Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and with a population of around 3 million people is a big sprawling city with a vibrant pink heart.
After three weeks of exploring we both agree that Jaipur has so much to see and offer within its Pink City walls. It’s a true Indian city not as obviously touched by tourism as some other places in Rajasthan. However, after a long day exploring its sights; from the royal city palace to its colourful and chaotic bazaars you will inevitably want some peace and quiet. Here are our two favourite places to escape the city and watch from above as the sun sets on another day.
Nahargarh Fort is one of three of the Royal Forts which overlook Jaipur – the others being Amber Fort and Jaigarh Fort. You can still see all three today with Amber Fort and its grand interior being one of the vastly popular tourist sights in Jaipur. Nahargarh Fort, however, is set slightly further out of the city and at a higher vantage point due to its being designed as a defensive fort. It has a certain rustic charm to it and is the first of two places in Jaipur which are perfect for catching the sunset.
To reach the Fort you have to find yourself a tuk tuk who is happy to drive you all the way up there (it takes around 35 minutes!), wait for you as you watch the sunset and return you back to Jaipur! This should cost around 400-500 rupees so you must haggle hard and if you have a group it will inevitably be much cheaper! Once you get to the top you can walk all along the curling Fort walls and even go inside the Fort for another 200 rupees. To be honest we much preferred just relaxing along the wall, peering over the edge at the city below and waiting for the big orange sun to float down.
From up on the walls you can see the whole of urban Jaipur below with its flat roofed white wash buildings and, surprisingly, a big sand dune right on the city’s edge. If you look closely enough you can just about make out the children running up and down the dune and playing games of cricket! Check what time the sunset is during your stay so that you get there in enough time to see it slip away below the city skyline in the distance – it’s a beautiful sight and you can watch through the little holes in the walls or if you’re brave enough sitting up on the walls edge!
Once the sun is set be sure to walk around to the other side of the Fort where there is another platform on which you can sit. From this side you can see the entire Pink City and it’s fun trying to pick out the famous sights like the floating Jal Mahal, the observatory of Jantar Mantar and the peaks of the beautiful Albert Hall from above. The city slowly begins to light up and twinkle in the night sky!
Monkey Temple & Sun Temple
The other best spot to watch the city sunset is from the aptly named Sun Temple, which, if you head over to early enough can also be combined with visiting the famous Monkey Temple.
To get to both of these places you just need to take a tuk tuk or an Uber (which are much cheaper) to Galta Gate. From here you can walk up and down the cobbled pathway to the temples.
As soon as you reach Galta Gate you will see why this place is famous for its monkeys – they are everywhere! There are some stalls selling nuts which they say you can feed to the monkeys but we would advise against this as the monkeys can become aggressive and this is usually spurred on when they see or are offered food. Start heading up the winding cobbled path and you will see why this view across the city is a special one. You will reach the pathway to the Sun Temple first but continue past it and head down into the hillside to reach the Monkey Temple.
It is about a twenty minute walk to get all the way down so leave yourself enough time to get down, have a look around and get back up again in time for sunset. The Monkey Temple is cut right into the cliff side and the contrast of jagged rock and the decorative temple is pretty stunning. The Monkey Temple has a few parts each with baths and small shrines which you can look at, if like me, all the while trying to avoid the hundreds of monkeys running around here! The temple is free so ignore any touts trying to charge you. Past the main Monkey Temple are a few more functioning temples each with its own beautifully ornate structure which you are free to go in and explore.
When you’ve had your fill of exploring the temples or are simply just ready to get away from all the monkeys, you can start to make your way back up the cobbled street lined with pretty pink flowers back to the Sun Temple. Leave your shoes at the door and enter first into the main temple building to save being reprimanded by the little lady who works here – she says after all you have come to the temple! After this you are free to walk around and enjoy the spectacular views across the city.
From this vantage point you are in a perfect place to enjoy the sunset right before you, it’s also one of the most tranquil places in Jaipur. Soak up the final rays of the day, enjoy the breeze and your escape from the stifling heat and noise of the city below.
Once the sun has set we would recommend getting down the hill before it goes dark as there aren’t any street lights and we’d hate for you to get accosted by any lingering monkeys!
These two places combine fantastic sightseeing with glorious sunsets and so we hope some Jaipur moments you won’t forget!
C & J x