Amber Fort is located in Amer (a town with an area of 4 square kilometres (1.5 sq mi)), 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Jaipur, Rajasthan state, India. It is one of the principal tourist attractions in the Jaipur area, located high on a hill.Amber Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I. Amber Fort is known for its artistic style, blending both Hindu and Rajput elements. With its large ramparts, series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks the Maota Lake, at its forefront.
The Amber Fort was built by ‘Raja Shri Maan Singh JI Saheb’ (Maan Singh I) (December 21, 1550 – July 6, 1614) in 16th century. Man Singh, one of the first war chiefs or the trusted general of the Emperor Akbar. Akbar included him among the ‘Navaratnas’, or the 9 (nava) gems (ratna) of the royal court. Man Singh began the construction of a fortress-palace of white and red sandstone i.e. Amber Fort in 1592.
Possibly the most serene sight amidst the chaos of Jaipur is the beautiful Jal Mahal Jaipur, the Water Palace. This low-rise symmetrical palace, that once was a shooting lodge for the Maharajah, appears to float in the centre of Sagar Lake. The light sand coloured stone walls of the Jal Mahal Jaipur are at a stark contrast to the deep blue of the waters of the lake, while from the innards of the palace lush foliage sprouts. This majestic scene makes the Jal Mahal Jaipur’s most photographed (and photograph friendly) monument but unfortunately exploration of the actual palace is off limits to the majority of visitors as it is to be transformed into an ultra exclusive restaurant.
The Jal Mahal is 4km to the north of Jaipur and is located on the main Amer-Jaipur road. Most visitors to the Jal Mahal combine the visit with the Amer fort as both attractions are on the same side of Jaipur. A typical visit to the Jal Mahal will be less than 30 minutes, time to take some photos.
The renowned 'Palace Of The Winds', or Hawa Mahal, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Jaipur city. Located in the heart of Jaipur, this beautiful five-storey palace was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh who belonged to Kachhwaha Rajput dynasty. The main architect of this palace built of red and pink sandstone, is Lal Chand Ustad and the palace is believed to have been constructed in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Considered as an embodiment of Rajputana architecture, the main highlight of Hawa Mahal is its pyramid shape and its 953 windows or 'Jharokhas' which are decorated with intricate designs. The main intention behind the construction of the Mahal was to facilitate the royal women and provide them a view of everyday life through the windows, as they never appeared in public. Read further to know more about Hawa Mahal, its history, architecture and its visiting hours.
Located in the heart of the Pink City Jaipur, the City Palace was where the Maharaja reigned from. This palace also includes the famous 'Chandra Mahal' and 'Mubarak Mahal', and other buildings which form a part of the palace complex. The palace is located towards the northeast side of central Jaipur and has many courtyards and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732 AD by Sawai Jai Singh II. He ruled in Amer and planned and built the outer walls of the palace and later rulers added to the architecture of this palace. These additions have been known to take place right up to the 20th century. The urban layout of the city of Jaipur was commissioned to Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. The architectural styles are largely based on a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European styles. Today, the 'Chandra Mahal' has been turned into a museum which is home to unique handcrafted products.
The first building on the site was a garden house built in 1835 for the wet nurse of prince Ram Singh II. In 1887, during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh, it was converted into a modest royal hunting lodge, as the house was located in the midst of a thick forest at that time. In the early 20th century, it was expanded into a palace to the designs of Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II made Rambagh his principal residence and added a number of royal suites in 1931. After India became independent and the princely states united, the Palace became the Government House. By the 1950s, the royal family felt that the upkeep of the palace and its 47 acres (190,000 m2) of gardens was becoming very costly. Therefore, in 1957 they decided to convert it into a luxury hotel.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India, is one of the world's largest private residences. A part of the palace is managed by Taj Hotels. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owner Gaj Singh of the palace, this edifice has 347 rooms and serves as the principal residence of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family. A part of the palace also houses a museum.
Umaid Bhawan Palace was called Chittar Palace during its construction due to use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill where it is located. Ground for the foundations of the building was broken on 18 November 1929 by Maharaja Umaid Singh and the construction work was completed in 1943. The Palace was built to provide employment to thousands of people during the time of famine.
Recently, Umaid Bhawan Palace was awarded as the World's best hotel at the Traveller's Choice Award, which was organised by TripAdvisor
Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island in the Lake Pichola. It is also called the "Lake Garden Palace". The palace is located in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Its construction is credited to three Maharanas of the Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar kingdom. The construction of the palace was started in 1551 by Maharana Amar Singh, continued by Maharana Karan Singh (1620–1628) and finally completed by Maharana Jagat Singh I (1628–1652). It is named as "Jagat Mandir" in honour of the last named Maharana Jagat Singh. The royal family used the palace as a summer resort and pleasure palace for holding parties. The palace served as a refuge to asylum seekers on two separate occasions.
