15 iconic attractions and places to visit in Jaipur

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“kesariya balam padharo mhare desh”, is a popular folk song of Rajasthan. In this song, Maru beseeches her Rajpur Warrior (warrior dressed in saffron color – Kesariya) lover (Balam) to return back home from war.

As I grew up hearing this song I never knew Rajasthan would be my second home – My home after marriage.

Jaipur is the capital city of this magnificent and largest state of India by geographical area. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of ancient culture and modernity.

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II shifted from Amer to Jaipur due to water problems and an increase in population in 1727.

Maharaja Jai Singh II commissioned the urban layout of the city of Jaipur to Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob.

The architectural styles are largely based on a fusion of Rajput, Mughal and European styles.

During the visit of Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria to India, Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II got the city painted pink in order to extend a warm welcome to the royal guest into the city of Jaipur. Since then, it became famous as ‘Pink city’.

Even now many historical and government buildings are painted terracotta pink.

What is Jaipur famous for? Jaipur is famous for jewelry, textile, gemstones, lac bangles, and many other handicrafts. Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall Museum, Birla Mandir, Galtaji Mandir, Gaitore, Nahargarh Fort, Amer Fort, Jal Mahal, Abhaneri are few places that you shouldn’t miss to visit when in Jaipur. Jaipur is one of the three cities of the golden triangle circuit with the other two being Delhi and Agra.

Jaipur is one of the main tourist attractions of India as it has a lot to offer to its visitors including palaces, historical monuments, temples, museums, forts, markets and many other local experiences that keep bringing them back to this place again, and again.

Though with the passing time Jaipur has evolved as a modern city it has still managed to retain its old-world charm due to its well-preserved monuments, art, architecture, culture, and traditions.

There are many tourist attractions and experiences which Jaipur is famous for but I am going to list 15 iconic attractions here that one must visit in order to gain the maximum out of visiting this amazing city.

1. Hawa Mahal

Image by Walkerssk from Pixabay

Hawa Mahal is located in the heart of the city of Jaipur at Badi choupad.

Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh got it constructed in 1799. It is known for being ‘the world’s tallest building without foundation’.

It is a five-storey building with 953 small windows or ‘Jharokhas’. This allows the breeze to flow through the mahal and keep it cool and airy. It was used by the women of the royal family to view everyday life through the windows of the building without appearing in public.

Hawa Mahal is made up of red and pink sandstone and is a mixture of Hindu and Islamic architecture.

Entry fee– Rs. 50 for Indians, Rs. 200 for Foreigners

Visiting hours– Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 05.00 PM

Websitewww.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Contact number– 0141-2822863

2. City Palace

The City Palace was built between 1729 and 1732 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Maharaja’s chief architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya designed the ‘Grid-Style’ City Palace in accordance with Vaastushastra.

Entrances to the palace are called Pol. The walls and gates are ornately designed to Mughal style, with various murals, lattice, and mirrors adorning them from sides.

Some of the famous Pol or gates are the ‘Udai Pol’, ‘Jaleb Chowk’, ‘Tripolia Gate’ and ‘Virendra Pol’.

The Palace houses various structures such as, ‘Diwan-I-Khas’, ‘Chandra Mahal’, ‘Mubarak Mahal’, and the ‘Govind Dev Ji Temple. As of today, the ‘Chandra Mahal’ has been converted into a museum which is home to unique handcrafted products, various uniforms of the rulers and other artifacts of the bygone era.

Entry fee– Rs. 190 for Indians, Rs. 500 for Foreigners

Visiting hours– Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 05.00 PM

Websitehttps://royaljaipur.in

Contact number– 0141-4088888

3. Jantar Mantar

The observatories, or “Jantar Mantar” as they are commonly known, incorporate multiple buildings of unique form, each with a specialized function for astronomical measurement (Source).

In which cities are the Jantar Mantar located? Between 1724 and 1730 Maharajah Sawaii Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five astronomical observatories in north India at New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura, and Varanasi. The first Jantar Mantar was built at Delhi in 1724 and the last to be completed is the observatory at Jaipur in 1738. All Jantar Mantars are open for public except the one in Mathura which is mainly in ruins now.

