Explore the effervescence of Jaipur and gain insight into the city’s ancient royalty and an astronomical marvel.
Begin your tour at the City Palace, situated at the heart of the vibrant pink city of Jaipur. The impressive grounds of this royal complex house the imperial residence, as well as the more modern museum. The Palace is made up of a vast array of courtyards, meticulously landscaped gardens and elegant buildings, including temples and lower palaces. The Palace complex incorporates diverse architectural styles such as Rajput, Mughal and European, however it is dominated by the Hindu design style of Shilpa Shastra. There are three main entrances into the property, with the most impressive of these, the Tripolia Gate, reserved solely for the royal family. All three gateways feature intricate etchings and carvings along arches that boldly jut out from thick walls.
Just across the street, lose yourself among the fascinating exhibits at the Jantar Mantar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is dedicated to various astronomical and architectural instruments used by scientists in the past and borrowed from various civilisations, drawing on diverse cultures and religious beliefs. The collection was put together by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II and was completed in 1734, allowing scientists to find various astronomical points with the naked eye. The observatory houses the world’s largest stone sundial, exhibits several ancient methods used to measure declination and features a display for each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. The exhibits range from masonry, stone and brass instruments to venerable Hindu Sanskrit texts. The massive stone structure is a sight to behold, with large arches and inviting passageways, as well as a vast dome used to plots the position of the stars.