We visited Jaipur in October 2018, travelling independently. We booked a tuk-tuk through our hotel to take us around the sights of the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur.
It cost 500 rupees (£5.50) each for a composite ticket for the City Palace and the Jaigarh Fort. We entered via the East Gate and our first stop was the textile gallery which gave a fascinating insight into traditional clothing in India and the various types of textiles produced in the region.
There was also an interesting display about Jaipur Polo, which has been played here since 1200. The Jaipur polo team won all the open tournaments in England in 1933 and won the world championships in 1957. There was an item on display called the Night Polo ball which was a metal ball in which a candle was placed so they could play at night. We couldn’t work out how the candle would stay alight!
The textile gallery was very crowded and hot, and it was a relief to get back outside into the sunshine, although it was very hot and there wasn’t much shade. The next stop was an art gallery which I really enjoyed, particularly the photography. Jaipur was one of the first places in India to embrace photography as a new medium for portrait and landscape art and the collection of early photographs dating back to 1870 was impressive.
There was also a weapons gallery but that didn’t hold our interest for too long, before we headed to the Jantar Mantar astrological park.
The astrological park is full of huge installations made from stone and masonry which measure time and astrological observations using shadows. At over 27 metres high, the world’s biggest sun dial can be found at Jantar Mantar. My photos don’t really do it justice so check out their website to see photographs of the sheer scale of these instruments: https://www.jantarmantar.org/
I hired an audio guide for 200 rupees because I wanted to understand what I was seeing. It was quite fascinating, but there were a lot of people there which made it difficult to see some of the installations.
Our final stop was the Hawa Mahal (‘The Palace of Winds’). The palace is made from red and pink sandstone and was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. The structure allowed the royal ladies to look down on the city’s streets below without being seen. To be honest, it is far more attractive from the outside than from the interior and our best photographs were taken from a rooftop café facing the building.
We finished our day by exploring the bazaars and the Pink City (so called because of the colours of the walls).