‘Flamboyant’ is the word that comes to my mind when we think of Rajasthan. Rajasthan, the home of kings has been aptly named. Jaipur unquestionably is most photogenic and visited city in India by travellers. Also, known as Pink City, it’s painted in a lovely shade of pink which was prepared to welcome Queen Victoria in 1800s.
High within the hills of the town of Amer is that the Amer Fort. Amer was previously referred to as Dhundar and capital of the state before Jaipur from the 11th – 16th century. The fort that stands today was built by Raja Man Singh in 1592.
Tips for a photoshoot at Amer:
- Get here for opening or as early as possible, be the primary in, this place seriously packs out!
- Or, be here for the last hours of the day. DON’T support the elephant riding here, it’s barbaric and therefore the animals are mistreated
- There are many photo spots here including viewpoints, gardens, wall murals, windows, go wild.
Probably the foremost Instagrammable place in Jaipur is Patrika Gate. This series of colourful archways could be fast becoming a favourite amongst photographers. It’s actually the doorway to a circular park which includes a garden. It can get pretty busy here with people taking photos, so keep that in mind.
Tips for a photoshoot at Patrika Gate:
- Get here early or you’ll be battling with people to shoot all-day.
- You won’t immediately see this place, but it’s inside the pink building
- It’s open 24 hours on a daily basis
Hawa Mahal means the palace of winds and its the foremost iconic spot within the city & the one amongst most Instagrammable places in Jaipur! Constructed in 1799 for Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh for the ladies of his house. He was a fanatical worshipper of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna and therefore the design is supposed to resemble Krishna’s crown.
A colourful rose painted palace made from 953 windows referred to as “Jharokhas”, these windows were originally installed to stay the wind flowing through the palace and then ladies could look out at the planet below without being seen.
This palace is photo-worthy from the surface and from within. the simplest view is found opposite the palace from the cafés that serve good chai and food.
Tips for shooting Hawa Mahal:
- Cross the street for a different perspective, Hawa Mahal is really difficult to shoot from the bottom
- The Winds Café serve some yummy chai in their café for a really good view
- Always enter the shopping complex and cafés of your own accord (there are signs), many people will drag you inside to their shops expecting you to buy overpriced goods. Of course, this is your choice, but know that a lot of these shops are tourist traps with high commissions.
- The inside of Hawa Mahal is also really pretty and comes included in your museum ticket.
This place is wall to wall Instagram gold and a must-visit! When the court of royalty moved from Amer Fort to Jaipur, a new city place as built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727.
The structure of this palace is jaw-dropping and colourful inside and out! The most iconic feature of this palace is the intricate doorways in the inner courtyard or Pritam Niwas Chowk.
These four doors represent to the four seasons and different Hindu gods are honoured here. Have fun wandering around this pink palace and taking snaps everywhere you go!
As well as the photos, there are some beautiful exhibitions and displays. You can also watch a puppet show here or treat yourself at their royal café.
Tips for shooting the City palace:
- Getting this place empty can be hit or miss. Sometimes early is good, but then other times there may be weddings or photoshoots going on too.
- At peak times, you will be queueing for your door shots, it’s not just Instagrammer’s that want a photo here!
“Jal” means water and “Mahal” means mansion or palace, so this literally translates to water palace. It’s a gorgeous building that sits in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. It was constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the Rajput style in 1799.
This was the summer palace of the Royal Family as the breeze on the lake would surround the palace to cool them down. You cannot go inside Jal Mahal at the moment but there is a huge restoration project and talks of it becoming a luxury hotel.
You’ll see this on the way to the Amer Fort, so stop off on the roadside for a quick photo opportunity!
Tips for shooting Jal Mahal:
- Any time of the day is good to visit as the palace is on water.
- The lighting is nicer at sunset to capture the palace.
Panna Meen Ka Kund
The step-wells of Rajasthan are famous and can be found all over the state. Panna Meen Ka Kund was designed by Brahmin in the 16th century and was designed to catch rainwater during the monsoon season, for people to take baths and for washing clothes.
This place is seriously photo-worthy with gorgeous symmetrical stairways! But, despite what Instagram tells you, tourists aren’t actually allowed to step on it. The people that do this, have bribed the guard.
There is nothing better than a view from the top and Jaipur has many hills to choose from. Nahargarh Fort provides the best views in the city by far. Plus, there are lots of attractions, restaurants and places to grab a drink.
Tips for shooting Nahargarh Fort:
- I would go for sunrise to get the best lighting and to avoid the heat
- I personally don’t recommend climbing on the walls for ‘the shot’, plus security will shoo you off anyway.
- There are platforms that you can stand on that are so much safer and provide the same awesome view!
Galta Ji Temple / Hanuman Temple
The Hanuman Temple, Hanuman Mandir or Kole Ke Hanuman Ji is a temple dedicated to the Hindu monkey deity Hanuman. It’s commonly known to Westerners as the “monkey temple” but was told by a local that was disrespectful.
There are actually two sides to this temple. On the one hand, the side is with the temple with the monkey’s where you can feed them. The other side is the temple is the Galta Ji bathing area with two baths. One is for women where only women are allowed and the other at the top is for men.
The Rajmahal Cafe
Still home to HH The Maharaja of Jaipur, SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace is perfectly located at the heart of Rajasthan’s fabled ‘Pink City’. Built-in 1729, its newest avatar celebrates its history with aplomb; a 21st century Palace for a dashing young Maharaja. The Palace offers just 13 rooms and suites, including two magnificent Royal Apartments. The wallpapers, specially created for each room, tell the many stories of Jaipur making sure there is something to suit everyone. A wonderful melange of Indian, Art Deco and contemporary design, it is a unique oasis, secluded in beautiful verdant gardens.
If you’re looking for a pretty café in Jaipur, then look no other than Café Palladio. A stunning pink café with Indian and Italian influence combined. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but you’ll also have a great menu of Western dishes from Italy and Greece. Plus coffee and yummy treats like Baklava!
It’s not the cheapest place in Jaipur by a mile but I think it’s worth it to eat in such a stunning setting.
Warning: You’re not allowed to use the camera’s inside here, only photos on phones.
Tapri, which means a makeshift roadside tea-stall, is a recent entrant in this space in Jaipur and is a cafe almost true to its name, in concept as well as spirit. The decor is bang-on, vibrant and very innovative, right from the menu which looks like a “Sarkari file” to kettles and cutting chai glasses used to decorate the walls, and the typical big glass jars to store biscuits and cookies. The best thing about the cafe is the big open terrace sitting – just the type of place one would want to hang out with friends, on a lazy winter Sunday afternoon, which steaming hot chai and lots of conversation. The place seemed to be quite a hit with locals and was completely packed.
Also follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing art and travel content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated Rajasthan Studio and written by Prerna S.