Jaipur-the Pink City
The capital and the largest city of Rajasthan is also popularly known as the ‘Pink City’. Jaipur was planned and built as per rules & regulations of the Vastu Shastra and the Shilpa Shastra. The buildings of the city were painted pink (a dusty light terracotta color) for the royal arrival of the Prince of Wales in 1853.
Jaipur is a major tourist destination in India forming a part of the Golden Triangle along with Delhi and Agra.
Famous tourist places of Jaipur:
Albert Hall Museum,
Chokhi Dhani Village
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed Jaipur the ‘Pink City of India’ among its World Heritage Sites. The city is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Amber Fort and Jantar Mantar. Hawa Mahal is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument with 953 windows.
Sisodiya Rani Bagh and Kanak Vrindavan are the major parks in Jaipur. Raj Mandir is a notable cinema hall in Jaipur.
Jaipur has a lot of things to do for tourists including Palaces, historical places, Temples, Museums, Markets etc. So decide your own itinerary according to your wish. But have a look on my itinerary which is based on the convenience and optimizing maximum time.
Day 1: Delhi to Jaipur & visit City Palace, Jantar Mantar
Visit City Palace which will take around 01 hour to complete it. The City Palace was established by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. It is a unique and special complex of several courtyards, buildings, pavilions, gardens, and temples. The most prominent and most visited structures in the complex are the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple, and the City Palace Museum.
As soon as you exit from the City Palace, you may see a ticket counter of the Jantar Mantar, at right hand side. The Jantar Mantar is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments built by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II.It features the world’s largest stone sundial. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The instruments allow the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye.The observatory consists of nineteen instruments for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking location of major stars as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides.
Jantar Mantar takes almost 01 hour to see the entire complex. If you want to understand and know about purpose of these instruments, shapes and designs then hire a tourist guide else these structures happens to be a showcase for you.
Day 2: Jaipur to haunted Bhangarh Fort & Return. Afternoon visit to Albert Hall Museum, Hawa Mahal & Chokhi Dhani Village.
The Bhangarh Fort is a 17th-century fort built by Bhagwant Das for his younger son Madho Singh I. It is located on the border of the Sariska Bio Reserve near the Gola ka Baas village in Alwar. The fort is situated at the foot of the hills on sloping terrain in the Aravali range of hills. The ruins of the king’s palace are located on the lower slope of the hills; trees surround the pond area and a natural stream falls into the pond within the premises of the palace. However, the fort and its precincts are well preserved.
There are two different stories about the curse on the fort and nearby areas. But, if you really want to know about the fort and its stories, you can visit the place. However, the entry in the Bhangarh Fort is forbidden before sunrise and after sunset i.e. from 06.00 PM to 06.00 AM. Some people have claimed that they have heard screams and shadows of ghosts, voices of crying women, sounds of bangles in the rooms, strange lights and unusual sounds of music & dance etc. So think before to visit or not.
Albert Hall Museum
The Albert Hall Museum is the oldest museum of the state. The building is situated in Ram Niwas garden outside the city wall. It is 3.5 Km from the Hawa Mahal. It is also called the Government Central Museum.
The museum has a rich collection of artifacts including paintings, jewelry, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, and works in crystal. The collection includes coins from the Gupta, Kushan, Delhi Sultanate, Mughal and British periods. An Egyptian mummy is the main attraction of this museum. You need at least 1-1.5 hours to see the entire museum.
Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds or Palace of Breeze is a palace made with the red and pink sandstone. It is situated at the edge of the City Palace and extends to the women’s chambers.
It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad. Its unique five floors exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework. The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen.
It takes almost 1 hour to see the Hawa Mahal. Entry is from backside which is basically its front-side. If you want take a complete photo of the Hawa Mahal. Cross the road and go to roof or balcony of the opposite side building.
Shopping in Jaipur:
There is a proper market around the Hawa Mahal in the City Wall. Do some shopping in the evening or at your convenience.
Chokhi Dhani Village
It is a well-known tourist attraction in Jaipur. The aim of the resort is to give tourists a full experience of Rajasthani culture. The entire resort’s theme is inspired by a village setting, with many cultural activities held here like Traditional Folk Dance,Puppet Show, Magic Show etc.
Dine in traditional way at Chaupal, KesarKyari Barbeque restaurant – an outdoor restaurant, Aragosta Restaurant or Bindola Restaurant. Enjoy Camel ride here with some nominal fee. You can to some shopping at Kalagram, a social initiative with the aim of promoting local artisans who make handicrafts.
