Forts and Palaces in Jaipur
I was recently browsing through pictures of Jaipur I shot during a holiday and fell in love with the Pink City all over again. No trip to Jaipur is complete without photo opps at the Hawa Mahal; in fact, the palace is the single-most widely photographed picture of Jaipur’s architectural wonders.
The Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh. The design is said to be based on the crown of Lord Krishna. The pink sandstone structure resembles a honeycomb with latticed windows meant for women of the royalty.
- Getting there: The Hawa Mahal is at an intersection called Badi Chaupad. The entry to the Palace is by way of a side road towards the back end and not from the front.
The City Palace was built between 1729 and 1732 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, and includes the Mubarak Mahal and Chandra Mahal. The Chandra Mahal has a museum but it has still been retained as a royal residence.
- Getting there: The palace complex is in the heart of the city. Visitors can enter the complex through the Virendra Pol, Udai Pol or Atish Pol entrances. Entry into Chandra Mahal is only restricted to the museum and not the rest of the palace.
The Jal Mahal is a beautiful structure set in the middle of the Man Sagar lake, and makes for a pretty sight. It was built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 and looks like a floating palace.
- Getting there: The palace is about four km north of Jaipur, on the Amer-Jaipur road. While visiting Jal Mahal, you could visit Amber/Amer fort as well.
Amber Fort was built by Raja Man Singh I and is one of the most important tourist destinations in and around Jaipur. The palace complex inside is a red sandstone and marble structure. The latticed screens, mirrored ceilings, silver doors are bound to take your breath away.
- Getting there: The fort is located on the outskirts of Jaipur and you could combine the Jal Mahal trip with this fort. There are elephant rides to take you to the gates of Amber that you may want to try.
The Jaigarh Fort overlooks Amber Fort and was built in the early 18th century to protect Amber Fort. It was built by Jai Singh II. The two forts are connected by underground passages.
- Getting there: The Jaigarh Fort is only a short drive from Amber Fort and is well worth a visit.
The 18th-century Nahargarh Fort has an interesting story behind its current name – that of the spirit of a prince called Nahar Singh causing strange things to happen during its construction. To appease the spirit, the fort was named Nahargarh.
- Getting there: You can take a half-day/full-day trip to the three forts by taxi as they are located close to each other.
You can stay in Jaipur and make trips to all these heritage spots in and around the area. Accommodation is hardly an issue and there are plenty of hotels in Jaipur to stay.