Simply saying the word ‘Jaipur’ evokes images of opulence and exoticism. The unspeakably romantic capital of Rajasthan traces its origins back to 1727, when the Raja of Amer, Jai Singh II, moved his capital here. Famous the world over for its incredible array of polished gems, Jaipur is a city that sparkles like a majestic pink jewel that’s been placed upon your finger by the love of your life. Here are five reasons I couldn’t help falling truly, madly, deeply in love with Jaipur…
Reason to Fall in Love #1: Jaipur is Pink
It’s true. Known as the ‘Pink City’, Jaipur was painted pink back in 1876. Maharaja Ram Singh had the city painted the color of hospitality to welcome the Prince of Wales (who was to become Edward VII) when he paid a visit to the city.
Reason to Fall in Love #2: The Call to Prayer
Want to feel shivers roll up and down your spine? Then lie in your hotel bed at 5.30am, close your eyes, and listen intently as a soulful Islamic Call to Prayer echoes across Jaipur’s pink walls. Full of yearning and beauty, it’s simply magical to hear.
Reason to Fall in Love #3: The City Palace
Tucked away in the heart of the Pink City you’ll find the exquisite City Palace. Built between 1729 and 1732 by Jai Singh II, this stunning complex is made up of a gorgeous collection of courtyards, gardens and elaborately-decorated buildings. Stroll around the inner courtyard and wonder at the four impressive gates—each of them adorned with the symbols of a season and a Hindu god. The Peacock Gate, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is especially stunning. Gaze upon outrageously-intricate royal gowns as you wander around the Mubarak Mahal (‘Auspicious Palace’), which is now a textile museum. And don’t miss the gown of Sawai Madho Singh I—it’s said he weighed a generous 250 kilograms and had 117 wives.
Reason to Fall in Love #4: The Palace of Winds
Constructed of red and pink sandstone back in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds) is an unfathomably elaborate architectural gem that sits on the edge of the City Palace complex. Often likened to a beehive in shape, it boasts 953 latticework windows from which the ladies of the palace could observe everyday life without being seen.
Reason to Fall in Love #5: The Amber Fort
Expect to be stunned at the Amber Fort, because it really is the stuff of Mughal magnificence. Located high on a hill 11 kilometers from Jaipur, this extensive palace complex was built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble. With its magnificent Ganesh Pol gate and elephant-adorned Public Audience Hall, the beauty of the Amber Fort can be heart-stopping at times.
The Amber Fort is also home to the absolutely incredible Sheesh Mahal, or Mirror Palace. Built by King Man Singh in 16th century, the palace’s dazzling walls and ceilings are adorned with endless pieces of shimmering glass and mirror. It’s said that this is where the king held candlelit dinners and that the myriad of candle reflections made the Mirror Palace feel like it was full of stars.
I ask you: What could possibly be more romantic than that?
Vickie Sam Paget is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not creating dynamic travel or tech content, globetrotting or gazing at the North Shore Mountains, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or sipping a pint of the good stuff in her local Irish bar.