Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan and was built in the 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh as India’s first planned city. A major tourist attraction amongst Indian as well as international travelers, Jaipur is also known as the Pink City and serves as a stepping stone for travellers heading to the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.

AmberFort_Jaipur
(Amber Fort, dated Sept 2011)

Things to Do

Indulge in the beauty of the Birla Temple! Located below the well-known Moti Dungri fort, Lakshmi Narayan Temple (aka The Marble Temple or Birla Temple), is a relatively new temple made of white marble with beautiful carvings. It covers a vast area in Jaipur city and is built in a contemporary manner.

BirlaTemple_Jaipur
(Birla Temple, dated Sept 2011)

Set upon the Amber Fort and consider an elephant ride! Approximately 11 km from central Jaipur, this massive fort-palace complex was built in hybrid Hindu-Muslim style and dates back to Raja Man Singh. It was the royal palace of the Kachwahas from c. 1600 to 1727. The fort is named after the town of Amber, which was named after the goddess Amba. Don’t miss the sound and light show in the evening from 7 to 8 pm.

AmberFort_Jaipur2

AmberFort_Jaipur1
(Elephants at Amber Fort, dated Sept 2011)

Take a photo with one of India’s most famous landmark – Hawa Mahal! Hawa Mahal (or Palace of Wind) was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Singh as part of the City Palace. It was an extension of the Zenana (women) chamber. Its purpose was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. It is a five storey high red sandstone structure complete with over 950 windows. The breeze (or hawa in Hindi) circulates through these windows giving the palace its name.

HawaMaha_Jaipur
(Hawa Mahal, dated Sept 2011)

Indulge in an Ayurvedic head massage. Head massage has been practiced in India for thousands of years, and they are still considered to be one of the most effective massage techniques available. The term Ayurveda comes from the Sanskrit terms and can be defined as the “knowledge of life”. Try one of the signature Ayurvedic head massage and to emerge fresh and rejuvenated! 

Shopping in Jaipur is pretty enjoyable despite the touting and haggling. Brace yourself for a brilliantly colorful explosion of flowers, elephants, ox carts, and wares! You will smell the deep aroma of spices in canvas bags, the fetid smell of animals and open sewers, the sweet waft of tea, and the crusty acrid burn of dust and exhaust. The noise is chaotic, the people constantly will stare if you are a foreigner and anybody who has something to sell will try to sell it to you, repeatedly! Considered as the best city to shop in Rajasthan, Jaipur is famous for its bright colored fabric and textile.

Hop on an auto rickshaw to travel around the city! Auto rickshaw is the best way around town as they are readily available and convenient. The auto rickshaw walas will tell you to take the Slip from the Police Booths, but you can also go directly without the Slip but don’t forget to Bargain over the price in that case, it could be much cheaper.

Take Note

CityPalace_Jaipur
(The City Palace, dated Sept 2011)

  • It is reassuring to know that police in Jaipur are very friendly (this is according to some travel guide – not sure how true coz we did not need police assistance during our trip). In case of emergency, do visit the police station to seek help.
  • Unless you want to end up being transformed into a walking jasmine, do avoid aroma oil for your ayurvedic massage (even if it is free or value-for-$). Opt for the odourless oil instead!
  • Prepare those shoes bag(s) as you will need to remove your shoes at some of the temples/attractions.
  • Be polite when you are haggling. Do not haggle if you are not interested or if you only want to save a few cents. (Typically you can get discount up to 60% of the initial quoted price if you are good at haggling!)

AmberFort_Jaipur3
(Jaipur, dated Sept 2011)

From Me to You:
A Simple Reference Guide For Your Travel In India

The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, please visit: http://www.incredibleindia.org/

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