Category : India
A profusion of ancient history with an influence of modern life is what I call the pink city, Jaipur. It’s sometimes sad to see how the influx of tourist and the western influence is turning this historical capital into a metropolis. Ironically, it turns out that even I’m so inclined towards this ‘café culture’ that I plan my itinerary in a way that includes all the pre-historic gems and the fancy places.
I’ve been to Jaipur quite a few times and know this city well enough to chalk down a detailed two-day itinerary incorporating everything – places to see in Jaipur, what to eat in Jaipur, how to commute in Jaipur, every minute details like where and at what time could you enjoy the sunset or go clubbing in Jaipur. 😀
Here’s how you can make the most of your Jaipur trip in two days.
BREAKFAST: Start your day with a cup of tea and vada pav at Tapri. Tapri serves varieties of chai and exceptionally delicious food with a gorgeous ambience and a stunning rooftop. Next thing, take a cab and leave for Galta Ji (or as most of the tourists call, Monkey Temple). Both Ola and Uber work in Jaipur!
GALTA JI: Famous for its natural water springs and countless monkeys, Galta Ji Temple is one of its kind. This pilgrimage site is a souvenir of the former age offering awe-inspiring views of the surroundings. The site is abode to temples, natural springs and thousands of monkeys. I was so intrigued after watching an episode of Monkey Thieves on National Geographic that I just couldn’t skip it despite of being monkey-phobic. 😛 Thanks to the guide at site for making it easy. Galta Ji has surely not lost its religious and rustic charm amidst the bustling city life.
JAL MAHAL: Head to the three famous forts – Jaigarh, Nahargarh and Amer Fort. These forts are at a far end of Jaipur and the cab might cost you around INR 400. But you obviously can’t miss out because heylo, going to Jaipur and missing the forts, are you crazy!? Stop en route at Jal Mahal and click like paparazzi!!! There’s not much to do or see here. Stroll alongside Man Sagar Lake if you wish to kill time but I’d suggest to MAKE A MOVE because history awaits you up the hill.
Apparently, a lot of people are confused, even I was, which fort to visit first? And let me tell you, every fort is a must-visit!
First, take a tour of the remarkable Amer Fort. I personally loved the architecture!
Second, get out of Amer and have a meal at the Stag Café because by now you’d be starving. This café located right across the road, opposite to Amer Fort, offers the best views in the city. They serve delicious food and amazing hookah with a view that will leave you smitten.
Third, grab an auto for Jaigarh Fort – not as fancy and royal as Amer as it’s a defensive fort. However, it features the largest cannon on wheels named Jaivana. Don’t keep your expectations high though!
Fourth, sunset at Nahargarh Fort. If you follow this itinerary, you reach Nahargarh Fort by sunset having covered all the forts and with a full stomach. Except if you are like me, hungry all the time!
Tbh, I am fond of Nahargarh Fort because of the scenic views it provides and the most spectacular sunset and, not because of its architecture or history. I recommend you to go there to watch the sun go down the horizon and for the beautiful bird’s eye view of the entire Jaipur city.
DINNER: Jaipur, like any other city, has a lot of food options be it Rajasthani, Italian or Chinese. You name it, you have it! The city is filled with unique and quirky cafes. My most favorite from the list is Bar Palladio Jaipur! It is classy and royal with décor no other place in Jaipur has. Expensive but totally deserves a visit!
If you are not so fond of cafés and want to have an authentic Rajasthani dish, then go to Raawat Restaurant and order Dal Bati Churma or Pyaaz Kachori. The ambience of this restaurant is quite warm and the people are so friendly and welcoming. We were so confused as to what to order that the waiter happily gave us a brief of everything on the menu. 😛 For five people, we ordered around 4 dishes including sweets, our bill was just INR 1100. It turned out to be so pocket-friendly.
BREAKFAST: Start the day with eggs and pancakes at On The House in C-Scheme. It has both indoor and outdoor sitting with a European touch.
OLD JAIPUR: By now you must be very curious to know why Jaipur is called the Pink City? Why not go and find out yourself?
As far as I understood, the buildings and gates in Old Jaipur are painted pink in color. Hence, it is called the Pink City. I am vaguely aware of the history of the color pink. Comment below and correct me if I’m wrong.
Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh wanted to impress the Royal Family and establish ties with them. So, when Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, claimed that he would visit India, the Maharaja painted the city pink as it historically represented welcome and hospitality.
Maharaja’s wife loved the color scheme so much that she asked Sawai Ram Singh to enforce a law which considers any building which is not pink illegal.
HAWA MAHAL/PALACE OF WINDS: Women in old days could not appear in public or in front of strangers. And, to bestow a sense of freedom on them, Hawa Mahal was built with more than 900 windows so they could see day-to-day events and royals processions in the streets. God bless us, Women!
Hawa Mahal is quite easy to find. You’re walking down the street wondering how cool these shops are and there it is, amidst chaotic and busy roads. At first, I was totally unaware while shopping that it’s right behind me. 😛
CITY PALACE: Walk on the same side of the road (on Hawa Mahal’s side) and take a left for City Palace. The back of Hawa Mahal is the royal City Palace. It is a historical complex with Mughal and Rajasthani architecture which is still an abode to the royal family. Although they live in a private section. Entry to public is prohibited.
