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Exploring Jaipur: The Pink City

I've heard good things about Rajasthan from friends who have visited the region. Our first stop in Rajasthan was the Pink City of Jaipur. I was looking forward to exploring this region after experiencing the craziness of Delhi, Agra, Kolkata, and Varanasi. The cold wind trickled into the cabin of the train, the Indian countryside whisked by, day turned into night as the sun's limp fingers slowly rested on the other side of the world. It took approximately 6 hours by train --- I was finally in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The Pink City

Jaipur is the largest city and the capital of Rajasthan. The city was founded on November 18, 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Jaipur is also known as the 'Pink City'.

There was excitement brewing as soon as I entered the Pink City. The hustle and bustle of city life was prevalent as I turned corners and entered streets. This was the throbbing heart I was looking for the moment I arrived in Jaipur. I stayed far from the historical city and its pink structures when I arrived the night before.

Walking around the city was interesting as I got to see and experience the daily lives of people living in this part of the city. The architecture and design of the buildings were unique as well.

There were several shops that sold the usual souvenirs I found in India such as scarves, bags, shoes, and other items. The people in Jaipur didn't stare as much and the streets weren't as dirty compared to the other Indian cities I've been to prior to visiting.

One thing was the same though --- the traffic! The streets were still chaotic with cars, vans, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles and people zipping from different directions made just crossing the street quite an adventure.

Hawa Mahal: Worth it or not? 

I've read a lot of good things about Hawa Mahal, but I took these reviews with a grain of salt to avoid any disappointment.

I easily spotted the Hawa Mahal as I rode the bus through the Pink City. It was easily distinguishable with its intricately cut windows and beautiful facade. I haven't seen anything like the facade of the Hawa Mahal. The Hawa Mahal, also known as the 'Palace of Winds', was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. The design of the structure took inspiration from the crown of Krishna, a Hindu god.

The exterior of the building resembles a honeycomb with small windows called jharokas. The intention of the structure was to keep the royal court ladies from being seen by outsiders while they observed the festivities and daily life taking place outside the palace walls.

Honestly, the Hawa Mahal isn't as impressive inside as it is outside. The architecture was good but the as good compared to its exterior.

There were many rooms that had an overlooking view of some parts of the city. It could take you around 45 minutes to explore the complex at a leisurely pace.

Would I recommend the Hawa Mahal? Seeing the exterior is enough but INR 50 is still a cheap price to pay for an attraction.

*There is an entrance fee of INR 50 (for foreigners) to enter the Hawa Mahal. You can purchase the composite ticket for INR 400 that includes other destinations such as the Amber Fort, Albert Museum, and Jantar Mantar.

Here's a sample composite ticket:

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