Jaipur, the pink diamond of India

For most travelers, Jaipur represents the Gateway to Rajasthan. It is an introduction to thehistory of the Maharajas.

Jaipur, the beginning or the end of a journey in Rajasthan

Jaipur acts as an appetizer to the discovery of this sacred region of north india. A promise of enchantment! As far as I am concerned, it closed my Rajasthani loop before THE final in apotheosis in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, 230 kms to the east.

Jaipur is a stage that I joined during a second “backpacker” trip to India. I had chosen to start by taking a domestic flight from Delhi to Udaipur.

Traveling as a family with a 5 year old child, Udaipur represented a reassuringly human-sized city. This allowed us to acclimatize and make the transition between France and the subcontinent smoothly.

Jaipur, a concentrate of India

From the outset, the city of Jaipur impresses with its size and density. Next to 3 million indians swarm through its streets. Lanes and boulevards follow one another in an incessant hubbub, bewitching, surprising, exhausting and fascinating.

Here reigns the multiplication of surprises, emotions and superlatives as everywhere else in the subcontinent.

No need to imagine walking to visit the historic “centre”. There area of the city lives up to its population : gigantic ! For some time, bike tours are organized. Otherwise, there remains the negotiation of a day of visits with a rickshaw driver.

Jaipur, the pink city

The particularity of Jaipur lies in its constructions pink sandstone. A infinite palette of colors from sunrise to sunset.

And even if the buildings are not of the first freshness and that the city does not breathe the rose, it appears as a diamond in the rough which deserves much more than a day’s visit.

True incarnation of the paradoxes of India, it oscillates between tradition and modernity. It will certainly not leave the Western visitor indifferent to the wealth of its heritage and the development huge shopping malls.

Like the country in general, Jaipur we like it or we don’t like it.

Beyond all that, Jaipur evokes for me another story. It is that of an unforgettable encounter, the one for which we travel. That of a nugget of inestimable value that remains an entire life anchored in the depths of our memory. The one that makes India a country like no other, a country apart, a country that I love as much as I could hate it.

What to visit in Jaipur?

  • The essential Palace of Winds – Hawa Mahal where the women of the harem had the advantage of being able to contemplate the street without being seen behind this facade with tiny windows.
  • Albert Hall Museum: not for the richness of its collections but for this outdated aspect and the observation of the population.

Far from modern museums, here emerges an impression of eternity where time seems frozen forever.

  • Galta: the temple of the monkeys, hides in the middle of a valley.

Around the pool, the women wash their clothes and the men practice their ablutions.


And what else in Jaipur?

During the day, do not hesitate to cross the doors of the Indian Coffee House. It’s a traditional cafe where you can eat for a few rupees in a very local place.

A dinner at Peacock Rooftop Restaurant, where certainly you will not be the only Westerners, will delight your taste buds. This will allow you to end your day of sightseeing on a pleasant and relaxed note away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  • In the evening: Chokhi Dhani, purely indian amusement park with activities such as traditional dances, tightrope walkers, magic tricks. Composed mainly of Indian families, it is a pure delight that honors the culture of Rajasthan. Dinner (thali) included in the entrance ticket. Ideal when traveling with children.


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