This captivating half-day city tour explores the rich diversity of Jaipur, including Jaipur’s City Palace, the Jantar Mantar observatory, and the web of ancient bazaars that wangle their way through the old city. Jaipur City Palace is where our guided tour begins. It’s a superb marriage of Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture and is a sprawling complex of multiple courtyards, public buildings and zenana mahals (harems). Within the palace complex are several museums including a fascinating textile gallery exhibiting a fine selection of lavish textiles and costumes from the royal collection. The basic layout is Mughal, with open courtyards and large airy buildings, while the details are drawn from centuries of Rajput and Jain architectural styles.
From here the tour takes us to the extraordinary “Jantar Mantar”, the astronomical observatory built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1827, and deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Roughly translated the name means “The Formula of Instruments”. This is one of five observatories he built in northern India with instruments resembling massive futuristic structures. These are actually highly sophisticated instruments that are accurate even today. Afterwards the tour enters the bazaars of the old city – colourful, aromatic, wonderfully chaotic and offering anything from the famous Jaipur “minakari” jewellery to ordinary and mundane household goods. These artisans and tradesmen, who have been practicing their trade for generations, have become an integral part of the city’s economic growth. You will spend time in the oldest and busiest of markets in the walled city Johori Bazaar.