropolis. The traffic is chaotic and noisy. Cars, rickshaws and cargo bikes jostle through the streets, with sacred cows, elephants and monkeys in between. Numerous goods are offered for sale in the bazaars and by hawkers on the street. And delicious North Indian street food can be tasted on every corner. Immersing yourself in the old town of Jaipur means experiencing the Indian way of life and culture up close. Hardly any other city in India offers this in such an intense way as Jaipur.

Places of interest in Jaipur

In addition to the pink old town, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019, there are numerous other sights to discover in Jaipur and the surrounding area.

Hawa Mahal - Palace of Winds, Jaipur
Hawa Mahal – Palace of Winds, Image: Nila Newsom / shutterstock

Hawa Mahal, the “Palace of the Winds”, is the city’s landmark. The palace got its name from the almost 1000 small barred windows in the magnificent façade of the palace. They allow the air to circulate steadily, which promises pleasant cooling, especially in the hotter months. In addition, the windows served as privacy screens for the harem ladies. Since they were not allowed to show themselves in public, they could watch the goings-on in front of the palace through the windows without being seen themselves.

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Jal Mahal, Jaipur
Jal Mahal, Image: photoff / shutterstock

The City Palace is an impressive palace complex consisting of various buildings, courtyards and gardens. Since the descendants of the maharajas still reside here, only parts of the complex are open to the public. In addition to the palace itself, numerous exhibits from the everyday life of the maharajas can be seen. Jewellery, precious clothes and fabrics, carpets, but also swords, daggers and other weapons can be admired in various rooms.

Fort Amber is located about 11 kilometers outside of Jaipur and was the residence of the Maharajah of Rajasthan until he moved to Jaipur. To the outside, the fortress presents itself defensively with seemingly insurmountable walls. Inside, however, the fort is more like a palace. Numerous buildings with magnificently designed facades made of white marble and sandstone are spread between gardens, pavilions and courtyards on the fortress complex. Particularly impressive is the mirror palace “Sheesh Mahal”. Walls and ceilings are richly decorated with arabesques, ornaments and countless small mirrors that reflect the sunlight in a wonderful way. In addition to the fort itself, the spectacular view of the valley is also one of the highlights of the visit here.

Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur
Jaigarh Fort, Image: Roop_Dey / shutterstock

Just above Amber is the Jaigarh Fort. Once built as an additional protection of Amber Fort, it is architecturally rather unspectacular and simple. You can visit the armory with numerous swords, rifles and the world’s largest cannon on wheels. The view of the Amber Fort, which is about 100 meters below, is also really rewarding.

The third and last fortress in the defensive ring of Jaipur is Nahargarh Fort. It was built by Jai Singh II. Later, it was expanded by his successor Rat Singh II to include a palace with nine richly decorated apartments for his nine wives. Some of the original frescoes are still well preserved. The highlight of a visit here, however, is the breathtaking view of Jaipur. The Pink City is particularly beautiful at sunset.

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The Albert Hall houses one of the oldest and most important museums in Rajasthan. It is named after the British Prince Albert, who laid the foundation stone for the imposing building in 1876. Today, an extensive collection of a wide variety of exhibits from the fields of painting, handicrafts, jewellery and textiles is shown here. Even a stuffed crocodile and an Egyptian mummy that is over 2000 years old can be admired.

Delicious Jaipur

In addition to the numerous sights and the special atmosphere of the city, Jaipur also offers a wide selection of regional specialties. The various dishes and snacks are prepared practically always and everywhere in the city, so that it is not difficult for the visitor to get to know this part of Indian culture better. Jaipur’s countless restaurants serve dishes such as “palak paneer”, a curry with spinach and Indian cheese, or “tandoori chicken”, a chicken dish prepared in a special clay oven.

If you want, you can even order typical dishes of the traditional palace cuisine of the maharajas in some restaurants and dine truly royally. But Jaipur’s street food is a very special experience. Exotically spiced snacks are prepared in the small food stalls and go straight from hand to mouth. Samosas, for example, are small triangular dumplings that are usually filled with potatoes or lentils and fried in clarified butter. Numerous other delicacies are offered all over the city and make a visit to Jaipur an experience with all the senses.