The architecture is great specially if you’re a photographer, you will spend hours here.
The Mahal inside the palace displays the royal costumes. Basically, clothes that Maharajas used to wear in those days. Few paintings and the weapons that were used back in time are also on display.
You can combine a visit to Jantar Mantar too as it is nearby. I didn’t go though! No reason in particular. I just didn’t feel like.
SHOPPING: Outside City Palace are numerous lively shops where you can buy what not – from precious stones, antique lights, Rajasthani embroidered umbrellas to perfumes, and Rajasthani footwear. Johari Bazaar and Bapu Bazaar are two markets in Old Jaipur which you should check out! Ask people for directions or use google maps. It’s all walking walking!!
LUNCH: This place is not so showy or extravagant. Quite decent and basic with limited food options. Situated opposite to the Hawa Mahal is the Wind View Café which honestly doesn’t have great food as its all packaged food but oh god, its view – magnificent! If possible stay there till sunset because.. just see the picture below.
Ok. I know I didn’t tell the best option for food. So, spend as much time as you want here, click photos, order watermelon juice or a dessert, or if you wish just walk upstairs, get a picture clicked and come back.
Head to the other end of Hawa Mahal. Remember – one side is the City Palace, on the left of Hawa Mahal, the other side is where I am going to take you now i.e. on the right of Hawa Mahal. (Johari and Bapu Bazaar are on the right) Or let’s chuck all the complications and use google maps. 😛
Go to Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar, sounds shady but its quite famous with a decent ambience. It serves a good deal of cuisines, but I’d say it is the second best place to have Kachoris and Dal Bati Churma in Jaipur. So, now you know what to order as well.
Now is the time when you return to your accommodation and chill for a while! I have mentioned below where to stay in Jaipur according to the area and budget.
If you have followed this itinerary, you’ve covered all major attractions, you’ve had the most delicious food along with superb view, you’ve caught the most stunning sunset, and you’ve grabbed all the souvenirs.
The last meal of the day is still left and this time it’s all your choice. I have written about a bunch of places which I felt are worth a visit during my Jaipur trip. All the places are tried, tested and then reviewed.
PICK A PLACE: 10 Fancy Cafes In Jaipur One Should Not Miss
If you’re a party freak like me, you must go clubbing at Blackout or House Of People. Whenever I thought of Jaipur, I always thought of girls in lehenga, guys in dhoti but surprisingly, people of Jaipur know how to party!
ANSWERING MORE QUESTIONS:
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT JAIPUR?
October – March
This is the perfect weather to explore the Pink City as summers in Jaipur are unbearable! Hence, tourists prefer to visit Jaipur in the winter season.
HOW TO TRAVEL WITHIN JAIPUR?
Travelling by Auto in Jaipur can burn a hole in your pocket. Auto Wallas in Jaipur will never go by meter and will demand for any amount. Specially if you’re a foreigner or an outstation, they will try their best to extract maximum from you. So, the best thing is to install Ola/Uber App and travel in AC spending less than you would spend in an auto. If you’re staying in Old Jaipur, you could also take battery riskhaws for travelling short distances. Although I’d never suggest you to stay in Old Jaipur. Umm, why? Read more.
WHERE TO STAY IN JAIPUR?
The reason why I suggest you to not stay in Old Jaipur is because it’s chaotic, you would be stuck in traffic half of the time. Also, most of the attractions like the three famous forts – Amer, Nahargarh and Jaigarh, Jal Mahal, Galta Ji – Monkey Temple are far off the city.
C-Scheme is my personal favorite area to stay as it is quite posh and accessible. Railway Station, bus terminal, the very famous M.I. Road, major places to eat, attractions, clubs, are within easy reach.
Jaipur has a lot of options – from budget friendly hostels to luxury hotels. I’ve stayed in two hostels – Zostel and Roadhouse, and Hotel Holiday Inn. These are some affordable options.
If you’re filthy rich and can afford INR 55,000 tariff a day, stay at Taj Rambagh Palace or The Oberoi Rajvilas. The day I have enough money is the day you’ll see me chilling at those properties. 😛 😀
Also, I am planning to open a hostel in Jaipur in 2018. Hopefully, if that happens, I’ll see you there!
ITINERARY IN BRIEF
1. Breakfast at Tapri
2. Galta Ji
3. Jal Mahal
4. Amer Fort
5. Lunch At Stag Café
6. Jaigarh Fort
7. Nahargarh Fort
8. Dinner at Palladio/Rawat
1. Breakfast at On The House
2. Hawa Mahal – Palace Of Winds
3. City Palace
4. Jantar Mantar
5. Lunch at Wind View Café or Laxmi Mishan Bhandar
6. Shopping in Bapu Bazar/Johri Bazar
7. Chill at your accommodation
8. Dinner at restaurant of your choice from the list
Over and out.
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