Sunday, January 25, 2015

India’s Pink City is so much more than the Jaipur Literature Festival

I first heard about the Jaipur and its famous Literature Festival while volunteering on a Projects Abroad Magazine in Madurai in 2012 and as a lover of books and all things written it has been on my bucket list ever since.

But since arriving in the city that has been dubbed the “Pink City” I knew that there was much to it than it’s free Literature Festival even though it did seem to overtake the city for five days.

With the sessions at the festival starting at 10.30, I managed to squeeze in some sightseeing and a little bit of shopping. These were my highlights:

The City Palace
As its name suggests, the City Palace takes pride of place in the middle of the old city and as with many historical buildings it has been added on and transformed over the centuries.

With its striking Rajesthani/Mughal architecture, I loved the intricate stone and paint work that was often breath taking. The detail and effort involved in creating such buildings blew my mind.

Jantar Mantar
This is just opposite the City Palace and you’re into pre-modern machines. Jantar Mantar is a big garden with dozens of what Lonely Planet describe as sculptures but I think they are more like useful sculptures as they allowed people to measure the passage of time, etc.

To be honest, this isn’t my thing so I kind of sped around it but if is your thing you can get a guide that can tell you more about the exhibits.            

Amber Fort
This is quite a way out of town but is worth the trek. The fort is at the top of a steep hill and offers great view of the surrounding area and includes defensive walls that are quite similar to the Great Wall of China.

While it costs to go inside the palace section, it is free to wonder around the outside to admire the view. 

You can also ride elephants here.

Hawa Mahal
I only had time to admire the Hawa Mahal but this is the jewel in Jaipur’s crown.

This ornate sandstone palace was built in 1799 to allow the ladies of the Royal Court to watch life go past without being seen. It has five storeys and offers (so I am told) of the city. 

It has a small museum that highlight’s the Jaipur’s regal past but note it is closed on Fridays and shuts at 4.30.   

I defiantly will have visit Hawa Mahal next time I am in Jaipur, which will be soon I hope.      

There is so much to see in Jaipur so make sure to include it in your next Indian Trip 

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