Why is the Jaipur Jantar Mantar Famous? Of the five astronomical observatories in north India built by Maharajah Sawaii Jai Singh II, the Jaipur observatory is the most elaborate one. It is a collection of 19 architectural astronomical instruments featuring the world’s largest stone sundial. It has been named as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.

While visiting this place it’s better to get a guide so that one understands how all the instruments work. The observatory is located near city palace in Tripolia bazar.

Entry fee-Rs. 50 for Indians, Rs. 200 for Foreigners

Visiting hours- Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 04.30 PM

Websitewww.jantarmantar.org

Contact number– 0141-2706560, 2706503

4. Albert Hall Museum

Image by Hitesh Sharma from Pixabay 

The foundation stone of the Albert Hall was laid during the visit of Prince of Wales Albert Edward to Jaipur in 1876.

It was completed in 1887 by the architect Samuel Swinton Jacob. Located in Ram Niwas Bagh and also called Government Central Museum, it exhibits various collections of art pieces ranging from sculpture, pottery, jewelry, musical instruments, furniture, and garments.

It looks best bathed into lights of various colors during evening hours in its architectural glory. It’s definitely a sight not to be missed.

Entry fee– Rs.20 and Rs. 40 for Indian students and other Indian nationals respectively. Rs.150 for foreign students and Rs. 300 for other foreign tourists.

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 05.00 PM (except for a few days for maintenance, check the website for regular updates)

Websitehttps://alberthalljaipur.gov.in

Contact number – 0141-2820388, 2820389, 2820390

5. Birla Mandir

Birla Mandir was built in 1988 by Birla family on a piece of land donated to them by the king of Jaipur at the cost of one rupee for the purpose of construction of this beautiful temple.

It is located on Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg in Tilak Nagar.

This temple is famous for both its architectural beauty and as a place of worship. It is dedicated to Lord Lakshmi Narayan. The temple is made up of white marble and is surrounded by gardens on the sides.

The temple is beautifully decorated on the occasion of Janmashtami which is celebrated with lots of zeal and enthusiasm here.

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat 06.00 AM to 12.00 Noon and 03.00 PM to 09.00 PM

Entry fee-free

Websitewww.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Contact number – 0141-2822863

6. Galtaji Mandir

This temple is located at a distance of 10 kilometers from Jaipur.

Cabs buses for auto-rickshaws can be used to reach this place. Hiring a private cab is the best to go and return.

It is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site. This temple was built by Diwan Rao Kriparam who worked for Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during the 18th century.

It houses various holy Kunds and natural springs. According to the popular belief, a saint named Galtav spent all his life here worshiping. Pleased by his devotion, God appeared before him and blessed this place of worship with copious water. Hence the temple is named after him.

One can see many monkeys flocking around the temple so it’s better to be careful of one’s belongings. Preferably don’t carry eatables in your hands in the vicinity of the temple.

Entry fee-free

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat

7. Gaitore

The word ‘Gaitore’ is derived from ‘Gaye ka thore’ which in local language means ‘final place of the departed one’.

This place is royal cremation ground of kachwaha Rajputs. It is located on the Jaipur Amer road at a distance of 15 kilometers from the city. Local buses taxi or auto-rickshaw can be used for commute.

The cenotaphs or ‘Chhatris; as called in the local language are built to indicate the cremation site of the people of the royal family. These cenotaphs are a beautiful blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture.

There are numerous cenotaphs with intricate carvings on them.

Out of all these, the chhatri of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II is the most beautiful.

Entry fee– Rs. 30 for Indians, Rs. 100 for foreigners

Visiting hours– Sun-Sat 09.00 AM to 05.00 PM

8. Amer Fort

Amer fort was built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1592. This is a very old fort and may seem dull from outside but it’s amazingly beautiful inside.

It’s located at a distance of around 11 kilometers from Jaipur city and the best way to reach is hired taxi or auto-rickshaw.

Consisting of various buildings like Diwan-e-aam, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Mahal, it has been built with pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble. This fort has stood the test of time and foreign invasions and still stands strong and magnificent.

Image by joakant from Pixabay

Many Bollywood movies have been shot here like Jodha Akbar and Bajirao Mastani.

