In India’s Pink City, the streets are filled with palaces, temples and, sometimes, cows. Eat like royalty, shop for jewelry and find a weekend’s worth of bliss amid the commotion.
Nearly 300 years ago, an enlightened maharajah with a penchant for jewels and an eye for architecture built a planned city amid the arid hills of northwest India. Called Jaipur after the city’s founder, Jai Singh II, it arose on a grid of urban sectors not just for royal palaces, but for the workshops of artisans recruited to establish a new commercial hub. These days, gem cutters, jewelry designers and garment-makers are still flourishing in one of India’s most popular tourist and shopping destinations, part of the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur Golden Triangle. This is a city where the royals, to this day, occupy a wing of the City Palace, and where mid-rise towers and a new subway system are muscling in on a proud past. Street markets are awash in color and handicrafts, and Hindu temples can be found nearly every 100 yards. Though the streets seethe with beeping and belching traffic, tourists and dung-dropping cows, you can find bliss amid the commotion.