SmartTRAVEL: Jaipur

As Pro Kabbadi league takes this indigenous sport to new levels of professionalism, we get a chance to know more about the game — and the cities the matches are being held

SmartTRAVEL: Jaipur
What to SEE

Amber fort

This massive fort-palace complex built in hybrid hindu-muslim style dates back to Raja Man Singh and was the royal palace of the Kachwahas from c 1600-1727. The fort is named after the town of Amber, in turn named after the goddess Amba. The main sights within the fort include the Sheesh mahal, adorned with thousands and thousands of mirror tiles on the walls and ceiling.

Jantar Mantar

This Unesco world heritage site is the largest of five astronomical observatories build by Maharaja Jai Singh during the period 1727-1734 in north India. The observatory consists of 14 major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets, etc. Worth a visit.

Hawa mahal

Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Singh as part of city palace. It was an extension of the zenana (women) chamber. Its purpose was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. It is a five storey high red sandstone structure complete with over 950 windows. The breeze (or hawa in Hindi) circulates through these windows giving the palace its name.

Where to EAT

Chokhi Dhani

If you are craving for traditional Rajasthani food, head to Chokhi Dhani, a mock village. It is also known as Lalten restaurant and is very popular among tourists because, besides food, there are a host of things — like horse riding, camel riding, maze, boating and kathputli (puppet) show — that are on offer under one roof. Avoid weekends if you can.

Where to SHOP

Bazaars

In the middle of the Pink City, not so far from all those tourist attractions, are lanes and lanes of brilliant colourful explosion of flowers, elephants, carts, and wares. Just watch out for gem scams and such. But a visit is a must, even if you are not planning to buy.

THE PICK: Anokhi museum

This beautiful museum is dedicated to the traditional art of hand block printing textiles. It is housed in a recently restored heritage haveli tucked into the back streets of old Amber fort. Small cafe, clean toilets, friendly staff and live demonstration of craft. What more can you ask for, eh?

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