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Photo Essay on Jaipur: The Pink City gets Instagrammed
Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Bhavani who gave us Graffiti in Mumbai is back with another captivating photo essay. This time it is on the pink city of Jaipur. And since she’s spot on with the trends, it is no ordinary photo essay on Jaipur; it is an Instagrammed one. I love the different filters and the way it changes the mood of the photo.

Presenting Bhavani on a walk around Jaipur with Amaro, Mayfair, Rise, Early bird, Sutro, Walden, Heffe, Kelvin (Instagram filters, all of them). An #instajaipur account.


I don’t think Jaipur needs Instagram and if you’ve been there you’ll agree. Jaipur has those filters already on! The rustic charm greets you at every corner clad in reddish-pink walls, protected by 3-meter thick gates with floral motifs, seeping through the slow cycle rickshaw ride to the heart of the city. The charm draws you into another world, another time… you almost slip into the past but are pulled back into the present with the loud and impatient cacophony of any Indian city. Welcome to the pink city, the walled city, the city of victory… welcome to Jaipur.

I began my day there by walking towards the walled city, straight down on Mirza Ismail road towards the New Gate. It was a lazy Sunday morning, with clouds in the sky and the wetness of rain in the air, my heavy alu paratha breakfast jostled around in my stomach screaming to be digested…

Sitting by the road, was an old gentlemen eating his breakfast. He had a long white beard and wore a white-turned beige lungi; framed by those old arcades & buildings, he belonged.

I walked a few paces and watched a building in its last days of existence. The workers were toiling away at one half, breaking it down. In the middle of the dust rising from crumbling bricks and falling walls, stood this carved wooden door, firm and stoic.

If I pushed it open and stepped in, would I enter a Jaipur of another time?

There is a faded dome here, and then another there, I turned around and that other one seemed to be following me on my walk. They adorn street corners, decorate simple temples, and make your photos look beautiful. Domes at every corner in the walled city of Jaipur.

Tripolia Gate

I reached the strong yet pretty Tripolia or Triple Gate with the floral designs and the canons, with security personnel scrutinising my every move as I walked by. This is the gate for royalty alone!

I looked back over my shoulder as I passed and suddenly I could see a grand procession… all the citizens of Jaipur dressed in their best clothes crowding the streets to catch a glimpse of their Maharaja. The black and red carriage comes out, and the Maharaja is sitting in it. It is followed by another carriage and it might hold the Maharani and their children… I am staring now; will I be able to see her face?

Hawa Mahal – Palace of Winds

I stop by the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, that glorious shimmering structure in sandstone, thin and tall, standing proud with her head aloft… she is different, she stands out in comparison to all the other palaces, she is an elegant and flirtatious bride.

City Palace at Jaipur

Inside another gate, down a road, one turn and then another, it is the City Palace, hidden behind huge gates and large walls. The City Palace has a boring name but is far from that! Every corner is adorned with a beauty that leaves me asking for more… the bronze door that glimmers even after centuries, the ornate carvings along the pillars & walls, the auspicious Mubarak Mahal and the four gates at the Pritam Niwas Chowk. To think that you are only showing me the tip of the iceberg and the real beauty lies hidden in the Royalty’s current residences…

Nahargarh from the top of Isar Lat

Isar Lat, you pierce the sky, you tower of victory. You stand there lonely and silent, almost letting people miss you. Once up you showcase Jaipur like nothing else, every direction tells a new tale and new part of Jaipur’s history. I saw the Chaugan stadium, Nahargarh, Jantar Mantar, the palaces, the flag fluttering on the palace mukut – the world of Jaipur was spread out in front of me!

The erstwhile ubiquitous cycle-rickshaw

You know the pink walls, those decorated pavilions or chhatri, and you know those ornate palaces. Now place this cycle-rickshaw there. It belonged, way more than me in my three-quarter pants and you in your shorts. And definitely more than the loud, smoke-belching autos.

But the world seems to be working against these cycle-rickshaws. Yes, that very world that makes you and me want to get everywhere NOW.

Bowl of water for the birds and squirrels

When it starts to get hot and I drink from my bottle of water, I notice these bowls hanging from a tree in front of me. I ask the local standing by the tree and he says, “Just like us, birds and animals also feel thirsty.” He looked at me with surprise that I didn’t know what the bowl was for, and I didn’t do it in my city. After that I noticed the bowls on most trees all around the city.

Beautiful Jaipur, you also have a heart!

Image Credit: All photos by Bhavani


To contribute a guest post or photo essay please see our Guidelines for Guest Post submission.


Graffiti in Mumbai - Bhavani Ramesha traveler by choice, photographer by interest and writer by desire. bhavani crafts tours at audiocompass and blogs at merrytogoaround.com. Her Instagram handle is @merrytogoaround

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Posted by Sudha at 11:46 am
    Comments ( 5 5)
  • Srimani Swaminathan

    September 3, 2013

    I liked the way the article is narrated by Bhavani and it carried me through the roads of Jaipur. It is brief and also taught me some good vocabulary. Photography deserves a special mention in this.

  • sudha

    September 3, 2013

    Thanks Srimani. I agree about the photography!

  • Suzy

    September 15, 2013

    Jaipur looks like a beautiful place, filter or no filter.

  • Colleen Brynn

    September 25, 2013

    These photos are amazing. I love the Hawa Mahal!

  • sudha

    September 25, 2013

    Thanks Colleen!

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About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell


My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.


While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

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