The Royal Gaitor or Gaitor Ki Chhatryan is nestled beneath the hillside of Nahargarh Fort at the end of a few modest roads. We had decided to wander the short distance from our hostel to the Royal Gaitor one afternoon and unsure on what we would find we were very pleasantly surprised. The Royal Gaitor was both stunning and peaceful and is now most definitely our favourite place in Jaipur.
Surprisingly only 30 rupees to enter, the monuments are actually a group of cenotaphs built to honour a number of the old maharajahs. As you walk up to the main entrance you are instantly greeted with a beautifully designed temple like structure with three domes and a stairway up to the entrance. On either side of this are two smaller versions all cast in white marble. All three are so intricately designed and absolutely magnificent! Not what we expected at all and the best part? We were the only ones there!
It seems that the Royal Gaitor is the least popular place to visit on a circuit around Jaipur – we have no idea why, but it certainly made our visit all the more magical. There are three sections to the Royal Gaitor each with its own set of monuments and cenotaphs. Be sure to walk through each section as they are all equally as beautiful and captivating. The detail inside the domes and all over the columns is so ornate and elaborate it’s a wonder at how it is still so well preserved.
In the second section follow the small staircase up the side of the main central stricture and you can go up on to the roof. Up here you can see right over the top of the first section, out across the all the gleaming domes, out across to Jaipur city and Nahargarh up above you. The Gaitor is set back far enough from the main roads that it’s so quiet and serene – you can barely hear any horns! We sat for a while and enjoyed the view and some moments of peace which can be rare in such a busy city!
To reach the third section you must exit the second next to a temple and follow a small path around to the left. Inside you are greeted with not one but three more big domed pavilions all supported by tens of pillars inside. They look stunningly lavish against the backdrop of the jagged rock hill. Be sure to go inside and look up into the alcoves to really appreciate all the detailing. We sat a while in the shade of the domes to escape the 40 degree heat and it was a perfect place to a while and soak up the majestic atmosphere!
On leaving the Royal Gaitor we were all so surprised at its beauty and wondered why on earth more people don’t visit here more often! That being said it was also quite nice to have somewhere to yourself for once unlike the ever hectic City Palace and Amber Fort.
The Royal Gaitor was truly a breath of fresh air and the real hidden gem of Jaipur! If you have a couple of days in this city we would highly recommend taking a few hours out of the main tourist trail to visit.
C & J