- Place or Religious Monument
- Castle and fortress
- Place or Historical Monument
- Unesco World Heritage
In Rajasthan you have Jodhpur, which is the Blue City, Udaipur the white, Jaisalmer the yellow, and the capital, Jaipur, the Pink City. Jaipur is one of the essential places to see in the region, as well as when visiting in India in general.
On my trip around the world, I spent two months completing a full tour of India. When I initially arrived in Jaipur, the first thing I encountered was a city of endless streets, a place completely without charm. This is where all the hotels and restaurants are to be found: the new part of the city, very busy and bustling, traffic-jammed and polluted. You need to enter the ramparts to reach the old city and penetrate into another world. All that then remains to do is seek out Jaipur's treasures. Many of the buildings' facades are built from pink sandstone. When the sun casts its rays on the stones in the mornings and evenings, the colors take on a more ocher hue, lending the place a magical, enchanting atmosphere.
I visited some uniquely beautiful monuments in Jaipur, beauty of a kind to take your breath away. I especially recommend both the City Palace and the famous Palace of the Winds and the Turban museum. The astronomical observatory, the Jantar Mantar, however, though inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage, did not particularly interest me. Only genuine enthusiasts will be impressed by the giant scale of the instruments there. In summary, Jaipur is both the very stereotype of an Indian city in its modern part and a superb testimony to the beauty of Rajasthan.
Having been born in Toulouse, the "Pink City" of France, I was feeling especially enthusiastic when I arrived in Jaipur, the "Pink City" of India. Jaipur is an immense city of more than three million inhabitants located at the gateway to the Rajasthan Desert. Though it only came into existence relatively recently in India's history, the city has an impressive number of sites to visit. I'll briefly describe my favorite places.
The city contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory containing a 27-meter-high sundial that's really worth seeing when visiting Jaipur. The Jal Mahal is a magnificent palace you can visit located in the middle of a lake. Not only is the palace itself very beautiful, but the boat trip to reach it is nice and the views over the local surroundings are pleasant. I also greatly enjoyed strolling around the Johari Bazaar, with its explosion of colors!
We arrived by bus from Agra. When we got off the bus, the taxi drivers were fighting over who would necessarily take us, two female tourists... We met up with Lokesh, who we had contacted through the couchsurfing website, and whose house we would stay at for a few days.
Lokesh lives with his parents (which is the rule as long as he isn't married, even though he works and earns enough money to live alone). I was very happy to get to taste the family cooking and especially to learn the recipe for the famous chai (tea with milk and spices, a real treat!).
He owns an Indian fabric company with his brother, and they export their products to Europe. We spent an afternoon in their boutique trying on saris! In the evenings, he took us a little bit out of town to the hills so we could enjoy the sunset, and he made us a drink...Indian rum! So yes, Indians make more than just movies!
The next day, we were tourists once again and visited the city center and the main monuments. We spent an afternoon at Fort Amber, a few kilometers from there. The site is surrounded by mountains and a lake and is very well preserved. It's definitely something to see, but if possible, avoid going for an elephant ride; those poor animals are totally exploited!