The most photogenic locations in India can be found in the Pink City of Jaipur. Jaipur is a fascinating mix of ancient forts, royal palaces, and vibrant bazaars along with contemporary shopping malls and busy business centers. That is why Jaipur is becoming a popular destination for Instagrammers all around the world!

I was in Jaipur for a quick one-day trip during my last visit to India in December. I tried to squeeze in some famous monuments in my itinerary as well as stopped frequently to have fun in cafes that are really Instagram famous these days. Continue reading if you are interested to know about the top five things you can do in Jaipur in 24 hours!

1. Visit Hawa Mahal

We arrived in the city at night, so the next day after the breakfast, we headed to Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of Winds’ which is a unique and popular tourist spot that you should not miss. It is Jaipur’s most distinctive landmark and was constructed in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to enjoy everyday street scenes, royal processions, festivals, and other celebrations on the street without being seen by the public.

Hawa Mahal is made from red and pink sandstones and is designed by Lal Chand Ustad and has a blend of Mughal and Rajasthani style of architecture. The five-story palace was built in the form of Krishna’s crown because Sawai Pratap Singh was devoted to the Hindu God, Krishna. Hawa Mahal is the tallest building in the world without a foundation but still manages to stand upright because it is a curve structure. There are no stairs to climb, instead, there are only ramps to reach the top floors. It is constructed like a beehive with 953 windows on the outside walls. The honeycomb shape and beautifully carved windows allow the breeze to blow through the palace and make it perfect for the summer season.

Hawa Mahal doesn’t have a direct entrance; one must enter from the side of City Palace as it was built as a part of City Palace. We went there early; it was still very crowded and there were huge crowds in lines to buy the entrance tickets. Also, since there are no elevators and very narrow ramps, some people might have trouble going up to the 5th floor. But it is worth the effort because it is a beautiful piece of architecture!

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan

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2. Chill at a café with the view of Hawa Mahal

If you want to enjoy the view of the Hawa Mahal and relax with a coffee, there are some great cafes across the street. I had seen these cafes on Instagram and after visiting Hawa Mahal went there for coffee and a snack. The Wind View Café and The Tattoo Café & Lounge, are in the same haveli and are adjacent to each other, both providing breathtaking views from their terrace. The idea of making these cafes came after the crew of ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’, a Bollywood movie, shot there!

We went to the Tattoo Café which has beautiful seating arrangements and ambiance, perfect for taking photos! We had to wait for a good 30 minutes to get a seat on the terrace. However, it was worth it as we had fun spending an hour relaxing and enjoying the view from this rooftop cafe directly opposite the Hawa Mahal. We had fries, waffles, and pizza which was very good.

Admiring the architectural splendor of Hawa Mahal while sipping a cup of coffee and relaxing under the sun in cold winter afternoon was the highlight of my trip to Jaipur!

jaipur blogger

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3. Stop at Jal Mahal and Man Sagar Lake

After taking a coffee break, we headed to our next destination, which is the Jal Mahal or the Water Palace. It is on the way to Amer Fort and we just stopped there to admire this architectural marvel. and take some photos. Jal Mahal was once was a shooting lodge for the Maharajah. Madho Singh, who constructed it in 1750, for himself and his entourage during his duck hunting parties. His son, Madho Singh II enhanced the Jal Palace during the 18th century by working on the interior of the palace, adding the courtyard grounds and much of the exterior which we can see now.

Jal Mahal is a low-rise structure and appears to float in the center of Man Sagar Lake. Though the palace only appears to be a single story there are a further four submerged levels. The solid stone walls hold back millions of liters of water and the specially designed lime mortar has prevented water seepage for over 250 years. The light pink sand-colored stone walls of the Jal Mahal Jaipur are at sharp contrast to the blue of the lake. It follows the classical Rajput symmetrical style which is found throughout Rajasthan. There used to be gondolas which would provide boat rides across the lake, but these rides stopped 3 years ago as the state government has declared Jal Mahal and the Man Sagar lake as a protected area and visitors are not allowed to enter the Palace. That is why, you can stop your car or taxi for 15 minutes, rest, take in the view and head to Amber Fort.

4. Have tea at a road-side stall or a tea café

Another fun thing to do in Jaipur is to drink the national drink of India – tea. A survey reveals that 95% of Indians are tea lovers. There are more than 150 varieties of tea in India; with or without milk, iced, flavored, healthy, detox, and many more! Honestly, I have not seen so many small but swanky cafes and roadside stalls selling chai in any other city of India. There are several tea cafes around Jaipur, and they serve a plethora of teas in different flavors. These cafes are popular for their casual interiors and a dose of quirkiness. Well, we were short on time, so we had tea mainly standing at stalls, which was fun as we don’t have such stalls in Tokyo!

5. End your day at Amer Fort

Amber Fort or Amer Fort, about 20 minutes from Jaipur is one of the most well-known and most-visited forts in India. It is one of Jaipur’s top attractions. Amber Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site and its design is a unique mix of Hindu and Muslim styles. It is made of honey and rose-colored stone, white marble, and gilt decor, and consists of four courtyards, palaces, halls, temples, terraces, and gardens. This fort is built on a hill and overlooks the city of Jaipur. It was built in the 16th century by a trusted general of Emperor Akbar, Raja Man Singh.

We stayed back at the fort for the evening sound and light show, and illuminations. There were also some cultural programs being held in the evening inside the fort. The light and sound show is held near Maota Lake and showcases the history of Amber Fort using special effects. We saw the show from the parking lot and our cab driver said that it is the same even if we went closer to the fort! Well, always trust the locals!

Prerna Priyam, Best Indian fashion blogger

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In my opinion, 24 hours is not a lot to experience everything Jaipur has to offer. There is much more to see and do, for sure! And that is why I will be back there, soon! After all, it is less than a 45-minute flight from Delhi!

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