Heritage Walking Tour in Jaipur in the walled city of Jaipur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a great way to experience the rich heritage of the pink city.
I have conducted many Heritage Walks In Jaipur during the last few years. There are many individuals and companies offering heritage walks, especially on the popular heritage walkway route developed by Jaipur Municipal Corp(JMC). This is definitely one of the most popular walking routes in Jaipur although there are many other interesting routes.
There is an interesting aspect associated with this heritage route. It was only after Prince Charles undertook this walking tour that JMC or JNN decided to develop it as a heritage walking route in Jaipur. To distinguish the walking route, cobblestones were laid and “faux” heritage lamp posts were installed. Unfortunately, even though many years have elapsed, the heritage walkway project could not be completed in its entirety.
Why this heritage walking route is popular in Jaipur? This walk has many unique elements like craftsmen, temples, and Havelis, to name a few.
One of the temples in the vicinity of the walking tour predates Jaipur city. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu & has beautiful frescoes. This temple has many unique aspects. It is privately owned and in a dire need of restoration.
There are two temple buildings inside this complex. One of them has beautiful wall paintings and frescoes.
A few buildings on the route remind you of the architecture from the 1930s-50s. This was the time when architecture in India was hugely inspired by the art deco style. In India, Mumbai is a good example of how this architecture shaped the facade of buildings. Rounded corners, Streamline Moderne style, linear appearance, setbacks, and geometric ornamentation are its key features.
One of the distinguishing features of Jaipur is its art. The city is synonymous with art. Is it not awesome to witness craftsmen in action? While Moradabad brass work is famous the world over, Jaipur has carved out its own niche.
The brass work one finds in the city caters to a niche segment. The sound of beating with the hammer is loud and clear in these lanes.
A craftsman busy working in the by-lanes of the walled city; photo clicked during a heritage walk in Jaipur. Unfortunately, this art is dying a slow death due to many reasons. These artists are certain that there won’t be many torchbearers to take it ahead.
As one moves forward, there are a variety of Havelis to witness & capture.
Some of these structures probably will be razed down to make new commercial buildings.
One of the most unique aspects of a heritage walk is how time is captured through the architecture. This is evident on the walking tour route.
For a curious mind, there are so many interesting structures in the by-lanes of the walled city of Jaipur. If you love these Havelis or mansions, check out this post The vanishing Havelis of Jaipur
The rulers of Jaipur were patrons of arts and crafts. While one of the rulers, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II invited scores of artists from across the length and breadth of the country to settle in Jaipur, the descendants took it even further. Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II started an art and craft school in Jaipur. This helped document processes involved in the art & craft. At the same time, it helped the transition of ancient art into modern formal education. The building that once housed this school of art & craft has an imposing facade. The blend of three architectural styles is evident in its facade. The Haveli wears the typical “Jaipur” pink which is the terracotta shade
The beautiful facade of Maharajah School of Arts & Craft, Kishanpole Bazar, Jaipur.
The building housing the Art school has impressive architecture. It has a fusion of various architectural styles including Rajput and Mughal styles. It was originally a residence of Pandit Shiv Deen but later converted into an art school. If plans go through, the building will be converted into a museum, very soon. Update 2018-Maharajah School of Arts and Crafts has been converted into a museum called – the Museum of Legacies
Read more about this museum- Museum of Legacies| Everything but A Legacy
One of the most beautiful Haveli of Jaipur also falls on this heritage walking route. This Haveli once owned by Natanis has an imposing facade. It is unlikely that people won’t be impressed with this Haveli.
Once owned by an influential man, today it is not in its best condition. A large part of this Haveli is used as a police station and the rest is a government-run girl’s school.
Maharajah School for Girls, near Natani Haveli in Jaipur.
Technically, the Jaipur heritage walkway ends here. But it is easy to add more segments and we continue the walk in one of the main bazaars of Jaipur.
This interesting structure is a perfect example of how the grapevine gets stronger over the years.
Essentially, a minaret or a victory tower has three different versions as to why it was built. Only one story is true but the rest two are rumors. It is interesting how these rumors get strong over the years as they get passed down from one generation to another. The building is known by various names- Issar Laat/ Ishwar Laat/ Sarga Suli.
A few Maharajas of Jaipur provided a great impetus for developing scientific & modern thinking. And for this very reason, Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II shines on the list. He was instrumental in the advancement of education.
A public library in the heart of the city is what he built in the latter half of the 19th century. The library has undergone restoration over the years. Araiash or plasterwork on the wall is unique to this region. Over here are the pictures of Araiash. These are not the original ones, but rather a restoration job. Therefore, it lacks the smoothness & glaze which was the hallmark of the old days.
A restored Araish plaster in Maharajah Public Library, Jaipur.
As the walk comes to an end, one can’t help but notice this gate at the tri-junction called Tripolia Gate. This is one of the entry gates of the City Palace. It is reserved for the exclusive use of the descendants of the royal family. It is kind of strange to know that this gate was always open for the public until the last Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II decided to reserve it for his exclusive use. The tradition continued even after his demise. And it is for this reason that one finds two sentry guarding the gate.
The heritage walk in Jaipur is a great way to take a glance at the history and heritage of the city; one walk is not enough. In my opinion, this walk is just a starting point as there are other routes that are even more interesting and offer a lot more.
About Heritage Walking Tours In Jaipur
- Why is it a good idea to undertake a walking tour in Jaipur?
Tourist attractions like Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, etc. are always a must-do and it offers a peek into the past. A walking tour will enrich your travel experience because it provides you with a better understanding of the city’s culture. It is highly recommended for explorers. At the same time, it is important to ensure you are undertaking the walk with the right person who can provide you with relevant information.
- How long does it take for the heritage walking tour in Jaipur?
It usually takes around one and half hours to two hours for most walking tours in Jaipur. Some walks can extend up to three to four hours, well-known internationally as half-day tours. It all depends on the route and curiosity level of the explorer.
- How much does the heritage walking tour in Jaipur costs?
The walking tours in Jaipur can cost from Rs 800/person onward up to Rs 3000/person. The prices vary depending on the experience of the leader and the depth of the walk. Price is a good indication of the value one can derive from the walk, in most cases.
Do note that like most popular tourist destinations, tourist scams are common in Jaipur. Often, low-cost walking tours will include stops at shops disguised as factories or workshops where gullible travelers are tricked into buying overpriced products. The walking tours are simply another funnel to trick travelers. In some tours, it is evident and clear; in other instances, shopping is disguised. Even some well-known walking tour companies have been accused of such practices.
- How to do a heritage walk in Jaipur?
Here are two suggestions for undertaking a heritage walking tour in Jaipur. Both these take a different approach – a self-guided and a guided heritage walk.
- If you are seeking a free walking tour and don’t want context or information consider this write-up on this blog –How to do an amazing self-guided walking tour in Jaipur
- To undertake a guided heritage walking tour in Jaipur & in-depth information, you can connect with me via Instagram at @arv_jpr