During the evening, a beautiful light and sound show is held here. During my visit to this fort with a friend, we were so blown away with its sheer magnificence that we lost the track of time and passages.

It was almost closing time when we realized that there was not a single person around. That really scared us both. After walking down for some time, we found a guard who then asked a local guide to help us exit the fort.

Entry fee – Rs. 100 for Indians, Rs. 500 for Foreigners

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 05.00 PM

Websitewww.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Contact number – 0141-2822863

9. Nahargarh fort

Situated on the ridge of Aravalli hills, Nahargarh fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II during the 18th century.

The palace has a separate Wax museum with wax statues of many famous people. Modern art creations by many famous international artists are also at display inside this fort.

There is a step-well or baori which is now almost dry where a scene from the famous movie ‘Rang de Basanti’ was shot.

If tired by walking for long inside the fort, one can visit the restaurant at the end of the palace to have something to eat and get a bird’s eye view of the whole city.

Traveler’s Tip – This place starts getting crowded by visitors and photographers from 5 pm as the sunset looks beautiful from the top.

We reached this place quite early, took the best spot and started the game of locating the famous city landmarks from there. It felt like sitting in a balcony of the highest building in the city.

Entry fee – Rs. 50 for Indians, Rs. 200 for Foreigners

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 05.00 PM

Websitewww.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Contact number – 0141-2822863

10. Jaigarh Fort

Located about 15 kilometers from Jaipur on Amer road on a hill called ‘Cheel ka Tila’, this fort was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II during the 18th century.

It is spread over a range of 3 kilometers in length and 1-kilometer width.

This fort is famous for housing ‘Jaivana cannon’ which is the world’s greatest cannon on wheels. Many works of art are on display in the museum-like paintings, carpets, arms, and armor, silverware, etc.

There are secret tunnels that connect this fort to Amer fort.

Entry fee –  Rs. 70 for Indians, Rs. 150 for foreigners

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 10.00 PM

Websitewww.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in

Contact number – 0141-2822863

11. BM Birla Planetarium

If one has some interest in the cosmos and heavenly bodies, a visit to this planetarium is a must.

It came into existence with the efforts of CK Birla Group which has such other planetariums at Hyderabad and Chennai.

This observatory was inaugurated on 17th March 1987 by Sh. G.P Birla and Nirmala Birla. Various seminars, presentations, and workshops are organized regularly here to educate the visitors about the celestial bodies and universe.

Entry fee – Rs. 60

Visiting hours – Tues-Sun (Monday closed) 11.00 AM to 19.30 PM

Website www.bmbirlaplanet.org

Contact number – 0141-2385367

12. Jal Mahal

Jal Mahal literally translates to ‘Water Palace’.

It is situated on the Amer- Jaipur road in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. It is a five-story building but looks like there is one floor only as the other four are under the water.

It was founded by Maharaja Pratap Singh in the 18th century and got renovated by Maharaja Jai Singh II.

It is built in a combination of Rajput and Mughal architectural style. One can enjoy the beauty of this place spending some time during the evening at the lake as boating in the lake and entry inside the palace is not allowed currently.

Entry fee – No fee as an entry inside is not allowed

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat

13. Abhaneri

Abhaneri is a village in the district of Dausa, at a distance of around 95 km from Jaipur.

The Chand baori is around 1000 years old and was built by Kind Chanda of Nikumba dynasty in the 9th century.

This baori has 3500 narrow steps.

At 64 feet deep, it is India’s largest and deepest stepwell built for storing water. It attracts a lot of visitors due to its amazing architecture.

This place became famous after the scenes from movies like Paheli, The Fall, Dark Knight Rises was shot here.

There are no direct buses to this place from Jaipur. One can go to Sikandra from Jaipur by bus and then take a taxi or jeep to Abhaneri. The best option would be to hire a private cab to visit and return.

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat

14. Jawahar Kala Kendra

Located on Jawaharlal Marg, Jaipur, this is the place for art enthusiasts. Also known as JKK, it was designed by Charles Correa.

It is a multi-art center built by the government of Rajasthan with the purpose of preserving Rajasthani arts and crafts. It has auditoriums, library, cafe, theatre for films and plays, spaces for exhibitions, events, and shows.

