The distinctive shade of terracotta pink is what I first noticed about Jaipur, India, the capital city of Rajasthan, the Land of Kings. Bazaars, gardens, and palaces show flashes of pink, a color with historic roots. Back in 1853, the city draped itself in this warm hue to welcome Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, on a royal visit.  Now, all buildings facing the main street within the city walls must maintain the pink color.

Behind this bright color is an equally vibrant city. Driving from the heart of Jaipur to my hotel on the outskirts of town, I saw the chaos of daily life on full display– bustling barber shops, games of catch, cooking around a fire, and friends sharing a drink.

During my time in Jaipur I explored the history, royal heritage, intricate architecture, and, of course, the shopping that it is known for. Here are a few of my favorite discoveries:

Photo: Annie Fitzsimmons

 

Jal Mahal: Now Open for Pleasure

Jal Mahal was built as a pleasure palace for the royal ruler Maharaja Jai Singh II in the 18th century– think moonlit parties and duck hunting gatherings. Located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, where winds sweep off the water’s surface and through open-air corridors (There are no rooms here as it was never meant to be residential.) Today, these corridors hold carefully curated pieces of art from Indian artists. Plans are in place for a restaurant on the shoreline and concerts in the palace’s rooftop garden. The restoration of the palace has been a remarkable and sometimes contentious collaboration between the private and public sectors. Jah Mahal is open to the public for the first time this year, and guests have to book a visit in advance with Jal Mahal Resorts, but the full (Read more...)

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