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Jaipur

India

1/5 Behind the screens of the Hawa Mahal the royal women could look out on the city undetected
Behind the screens of the Hawa Mahal the royal women could look out on the city undetected
2/5 The Amber Fort just to the north of Jaipur was the first capital of the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs
The Amber Fort just to the north of Jaipur was the first capital of the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs
3/5 Inside the City Palace in the Pink City of Jaipur
Inside the City Palace in the Pink City of Jaipur
4/5 Temple musician in one of the city's many temples
Temple musician in one of the city's many temples
5/5 The Nahagarh Fort, Jaipur
The Nahagarh Fort, Jaipur

The capital of Rajasthan Jaipur was the first planned city of India, laid out on a grid system and protected by high gated walls

The capital of Rajasthan Jaipur was the first planned city of India, laid out on a grid system and protected by high gated walls. The old names of the nine sectors hint at what you will find in the shops lining streets dedicated to the same wares - saris and fabrics, household goods, jewels or spices.

The terracotta buildings give Jaipur the name of the Pink City, but you’ll need your rose tinted spectacles too to look on some of it favourably. The surrounding suburbs are expanding rapidly but the old city is where everyone wants to be and it’s absolutely bursting at the seams. Still, it’s an amazing place to explore and watch bangle makers at work, cobblers stitching together handmade shoes, spices and vegetables being bought and sold. Join devotees in one of the many temples – the evenings are when things get really lively.

There are lots of intriguing monuments in Jaipur including the Hawa Mahal, Palace of Winds with screened viewing points for the ladies of the palace and the fascinating Jantar Mantar observatory with enormous astronomical sculptures. At the City Palace the tremendous wealth the royal family once had is quite incredulous. Treasures include a pair of giant 1.5m tall sliver urns. The Maharaja took them to England filled with Ganges water to purify himself after contact with ‘outcastes’ while attending the coronation of Edward VII.                                                                                                                  

Outside the city Amber Fort was the first royal residence of the Kachwaha Rajputs who later built Jaipur. The stunning complex of restored palaces, halls, pavillions, gardens and temples attracts large crowds but the simpler Nahargarh and Jaigarh forts nearby are less well maintained and visited and hugely atmospheric.

Jaipur has an excellent choice of accommodation from palaces to haveli mansions, and boutique properties and resorts outside the city and it is well connected to other cities in Rajasthan and Delhi.

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A few of our favourite places to stay:

The main house at Dera Mandawa, Jaipur

Dera Mandawa

Dera Mandawa combines the best of homestay hospitality with the

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The airy Verandah Lounge, Samode Haveli

Samode Haveli

Tucked down a lane and surrounded by high walls, Samode Haveli

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Rambagh Palace, Jaipur

Rambagh Palace

Rambagh Palace is among Jaipur’s most luxurious hotels

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Who to talk to

Andrea Hulme

Andrea Hulme’s travel experiences could fill a small novel; from a bit-part in a Tamil movie, to leading expeditions in Kyrgyzstan and negotiating landslides along the Karakoram highway.

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At Natural High, we've had long experience putting together trips in Africa that really work. Whether it's intimate bushcamps in out of the way places, or a private lodge in one of Africa's top-billing wildlife areas, light mobile camping or remote island escapes, we know there is a lot to choose from. We're absolutely confident that we can recommend the right places for you.

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