Entry fee-free (there may be fee inside for the shows)

Visiting hours – Sun-Sat 9.00 AM to 10.00 PM

Websitejkk.artandculture.rajasthan.gov.in

Contact number – 0141-2706560, 2706503

There’s a lot more to do in Jaipur in addition to things mentioned here. You can experience the traditional village scenes created in Chokhi Dhani, try your hand at block printing, tie, and dye, cooking, henna painting.

If this is your first trip to India you will find these posts helpful:-

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15. Interesting Volunteer Programs in Jaipur

There are many NGOs working in Jaipur in the field of education, children, women development, livelihood, etc. If interested, you can get in touch with any of them and volunteer if visiting for a long period.

Praveenlata Sansthan ( www.pls-ngo.org) is a non-profit organization working for the holistic development of child welfare, women empowerment and rural development across Rajasthan. They have also created a platform for underprivileged women to sell handmade products made by them.

Pravah ( www.commutiny.in) is a non-governmental organization which is an ancillary of Pravah Delhi working towards youth development and social justice in Jaipur.

Creatis ( www.creatis.in) provides you a chance to learn new skills like screen printing, block-printing, embroidery, tie, and dye, etc. You can enroll in a class to learn and also make something for yourself there.

Ahimsagram (www.ahimsagram.in) is a community organization working with a purpose to co-create systems for individual empowerment and collective abundance. They work with individuals, business organizations and communities to build self-organizing systems for working together effectively.

Jaipur has so much to offer that you won’t be disappointed (unless looking for a desert in the middle of the city!!)

How to reach Jaipur

Air – Jaipur has an international airport that is named Sanganer airport which has direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai.

Rail – Jaipur Junction Railway station is well connected with other major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jammu, Chandigarh, Haridwar, Bhopal, Kolkata, Lucknow, Patna, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa through rail network.

Bus – There are regular bus services to Jaipur from many major cities like Delhi, Kota, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Udaipur, Vadodara, Ajmer. Many options of direct and connecting buses are available to reach Jaipur which is pocket-friendly too.

What should I eat in Jaipur?

There is no dearth of places to eat in Jaipur. Starting from traditional Rajasthani cuisine to other Indian delicacies, fast food, street food, fine dining places, you can find all here.

An open-air food court ‘Masala chowk’ at Ram Niwas Bagh has many stalls from various famous food shops of Jaipur and you can find all of them together at one place at reasonable prices.

For fine dining options, one can go to 1135 AD, Swarn Mahal Virasat Heritage Restaurant, Handi at MI Road and try authentic Rajasthani food here.

If you just need a place to chill and have tea, ‘Tapri- the tea house’ is a very good option.

Paani puri at Chawla’s, Lassi at Lassiwala, Chai at Gulabji, Saraogi mansion Falahaar, Pandit pav- bhaji, Faluda kulfi at Bapu Bazar are some of the must-try food items in Jaipur.

Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar or LMB as it is famously known as is very popular for its sweets and snacks. Samrat restaurant and Radhe kachori are a must-try for mouth-watering kachoris.

What should I Shop in Jaipur?

For shopping experience, one can visit malls like WTP, Pink square and GT but if you want to have a more local experience, then Bapu Bazar and Johari Bazar are the right places for you.

One can just stroll around lazily and have a look at the shops. You can find everything from sarees, lehenga, salwar kameez, shawl, Bandhej dupatta, block printed bedsheets, handbags, jewelry, traditional jutties and other trinkets here.

Good bargaining skills come handy at these shops. Always bargain for a better price and have a look around all the shops first before buying. If you don’t feel like walking around much then e-rickshaw is the best option.

Where can I stay in Jaipur?

Along with endless options of stay with hotels, Havelis, and guest houses, there are homestays if one wants to observe the local life and culture closely by staying with the local family.

For people who like to travel solo, meet people from all over the world but also want to keep it pocket-friendly then travelers hostels in Jaipur like Zostel, the hosteller, Moustache, Jaipur Jantar, Chalo Eco hostel, etc. are the best options to choose from.

When is the best time to visit Jaipur?

