Far away from the city centre, lies the historic Galtaji Temple which was a drought-stricken place in the past. Centuries ago an ascetic named Galav meditated for more than a hundred years to appease the Gods and Goddesses, who then blessed him and the fervent locals with a perennial natural spring in this region. In the 18th Century, this temple was built in honour of the selfless effort of the saint. Galtaji has many temples within its premises. The pink sandstone exteriors and spellbinding architecture of these temples might easily be mistaken for palaces. Situated atop the hill, this temple dedicated to the Sun God, is considered the most sacred of all the shrines here. On auspicious occasions, devotees cleanse themselves in the holy natural springs and offer their prayers to God. Positive vibrations of devotional hymns and expansive views of the city, contribute to the tranquility of this sacred space.
Jaipur's most prominent cultural centre, Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK), pays tribute to the local culture. Although the construction began in 1986, the centre was completed in 1991 and has been a huge success ever since. The premises also houses a wonderful library, a cosy cafe and a small accommodation facility. The Center displays the works of famous artists and plays host to high profile dramas. If you thought all that was impressive, there's more to delight you! JKK also displays traditional Rajasthani artifacts to keep the soul of Jaipur alive. This place should definitely feature in your itinerary.
Sky Waltz is a Government approved hot air balloon safari that has activities all over the country. It consists of a team of professional pilots from UK, Europe, India and USA who give you the experience of a lifetime. Sky Waltz is India's first licensed balloon operation programme.
Sheesh Mahal is one of the main reasons contributing to the numerous tourists visiting Amer Fort everyday; and to call it beautiful would simply be an understatement. This winter palace in the fort complex got its name because the entire structure is decorated with mirrors (sheesha in Hindi). Lavish and stylish, this palace gives us a glimpse of Rajput grandeur from the bygone days. It is said that the main resting room is entirely covered with crystal clear mirrors imported all the way from Belgium. Today however, this section of the palace is closed for public viewing due to ongoing restoration work. Apart from the mirrors, Sheesh Mahal also flaunts single piece marble pillars with delicate work that reflects both Rajputana and Mughal designs, not only providing support, but also adding to the beauty of the place. It goes without saying, your visit to Jaipur is not complete till you have visited Sheesh Mahal.
Jaigarh Fort was constructed more as a protective measure than as a palace, unlike the Amer fort that has extravagance written all over it. Built atop a hill, Jaigarh fort stretches for 12 kilometres (seven miles) and serves as an impenetrable fortress protecting both, the Amer Fort and Amer Village. Back in the day, it served as a cannon foundry. Though defense was its main purpose, the fort wins one over with its ornate palace complexes too. It further fascinates onlookers with its underground tanks that delineate the ingenious nature of the fort's foresighted architects. However, Jaivan, the wheel-enabled canon continues to be the most important feature of the Jaigarh Fort. With its 6.15 meter (20 feet)-long, ornately-carved barrel and a range of more than 32 kilometers (20 miles), this behemoth of a weapon is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.
Nahargarh roughly means “Home of Lions”, and this fort is a part of the trio along with Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort. Like the others, this one too has its share of myths and theories, for example, it is believed that the fort got its name from the fact that during its construction, a prince named Nahar Singh haunted the construction site. But other than that, Nahargarh has a history that ranges from the Rajput to the British era. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had ordered for the construction of the fort somewhere in 1734 A.D. and subsequently got it extended to accommodate rooms for each of the king’s several wives. The main palace; the Madhavendra Bhawan, flaunts some delicately designed frescoes and paintings on the walls for which vegetable dye was put to use. Today most of the fort is undergoing restoration work, but one can still come up here for a glimpse of the breathtaking views of the “Pink City” below.
The City Palace Museum located in the heart of the Pink City, symbolizes the the city's rich cultural past. The museum boasts of having ancient and prized possessions. It houses handwritten scriptures as well as old mythological paintings. You will also be amazed to see the large silver vessels, painted ceilings and huge chandeliers. Objects belonging to the Mughals and the Persians is also housed here. The museum made its mark in The Guinness Book of World Records for having the biggest silver objects in the world. It is truly majesty and grandeur typified.
