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.
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!
Hawa Mahal or “Palace of Winds” as it is also called, has been a cornerstone of Jaipur's architecture for centuries. Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh’s brainchild, Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 to allow the protected womenfolk of the royal families to catch a glimpse of the bustling city life without having to defy the then-prevalent pardah system. The total of 953 “Jharokas” or screened windows made of sandstone make for a unique honeycomb-like facade of the Mahal. The unique pyramid-like structure was a later addition to the original City Palace Complex. Standing five stories tall, Hawa Mahal, like any other palace is complete with a courtyard or Jaleb Chowk, as it was called back then. An ornate remnant of the Rajput Architecture, Hawa Mahal narrates fascinating tales of the city's aristocratic past.
A city of strange blends when it comes to shopping, Jaipur is where you will find malls selling branded stuff and also glorious old fashioned bazaars which refuse to go out of style. On such example is that of Bapu Bazaar, where best bargains on Mojris, perfumes and traditional tie-and-dye textiles are available. Embroidered shoes made of camel skin is yet another specialty here. This bazaar is one among the six important bazaars of Jaipur and is very popular with the tourists. And if at all you want to take a break from the riot of sights, sounds and colors, indulge in some local snacks sold by roadside vendors. Trust this place to take up a lot of your time as it has so much to offer.
Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing is one of its kind museum that showcases block painted textiles that reflects the Rajasthani art-form. The fabrics on display come with exquisite designs, patterns and prints that will appeal to every visitor alike. The art of hand-printing and block painting is explored fully by traditional Indian artists here. The museum remains closed from May to July 15th for maintenance purposes. So, the next time you visit Jaipur, make sure to drop by this unique restored haveli or palace that houses some rare and interesting pieces.
Badi Chaupar is a large public square situated in Jaipur. It also goes by the name of Manak Chowk and was built by Amer's King. Badi Chaupar nestles amazing bazaars like the Ramganj Bazaar which is to its east, the best leather shoes one can find here. Tripolia Bazaar to the west of Badi Chaupar is known for its steel and brass utensils. To the south of Badi Chaupar is Johari Bazaar well-known for block-printed and bandhani textiles.
Checking out a little bit of wildlife after a day's tour of ancient forts and concrete structures is definitely a welcoming respite. Jaipur Zoo attracts animal lovers and nature enthusiasts to its well-maintained enclosure housing diverse species of wildlife. There are about 38 different species including 793 animals and birds. Besides showcasing extensive facts and trivia about wildlife, the zoo authorities also try to improve visitor's attitude towards animals by displaying thoughtful quotes related to the same. Interesting and educational for children as well as adults, the zoo is a must-visit on your trip to Jaipur.