Jaipur: A Pink Jewel in the Desert

A beautiful city of forts in the midst of a desert known most for its martial past ad yet quite ironically drenched in the romance of pink, there is certainly more to Jaipur than meets the eye. And you can’t help but notice it in the air of the city as soon as you enter it. As the winding roads snake through the hills, the desert slowly reveals- as you come closer to your destination- the sight of the city idyllically cocooned in the distance below. Jaipur seems like another small world in its rights altogether.

Entering the main city, the title of pink bestowed upon it becomes quite apparent, and more so in the old city of Jaipur, which with its narrow lanes and walls clamped in the earthy pink traditionally signifies welcome. Also what is most commendable about the old city is how it has adapted itself to its new counterpart- a leading centre of education, commerce, industry and arts- in terms of modernity and progress, all the while maintaining the same charm and tradition as it did centuries ago.

Places to Visit: And when speaking of the charm and tradition of the city, the first thing that comes to mind are the various forts of Jaipur which are highly symbolic of this description and offer to us a glimpse of the royal past of this state which has been carried forward as legacy and kept alive in spirit and grandeur to this day.

The Amber Fort is one such fine example. The first state capital before Jaipur, it is famous for its display of Mughal influences which can be clearly seen in its halls and latticed galleries, and also for its sprawling complex of courtyards, halls, palaces and apartments separated by several gates. And here too are the Jai Mandir (Hall of Victory) and the Sukh Niwas (Hall of Pleasure), which used to be cooled down by a heavy stream of waters during summertime for the royals. However, the most fascinating of them all still remains the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) where even a single diya is replicated in a thousand glittering mirrors. Certainly not an experience to miss.

The other companion forts which are definitely worth a visit are the Jaigarh Fort and the Nahargarh Fort, known for their imposing features during the day and their fairy-tail appearance above the city when lit up at night. They are also known for their panoramic view, not to mention the rich history they are heaped in.

Going within the walled city however stores much more in terms of exploration and wonder. City Palace, located in the heart of the city, holds much in store for the visitor. The royal family still resides in a part of it while the rest serves as a museum.

And not very far from it is one of Jaipur’s most interesting monuments, the Hawa Mahal- a five storey façade made of quaint pink sandstone located right in the midst of the city.