The City Palace came into existence pretty much around the same time as the city of Jaipur itself. The original palace was built by Sawai Jai Singh II, and over the years his successors brought about numerous additions to it. Clad in pink sandstone, the royal abode is one the city's most visited attractions; it's a treat for the travellers and pride of the locals. City Palace is more of a complex consisting of the Mubarak Mahal, Diwan-i-aam or hall of the audience, Sihel Khana, Chandra Mahal and Govind Dev Ji Temple. Even today a part of this complex is inhabited by descendants of the royal family, however entry to those section is restricted. The rest has been converted into museums, galleries, or shops. Today, the gallery displays paintings, pottery and various such art forms that can even be bought. Diwan-i-Khas still has on display, the humongous silver vessel that has found its way to the Guinness Records. The Buggy Khana, Shiel Khana or the house of weapons and Sabha Niwas still have traces of the glorious bygone Rajput era.
Jantar Mantar is a fantastic collation of astronomical instruments planned by the visionary ruler of Jaipur, Maharaja Jai Singh II. After a successful construction of Jantar Mantar in Delhi, the Maharaja built the same in Jaipur, which also happens to be the largest observatory in India. In 1901, the devices were restored with white marble and red sandstone for better clarity in denoting time. Jantar and Mantar mean instrument and calculation respectively. The Jaipur location comprises of 16 geometric instruments that measure time across various dimensions including latitude, longitude, position of the sun, planet inclination and declination. Starting from the small sundials, compass, Jai Prakash Yantra (instrument), Nadivalaya (Northern and Southern hemispheres), Yantra Raj, Rashivalaya Yantra (Sun Signs instrument) and moving on to the Rama Yantra, Digmasa Yantra, Chakra Yantra, all of which record accurate time. This biggest sun dial in the world standing 44 meters tall is the highlight of this center. Here, it is best suggested to book a guide who will provide a detailed insight into the center. A great place of interest for historians, scientists, artists and mathematicians, Jantar Mantar is highly educating and awe-inspiring for people from all walks of life.
Situated near the City Palace, Tripolia Bazaar is mainly a cluster of shops selling ironware, brassware, and carpets. The small stores offer high-quality and durable utensils as well as exquisite furniture to pretty up your home. The colorful range of carpets is something you cannot miss, as each one reflects Indo-Heratic art embellished with motifs and delicate designs. If accessories are your thing, walk up to the Maniharon Ka Rasta stores selling stunning lac bangles. Open seven days of the week, Tripolia Bazaar is a popular destination with shoppers and rightly so!
Swargasuli or Isar Lat was built in the mid 18th century to commemorate Ishwari Singh's victory over Mewar and the formidable Maratha armies. This monumental seven story minaret is situated right in the middle of Tripolia Bazaar, and happens to be one of the tallest structures in Jaipur. A perfect example of Rajasthani design, it is said that Swargasuli was inspired by the Qutub minar built in New Delhi. One can enjoy an unobstructed bird's eye view of Jaipur City from this tower, which is finely decorated in exquisite lattice work. Swargasuli literally means a 'minaret reaching for the heavens'; one look at this towering structure, and you'd know why the name is indeed so apt!
Amid ceaseless chants of Radhe Radhe and devotional songs blaring out of the loudspeakers, Govind Devji Temple is far from being secluded. Located within the City Palace conclave, this temple is devoted to Lord Krishna and has a history that is much older than the city palace itself. Although built on the orders of the illustrious Maharaja Man Singh, it is believed that the consent and the allotted land, was actually a gift from King Akbar. This shrine, however, has not always been where it is today, as the original temple was built in the late 16 Century in Uttar Pradesh. Over the years, the idol of Lord Krishna traveled from Govindpura Village to Kanak Valley, till finally in 1735 A.D., it was enshrined in “Suraj Mahal”, which was to be the permanent site of this temple. Today, thousands of devotees arrive here for divine blessings. Each evening brings in its wake, an electric atmosphere with mythological plays been enacted on the temple grounds, as devotees wait eagerly to catch a glimpse of their beloved Lord. Once the temple door opens, as is the custom, there is a collective cry of joy that is nothing short of startling. Anyone who wants to observe the essence of the Hindu religion and its association with the masses should come here.