Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is its largest city. The city is named after its founder, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the then ruler of Amber, who founded the city on 18th November, 1727. Jaipur is also known as the Pink City. The city was designed by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Bengali Brahmin, who planned it as per Indian Vaastu Shastra. The directions for every street is marked from North to South and East to West, with an Eastern Gate known as Suraj (Sun) Pol, and a Western Gate known as Chandra (Moon) Pol.
Jaipur is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India. In fact, Conde Nast Traveller Readers Choice Survey ranked Jaipur as the 7th best place to visit in Asia in 2008. CNN ranked the Presidential Suite at the Raj Palace Hotel as second in its “World’s 15 most expensive hotel suites” list in 2012.
The city of Jaipur has everything – arts, history, shopping, entertainment, and food! Some of its must visit sights are as follows:
Apart from these breathtaking historical sights, Jaipur is also famous as the host of the Annual Jaipur Literature Festival (also known as Jaipur LitFest) which is held every year in January. Prominent writers, authors and other such literary experts gather from all over the world to attend this festival which carries on for 2-4 days.
If you want to capture the true beauty of the city after dark, you can sign up for the Pink City by Night Tour operated by RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) which includes a tour to several well-known sights of the city including Amer Fort plus dinner at Nahargarh Fort.
For a splendid twist to your holiday experience in Jaipur, sign up for a Hot-air balloon sunrise ride over Amer Fort. These rides are conducted by Sky Waltz and the package includes pick up and drop from your hotel, tea/coffee and cookies, witnessing the balloon inflation process, and a one-hour balloon ride. The entire activity takes about 3 hours and is available between the months of September and March.
Some of the other must-do things in the Pink City of India are to watch a movie at Raj mandir Cinema (a lavish theatre which somewhat looks like a pink cake), and visit Choki Dhani ( a Rajasthani themed mock village with souvenir shops and stalls, displays of rural artistry and handicrafts, open-air restaurants, plethora of traditional entertainment – music, dance, acrobats, and a lot of park like activities for the kids).
Jaipur International Airport has regular flights connecting the city to other major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. RSRTC (Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation) operate between Jaipur and other nearby cities in Rajasthan. There are also daily buses from New Delhi.
Frequent trains to and from Delhi, Agra, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Jaisalmer, and Pushkar make travel even easier.