Sample the interior delights of Jaipur courtesy of our friends at Pearlshare

Famous for its magnificent textiles and beautiful architecture, Jaipur is the home of block printing, a stunning effect seen on many of our lampshades. We thought it was only right to share the amazing sights and interior delights of this intoxicating city. Here is a guide to all you need to know from our travel savvy friends at Pearlshare.

Picture1

(Amer Palace)

The Pink City, like all of India's capitals, is a city of contrast. The handsome decadence of the historic Rajasthan architecture stands glassy-eyed and serene among some of the country's most distressing poverty. Jaipur's most celebrated export, its textiles, curiously embodies this; bright, bold backgrounds block printed with painstakingly dark and intricate designs. However, as the Rajasthan capital continues to take back control of its own destiny and shake off the more cloudy elements of its past, more and more of its originally intended beauty is being revealed, created and celebrated. Here's a small guide to some of Jaipur's most striking interiors and design hotspots; some ancient, some new, all breath-taking.

Picture2 (Bar Palladio (photo courtesy of Henry Wilson)

When this beautiful bar swanned coquettishly onto the Jaipur social scene in 2014, its incredible azure interiors caused a worldwide ripple. The lady responsible for Bar Palladio, award-winning designer Marie-Anne Oudejans, chose to fuse Indian and Italian culture into a look that is both classic and contemporary. The effect is an inviting orientalist fantasy, with large windowed doors coaxing you out from the cool aquamarine porches onto marble patios and an endless green lawn, dotted by twinkling lanterns and white linen tents. A recent addition to their catalogue is a new homeware line, details of which can be found on their website. Although currently still just bags and tablecloths, perhaps taking a small piece of this haven with you might kickstart your own Palladio inspired journey. See Pearl here.

Picture3 (Anokhi Shop)

A sentinel of Jaipur's artisanal tradition is Anokhi. This brand takes both the form of an upscale boutique selling clothing, homewares and bolts of fabric, as well as a nearby museum, housed in a magnificently restored mansion, dedicated entirely to the history of block printed textiles. Alongside the historic displays, Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing (AMHP) prides itself on its ability to inform visitors of the challenges of keeping up with modern manufacture; and when you walk away it certainly is with a respect that goes beyond the aesthetic. A visit afterwards to the adorable boutique is a real treat, and the range of spectacular tablecloths, bed covers, cosmetic bags and scarves, as well as a range of well-designed, beautifully-made clothing, can't fail but make you purr with tactile delight. See Pearl here.

Picture4 (The Rajmahal Palace)

The Rajmahal Palace has led many lives since its construction in 1729 as a garden retreat for the wife of the Maharaja of Jaipur. For the vast majority of its existence it has been a private house, home to a succession of British colonial residents until Indian independence in 1947. It became the unofficial but infinitely more familial home to the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his family in 1958, and over time attended by many famous visitors including the Queen and Prince Philip, as well as Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radzwill. In 2015, following a respectful yet visionary refurbishment led by acclaimed designer Adil Ahman, the opening of the private home (still owned by the royal family) into a boutique hotel with 15 luxury suites has finally let us see inside this magnificent space. And my goodness - how magnificent it is. The light flowing in from the large sun-touched windows kisses the marble staircases and reflects breathily back into the airy tiled interior. Bespoke wallpapers that tactfully nod to ages past cover each of the bedroom walls, and curated paintings bring occasional splashes of reds, pinks and blues to an otherwise serene ambience. If you can get a room here, do - whatever suite you have will be total delight. See Pearl here.

Picture5 (Sheesh Mahal, Amer Palace)

In a city filled with rose-tinted beauty, a hangover from when the Maharajah insisted the inner city be painted pink for the visit of Edward VII in 1876, the Amer Palace still stands out as a very special place. Standing on top of a cliff offering a commanding view over Rajasthan, the different interiors that can be found within this honeycombed fort - jewel inlaid rooms to reflect the nights’ sky, huge mosaics of tile and glass, intricate frescos carved from the purest marble - take even the least discerning design tourist aback. The most famous of its sights, the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), was created so that even a single candle would light the entire room from total darkness due to the strategic placing of small mirrored tiles and reflective gems.

Picture6(Rasa)

Any interior design or textile fan in Jaipur will know of Rasa, a boutique store using traditional practices in modern applications. The well-curated boutique stocks a range of fabrics for the home, including pillows, bedding, and other linens, as well as its own line of vibrant clothing. While several of their products are made using traditional block printing techniques, the use of ombre and other more modern dye methods keeps styles looking current. A trip to Rasa will always end in acquiring several items so make sure to travel light on the journey there. See Pearl here.

Picture7 (Sanganer Textile Factory)

The final Pearl on this interior design guide to Jaipur is naturally the village of Sanganer, the heartland of so much of the region’s textile industry. Almost 500 years' old, Sanganeri printing gained high popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries in all European countries with its distinctive prints and became one of the major exports of the East India Company. Under the famous royal patronage of the artisans of Rajasthan, by the end of the 18th century this industry was fully developed in Sanganer. Over time various strains of the basic block printing practice have developed, but all the Sanganeri printed cloth use natural vegetable colours giving each finished fabric a noticeably pleasant floral smell. The traditional prints often reflect this pure heritage, with consistent use of flower and foliage motifs. A visit to this part of the region will leave you both cheered by the bright colours and thriving industry, but also longing to return home so you can drape your space with their designs and maybe replicate a little of the Jaipur majesty in rainy England. See Pearl here. For more tips on travelling to India or help planning your next holiday download the free Pearlshare app here.