Jaipur, the city of Maharajas & Maharanis, palaces, chivalry and romance is one of the finest pre modern planned cities in India. It is one of the 3 cities on the famous Golden Triangle Tour along with Delhi and Agra. Jaipur, also known as the Pink City is the capital of the desert state of Rajasthan and should definitely be of the destinations on your North India tour.
In ancient times, this land was ruled by the Matsya kings - fishermen turned rulers. The foundation for the walled city of Jaipur was laid by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727. The Maharaja referred to ancient architectural texts and consulted Vidyadhar Bhattacharya a learned scholar from Bengal. Jaipur, the quintessence of your Rajasthan tour came to life under the skilled guidance of Bhattacharya who became the Maharaja's chief architect.
Along with the palaces of breath taking beauty, the Maharaja a keen mathematician, astronomer and astrophysicist, built the Jantar Mantar to pursue his interests. This observatory is now on the World Heritage list. If you are a keen astronomer yourself, include Jaipur in your holidays in India wish list.
Other Sites of interst
The unique cuisine of Jaipur suits the desert climate. Delicious cold yogurt or lassi in earthen pots, Dal Bati Churma, aloo ke parathe - Indian bread stuffed with mashed potatoes and blended with spices, Rajasthani dahi vada, spiced lentil doughnut immersed in mildly spiced yogurt are some of the typical delicacies.
For memorable experience, taste the favorite cuisine of the Jaipur royal family on roof top of the Ajmer Fort restaurant. The place is managed by the Maharaja's chef.
Another favorite among locals and travelers alike is the Laxmi Misthan Bhandar or LMB restaurant in Johri bazaar famous for serving up local delicacies and sweets. If you do visit LMB then be sure to try their Rajasthani Thaali to sample many Rajasthani dishes in one plate.
If you are interested in Dinner and a Show then you can visit Chokhi Dhani, where you will not only get to enjoy Rajasthani food, but also get a Rajasthani Folk dance show set in a local rural village style atmosphere.
Round up your Rajasthan tour with a visit to Johari Bazzar. This busy bazzar is home to artisans who have been infusing charm and beauty into metal using precious and semi precious stones for generations.
You'll also find Bandhani or tie and dye sarees and material in all its colourful glory here. Jewellery in lacquered and carved brass and Minakari, the Mughal art of enamelling gold and silver ornaments and jewellery are unique to Rajasthan.
Take home some stunningly elegant Lehariya sarees as a reminiscence of your North India tour. They have a natural ripple effect and a velvety feel. If, you are a great fan of hand printing or a textile artist, allocate some time to visit the Anokhi Textile Store and Museum.
If you want to be blown away by the royal charm of the Pink city, click here and lets get started.