Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, India

What to Photograph in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India?

Jaipur is a popular location for Rajasthan tourism. I covered palaces and forts during my last blog on Jaipur.  So in this blog, I will focus on other photo opportunities and things to do in Jaipur and the surrounding areas in Rajasthan.  Attractions that I cover in this blog post include Jantar Mantar, Chand Biori Step Well, and Chokhi Dhani Jaipur.

We visited Jaipur in August during the monsoon season.  Rajasthan is an arid region and doesn’t get much rain.  During our trip it rained every day and was very humid.  If you travel to India during the monsoon season, make sure you have rain gear for your camera and lenses.  It is also handy to have microfiber cloths to clean the moisture off of your lenses.

Jantar Mantar

Samat Yantra, Jantar Mantar

Located next to City Palace in Jaipur is Jantar Mantar.  Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation site built in the early 1800s. It is the biggest stone observatory in the world and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Center.  The Jantar Mantar observatory consists of 14 major instruments for measuring time, tracking stars, predicting ellipses, etc.

What does this mean for photographers?  Jantar Mantar has huge geometric shapes including the world’s largest sundial that ascend into the sky.  There are plenty of compositions with these shapes for a photographer.  Some patience is required as this is a popular destination for both tourists and locals.

Chand Biori Step Well

The Chand Biori Step Well is 13 stories deep with 3,500 stairs making it one of the deepest and largest step wells in India.  Rajasthan is an arid, desert region.  The step well was designed to conserve water for this dry region.  Locals also gathered at the cooler lower levels of the Chand Biori during the intense heat.  This architectural wonder was constructed in 800 CE.  An ultra wide angle lens is a good choice to capture the step well.

Chand Baori Step Well

The Chand Biori Step Well is located in the village of Abhaneri about 2 hours from the city of Jaipur. Keep an eye open on the rural road leading from the highway to Abhaneri.  We were able to photograph a peacock in a natural setting and an Indian Jackal during the drive.

Chohki Dhani

The best way that I can describe the Chohki Dhani is a Rajasthani Fair.  There were camel rides, authentic Rajastani dancers, wrestlers, and people breathing fire.  There was also a buffet, shopping and carnival games.

Rajasthani Dance

It looked like this was geared toward western tourists, but there were more Indians than westerners at the Chohki Dhani.  This was a bit too much of a tourist attraction for my taste.  But, this is a good opportunity to take dimly lit photos of Rajastani dancers, fire breathing performers, and wrestlers.  I didn’t ask but it was much too crowded for a tripod.  So a flash or high ISO camera is required.

Street Photography

It’s definitely worth taking some street photography photos during your visit to Jaipur.  There were a variety of vehicles and animals on the street in Jaipur.  These various forms of transportation include elephants, camels, bicycle rickshaws, buffalo, motorcycles, and pigs – quite a variety to photograph.

I also found the Rajasthani women have more brightly colored saris than in other areas of India.  These bright and even florescent colors really pop in street photography scenes.

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