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The City Palace - Weekend Getaways in Jaipur - The Oberoi Rajvilas

The City Palace

The spectacular City Palace is the residence of the former ruling family of Jaipur. It occupies the centre of the city, covering one-seventh of its area and surrounded by a high wall - the Sarahad. The architecture combines elements of Rajput beauty with Mughal spaciousness and English linear planning. The Jaipur royal family resides in what is known as the Peacock Courtyard, although this is no longer open to the public.

Distance from the Hotel: 13 kilometres
Driving time: 30 minutes

Hawa Mahal, The Façade Which Means The Palace of Breezes - Weekend Getaways in Jaipur - The Oberoi Rajvilas

Hawa Mahal

The huge confection is a trompe l'oeil in masonry, for it tends to deceive the eye. In truth the Hawa Mahal is all façade, an elaborate palace exterior complete with nine hundred and fifty three windows and niches of inconceivable delicacy. However behind this facade are no buildings, for it is a maze of corridors and resting points. The royal women of the zenana used to peep out and see the city, or watched processions passing down below. The clever façade also trapped the breeze, earning it the name "Palace of Breezes". Distance from The Oberoi Rajvilas 12 kilometres.

Distance from the Hotel: 12 kilometres
Driving time: 30 minutes

The Jantar Mantar Observatory - Weekend Getaways in Jaipur - The Oberoi Rajvilas

Jantar Mantar

Literally "instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens", the Jantar Mantar Observatory was built between 1728-1734. Not content with brass, Jai Singh II wanted things on a grand scale and chose stone with a marble facing on the important planes. Each of the instruments serves a particular function and each gives an accurate reading.

It is said that Indian kings viewed themselves as "Universal Emperors wielding the wheel", an emblem that represented the universe. This meant that the correct time had to be fixed for each event. Astrologers were hired to regulate actions within the palace and, by extenuation, within the entire kingdom. Astronomy was closely related to astrology, which is why Jai Singh II constructed the Observatory inside his palace.

Distance from the Hotel: 12 kilometres
Driving time: 30 minutes

The Amber Fort or The Fortress Palace - Weekend Getaways in Jaipur - The Oberoi Rajvilas

The Amber Fort

"The Fortress Palace": Amber was one of the most important of all Rajput cities. It was the ancient capital of the Kacchwaha Rajputs from the 12th century until the foundation of Jaipur in the early 18th century. The seventeenth century fort complex at Amber occupies a steep hillside, overlooking the strategic pass that gave entry to the kingdom of the Kacchwaha Maharajas from the Mughal territories to the north.

Raja Man Singh, a noted Rajput general in Akbar's army, began the building of the fort palace. Although Amber had many profound years of history, it was once again Jai Singh II's vision that glorified the fort.

Surrounding the fort is an 18 kilometres defence wall, which at its lowest measures 21 feet. From the fort wall, near the parade ground, a very old temple can be seen in Amber village. The Jagat Shiromani Temple was built in 16 A.D and is famous for its sculptures.

Distance from the Hotel: 20 kilometres
Driving time: 40 minutes

Jaigarh fort - Weekend Getaways in Jaipur - The Oberoi Rajvilas

Jaigarh fort

Jaigarh fort towers above Amber like a watchful eagle. It was built by Jaisingh II in 1726. Jaigarh housed the legendary Kacchwaha Treasury. The loyal Mina tribe, the former rulers of Amber, guarded it using their skills as archers and mountain fighters. Its gigantic bastions, gateways and watchtowers are a testimony to the power of the Jaipur Rulers.

The forbidding medieval fort was never captured and so has survived virtually intact which makes it particularly interesting. The armoury at Jaigarh has a large collection of swords and small arms.

Distance from the Hotel: 19 kilometres
Driving time: 40 minutes

Nahargarh, The Military Base of Jaipur Rulers - Weekend Getaways in Jaipur - The Oberoi Rajvilas


This small fort stands guard over Jaipur, on a sheer rock face about 2 kilometres from the city centre, dominating the skyline. The immense walls and bastions are well preserved. Built by the Maharaja Jai Singh II, this fort was used as his military base.

Nahargarh took approximately 15 years to complete. The main attraction is the Hawa Mandir and Madhuvendra Bhawan used by Jai Singh II for housing his nine wives. It is also famous for its painting and artwork. Madhuvendra Bhawan is sub-divided into nine different Bhawans of the same size, and housed each of the queens of the Maharaja.

Distance from the Hotel: 23 kilometres
Driving time: 50 minutes