Jaipur, India is known as The Pink City. But why is it so pink? Answer: when the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria announced their visit in 1876, the King of Jaipur, Maharaja Ram Singh, mandated that the city be painted its now famous reddish-pink hue. This is because pink is believed to be the color of hospitality. It’s hard not to feel welcome in such a beautiful, bustling city! If you came here for a taste of local culture, shopping, sightseeing, and of course, incredible photos, you will not be disappointed. Pink or not, these are some of the most stunning spots in Jaipur for photography.
1) CITY PALACE
The City Palace in Jaipur is an absolute must-see! While the entry and courtyard of the palace is painted pink, the most impressive room, in my opinion, was the blue room. This is where the royals used to spend their summers due to its open-air balcony and windows, plus you can’t help but feel calm in this cool-colored space. When you buy your entry ticket (2,500 RS—around $40 USD) you are paired up with a free guide who takes you into all the secret rooms of the palace. After, you can enjoy a complimentary chai or coffee and some delicious butter cookies in the private courtyard. There’s also the garden area which is where the royals would have dances and ceremonies. One side is designed with summery colors and intricate peacock feather paintings. The other shows darker wintry colors and patterns. Try to go earlier in the morning to beat the crowds.
2) HAWA MAHAL
The Hawa Mahal Palace is right in the city center of Jaipur. This facade pictured here faces a main road, but it’s actually the backside of the Hawar Mahal Palace. It has 953 latticework windows which were originally made for women to look out into the main street without being seen. On the main road where this facade is located, there are tons of shops where you can buy silver and gold jewelry and gemstones. You can buy an entry ticket to see the entire palace, or you can just hit up this photo spot by walking by.
3) JAWAHAR CIRCLE GARDEN AND PARK
You may have seen photos of this breathtaking multicolored archway on Instagram, but did you know that it’s part of a traffic circle garden and park? According to locals, it’s the largest circular park in all of Asia. You can take a brisk 20-minute stroll around the small park after taking your multicolored photo. Jawahar Circle Garden is on the way to the Jaipur airport, so if you’re planning on flying domestically, it’s best to stop there on your way to or from your flight.
4) AMBER FORT
Amber Fort is the most famous fort just outside of Jaipur City. With sweeping views of the mountains, the fort is made from red sandstone and white and marble and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside, there are beautiful columns and designs etched throughout the property. Each building boasts a unique history, so it’s definitely worth getting a tour guide or an audio guide. The best time to visit is late afternoon or right around sunset as you’ll get better, more dramatic lighting that way. Get lost going up the staircases to find places that are out of sight from the main tourists. If you feel up for it, stay for the evening light show which happens nightly at 6:30pm.
5) STEPWELL – PANNA MEENA KA KUND
Combine your trip to Amber Fort with Stepwell. A four-minute ride from Amber Fort, going the short distance is totally worth it. If you can, get an Uber there and ask if the driver can wait for you. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying more than double if you go by tuk tuk. You might have to pay the Stepwell guard 50-100Rs to go down the steps of the well to take a photo, but make sure you cut the price down by half.
6) SAMODE HAVELI
If you can’t afford to stay at the Samode Haveli hotel, at least stop in for lunch or a drink. It’s an incredibly beautiful space and was once a traditional Indian mansion back in the day. There are lush plants and flowers blossoming in every corner of the property, making it an ideal spot for spending a lazy afternoon. Choose to sit near the entryway which includes blue velvet sofas, silk magenta curtains, and a flower-shaped fountain. Alternatively, you can sit in the restaurant which is more inside the hotel past the pool. The restaurant has outdoor seating and an incredibly elaborate dining area, but during the day the lighting can be pretty dark. You can also try to get photos near the pool as well, but they might not let you as it’s meant for guests and residents only. But, it doesn’t hurt to ask!
7) BAR PALLADIO
Bar Palladio is a restaurant and lounge inside the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel and is inspired by Mughal and Italian art and culture. The inside is painted in bright cobalt and turquoise blues, but a different shade from the one you’d see in the summer room at City Palace. It’s the perfect place to go for happy hour or for dinner. The place opens at 6pm, so it might be better to get there on the early side if you want a better seat and better lighting.
What types of places do you look for when taking photographs in a city? Is it architecture, local sites, or people? Maybe it’s a combination of everything. Part of exploring any city is just walking around and finding spots you find interesting. Jaipur’s main tourist center feels like one big bazaar, selling jewelry, fabrics, shoes, accessories, street snacks, and freshly brewed chai. Life there is vibrant, loud, and extremely colorful. It’s a place that you’ll want to visit again and again, not just for amazing photos, but also for its incredible culture and warm people. I hope you enjoy exploring and photographing this hospitable city as much as I did!
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