While the magical destination of India offers countless amazing tourist attractions and landmarks, some are more inciting than others, offering the avid traveller unforgettable experiences. India offers beautiful natural wonders and fascinating cultural sights, some of the most popular and famous being the cities. Amongst those cities is Jaipur am exotic destination for foreign visitors, still being discovered by those charmed by its atmosphere and attractions. A relatively new city by tourism standards, it was built in the 18th century as the first planned city of India and while many would think that this also means less cultural interest, the truth is that Jaipur has to be explored in order to discover its treasures. Also known as the Pink City, and the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur can be visited any time of the year, although the period between October and March is preferable.

There are certainly many things so see and places to visit in and around Jaipur, the city becoming a major destination of India together with the cities of Delhi and Agra, commonly known as the Golden Triangle. The great jewels of Jaipur lay in its series of forts and palaces, built by the royal families who ruled the city in the past. Probably the best known and most interesting is the Amber Fort, a huge complex older than the city itself, with plenty of things to discover. Smaller forts include Jaigarh and Nahargarh, the first being famous for its gardens and the largest cannon in the world, while the smallest for the views and the inner palace. The most fascinating palace is probably the City Palace, with its massive complex and beautiful architecture. The Jah Mahal, or Water Palace, located right in the middle of a charming lake, a truly unforgettable sight.

There are many other landmarks in and around Jaipur, including dozens of temples and monuments, like the Jantar Mantar, a large astronomical observatory built in the 18th century and included in the UNESCO World Heritage.

The magnificent destination of Jaipur also offers plenty of things to do and enchanting activities, some pretty unique and exotic, like the opportunity to ride elephants, have henna tattoos, learning to cook Indian food or visit the traditional bazaars. But beyond all of these, Jaipur is also well worth visiting for its traditional Indian atmosphere, the fascinating culture and delicious gastronomy. From the city, travelers can also discover several exceptional natural and cultural sights nearby, like the more authentic towns of Udaipur and Jodhpur, the desert city of Jaisalmer, or the ethnic resort of Chokhi Dhani.

While I was in Jaipur I made friends with a local auto-rickshaw driver by the name of “Rain” as he called himself (Ranjeet is his real name). His knowledge of the city is fantastic, taking us to the tourist destinations, as well as the local “hidden” spots. He is self taught English and we used him as a driver, guide and translator during our stay Far cheaper than a taxi, and more exciting (literally holding on to your seat at times), I recommend his Auto-rickshaw. Upon returning to the UK I set-up a website for him to help his business, as he is an independent driver and not paid by hotels or restaurants (like some of the rickshaw crooks, who take you to the places they get back handers from).
If you are visiting Jaipur please check out his site here… Auto Rickshaw Tours of Jaipur.


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