The largest state in India, Rajasthan literally means ‘Land of Great Kingdoms’ with a history rich in great Indian empires and rulers! I spent an entire day in Jaipur exploring some of the most beautiful forts and palaces left behind by these empires.
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and also known as the Pink City due to the colour of the stone used to build most of its structures. It’s an extremely popular tourist destination making up a third of India’s Golden Triangle: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur. It’s teeming with majestic forts, palaces and temples and I completely fell in love with all its granduer on my first visit to this city.
I began my journey at Amer Fort which was built on a hill and can be seen majestically perched above most of the city. Built with red sandstone and marble, the fort was lived in by the Rajput kings and their families.
Built as more of a complex, the fort is divided into four main sections, each with its own entrance and courtyard.
Each courtyard served a specific purpose, whether it be to hold victory parades, a place of worship, a public audience hall and private quarters.
Each pillar and arch is carved, painted and beautifully presented.
These Mughal Gardens separate two sides of this courtyard in the private quarters of the fort, one consisting of Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) and the other, Sukh Mahal (Hall of Pleasure).
I really wouldn’t mind having my own private Mughal Garden!
The second stop was Jal Mahal or Water Palace, located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. Built with red sandstone in the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture, it provides a picturesque view of the lake and the surrounding Nahargarh hills. It is a five storied palace out of which four floors remain under water when the lake is full and only the top floor is exposed. A stunning piece of work so peaceful and serene compared to the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city!
Next on my journey was Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) which is essentially a high screen wall built for the women of the royal household so that they could view street festivities while remaining unseen from the outside world. Once again, made out of red and pink sandstone, it’s located on the edge of the City Palace (my next destination!) and extends to the women’s chambers.
I then moved on to the City Palace which has one of the most beautifully designed interiors I have every seen! Each wall, nook and corner has the most complex patterns, designs and paintings!
Amazing how these colours have lasted all these years!
My favourite area of the palace was the inner courtyard which has the most stunning gates and doors! There are four small gates adorned with themes representing the four seasons and Hindu gods. The most aweinspring by far is this Peacock Gate! Just look at those patterns!
Exhausted from the thrill of the day, I ended my journey at Nahargarh Fort which stands on the edge of the Aravalli Hills overlooking the Pink City. I arrived right in time to watch the sun set over this majestic Land of Great Kingdoms!
It’s not hard to see why I fell completely in love with this city and this state. The most beautiful architecture, impeccably preserved and the rich history and culture still so evident in this modern day. I only visited Jaipur this time around, having previously been to Jodphur and Jaisalmer but would definitely love to go back and explore more of Rajasthan time and time again!
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