The walled Rajasthani capital of Jaipur, India, is famous for the unusual rose-colored sandstone architecture that gives the city its nickname, the Pink City.
Local maharajahs built quite a few magnificent structures in Jaipur, but two are must-sees. The early-18th-century Jantar Mantar is the largest and best-preserved of the five observatories built by astronomer Prince Jai Singh II. The other must-see within the old city is the palace museum, which was once a beautiful royal residence. It contains excellent examples of Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture.
Also of interest is the Palace of the Winds (known as Hawa Mahal), whose facade is adorned with elaborate, perforated screens where the ladies of the court would peek onto the courtyards and street life below—it's one of the most photographed monuments in India. A nearby market sells hand-decorated textiles, a regional specialty. Jal Mahal is a maharajah's summer palace, and Tiger Fort is yet another royal residence.
Not far out of town are the 18th-century Amer Palace and Fort. The palace is one of the finest and best-preserved in the country, and its ridgetop location is one of Rajasthan's most majestic settings. The fort is less impressive, but should also be seen. The walk between the two is nice, but you can also ride an elephant.
One full day in Jaipur is enough to see most of the sites, but we recommend spending two—a day seeing Jaipur itself and another half-day seeing the Amber Palace and Fort. Jaipur is located 155 mi/250 km southwest of Delhi.