UNESCO Sites in & around Jaipur

Rajasthan is a splendid region. Did you know 3 of the 37 UNESCO sites listed in India belong to Rajasthan??!!! Technically though there are 3, actually there are 8 places of which 6 are listed together. So yeah, when you're visiting India, do hop into one of those Jaipur flights make sure to explore this heritage hotspot! I'm yet to see these places myself, hope I can make it there soon. Pic Courtesy: vsvinaykumar via Wikimedia CommonsJantar Mantar: If you have a decent knowledge in Maths or Astronomy, this place is truly baffling. Just one of its several aspects is the world's largest sundial that tells the time with an accuracy of 2 secs!!!!! There are a total of 19 celestial instruments that were constructed in 1724-35 CE by Maharaja Jai Singh to calculate the various astronomical happenings. There are 5 Jantar Mantars in India and the largest one is in Jaipur, which is listed under UNESCO. I've been to the one in New Delhi, and yet to head to Jaipur. There are monumental instruments here, one that tell you when's noon across 4 different times of the world, one that measures distance & diameter of sun, one that measures distances of other celestial bodies and so so many more!Amber & Ranthambore Fort: A total of 6 hill forts of Rajasthan are listed together and Amber Fort is the one located within Jaipur. Another 1 of the 6, Ranthambore Fort can be done as a daytrip (150km) from Jaipur.   Pic Courtesy: Firoze Edassery via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Pic Courtesy: Public Domain via Wikimedia CommonsAmber Fort was built overtime from 1500s-1700s CE by the Rajputs. Its a typical Rajasthani Fort Palace which has very important sections not only for the living of the royals, but also for the soldiers, another section for temple and many more. There are multiple courtyards and the most strikingly beautiful place is the famed mirror palace where the entire walls & ceiling has been covered with tiny mirror pieces and colored glasses. A single candle lit in this room would have made the room look heavenly!!!Pic Courtesy: Manojmeena via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0Ranthambore Fort is located inside Ranthambore National Park (a tiger reserve!) which served as a hunting area for the royals back then. This is much older than Amber Fort and was built in 900s-1100s CE, by the Rajputs as well, however it was under the Delhi Sultanates (who preceeded the Mughals) for a few centuries. Keoladeo National Park: Though this is technically not in Jaipur and is in the Jaipur-Agra highway, closer to Agra, it is an ideal day-trip from Jaipur. In simple words, its a magical place for any nature lover. Its a man-made sanctuary that attracts thousands of migratory birds every year and every winter its such a delight to just be there and listen to the sound of music there!Pic Courtesy: Suman Moorthy via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0Long ago, it's a rather ironic way this was setup. In 1700s when a dam was built, this became a bund where rivers met which caused several birds to flock here and it was used as a hunting area by the princely kingdoms and later shooting area by British till 1947 CE! Thank God for the awareness that grew overtime, since 1970s it is a safe haven for the birds and more recently even protected under UNESCO. Being man-made this region had the luxury of setting it up with multiple landscapes including dry grasslands, wet lands, wood land, swamps and more. That attracted all the more varieties of birds than a typical natural region would do, which would only have one type of landscape.To Get There:From New Delhi: 260kmFrom Ahmedabad: 670kmFrom Agra (Taj Mahal): 240kmFrom Mumbai: 1100kmHere's a tip - India is large (7th biggest in size afterall), so you may have to fly from one part of India to another. Check out the online flight booking options around 3 months earlier to get the best prices.

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