Welcome to Jaipur – the Pink City. Its splendid forts and palaces, and myriad bazaars beckon travelers from all corners of the world. The capital city of Rajasthan promises to impress you with its rich mix of history, art, culture and heritage. Whether you are a history buff or a patron of art, Jaipur has so much to offer. Every street in Jaipur puts out a flamboyant show and it is a traveler’s delight. Now that Jaipur is second home to me, I love playing tourist in my city.
By Plane – Jaipur Airport (JAI) has daily domestic flights to major cities in India and few international flights. For international travelers, the best option is to fly into Delhi and then take the preferred mode of transport listed below.
By Train – The Indian Railways connects Jaipur to major cities in India.
By Bus – The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) offers daily AC and non-AC bus services from Jaipur.
By Car – Self-drive or hire taxi/Uber.
Where to Stay
When in Jaipur or for that matter in Rajasthan, you have to experience the grandeur of palatial properties and erstwhile stately homes that have been converted into hotels. These heritage hotels offer a lot more than a cookie cutter hotel room.
Luxury – Taj Rambagh Palace is one of the prominent heritage hotels in Jaipur, also popularly called as the Jewel of Jaipur. An architectural masterpiece and a former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, be rest assured to live like royalty here. Samode Haveli, a heritage retreat adorned with beautiful gardens, courtyards and terraces.
Budget – DeraMandawa is a boutique heritage property often described as an oasis of calm and tranquility in the city. Surya Villa offers a fine amalgamation of traditional Rajasthani architecture and decor with modern day facilities.
What to See
Hawa Mahal is a distinctive landmark of Jaipur. Translated to ‘palace of breeze’ Hawa Mahal was used by the royal ladies to watch processions and street activities without being seen by the public. This imposing pink hued honeycombed structure is a sight to behold.
City Palace is a true gem encompassing an array of courtyards, gardens, museum and a temple. It is a striking blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. It is a sensory overload with its doors and chambers richly decorated with murals, lattice and mirrors adorning them.
Amer Fort features prominently on the list of top attractions in Jaipur. Amer once served as the capital of the princely state before Jaipur. The fort has now been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site and consists of a series of four courtyards, palaces, halls, and gardens. Each courtyard served a specific purpose at that time. The most enchanting of all is the Sheesh Mahal carved with beautiful mirror mosaics and colored glass.
Jaigarh Fort houses the world’s largest cannon on wheels called ‘Jaivana’. The fort is perched on a cliff surrounded by huge battlements. It offers a panaromic view of Amer fort and the city.
Nahargargh Fort sits on the Aravalli hills and used to serve as a royal retreat. The fort has suites for the then king and his twelve queens. It is remarkable how each suite is fully equipped as a modern day apartment with bedrooms, toilets, and kitchen.
Albert Hall Museum also the official state museum has a rich collection of artifacts including paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, and metal sculptures. The building is situated inside Ram Niwas Garden and represents the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
Other prominent attractions include Jal Mahal, Janatar Mantar, Galtaji temple, Statute Circle, Jawahar Circle, Chand Baori.
Where to Shop
I may be biased but Jaipur serves the ultimate shopping itinerary. The city boasts of handmade artisan goods which seems to be the exception these days. Here are few places to shop that are uniquely Jaipur.
Fashion, Textile & Home furnishing (boutiques)- Tholia House, Ranas, Anokhi, Soma, Ratan Textiles, Suvasa, Kilol, Cottons.
Jewelry – Johari Bazaar, Amrapali, Bonafide Jewles and Handicraft (silver jewelry)
Blue Pottery – Kripal Kumbh, Neerja, Rajasthali, Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Center
You will also find street markets or bazaars in Jaipur catering to different goods and products.
Tripolia Bazaar – Lac bangles, brass-ware, carpets
Bapu Bazaar – Rajasthani textiles, handicraft, mojari and souvenirs
M.I. Road – Precious gems & Jewels
Where to Eat
A trip to Jaipur or for that matter Rajasthan is incomplete without digging into authentic Rajasthani food. When in Jaipur forget counting calories and indulge in a gastronomic experience of pyaaz kachoris, Dal bati churma, laal maas, ghevar, the list just goes on. These are places that unarguably serve the best in Jaipur – Chokhi Dhani, Rawat Mishtan Bhandar, Laxmi Misthan Bhandar, Spice Court, Natraj.
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