Jaipur is the capital of the Rajasthan (land of kings) state in India, and the name truly fits, as Jaipur is full to the brim of palaces and forts, each beautiful in its own unique way. The city’s founder in 1727, Jai Singh II, was a Hindu man, but he was loyal to his Mughal Sultan Muhammad Shah. For his loyal service to his emperor, he was given kingship and land- Jaipur. The city is very much a picture of the society it was built in. It is doubtlessly Hindu while exhibiting very clear Islamic architectural influences.
Some people call Jaipur the “Paris of India”, we prefer the “Alhambra of Rajasthan”.
1. Hawa Mahal
The Palace of the Winds is named thus because the many windows allow for cool breezes to keep the interior perpetually cozy. The original purpose of the palace’s beehive of windows was to allow women of noble birth to see what’s going on in the street without being seen.
2. Hawa Mahal, interior
Source: Shahriar Amin Fahim247
3. Jal Mahal
Our second palace is the mysterious Jal Mahal, located entirely within a lake. Sadly, this unique island palace is inaccessible to visitors, but you can always take a picture from afar.
4. Amer Fort
Technically in the neighboring town of Amer, it is a very short distance from Jaipur, and well worth the trip. There are elephant rides up the ramparts, but we suggest walking up to the fort on foot.
5. Amer Fort entrance
Source: Aleksandr Zykov
The gate is a shining example of Jaipur architecture. The geometry, the floral designs, the arches- it all screams Islamic architecture, but right over the door sits Lord Ganesha. Not quite an Islamic motif, to say the least.
6. Amer Fort gardens
And don’t, whatever you do, miss a visit to the fort’s beautiful garden.