Jaipur is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Everywhere you look it’s like stepping back in time, with its colourfully-attired women, men in their spotless dhotis and equally colourful turbans and the sight of the camels finding their way amid the vehicular traffic. You can’t help but be amazed at what this city has to offer; you can shop, take in art and culture or just enjoy the city’s romance. Known as the ‘Pink City’ since 1876, this intoxicating city offers a multitude of cultural, religious, and historic sights and has the ability to excite even the most seasoned tourist.
Take an architectural cruise through the city
It’s no secret that Jaipur is home to many fortresses and palaces, and a close look at them can give you a valuable insight into the history of the city itself. Each building has a story to tell, and the architecture is amazing. Although time has eroded a lot of these forts, leaving only a glimpse into what they once were, a wander through the halls and a peep through the fortifications will not leave you disappointed!
Tip: be your own guide: Since forts and palaces are huge in area, there’s a high chance that you’ll get lost while wandering through them. Good guides are available to take you around and explain what you’re seeing, but an audio tour is a much better option — it will allow you to be your own guide and enjoy the place at your own pace, while at the same time saving you from having to haggle over how much to pay your guide.
Watch out for: Amer Fort for its rich historical ambiance and a vast antique arena.
Visit the Govind Devji Temple and lose yourself to faith
Jaipur is home to numerous temples like Birla Mandir, Moti Doongri, Laxmi Narayan temple, and ISKCON Temple but no visit to Jaipur is complete without a visit to the temple of Jaipur — the Govind Devji temple. Located in the City Palace complex, the temple resonates with the pious chants of “Govind lala ki jai” (an expression of praise to Lord Krishna) and the atmosphere has a magical soothing effect on your senses from the moment you step onto the premises.
Tip: be prepared to wait: The temple has irregular opening and closing times. So be ready to wait for the Lord to give you a glimpse inside.
Shopping finds a place in every traveller’s itinerary, especially when they visit a city like Jaipur. A shopping excursion is incomplete without a visit to the famous Bara Bazaar. These sprawling stores have everything you can think of such as cosmetics, shoes, perfumes, watches, kitchenware, table linen, trendy bags and much more. Antiques and local items make great mementoes, or grab something practical like a bag or other accessory.
While shopping in Jaipur can be done on any budget, you’ll need to use your bargaining skills to get the best deals.
Tip: enjoy it how you want to: Turn a deaf ear to constant pestering and avoid those pushy shopkeepers. If you find something you like, buy it immediately because chances are you’ll never find the same vendor again. Many shops are closed on Sundays.
Watch out for: Pots and pans in Jaipur.
Eat, eat, and eat!
From the local Rajasthani fare like mangodi, ker sangri and gatte ki sabzi in restaurants to the mouthwatering delicacies like kachories and dahi wadas on the streets — it’s all a feast! Dig in and indulge to your heart’s content.
Tip: gather information from the local people: Try talking to the locals for information about good eating places in the area. There are many hole-in-the-wall shops that you will never find a mention of in any of the guidebooks or other touristy booklets.
Watch out for: A glass of lassi (cool summer drink made of yoghurt) in Lassiwala on MI Road.
This article can’t cover all that Jaipur has to offer — the city is a huge canvas, each brush stroke unique in its own way. One really has to set foot in this mystical land to complete the entire picture!
Have you been to Jaipur before? What were your impressions?
Feel free to add more to my to-do-list in the comments section below!