The Chokhi Dhani is around 20 KM from City Palace in Jaipur. It is open from 05 pm to 11 pm (all days of the week). The entry fee is around Rs. 700 to Rs. 1100 (adults); Rs. 400 to Rs. 700 (children). The entry fee is depends upon your choice of dinner.
Day 3: Amber Fort or Amer Fort, Anokhi Museum, Nahargarh fort, Jaigarh fort, Jal Mahal, Chokhi Dhani Village
Amber fort or Amer fort
The Amer Fort or Amber Fort is located 11 KM from Jaipur City. The Amer town has an area of 4 square Km. The Fort was constructed with red sandstone and marble. It consists of the Diwan-e-Aam or Hall of Public Audience, the Diwan-e-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace.
Amer Fort is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fort is open from 08.30 AM to 05.30 PM. It will take around 2-3 hours to see the entire fort.
Jaigarh Fort is situated on the cliff called the CheelkaTeela (Hill of Eagles) of the Aravalli range.The fort is also known as Victory Fort. The fort features a cannon named “Jaivana”(Jaivana Cannon), which was manufactured in the fort precincts and was then the world’s largest cannon on wheels.
Jaigarh Fort and Amer Fort are connected by subterranean passages and considered as one complex. So, its better to visit by this passages to Jaigarh Fort from Amer Fort. It will take around 2 hours to complete your visit.
Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing (AMHP) is located in a magnificently restored haveli or mansion near the Amer Fort. The museum displays a varied selection of block printed textiles alongside images, tools and related objects. They provide an in-depth look into the complexity of this ancient tradition. Spend at least 1 hour to familiar yourself with the art of traditional hand printing along with the instruments used in this process along with preparation of different dyes.
Nahargarh Fort stands on the edge of the Aravalli Hills.The fort was originally named Sudarshangarh but is now known as Nahargarh, which means ‘abode of tigers’. Along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh once provide a strong defense ring for the city.
The Nahargarh fort is open from 10 a.m. to 05.30 p.m. Spend at least 02 hours here. The Entry ticket is Rs.50/- for Indian nationals and Rs. 200/- for foreign tourists. Whereas, it costs Rs. 25/- foreign students and Rs.5/- for Indian students.
Jal Mahal or Water Palace is a palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake.It is an architectural showcase of the Rajput style of architecture. The palace, built-in red sandstone, is a five storied building, of which four floors remain underwater when the lake is full and the top floor is exposed. On the terrace of the palace, a garden was built with arched passages. Before going to Jal Mahal, please check whether it’s open or not?
Day 4: Jaipur to Udaipur via Ajmer and Pushkar.
Start early and go to Ajmer then Pushkar and thereafter Udaipur.
Ajmer or Ajayameru (original name)
(135 Km from Jaipur)
The city was established as “Ajayameru” by a Shakambhari Chahamana (Chauhan) rajput ruler. It was the Chahamana capital until the 12th century. Ajmer is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountains and is situated on the lower slopes of the Taragarh Hill of that range. Ajmer is famous for the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
Ana Sagar Lake is an artificial lake situated in the city. It was built by Arnoraja, the grandfather of PrithvirajChauhan, in 1135 -1150 AD. The catchments were built with the help of local populace. The lake is spread over 13 km (8.1 mi). There is an island in the center of the lake which is accessible by boat. Boats could be hired from the east side of the Daulat Bagh.
Nareli Jain Temple, is a new Jain temple located on the outskirts of Ajmer. It is situated 7 kilometers from the city center at main National Highway 8.
Pushkar Temple and Lake:
(16 Km from Ajmer)
It is a pilgrimage site which is one of the five sacred dhams associated to Lord Brahma. ‘Pushkar’ means ‘lotus flower’ and it is believed that it is a former seat of Brahma, the creator of the world.
Pushkar Temple is the only temple in the world dedicated to the important Hindu deity of Brahma.
Pushkar is a sacred pilgrimage site for the Sikhs as well. The Gurdwara is dedicated to Guru Nanak Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
The city is lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake and is famous for its annual Pushkar Camel Fair.The famous Pushkar Lake is considered by Hindu’s to be as old as the earth.