Mount Abu is a popular hill station in the Aravalli Range in Sirohi district of Rajasthan state in western India near the border with Gujarat. The mountain forms a distinct rocky plateau 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m (5,650 ft) above sea level. It is referred to as 'an oasis in the desert' as its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests. Nearest Railway station is Abu Road railway station which is 27 km away.
Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fortifications in the world. It is situated in the city of Jaisalmer, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is a World Heritage Site. It was built in 1156 AD by the Rajput ruler Rawal Jaisal, from whom it derives its name. The fort stands amidst the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill, and has been the scene of many battles. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion colour during the day, fading to honey-gold as the sun sets, thereby camouflaging the fort in the yellow desert. For this reason, it is also known as the Sonar Quila or Golden Fort. The fort is located in the very heart of the city, and is one of the most notable monuments in the locality.
In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jaisalmer Fort, along with 5 other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.s. Nearest Railway station is Abu Road railway station which is 27 km away.
A Dargah is a shrine built over the grave of a revered religious figure, often a Sufi saint or dervish. Muslims may visit the shrine for ziyarat, a term associated with religious visits and pilgrimages. Dargahs are often associated with Sufi meeting rooms and hostels, called khanqah or hospices. They usually include a mosque, meeting rooms, Islamic religious schools (madrassas), residences for a teacher or caretaker, hospitals, and other buildings for community purposes. Some Muslims do not believe in the practice of constructing over graves and turning them into places of worship, and consider it as associating partners to God or shirk, though visiting graves is encouraged. Muhammad (according to some sects) forbade turning graves into places of worship. but encouraged to visit the graves to remember life after death (sahih Muslim 977).
Pushkar is a town in the Ajmer district in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is situated 14 km (8.7 mi) northwest of Ajmer at an average elevation of 510 m (1,670 ft) and is one of the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage site) for devout Hindus. According to Hindu theology, the pond at the Katas Raj temple Near Choa Saidan Shah in Chakwal District of Pakistan has a theological association with Shiva; it was formed by the tears of Lord Shiva which he is believed to have shed after the death of his wife, Sati. The story goes that when Sati died, Shiva cried so much and for so long, that his tears created two holy ponds – one at Pushkara in Ajmer in India and the other at Ketaksha, which literally means raining eyes, in Sanskrit. It is from this name that the word Katas is derived. It is often called "Tirth Raj" – the
king of pilgrimage sites – and has in recent years become a popular destination for foreign tourists.
Pushkar is one of the oldest existing cities of India. It lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. The date of its actual origin is not known, but legend associates Brahma with its creation.
Pushkar has many temples. Most of the temples are not very old because many temples were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Subsequently, the destroyed temples were rebuilt. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple built during the 14th century CE.
Ranthambore National Park or Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India, covering an area of 392 km. It is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 110 km northeast of Kota and 160 km southeast of Jaipur, which is also the nearest airport. The nearest town and railway station is at Sawai Madhopur, about 11 km away. The park is also close to the Kota railway station. RIDCOR operates a mega-highway between Kota and Ranthambhore. Ranthambore National Park lies at the edge of a plateau and is bounded to the north by the Banas River and to the south by the Chambal River. It is named after the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the park. Ranthambhore was established as the Sawai Madhopur Game
Sanctuary in 1955 by the Government of India and was declared one of the Project Tiger reserves in 1973. Ranthambore became a national park in 1980. In 1984, the adjacent forests were declared the Sawai Man Singh Sanctuary and Keladevi Sanctuary, and in 1991 the tiger reserve was enlarged to include the Sawai Man Singh and Keladevi sanctuaries.
Ranthambore wildlife sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these animals in their natural jungle habitat. Tigers can be easily spotted even in the daytime. The best times for tiger sightings at Ranthambore National Park are in November and May. The park's deciduous forests are characteristic examples of the type of jungle found in Central India. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, striped hyena, sloth bear, southern plains gray langur, rhesus macaque and chital. The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles, as well as one of the largest banyan trees in India.
No serious visitor to Jaipur leaves without at least one major shopping expedition at one of the myriad textile emporiums that dot the city. The
most visited and loved is undoubtedly the high-end Anokhi, which is famous for its cotton-block printed tunics, pants and home-furnishings. If
you’re interested in the production process, you can visit The Anokhi Musuem of Hand Printing in Amber where you can witness painting
demonstrations and make your own block-printed scarf or t-shirt.
Otherwise, there are a plethora of block print experts and shops in the city that sell everything from vintage fabrics from Afghanistan to local Jaipuri quilts. More details in our shopping section.