The best time to visit Jaipur is between October to March when days are cool. Most of the places to visit in Jaipur need a lot of walking so summer is not a good time as it gets extremely hot during daytime in summers. It is advisable to carry a water bottle, sunglasses, a cap, and sunscreen while traveling around.

What should I wear in Jaipur?

As an Indian traveler, I prefer clothes that cover me from my cleavage to my knees. Many religious places need your arms covered. If you are visiting a Gurudwara, you will need to cover your head as well. It would be good to carry a scarf, stole or a Sarong to cover yourself up in religious places.

Most of the local women here wear Indian outfits like sarees and salwar kurta. Younger ones can be seen wearing jeans-top, Kurtis, etc.

Is Jaipur safe for tourists?

Jaipur is quite a safe place for tourists and even for solo travelers as it is a very popular tourist destination frequented by tourists from all over the world. One should avoid staying out alone late at night and have emergency numbers with you all the time. If you are a foreigner, you may often find yourself hassled by the vendors but most of the time just a stern look and ‘no’ would do if not interested.

If I have ever had a past life on this earth, I feel it was here, in Rajasthan.

I can see myself wandering in the corridors of its palaces, singing and dancing my heart out here.

There are untold stories lurking deep beneath the foundations of these historical places that my soul yearns to discover.

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If this is your First trip to Rajasthan, you will find these posts helpful as well:-

Video on Top Things To Do/See in Jaipur

Here’s a list of the Top 10 things to do & see in Jaipur by GottaDoIndia.

19 thoughts on “15 iconic attractions and places to visit in Jaipur”

  1. I’m planning to finally get to India next year. I can’t wait to see everything you’ve written about here. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jaipur is one of my favourite cities in India. I have been there multiple times but somehow never got around to galtaji temple. Its still on my list to cover. Loved the links for volunteering programs. Gonna check them out.

  3. I visited Jaipur while on our way to Delhi. Just got time to fetch a glimpse of Hawa Mahal only. I have plans of visiting Jaipur in near future when weather would be in favour. I would never want to leave Jaipur without exploring Nahargarh Fort and Abhaneri.

  4. A few years ago I found out my ancestors came form Jaipur. Ever since then I’ve been dying to visit!!! Thank you so much for this comprehensive post. There’s so many amazing sights, I love that picture of Amer Fort. I also appreciate the volunteer opportunities. I love that idea!

    • I am glad you liked the post, Natasha! If you happen to write about tracking back your ancestry, do remember to share it with me. I would love to read it 🙂

  5. Jaipur is high on my wish list due to its rich heritage and beautiful architecture. As I love Rajasthani handicrafts and arts, I would definitely check some skill learning at Creatsis. Thanks for sharing wonderful programs

  6. I have done a tour from Delhi to Kolkata overland but so far, I haven’t had the chance to visit Japiur. Your post makes me reconsider my choice – I should definitely include Jaipur on my next itinerary

  7. Jaipur known as Pink city of India and an official capital of Rajasthan. Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, City Palace, Jantar-Mantar and Amer Fort are the royal heritage and monuments of Jaipur. All these places attracts the tourist to visit Jaipur. I have been to Jaipur before i guess 2 years ago and the main reason to visit Jaipur again is Chomu Palace which is in Jaipur where the famous bollywood movie “BHUL BHULAIYA” was shot at there. I would like to recommend you that do add this place in you itinerary when you plan to visit Jaipur again. Also i am food lover, i would love taste the famous food item of the place where i visit. In Jaipur you must try “Pyaas Kachori”, Lassi at Lassiwala and authentic Rajasthani food “Dalbati Churma” any where at Jaipur. The information and information of itinerary you have given are very much helpful to anyone who visits Jaipur first time.

    • Awesome looks like you are a foodie 🙂 Here are my few recommendations for your next visit – Paani puri at Chawla’s, Lassi at Lassiwala, Chai at Gulabji, Saraogi mansion Falahaar, Pandit pav- bhaji, Faluda kulfi at Bapu Bazar are some of the must-try food items in Jaipur.

      Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar or LMB as it is famously known as is very popular for its sweets and snacks. Samrat restaurant and Radhe kachori are a must try for mouth-watering kachoris.

  8. I love to read this blog post because you are using real images I love that…very nice post about visit or travel in Jaipur. Thanks, A lot

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