Udaipur- The Lake City:
(277 Km from Pushkar Lake)
In 1558, it was founded by Udai Singh II of the Sisodia clan of Rajput when he shifted his capital from the city of Chittorgarh to Udaipur. It is also known as the ‘City of Lakes’ and ‘Venice of East’ because it has most beautiful lakes as Pichola Lake, Fatah Sagar Lake, UdaiSagar, Rangsagar Lake and SwaroopSagar.
Besides lakes, Udaipur is also known for its historic forts and palaces, museums, galleries, natural locations and gardens, architectural temples, as well as traditional fairs, festivals and structures.
The lakes of the city are interconnected and form a lake system. This supports and sustains the groundwater recharge, water availability for drinking, agriculture, industries. It is a source of employment through tourism.
How to reach Udaipur:
It is well connected with major cities of the country through Airways, Railways and Roadways.
Maharana Pratap Airport is a small domestic airport situated about 20 kilometres away from Udaipur. Daily flights connect Udaipur with Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Surat and Varanasi. Air India, IndiGo and Spice Jet are operational at present.
Udaipur City railway station and RanaPratap Nagar railway station are two railway stations in Udaipur. These are connected with major cities of India. Some luxurious trains like The Palace on Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, Maharaja Express have scheduled stop too.
The city lies on the intersection point of East West Corridor, Golden Quadrilateral, National Highway (NH) 76 and National Highway (NH). It is around 660 km from Delhi, 394 KM from Jaipur, 249 KM from Jodhpur, 163 Km from Mount Abu, 262 Km from Ahmedabad and 760 km from Mumbai.
What to see in Udaipur:
City Palace, Pichola Lake, FatehSagar Lake, Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir, DeenDayalUpadhyay Park, DoodhTalai Lake, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Badi Lake and Shilpgram
Day 5: City Palace, Pichola Lake, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jag Niwas, Jag Mandir.
It is a 400-year-old palace located on the east bank of the Lake Pichola. Its main entrance is through the triple-arched gate – the Tripolia, built in 1725. This gate leads to a series of courtyards, overlapping partitions, terraces, corridors and gardens. The palace now houses a museum with many antique articles, paintings, decorative furniture and utensils from the royal era.
Monuments like the Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, and Neemach Mata temple, are all in the vicinity of the palace complex. City palace was also used for shooting of movies like Octopussy and Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela.
It is an artificial fresh water lake created in the year 1362 AD. The lake was built by Banjara, a gypsy “Banjara” tribesman who transported grain, during the reign of MaharanaLakha. Later, MaharanaUdai Singh, impressed by the charm of this lake with the backdrop of green hills, founded the city of Udaipur on the banks of the lake and also enlarged the Lake by constructing a stone masonry dam in the Badipol region on the shore of the lake.
There are four islands on the lake viz.
- Jag Niwas, where is built the Lake Palace
- Jag Mandir, with the palace of the same name
- Mohan Mandir, from where the king would watch the annual Gangaur festival celebration
- Arsi Vilas, a small island which was an ammunition depot, and also a small palace
Jag Niwas or Lake Palace
Lake Palace was known as Jag Niwas. Earlier, it was the private summer resort of the erstwhile royal family which has been turned into a luxury hotel. It is located at one of the island of Lake Pichola which has 83 rooms and suites featuring white marble walls. Its natural foundation spans 4 acres (16,000 m2). The hotel has been ranked the best luxury heritage hotels in the country.
It is built on an island in Lake Pichola and is known for its beautiful interiors and grand style of architecture. It is also known as the “Lake Garden Palace”. This palace is now the Jagmandir Island Palace, a heritage hotel.
Day 6: Fateh Sagar Lake, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park, Doodh Talai Lake, Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Badi Lake and Shilpgram
Fateh Sagar Lake
It is an artificial lake situated to the north of the Lake Pichola, in the north-west of Udaipur city, around 6 km from Udaipur City Railway Station. It was named after Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur and Mewar.
Doodh Talai Lake
It is a small pond located adjacent to the Lake Pichola which is surrounded by small hillocks which hosts Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park and ManikyaLalVerma Garden or Rock Garden or Musical Fountain Garden. It provides few options for fast food centers, camel and horse rides and boat ride.
Deen Dayal Upadhyay Park
This is a garden developed around the DudhTalai by Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) Udaipur, the local development authority. Visitors may enjoy watching a musical fountain here. A ropeway has been set up here to reach Karni Mata Temple at the top of Machhla Mangra.
