My favourite place: Jaipur

In the November 2017 issue of BBC History Magazine, Shrabani Basu selects Jaipur, India as her favourite place. History Extra caught up with her to find out more...

D6XD6R Amber Fort - landscape with elephants on the Jaleb Chowk courtyard and main gate of Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

When did you last travel to Jaipur and why were you there?


I was in Jaipur in January 2017. I had been invited to the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Why do you love the city?

I love the colour and the vibrancy of the city. I love the forts and palaces, the food and the shopping (for silver jewellery and textiles). The people are also very friendly.

What top 3 sights would you recommend people visit there, and why?

  • Amer Fort – the hill-top fort has great views and fabulous rooms to wander through
  • Johri Bazar in the Pink City – ideal for shopping and eating
  • Sanganer – for block printing, handmade paper and stationary

During what period of its history would you most wanted to have visited Jaipur and why?

I’d love to have visited in the late 16th century when Jaipur was ruled by Raja Man Singh I. To see the fort in all its splendour being used by the Maharajas would be a treat, particularly during the festivals of Holi or Diwali.

Where else in the world would you most like to visit and why?

Angkor Wat in Cambodia, to see the ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples.

Shrabani Basu’s most recent book is Victoria & Abdul (The History Press, 2017). She will be exploring the relationship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim at BBC History Magazine’s History Weekend in York.


You can read more about Shrabani’s experiences in Jaipur in the November issue of BBC History Magazine – on sale from 12 October.