Hidden Gems to visit in Jaipur
Siddhant Vashistha takes us on a spell-binding trip around Jaipur, traversing through the little-known spots of the vibrant pink city.
While Jaipur is known for its forts and palaces, and there’s an itinerary that exists in every visitor’s handbook, there are a few places in the city that are often overlooked by the rushed traveller. We introduce you to these little-known wonders in Jaipur, which might come in handy on your next trip to Rajasthan.
Sargasuli or Isar-lat
Isarlat was built by the eponymous king Ishwar Singh after his wins in three wars, as a victory memorial in 1749 AD. It is the tallest minaret in the walled city of Jaipur and is inspired by Delhi’s Qutub Minar. The tower is a vibrant light-yellow, which paints a beautiful contrast to the pink sandstone of the city. Isarlat is a wonder of the Mughal and Rajput schools of design. The faces resemble beams in a fort, and the Chhatri or umbrella like roofing are inspirations from Rajput styles, whereas the four corners of the structure are similar to those in a mosque.
Feast Your Eyes
The tower top has a magnificent view of the entire city. Previously restricted, it is now possible to go inside the minaret, with a ticket costing only Rs 70.
Address: Aatish Market, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002.
Maharaja School of Arts and Crafts
Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II started this college for the promotion of indigenous art and craft forms in 1857. The school offers courses for painting, applied arts, and sculpture. Although the school has faced financial cuts and shortage of teaching staff, it doubles up as a fantastic art gallery and a place for exhibitions.
A book exhibition organised by the Urdu Academy on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is presently on display. All the books are in Urdu and are a delight for anyone interested in the language.
Feast Your Eyes
Dabu (printing on traditional cloth fabric) by the acclaimed artiste Ram Kishore Chhipa, from Bagru, is also on display here. The use of natural colours and conventional printing methods make this craft unique.
Address: 253, Kishanpole Bazar Rd, Modikhana, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002
Ajmeri Gate is one of the entrances into the walled city of Jaipur as you move ahead of the MI Road. It posits itself as one of the most aesthetic gates in the entire city. A recent beautification drive included a repaint, the installation of lights for night tourism, the construction of a fountain on the side and more greenery.
This is an example of Jaipur’s restoration and preservation efforts. The city still preserves the old 18th century walls which are ‘guarded’ by seven gates, one of which is the Ajmeri Gate. The gate was recently in the news for having been closed after decades due to the COVID-19 lockdown. That the gates used to be closed at night, before independence, is a fact worthy of notice here.
Feast Your Eyes
The three arches, which are located in the north of the city, are richly painted with floral themes and mythical characters above the centre door and three entrances.
Address: Sangram Colony, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302007