Think pink when spending a day in Jaipur because if you’re hoping to actually see much pink you may be left feeling rather underwhelmed. I was a victim of hype, frankly my own hype and I had great expectations for my visit to this “pink city” also known as the “old city” also known as Jaipur. Without getting way too girly on you, I just have to make it clear that pink is my all time favorite color. I do try to rein in my super girly side but I’m not the one that named a place Pink City am I?
Bubblegum Barbie Nirvana
So when I arrive at what should be a pink paradise – Barbie Nirvana – India’s Pink City, I guess I expected to feel like I was on a pink planet pluton for the day. I’d come all the way from Delhi, not actually that far but damn it I still expected to OD on pink. I had envisioned myself doing weird but also kind of cute (in my head) standing starfish on the pink walls and then slowly shimmying down them and rolling around a little. (Think Carrie Bradshaw in her shoe closet kind of roll not a drunk outside a kebab shop at 4am roll). Anyway it didn’t happen. I don’t want to burst your pink bubblegum bubble but Jaipur’s not actually THAT pink.
Ok Jaipur Old Town is
pink salmon pink
Jaipur is a really cool city to visit just don’t expect a pink overload and you’ll love spending a day in Jaipur. In fact it’s pretty awesome I just had to get the pink thing off my chest. To counter balance my complainy-pants Jaipur rant I will say there is an abundance of elephants, snake charmers, stunning architecture and awesome shoes to buy. Spending a perfect day, or two or three in Jaipur is really pretty easy.
How to spend a perfect day in Jaipur Rajasthan
Visit Amber Fort and Palace
Begin your day in Jaipur by waking up early and making your way to the picturesque Aravalli Hills to see how the wealthy Maharajas lived in the opulent Amber Palace.
Don’t get the royal treatment by heading up the cobbled stones to the fort on a beautifully decorated elephant. I feel really bad for these elephants and I don’t agree with using them for tourism. It’s kind of like taking advantage of a creature that can’t say “Hey, I don’t want to give tourists rides all day and wear these chains, I want to be roaming free with my herd.” Shame elephants can’t talk human don’t you think?
Make sure you check out Sheesh Mahal Hall the ‘Palace of Mirrors’ inside Amber Palace and don’t miss the intricate wall paintings with precious jewels in them.
Jal Mahal “Water Palace”
This is one of the absolute must see tourist spots and is just 4km outside of Jaipur. The aptly named “Water Palace” appears to be floating on water because this archaeological wonder has five floors but only the top 5th floor is above the water. Tourists aren’t allowed inside the palace but can take a boat ride up to it and see some stunning views of the palace and the Aravalli mountain range beyond it. Plus if you’re lucky you might spot a flamingo too. Now Flamingo’s know a thing or two about being pink!
In the heart of the city of Jaipur lies the City Palace which is a mix of Rajput, Mughal and European architecture. Enjoy your day in Jaipur by wandering around the courtyards, gardens, temples and quintessential pink and red sandstone buildings all built between 1729-1732. The main palaces to check out here are the Mubarak Mahal and Chandra Mahal. If you love art and history then you’ll easily spend the whole day at City Palace.
Hawa Mahal “Palace of the Winds”
Hawa Mahal was built in 1798 to resemble honeycomb and represent the crown of the Hindu God, Lord Krishna. It’s also called the “Palace of the Breeze” because the 953 small windows of this palace, called jharokas were designed to always allow a cool breeze to blow through the palace no matter what time of year. For this “breezy” reason Hawa Mahal was the preferred summer vacation destination of the Rajput royal family.
The Jantar Mantar is an amalgamation of social, cultural and political beliefs from the 18th century and can tell the time, predict eclipses and track the location of major stars as the earth orbits around them and the sun.
It’s well worth seeing a monument that features the world’s largest sundial and is a part of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
You can find Nahargarh Fort high up in the Aravalli Hills. If you want a cool breeze on your face and stunning panoramic views of Jaipur then Nahargarh Fort is worth the trek or the rickshaw ride. This fort was used by royal families as a holiday home where they would picnic in the grounds and the Maharajas would go hunting in the surrounding jungles. End your day in Jaipur at Nahargarh Fort so you can get a sparkling view of Jaipur city lit up at night.
Unusual things to do in Jaipur
If you fancy doing something a little bit different when in Jaipur then perhaps one of these unusual things to do in Jaipur might interest you;
Raj Mandir Cinema
If your feet are tired from all the temple and palace wandering then go the cinema. Not just any cinema, Jaipur has one of the best known cinemas in India. Raj Mandir opened in 1976 and is the perfect place to catch a Bollywood film. It’s a short two minute walk away from the bustling MI Road so it’ll be easy to find something tasty to eat and drink once the movies over.
Jaipur Wax Museum
The Jaipur Wax Museum can be found inside The Nahargarh Fort on top of the Aravali hills and was the first wax museum to ever be built in a world heritage site. Here you can admire the life size replicas of your favorite Indian icons such as Maharani Gayatri Devi, Mahatma Gandhi and Deepika Padukone.
Hot Air Balloon ride
If you like to be adventurous then this is actually one of the most incredible things to do in Jaipur. Take a hot air balloon ride to see City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal and lots of other stunning sights from high up in the sky. Lots of tour operators offer this so arranging a hot air balloon ride in Jaipur will be easy to do once you arrive.
Visit Bagru Artisan Village
Bagru is a small town in Jaipur famous for it’s artisans printed textiles using specific designs carved in wood. You can watch the artists at work and going about their daily lives or join in by doing a Bagru Block Painting Workshop.
Other things to do in Jaipur
There’s also zip wiring at Flying Fox at Neemrana in the Aravalli slopes and Jeep Safari tours. Oh and there’s one more thing, the best chai in the whole of Jaipur is served up in a little blink and you’ll miss it chai stall called Sahu Tea Stall. If you spend a day in Jaipur you must stop by Sahu Tea Stall which is in the main bazaar of Jaipur under a peepal tree. The place is always packed with regulars and has been serving up the best chai in Jaipur since 1968.
Have you been to Jaipur? How would you spend a perfect day in Jaipur and what did you think about the pink thing was it pink enough for you? Feel free to share your thoughts (or tell me I’m a color blind nitwit) in the comments section below.
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If you’re traveling to Jaipur, Rajasthan or north India then find out more about what to do with one of these Travel Guides. I planned my north India itinerary using the Lonely Planet guide and it gave me a lot of confidence to travel India solo.