Anokhi Cafe – 2nd floor, KK Sq Mall, Prithviraj Rd. 0141 400 7245
One of our favourite places in Jaipur, Anokhi Cafe’s great mix of sandwiches, organic salads, smoothies, cakes, thin-crust pizzas and pastas is only matched by the cool, informal setting, with wicker chairs, a bamboo ceiling and Anokhi’s trademark block-printed fabrics filling the room. The produce is mostly organic and the food, prepared by a Kiwi chef, is fresh, healthy and very tasty. With designers, ex-pats and cool locals the regular clientele, the cafe is the perfect refuge from both the tourist spots and the busy world outside.
Niros – MI Road 0141 237 4493
Although Niros was made famous in the 90s’ for its celebrity clientele (included – so the word goes – Amitabh Bachchan and Naomi Campbell) and great food, the quality of the dishes seems to have dipped somewhat in recent years, but it is still a decent, reliable and clean place in the middle of the city to grab a good, hearty meal amidst backpackers and locals on a fancy night out. The cuisine is a mix of Indian, Chinese and old-school continental.
Laxmi Misthan Bhandar (LMB) – 100 Johari Bazaar 0141 256 5844
Located right in the bustle of Johari Bazaar, this decades-old Jaipur institution is famous for its robust and spicy vegetarian food. Though they have a large and varied menu listing a range of Chinese and continental dishes, it would be wise to stick to the Indian and Rajasthani food: the chaat, somasas and daal baati churma come highly recommended.
Lassiwala – MI Road, Opp Niros Creamy, curdy goodness of the kind other lassiwalas only dream of. This nondescript shop front houses the makers of arguably Jaipur’s most famous lassi, served in clay cups to be happily drunk from and then smashed into the bins provided. The sweet variety is the overwhelming favourite, but salted has its fans too.
Samode Haveli – Gangapole 0141 263 2407
One of the principle pleasures of eating here is being seated in the stunning fresco-covered dining hall, but the food gives the setting a run for its money too. Choose from a very generous, tasty and reasonably priced buffet service that includes Indian, Rajasthani and Western dishes, or go à la carte with a wide variety of the same.
Saba Haveli – Gangapole 0141 263 0521
In season, this charming haveli turned hotel in the old town lays out a fantastic spread of north-Indian and Rajasthani food, and is a great place to come to for a traditional thali. If you like your food spicy, make sure to let the chefs know beforehand as they tend to turn it down a notch for foreign tourists.
Four Seasons – D 43A2 Subhash Marg 0141 237 5450
Unpretentious and tasty vegetarian food that locals swear by, Four Seasons is a great place to come to when you’re craving non-touristy food in a simple setting.
Narain Niwas Palace Hotel – Narain Singh Road 0141 256 1291
Certain Jaipur insiders declare their thali one of the best in the city – simple, powerful flavours with none of the heaviness that can mar an otherwise lovely Rajasthani food experience. The front terrace of this pretty haveli hotel is also a great place to have a drink in the evening; an added bonus is the presence of cool fashion store Hot Pink on the premises.
Steam, Rambagh Palace Hotel – Bhawani Singh Rd 0141 221 1919
A spiffy lounge bar set in an old train carriage, Steam is well known for its authentic cocktails and “wood-fired Italian crust pizzas”. If you’re looking for a sharp night about town mingling with Jaipur’s gilded young denizens, this is as good as it gets.
Rawat Mishtan Bhandar – Station Rd 0141 236 8288
A one-stop shop for both savoury and sweet snacks, this Haldiram-style establishment set in a clean modern building is famous for its kachoris and jalebis. Good for an introduction to Jaipur’s street food culture without any of the attendant grime.
Jaipur’s crowded markets – Johari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Chaura Rasta and MI Road – are where you will find the best paranthas, kachoris, samosas, pakodas, jalebis and ladoos. Persuade your auto-wallah to take you where he would eat (instead of where he thinks you want to eat) and you’ll probably find yourself at an authentic local stall eating some of Jaipur’s tastiest food. As ever, foreigners should go for the places that are very busy, with a high turnover.
Jagannath Sharma Pakodi Wale – 162 Thansi Payou, Tripolia Bazaar
A 100 year old hole-in-the-wall shop run by two brothers, continuing the family tradition of cooking on a blackened coal stove without any onions or garlic; the pakodas they turn out – filled with potatoes, chickpeas, lentils or green chillies – are excellent.
Shri Ram Namkeen Bhandar – Off MI Rd
This nondescript cart down an alleyway off MI Road is the dictionary definition of basic, but it serves possibly the tastiest kachoris we ate in Jaipur. Get Raju, the rickshaw wallah who sits outside Diggi Palace (number above) to take you, he knows it well.
