India is crazy, surprising and hectic at the best of times, but Jaipur Inn is a small family run homestay that is a little haven to any traveller. The Jaipur Inn hugs a busy roundabout standing tall in comparison to its neighbours. Coated in Jaipur’s pink uniform, the inside will surprise you. As soon as you enter through the bright blue gates you are thrown into a small courtyard that is shaded from the Indian sun by large exotic plants and in the middle sit white painted garden chairs which surround a table tennis table. There’s a small spiral staircase that goes up to the hotel’s tree house room and wide open glass doors that welcome you in.
Founded in 1976, the family-run hotel gives off a sense of charm despite its size. Offering board games, mugs of tea and simple home cooked food, it has personal touches that will make you want to stay for longer. The intimate architecture allows for unusual spaces that are filled with interesting artefacts and symbols reminiscent of the rich cultural heritage of Jaipur.
Walking up to the top floor the corridors are lined with large windows which allow a breeze to flood through, and the walls are painted in the pale of yellow, symbolising happiness, peace and meditation. Each room is painted white, with beautifully coloured bedsheets and floaty curtains to match, leading out to a big balcony, lined with big green potted plants surrounding a marble table and two chairs. The perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee or take a moment away from the busy streets.
Amber Fort can be visited as a day trip whilst staying in Jaipur, just a twenty-minute tuk-tuk journey out of the city. The view from the tuk-tuk as it whizzes through the crowded city onto a more open road is eclectic, to say the least. I watched a woman cooling the steaming back of a buffalo with small cups of water scooped from a barrel, monkeys climbing the barriers of the road alongside us and children riding mopeds.
Upon entering the gates to the Amber Fort, it was like seeing yet another side to this extraordinary country. The fort comprises an extensive palace complex that sprawls along the top of a natural hill range. The fortress sits at the top of a hill, which can be reached by foot or elephant-back (although animal welfare groups have criticised- I opted for foot).
Built from pale yellow and pink sandstone, and white marble and is divided into four main sections. Its architecture is a unique mix of Hindu and Muslim styles and is utterly astonishing. To think people actually built this, from the sheer size to the intricately painted gateways, is completely incomprehensible to me.
We were welcomed with a flower offering in the form of a necklace as a symbol of strength, purity and generosity, before entering through the Ganesh Pol or Gate, named after the Hindu God Lord Ganesh, who removes all obstacles in life. Spirituality and religion is the foundation of Indian culture and the Amber Fort is an amazing product to come from strong beliefs. Every inch has a purpose and meaning behind it which is so refreshing and the complete opposite of many modern buildings.
Sheesh Mahal or the Palace of Mirrors is the gem of the fortress, hidden past the Ganesh Gate. Every inch is dripping in tiny mirrors that were constructed in such a way that even if a single ray of light enters the Mahal it would be replicated in the mirrors and the entire hall would naturally light up as if it is enlightened.
Inevitably, when you’re in Jaipur you’ll admire the vibrancy of the people that occupy the streets, marvel at the famous Hawa Mahal, and immerse yourself in the perfumed garden of the Amber Fort and glittering mirrored rooms. A place that is utterly sublime.
The Jaipur Inn is located on Shiv Marg street, with tuk tuks readily available at any moment, room prices can vary from £15 – £17. http://www.jaipurinn.com
Hello, I’m Samantha. A twenty-two-year-old fashion communication and promotion graduate. An avid shopper, lover of interiors and good coffee addict.