Lovingly called the Pink City, Jaipur is the largest city in the state of Rajasthan. The extravagant palaces, the handcrafted multicolored clothes, the intricate interiors, the mind-blowing food is just me scratching the surface of Rajasthan and in the middle of it all is the capital city of Jaipur.
Founded by the then king Jai Singh, Jaipur is full of the strong cultural background and magnanimous heritage sites. The city is full of festivities, unique structures and yet there is so much more to it than it being a fairytale wedding destination.
FUN FACT: Since pink denotes the color of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink in color to welcome his guests, Price of Wales and Queen Victoria. The paint was never taken out and Jaipur got its nickname.
Where to live?
There are literally more than a thousand places you can stay when in Jaipur depending on your budget. You can choose to stay in a palace with the King or in a reasonably priced hotel. You can book a room at the Taj, Sheraton, Radisson, Marriot and all major hotels starting at $30 and going till $300 per night. I stayed at the Umaid Bhawan Heritage House Hotel which was about a mile from downtown Jaipur.
What to eat?
I cannot begin to describe how absolutely gratifying eating a Rajasthani thali is. To get most of your experience, I recommend going to Chokhi Dhani. The concept here is that you get to encounter local dance performances, shop at a small flea market, enjoy various paintings and local artifacts and have a proper Thali all at $10 only!!
There are a ton of rooftop restaurants and local eateries where you get to interact with the locals. Shreenath Lassiwala, and Tapri The Tea House are two that you can try.
How to get around?
Although you can use ride-share apps such as Uber and Ola, you have various other modes of transportation. You can hail an auto-rickshaw, a cab or use public transportation such as buses to get around. You could also hail an elephant or a camel if you like.
I prefer renting a car when on a trip here. It is economical, you can hire chauffeur who can maneuver through the small roads and heavy traffic for you. You can find out more about how to rent your car here:Sawari
When to go?
The best time to visit Jaipur is from Mid November to Mid March. Rajasthan is a desert state and the weather gets really hot during the summer seasons. If you are traveling off-season, be sure to carry tons of sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and water along with you.
Amer Fort/ Amber Palace:
Located around 6 mi from Jaipur, Amer was the original capital of the state. The fort is as magnificent as it is well preserved. It is located on a hill and you get one of the most spectacular views of the city from up here. It has high ceiling decorated with the most opulent designs. The courtyard is large and very well maintained. You can picture the king on the throne and the court in session!
It costs 25 INR to enter the palace. Since it is located on a hill, you have to hike up for about half a mile to reach the palace.
The garden here overlooks the bathrooms of the queen of Jaipur. It is very well maintained and you can imagine what it felt like to be a part of that era.
The vast open space overlooking the mountains and the city below really gives you the feeling of grandeur. The panoramic view of the surrounding is surreal.
Jaipur is home to many palaces and the City Palace is just one of the many. The Rajasthani design, Mughal and European architecture is very prominent in this palace. You can get married, host birthday parties and have anniversary celebrations in this huge mansion.
The Diwan-I-Khas is the private audience hall of the Maharajas, the Diwan-I-Aam is the hall of public audience. Maharani’s (Queen’s) Palace has been converted from being the home of queens to a museum that displays weapons and ammunition used by the royal family.
Hawa Mahal literally translates to the Palace of wind. This place, located in the heart of the city, is one of the most visited places here. The ‘mahal’ has been converted into a hotel that you can stay at and get the palace experience. It costs Rs. 10 to enter the palace.
Standing alone yet strong in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake is the Jal Mahal (Water Palace). It is a very romantic spot and you often find couples walking along the banks of the lake. The actual palace is off-limits to tourists but that does not stop them from enjoying the palace from afar.
The sight of the Mahal during sunset is really amazing. The palace lights up in orange and yellow lights just as the sun sets and the light reflects in the water making in a sight worth waiting around for.
You can combine your Jaipur trip with Ranthambore National park, located about 4 hours from the pink city. To read about the majestic tiger reserve visit: