Jaipur is also known as the pink city, as many buildings in the old town are made of red sandstone. And as this red sandstone appears pink in the bright Indian sun it had its name. With the Hawa Mahal there is one of India’s top landmarks in the middle of the city and there are so many other things to explore that you definitely need to plan more than one day to truly see the city.
So why did we do it in one day then? It was because of the flu. The evening we arrived in Jaipur Daniela already felt pretty sick and what we hoped to be a cold turned out to be the flu and put her in bed for the next three days. On day number four, our last day in Jaipur, she still felt bad, but by the middle of the day she pushed herself out of bed. We ordered a private car and took off on the mission to do all the highlights of this unique city in half a day.
1st Stop: Hawa Mahal
When you google India or Rajasthan you will for sure stumble over a picture of an absolute picturesque house front with many windows. And theses many windows are separated into even smaller windows. This is the Hawa Mahal, the House of the Winds, standing right at the main street, close to the city palace. It was basically a viewing platform for the noble ladies of Jaipur. They could stand behind those windows and watch street festivals without being seen from the street.
2nd stop: City Palace
In our opinion the highlight of the city. It not only was the residence of the royal family it actually still is. Not in the part where the tourists can enter of course, but in a building called the Moon Palace that stands right next to it. The palace itself is so full of marvelous structures, art, exhibition pieces and history that you can stay there for hours, if you have the time for it. But we did not and so we were off to our next stop.
3rd stop: Jal Mahal, the Water palace
The Jal Mahal or water palace is no palace you can actually visit, as it stands in the middle of a lake and a part of it is even submerged. But that is probably the whole point of it. Nevertheless, it is beautiful to look at from the shore and even better during sunset from high above the city.
4th stop: Panamena Kakum
If you have ever seen the movies The Dark Knight or The Fall or one of many others, you have probably seen a similar structure already. There is a rectangular shaped waterhole in the center and countless stairways leading in zic-zac down to it. Unfortunately for “security” reasons you are not allowed to walk down the steps. Which is clearly not the real reason as the people are getting their water from there, but maybe we simply didn’t pay enough.
5th stop: Amber Palace
This palace is simply gigantic. It is located a few kilometers outside of Jaipur in the city of Amer. It is so big that you could walk around this palace for hours. It is not as beautiful as the city palace but simply impressive by its pure size. And it is surrounded by a gigantic wall that used to protect three palaces at the same time.
6th stop: Sunset point close to the Nahargarh Fort
The view from up there over the pink city is impressive. Simply don’t make the mistake to go to the Padao Restaurant. They charge you 200 INR pp and all you get for it is a soft drink. It also doesn’t have any ambiance and the staff is extremely rude. Better stop along the road and enjoy the views over the city and on the water palace and then simply turn around.
7th stop: Monkey palace
We actually don’t know its official name but we found it on our way down from the Nahargarh Fort. It’s an insignificant temple with a pretty big tower. And when we wanted to climb that tower, a group of monkeys blocked our way. When we came closer, they went into attack position. That was the point when we gave up, but even making it half up was worth it.