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Jaipur: The City of colour, craft and heritage

As the capital of Rajasthan, India’s most cultural and colourful state, Jaipur is an epicentre for craft and culture. Known for its dazzling Royal Palaces, historic forts, block-print textiles and spellbinding gems. Designers from all over the world flock to this city, seeking inspiration from the bustling bazaars, splendid regality and talented artisans whose centuries-old workshops line the streets of the Old City.

 

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Here we round up some three of our favourite things to do:

 

An early wake up call to visit the Phool Mandi Flower Market is one of our favourite excursions to capture local Jaipur life at it best. Many flowers in India have sacred connotations and for centuries having been auspicious symbols in the art and mythology of ancient Indian culture. As the vendors find their spots amidst this bustling market find heaped piles of vibrant marigolds and fragrant roses traded over hot cups of sugary chai in the early morning sun. The vegetable market is in the same area- where villagers have travelled to sell off their produce to the hungry Jaipur shoppers. Make sure you bring your camera.

 

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Bundles of colour at the flower market. From the SUJÁN Archives.
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Colour you will learn is the language of India! From the SUJÁN Archives.
Cuppa Chai anyone?
Cuppa Chai anyone? From the SUJÁN Archives.

The City Palace

 

The splendid City Palace sits in the heart of the Old City, a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture in a rich palette of salmon-pinks and indigo-blues. The splendid City Palace complex, part museum and part residence of the Jaipur Royal Family is spread over a large area occupying one seventh of the old city of Jaipur. It has a sequence of gardens, buildings and courtyards and a temple that reflects its historical importance and magnificent royal grace within the Pink City. As guests at Rajmahal Palace, enjoy a private residence tour and experience the inner palace rooms and expansive views over Jaipur from the rooftops. The mesmerising Sukh Niwas Blue Room is one of our favourites and be sure to keep an eye out for the famous ‘ Four Doors’ in the inner courtyard of the Palace called Pritam Niwas Chowk. You might recognise these from the marble staircase at your own Royal Residence of Rajmahal Palace.

 

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The peacock gate at Pritam Niwas Chowk. From the SUJÁN Archives.
Blending in with the blue in the stunning Sukh Niwas!
Blending in with the blue in the stunning Sukh Niwas! From the SUJÁN Archives.

 

Hawa Mahal

 

Hawa Mahal is arguably Jaipur’s most iconic monuments. Reportedly designed and built in the form of Lord Krishna’s Crown as a dedication, it has 953 small windows (Jharokhas) that were built to keep the wind blowing inside the palace. A combination of Hindu and Islamic architecture with domed canopies, fluted pillars and floral patterns, it is said to resemble a honeycomb structure that towers to five storeys. Hawa Mahal literally translates to ‘Palace of Winds’ as the tiny windows allow a cool breeze to rush through the building during the warm Indian summers. Created in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, it was built so the ladies of the royal family could watch the festivals and processions taking place in the streets below without having to venture into the city. The latticework also meant their faces were covered from the crowds.

 

The magnificent Hawa Mahal.
The magnificent Hawa Mahal. From the SUJÁN Archives.

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