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Arts and Culture in Jaipur

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Suffused in a pink glow, the many palaces and temples of Jaipur give this city an air of majesty. Dating back to 1727, Jaipur wears its centuries of history with an assured grace. In the midst of the very Indian noise and chaos, regal gardens and hidden forts create pockets of stillness and calm.

 

Landmarks

 

The Rajasthani Maharaja didn’t scrimp on luxury palaces for their royal households – and today their legacy lives on in the stunning architecture which remains. Central Jaipur dazzles with two majestic palaces, lording over the city. Inside, they protect artifacts and treasures collected over centuries.

 

Hawa Mahal

 

The iconic centrepiece of Jaipur, the Hawa Mahal palace is a vision in rose-hued sandstone. Its dizzying façade is an intricate screen with almost 1,000 windows. It was designed so that the royal women could look out onto a world they were fiercely shielded from. Climb all 5 stories for fantastic views across the city.

 

Hawa Mahal Road, Jaipur 302002. Tel: +91 141 261 8862

 

Hawa Mahal website

 

City Palace

 

This flamboyant and richly-decorated palace in central Jaipur was once the centre of rule. It’s a lavish complex with peaceful courtyards and gardens to explore. Today, the palace buildings contain carefully-curated museums and galleries, showing off gilded costumes, deadly weapons, and illuminated holy scriptures.

 

Jalebi Chowk, Jaipur 3023002. Tel: +91 141 408 8888

 

City Palace website

 

Temples

 

From the gleaming and modern to the ancient and crumbling, Jaipur is certainly not short on places of religious devotion. The colorful, ornate Hindi influence is the most prominent, but in the harmonious, Indian spirit of religious tolerance, the deities and prophets of a rainbow of faiths are represented.
Birla Lakshmi Narayan Temple

 

Fashioned in blinding white marble, this most contemporary of Jaipur temples was built by a prominent businessman, on a piece of land bought for a single rupee. He’s certainly added value to the place – this is a three-domed, palatial structure, presided over by Vishnu and Lakshmi and decorated with pictorial tales from Hindu mythology.

 

Tilak Nagar, Jaipur 302004

 

Birla Lakshmi Narayan Temple website

 

Gardens

 

As a city surrounded by desert, Jaipur is something of an oasis, generously endowed with beautiful gardens which add splashes of refreshing green to the dusty pink. These tranquil, revitalising spaces provide sanctuaries from the chaos of the city streets, set against mountain backdrops or floating on lakes.

 

Kanak Vrindavan

 

Located in the lush Kanak Vrindavan valley, these gardens are encircled by forts, including the majestic Amber Fort, visible from the gardens. Among perfumed flower-beds and lotus-strewn ponds, there are intricate, yellow-hued pavilions, with elegant arches framing the view. As a place to relax after sightseeing, it’s sublime.

 

Kanak Ghati, Jaipur 302002

 

Kanak Vrindavan website

 

Museums

 

With a wealth of treasures ranging from prehistoric religious artefacts to the opulent trappings of 18th century royal life, Jaipur is blessed with some extraordinary museums. These include small, private collections as well as palatial buildings packed with diverse exhibits.

 

Albert Hall Museum

 

There are few buildings which can put London’s Albert Hall in the shade, but Jaipur’s Albert Hall Museum manages it. Multi-tiered, intricately decorated, and adorned with domes, it’s worth visiting just for the architecture, particularly when it’s illuminated at night. Inside this vast palace is a rich collection of Jaipur’s heritage, from an armoury to musical instruments.

 

Ramniwas Bag, Jaipur 302004. Tel: +91 141 257 0099

 

Albert Hall Museum website