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Classic Rajasthan


The destination

A labyrinth of fascinating bazaars, opulent palaces and a futuristic observatory, Jaipur was the inspiration of the ruler Sawai Jai Singh, who moved the capital from Amber in 1727.  Jaipur was designed by a young architect from Bengal and together they planned a city along the ancient Hindu treatise of “Shilpa Shastra”, a science similar to the better known Feng Shui. Jaipur is laid out in a geometric grid of streets and squares making it one of the earliest planned cities in India.  In honour of the visit of the Prince Edward, then the Prince of Wales, the city was painted in rich terracotta, a tradition which has continued through the years. This is the reason why Jaipur is often called the “Pink City” and today it serves as the State capital for Rajasthan.

Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the region, still recalls its heydays in the majestic ramparts rising steeply along the contoured hillsides. Here, elephants still carry visitors in stately splendour to the main palace, through unusually high gateways, obviously designed to accommodate this archaic mode of transport. It is an extremely well-preserved building and a delight to explore.

Other highlights of the city include the “Palace of the Winds”, the 300 year old Krishna temple in the old city which has a beautiful fresco and carved pillars and the City Palace. This is a superb marriage of the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture, within the palace complex are several museums and lying adjacent to the Palace is the medieval Jantar Mantar Observatory – built by Maharaja Jai Singh II, an inveterate astronomer whose curiously shaped and oversized implements are astonishingly still accurate today.

Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha, the Rajput chieftan of the Rathore, in 1459 AD. Also known as the "Blue City", as most houses in the old city are painted shades of blue. This is particularly noticeable on the north side of the city which was primarily inhabited by Brahmins, or the highest castes of Hinduism, who chose to add a bit of Indigo while colouring their houses which created the distinctive colour. Walking through the residential areas you head towards the bustling bazaars of the walled city, exploring its heritage of arts and craft from sword makers to perfume creators.  The range of activity is fascinating.

Providing an impressive backdrop to the city is the Meherangarh Fort which houses a fascinating museum with a royal collection of artifacts. The fort is best visited in the early evening so that you can watch the sun set over the city.

Udaipur is a fairy tale city of marble palaces and lakes. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559 and the capital of the region of Mewar. The rulers of Mewar, the Sisodia Rajputs, trace their dynasty to AD 566 and believe they are the defenders of Rajput honour.  Unlike other Rajput royal families, this was a fiercely independent clan who refused to enter matrimonial alliances with the Mughals or military alliances with the British. The city is dominated by the massive City Palace which overlooks the tranquil Lake Pichola with its romantic island palaces. 

The sprawling City Palace was built over three centuries and is a series of four interconnecting palaces, illustrative of various architectural styles. In the main it is a blend of Rajput military architecture and lavish Mughal inspired decorative art on the inside. 


You can apply for an e-visa online from 120 days before travel. Passports need to have at least six months validity from the date of arrival in India and also at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration. 


Top tips

  • Jaipur is the best place to shop - purchase beautiful handprinted fabrics from Anokhi and be sure to visit the silver markets for beautiful pieces made from precious and semi-precious stones.
  • Even if you don’t stay at Dera Amer we can arrange a visit with the rescue elephants there and a private dinner in the stunning wilderness just on the outskirts of Jaipur.
  • Set your alarm early and visit the morning marigold markets in Jaipur.
  • Visit the Crystal Gallery in Udaipur’s City Palace – here they have any household item you could think of made in crystal – from hairbrushes to bedframes.



  • Local currency: Indian Rupee
  • Accepted credit cards: Visa and MasterCard, American Express (Large establishments, hotels, restaurants, shops)
  • Timezone: GMT +5.5 hrs

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