What would a photographer want more than a lively subject to capture and colorful galore? Where do you find those in more of either of those than in Rajasthan? Every photographer, amateur and professional alike, would consider Jaipur to be their dream destination. Each of them would want to go there at least once to capture one of the most colorful and lively areas of the world. Truly, Jaipur is indeed a photographer’s heaven.
Jaipur is the capital state of Rajasthan and is popularly known as the pink city, thanks to the pink-ish (they are not perfectly pink or else I am a color blind, with both being equally possible) color of most of the structures and houses around the city. Moreover, it is the house of multiple palaces (Mahals), fortresses, manmade lakes and grand temples. The local culture is also colorful, a look at how the native Rajasthanis’ dress would give you a decent idea of that. Then there are the numerous festivals, each of which uses ample amount of color.
Coming to nature, Jaipur is surrounded by national parks, forest, and jungles. While flora and fauna might be less appealing, thanks to the dry mijaz of the climate here, the animals and birds are there for every shutterbug to happily filling their SD cards. The lack of much flora and fauna is compensated by the unique desert which is not far from the city and camel safaris would give the photographers the chance to create diversity in their portfolio.
Personally, this is the best place to start capturing the photos. This national park or reserve is almost 400 sq. Km big and among everything else, there are tigers galore. The chances of sighting a tiger are significantly higher here, compared to some of the other tiger reserves of India. There is ample flora and fauna in this park for you to capture as well, making it the oasis of Rajasthan. Try the safari which keeps you safe and takes you to places where you can click happily. Birdwatchers and photographers will find this place attractive as well with some really exotic and rare birds are often spotted here.
Coming to the man-made structures (make no mistake, these structures are really grand in Rajasthan), you have the Ranthambore Fort to check out. This is a UNESCO heritage site, and the nearby Padam lake and Surwal Lake are ideal for birdwatching. Then there are valleys and hills, adoring the whole area and that make it perfect for a diverse photographing experience.
City of Jaipur
It is unfair to summarize this under one title because each of those mahals (palaces) and fortresses and even some of the Jaipur hotels deserve single, separate and elaborate mention. However, bringing them all together, you should not miss any of the mahals and fortresses of Jaipur.
Start with Jantar Mantar, one of the largest open-air observatories in the world and houses the largest sundial as well. Being an Indian structure, religious symbols are interwoven on every layer, but that gives it the unique appeal you would want to capture.
You ought to trot to Amber Fort next, carrying your camera because you wouldn’t find a combination of Mughal and Rajputana architecture anywhere else. Built by Rajah Man Singh, commander in chief of Mughal army, one of the grandest forts to capture on rolls (I mean, SD cards).Move on to Jal Mahal, a palace built within waters, a lake which is one of the unique structures of the world and allows you to capture the amazing sight it makes. For me, I love to shoot it from the outside (much like Haji Ali Dargah of Mumbai during high tide) because that gives me incredible photographs.
Hawa Mahal would be the next logical destination, an engineering marvel of old India where the breeze was channelized to keep the Royals cool in such a way that every corner of the palace is well ventilated. Finally, try the City Palace, which houses Mubarak Mahal and Chandra Mahal and even the entries, Udai Pol, Tripolia Gate, Jaleb Chowk and Virendra Pol are something to snap.I can go on with this list but for a complete list, try a tour organizer like Yatra.
The final chapter in your Jaipur album, the people of Jaipur and the tribes around can be caught if you check in for a city tour party. Multiple Jaipur hotels arrange these trips, and thus, there are no hassles either. Capture the local flavor on your camera as much as you want. If you visit during the Holi festival, colors are everywhere. Desert safari are organized regularly to give you the chance to catch Indian desert life and camel rides.
What are your favorite things to do in Jaipur? Do you have any personal recommendations?