The Old City in Jaipur is a great place to explore. Not only are there major sights here such as the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, and Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), but there are lots of small temples, which you can wander into. These can be more fun than the major sights as there aren’t any big tour groups here and often you’ll have the place to yourself.
The small temples I visited in the Old City had pretty courtyards with potted plants. I love the pastel colours of yellow, blue, pink and white. These colours really complement the soft blue of the Jaipur sky in the summer time, with its faint scudded clouds.
The temple courtyards form small spaces of sanctuary in a hectic and buzzing modern city.
The (above) street scene outside a temple shows the contrast between the outside world, crazy with traffic and pedestrians, and the serene interior of the temple (below).
At some small temples you’ll see shoes and sandals left on steps outside – and it’s best to do the same. At larger ones, like this Krishna Temple near the Iswari Minar, other temple visitors were wearing shoes, and you need them really to climb up the steps to the rooftop veranda.
There are arched alcoves along the rooftop walkway, where you can sit in the shade looking out over the Old City, and beyond Jaipur to the surrounding hills. A local man recommended we go in this temple and look out over the city, as he said the Krishna Temple has the best view in Jaipur. I was really glad to take his advice and discover another peaceful and beautiful temple within Jaipur’s Old City.