Chandini Chowk

This is the heart of the walled city - the Sarhad Chowkri occupies two of the nine squares and covers one-seventh area of the entire walled city. Go into the huge courtyard just outside the City Palace. Then to the Jantar Mantar where you can learn about the movement of planets and study time on a huge sundial, amongst other interesting things; then move on to the beautiful palace complex where you could easily spend almost half the day browsing around Sawai Man Singh II museum.

Parking. Leave your car or scooter/cycle rickshaw at the Chandini Chowk just behind the Tripolia Gate. There is enough parking here. Your car can wait here or meet you outside the side gate of city palace that opens into the Jaleb Chowk.

Places of Interest. Chandini Chowk - Brijnidhi Temple - Pratapeshwar Mandir - Shri Anand Krishna Behariji Mandir - Jantar Mantar - City Palace.

The Walk. The sheer size of Chandini Chowk will surprise you as you come in through the crowded market. There is a huge open space, no traffic to dodge and most importantly, it is peaceful. As you stand with the Tripolia Gate behind you, you will find three temples here. The temples on the left are those of Pratapeshwarji and Brijnidhiji. Just behind the latter is the famous Janani Deori, the chamber of the royal ladies. Each maharani had her own apartment here. Rajmata Gayatri Devi still continues to keep her section, rawala, which she visits quite often. It is a world in itself but unfortunately one is not allowed access to it. Instead, explore the temples.

Mandir Shri Brijnidhiji. Maharaja Pratap Singh constructed this temple in 1792 after he dreamt that Govind Devji wanted him to make a new temple of Shri Brijnidhiji in his palace. The temple has been built in a haveli style with a huge courtyard. Tread carefully as years of disuse have made the structure quite dilapidated.

As you leave this temple the one on your right, next to the gate is Mandir Shri Pratapeshwar. On your left is the inner gate leading to City Palace and on your right is the rear side of Tripolia Gate. You will see guards posted here as these gates are not meant for the general public. Only the maharaja of Jaipur and his family can use them. It is an accepted fact and a tradition respected by the local people. Interestingly, several years ago a politician's son decided to break this tradition and insisted on driving right through this gate only to meet with a fatal accident soon after. No politician has since attempted to use the gate without royal approval and sanction!

Walk straight ahead and you will see another huge temple in this courtyard. This is the Anand Krishna Behariji temple and worth a visit.

Walk out and turn right and keep going until you get to a small gate that will lead you to a garden that looks straight out of a science fiction movie with the most unusual collection of stone and lime mortar structures. This is the famous Jantar Mantar. The ticket window is near the entrance. It is a good idea to take one of the several guides available there because it won't be much fun unless you learn the different functions of each of these unusual structures.

Ancient arch on the way to Jantar Mantar

Ancient arch on the way to Jantar Mantar