Bombay Mishthan Bhandar (BMB) – Sanganeri Gate
Open from 5 am till midnight, this popular local shack at Sanganeri Gate is famous for its jalebis and saffron-flavoured milk. Also serves samosas and kachoris if you’re craving something salty.
The entire city of Jaipur is effectively one huge market, with many streets focussing on just one particular trade.
Ramganj Bazaar is famous for embroidered and leather footwear; Badi Chauper, Johari Bazaar, Chameliwala Bazaar, Jadiyon-ka-Rasta, Gopalji-ka-Rasta and Haldiyon-ka-Rasta for jewellery; Maniharon-ka-Rasta off Tripolia Bazaar for lac bangles; Khajanewalon-ka-Rasta off Chandpol Bazaar for stone carving; Johari Bazaar for textiles; and the area around Hawa Mahal for both real and counterfeit antiques. Sanganer, just 16 kms northwest of Jaipur, is where all the textile specialists have their factories, a good place to explore if you’re looking for more unique pieces outside of the more famous stores in the city.
Saurashtra Impex – Jorwar Singh Gate, Amber Rd 0141 2635647
The ground floor of this famous textiles emporium sells all manner of block-printed textiles including Jaipuri quilts, bedsheets, dohars and tunics; their prints are often excellent, designs contemporary and prices reasonable. Also ask the owner to show you the first floor where he stocks his collection of antique fabrics and tribal clothing (wedding dresses, antique Souzanis, vintage sarees) sourced from the subcontinent and Central Asia.
Hot Pink – Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Narain Singh Rd, 0141 510 8932
Bringing together the best of contemporary textile design and fashion in a beautiful space within the gardens of Narain Niwas Hotel, Hot Pink – set up by jewellery magnate Munnu Kasliwal and French jewellery designer Marie Helene de Tailiac – is Jaipur’s first high fashion concept store. Expect to find a beautifully curated collection of very fashionable clothes and home furnishings in a gorgeous setting.
Rajasthali – Ajmeri Gate, MI Road, Opp Ajmeri Gate, 0141 237 2974
Government emporium with a wide range of fixed-price souvenirs.
Khadi Ghar – MI Rd 0141 237 3745–
A government-run emporium that specialises in hand-woven and hand-spun fabrics at fixed, reasonable prices.
Nayika – MI Road 0141 2362664
Jaipur insiders make a beeline to Nayika for their trademark quilted silk jackets (you can choose the print and order it to your size) but this lovely store also has a great range of cotton shirts and dresses, stoles and handbags.
Many of the boutiques we’ve listed now have outlets in other big Indian cities, but their origins are all in Jaipur and it is here that you’ll find the largest variety of prints and fabrics, all competitively priced.
Anokhi – 2nd floor, KK Sq Mall, Prithviraj Rd. 0141 400 7245
The undisputed leader of the block-print trade, they roll out a stunning collection of dresses, tunics, pants, bedsheets, dupattas, bedcovers, quilts, shirts and bags, with unerring and highly pleasing regularity. Their Jaipur outlet is large, airy and beautiful, making the whole experience of shopping or browsing a pleasure. The added bonus is the attached Anokhi Café, to refresh yourself between splurges.
Cottons – Jacob Rd, Civil Lines, 0141 222 3870
Popular with college girls for the bright and colourful printed skirts and scarves on display, they also has a small collection of jewellery.
Kilol – Sadar Patel Marg, 0141 511 4683
Known for their sophisticated collection of hand-block printed silk sarees.
Soma – Jamnalal Bajaj Marg 0141 237 2246
Soma have one of the best home-furnishing collections in India, with a contemporary, regularly updated range of pretty prints on bedsheets, cushion covers and quilts. They also keep a small collection of tunics and men’s shirts.
Ratan – Papriwal Cottage, Ajmer Rd 0141 222 2392
Great prices and a good range of products at this family-run specialist in screen and block-printing.
For expensive jewellery:
The Gem Palace – MI Road 0141 237 4175 Run by the famous Kasliwal family, whose ancestors were the court jewellers to the Mughal emperors, this 160-year-old store has multiple rooms filled with some of the finest jewellery in India. The place to come when you want something spectacular and have money to burn!
Amrapali – Ashok Marg 0141 237 4175
For connoisseurs of beautiful hand-crafted jewellery and tribal antique silver jewellery, Amrapali can’t be beat. Their range runs from the reasonable to the fantastically expensive, well worth a visit just to admire the stunning collection.
Bhuramal Rajmal Surana
Another iconic store in Jaipur famous for their exquisite traditional jewellery dripping with precious stones. Essential shopping for your wedding trousseau.