On a summer day in Jaipur, Rajasthan, nothing beats the rolling green hills, the sparkling lakes where you can see the fish swimming along the surface, or the taste of homemade kulfi (traditional Indian ice cream) under the blistering heat of the sun. If you travel 14.1 km (8.76 miles) away from the city center of Jaipur, roughly 40 minutes by car depending on traffic, you will find yourself at the beautiful Jaigarh Fort. As this fort was built in 1726, be ready to enjoy this historical site touring the fort, a museum, and maybe some side street shopping after that.
Dress comfortably for the climb
Before you make the journey to Jaigarh Fort, you will want to make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes that will offer you support as there will be a lot of walking and hiking involved. The walking may not be continuous, because there are plenty of areas to stop and rest, allowing you to gaze out at the panoramic views of the lush mountains and beautiful gardens down below. When you enter and are ready to begin your climb, the left entrance will take you to Jaigarh Fort, whereas the right will lead you to Amer Fort (Amber Fort). It is free to wander outside of the gates, though if you want to enter, to take a look around the inside, there is an entrance fee. Practically free, for foreign tourists it will cost you 20 INR (0.29 USD), and for Indian citizens it will cost 15 INR (0.22 USD), however it is definitely worth it. You will see that there is also a charge to take pictures with your camera or cell phone, which is an additional 30 INR (0.44 USD) for foreigners, and 20 INR (0.29 USD) for Indian citizens.
Visit the old Cannon Factory
If you get tired during your climb to the top, there is a small golf cart that can hold up to 4 people that you will see passing by roughly every 15 to 20 minutes. The golf cart will take you the rest of the way to the top, then back down for a total of 150 INR (2.20 USD) per person. Once you have entered Jaigarh Fort, you are able to view the old Cannon Factory that houses the Jaivana Cannon. Even though this cannon was never actually used, during its glory days, it was once known as the largest cannon in the world on wheels. The foundry where the cannon was manufactured, surprisingly, is also located here.
Take a look at the armory and historical artifacts
Continuing on, you will also enter a section of the fort that has an armory chamber displaying many shields, swords, old muskets, and guns that were used by the Indian Army to protect the Kings and Queens that remained here up until the 20th century. To the left of the Awami Gate, you will find the entrance to a small museum. Inside you will be able to view old stamps, photographs of royalty of Jaipur, and many historical artifacts. There are guards that sit in many different areas along the fort, and sometimes they will offer to take you through the winding hallways to show you an area displaying where and how the Kings and Queens dined along with photographs depicting these events. While you’re here, make it a point to look out over the edges of the fort’s wall for a breathtaking view of the city, mountains, and lake down below.
End your day with a picnic of savory street food
Once you’ve made your way back down, there is a large courtyard where you and your friends and family can relax or enjoy a picnic together. This is a wonderful way to end your day before heading back into the city. Even if you do not have a blanket, the grass is well-maintained and you will see many families sitting together, as well as children playing games, such as frisbee or tossing a ball to each other. If you are interested in having lunch here, I recommend ordering from the many available food stands lining the main road. You will find savory chicken dishes, mouth-watering sweets, and if you happen to stumble upon someone making kulfi, definitely give this cool treat a try!
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