Monsoon Palace at the hilltop
Monsoon Palace was built in 1884 by Maharana Sajjan Singh of the Mewar Dynasty giving it the name Sajjangarh. The palace is near FatehSagar Lake. The palace was also used in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy.
Sajjangarh Biological Park
It is a zoological garden which is situated just beneath the Monsoon Palace or SajjajgarhGarh Palace around 4 km from the city center. The zoo houses vast varieties of animals and birds brought in from different parts of the world. At present, it has more than 60 animals of 21 species including tigers, panthers, lions, ostriches, alligators, and rhesus monkeys.
Saheliyon-ki-Bari or ‘Courtyard of the Maidens’ is a garden and a popular tourist destination. With fountains, kiosks, a lotus pool and marble elephants it was built for the royal ladies. This renowned garden is located on the banks of FatehSagar Lake and also has a small museum with the collection of royal households.
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal
Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, a cultural institution, is engaged in studying folk art, culture, songs and festivals of various regions of India, including Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. It also aims at popularizing and propagating folk arts, folk dances and folk literature.
Badi Lake is an artificial fresh water lake built in the village of Badi, about 12 km from the city of Udaipur. Built by Maharana Raj Singh I (1652–1680), it was aimed to counteract the devastating effects of a famine. This lake covers an area of 155 km2., and is graced by three artistic chhatris (kiosks or pavilions). Devoid of any commercial activity, the Badi Lake gives a view of a never-ending expanse providing a serene and calm atmosphere to the visitors.
It is a rural arts and crafts complex, situated 3 km west of the city of Udaipur. The complex was established with a purpose to depict the lifestyles of the folk and tribal people of the region. With an objective of increasing awareness and knowledge about the rural arts and crafts, the Shilpgram provides opportunity to rural and urban artists to come together and interact through camps and workshops.
Day 7: Spare day in Udaipur to visit anything left or do some shopping or spend your time leisurely.
Day 8: Reach Mount Abu from Udaipur and visit Nakki Lake.
Mount Abu Hill Station
Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan. It has an elevation of 1,220 m (4,003 ft) and situated on a rocky plateau which is 22 km long by 9 km wide. The highest peak on the mountain is Guru Shikhar at 1,722 m (5,650 ft) above sea level. Someone has referred it is as ‘an oasis in the desert’ because its heights are home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and evergreen forests.
The ancient name of Mount Abu is Arbudaanchal. In the Puranas, this region has been referred to as Arbudaranya (“forest of Arbhuda”).It is also described in the epic Mahabharata which is mentioned in the travels of Arjuna during his twelve-year pilgrimage.
How to reach to Mount Abu
Mount Abu is connected with Airways, Railways and Roadways.
Nearest airport is Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur which is 210 Km from Mount Abu.
The nearest Railway station is Abu Road railway station which is 28 km.
It is also well connected with private (luxury and deluxe bus) and state-run buses from Udaipur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Delhi. It is also connected with daily bus services from the cities like Vadodara and Ahmedabad.
What to see in Mount Abu:
Nakki Lake, Arbuda Devi Temple, Dattatreya Temple, Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple, Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, Adventure activities
The Nakki Lake is center of attractions in Mount Abu. The lake is about half mile long and a quarter mile wide with 20 to 30 ft. deep towards the dam. Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in this Holy Lake on 12th February 1948 and Gandhi Ghat was constructed.
Boating in the lake and horse rides around the lake is available.You can do some shopping at Nakki Lake market.
The Toad Rock is a rock facing the lake which looks like a toad about to jump into the lake. The Sunset Point is also a nearby attraction but going towards it is forbidden because of safety and security. Hence, watch sunset from the lake and not from the sunset point.
Raghunath Temple and Maharaja Jaipur Palace are also on hills near the Lake.
Day 9: Temples, Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary, Adventure activities
Mount Abu is famous for its Hindu and Jain Temples including:
The Arbuda Devi Temple or Adhar Devi Temple was carved out of solid rock.
The Dattatreya Temple was built atop the Guru Shikhar peak.
The Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple is a popular Shiva temple.
The Dilwara Jain Temples are a complex of temples carved out of white marble which are located about 2½ kilometres from the Mount Abu settlement.
The spiritual headquarter of the faith community of Brahma Kumaris is also located here.
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary is just 3 km away from the Dilwara Temples and is home to leopards, foxes, deer, and bears.
Adventure other popular activities like hiking, rock climbing, camping, rappelling and some more are waiting for your indulgence.