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Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is the capital of Indian state of Rajasthan and its largest city. The city was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India's first planned city, and today it's a major tourist attraction amongst Indian as well as international travellers. It is a very picturesque city with splendid palaces, forts and historical monuments and belongs to the tourist Golden Triangle along with Delhi and Agra. It hosts several attractions including the City Palace, Govind Dev ji Temple, Vidhan Sabha, Birla Temple and several massive Rajput forts. It also serves as a stepping stone for travelers heading to the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer.
Now Jaipur is growing fast and various development projects are being undertaken by the government and private enterprises. The town planning and infrastructure development in Jaipur is quite above the mark relative to many other Indian cities.
Jaipur's nickname, the Pink City, is due to its distinctly coloured buildings, which were originally painted this color to imitate the red sandstone architecture of Mughal cities. The present earthy red color originates from repainting of the buildings undertaken for a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1876.
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Jaipur's climate is characterized as semiarid, with just a few rainy days per month for most of the year. The exception is the monsoon period from June to September, when heavy rain and thunderstorms are commonplace. Expect daytime highs of above +20°C throughout the year, and prepare for scorching heat in May and June. During the winter temperatures are mild, and while nighttime temperatures seldom drop much below +10°C, Jaipur has experienced temperatures below freezing.
Jaipur gets its name from its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1744), a great warrior and astronomer. He came to power at the age of 11 on the death of his father Maharaja Bishan Singh. Jai Singh’s lineage can be traced back to the Kucchwaha Rajput, clan who came to power in the 12th century. They were long-term rivals to the Sisodia Rajputs who ruled from Mewar. This rivalry led them to ally with the Mughals, and this alliance resulted in them eventually gaining a pre-eminent position in Rajasthan.
Ruling from the magnificent Amber Fort which they built, the might of the Kucchwahas encompassed the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur) and Marwar (Jodhpur). After Jai Singh came to power, there was moment of disquiet when he supported Aurangzeb’s son Azam Shah’s bid to the throne. Azam Shah lost the battle of succession to his brother Bahadur Shah, who demanded Jai Singh’s removal and the installation of Vijay Singh to the throne of Jaipur. Jai Singh, not one to take setbacks lying down, formed a formidable front against the Mughals by aligning himself with other Rajput states and reinstated himself.
After the dust had settled, peace reigned and the kingdom prospered and its borders expanded. Jai Singh built the city around the Amber Fort to serve as his capital, and the city was named Jaipur, after himself. Much of the credit for Jaipur goes to Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, the chief architect from Bengal who, with Jai Singh’s approval, founded the city on strong scientific principles, laid out according to the Shilpa Shastra, the ancient architectural manual. It remains one of India’s best planned cities. However, expansion meant that the limited sources of water proved inadequate for the city.
After Jai Singh’s death in 1744, his sons squabbled for power and without a monarch, the kingdom became open to invasion and neighboring Rajput states and the Marathas usurped large areas of kingdom. The core, however, remained part of the kingdom, which lasted during British times. As with the Mughals, Jaipur maintained good relations with the British and during the war of independence in 1857 remained loyal to the Raj. Yet, the British gradually began to undermine the independence of the state and exercised greater control over the administration.
In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh painted the entire city pink, traditionally a colour associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to the city. The tradition has been maintained and today all residents in the old city are compelled by law to preserve the pink colour. Jaipur has thereby earned the sobriquet of pink city.
Maharaja Ram Singh also built the Ramgarh Lake to supply water to the burgeoning city. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the city’s population spread beyond its walls. In 1922, Man Singh II ascended to the throne and it was during his reign that civic buildings like the secretariat, schools, hospitals and other public buildings were built. After independence, Jaipur merged with the states of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner to form the state of Rajasthan. In 1956, Jaipur became the capital of the state of Rajasthan.
Jaipur Airport (IATA: JAI) is situated in the satellite town of Sanganer and offers sporadic (chartered) service to London and Dublin. Flights to Singapore and Bangkok are available via Delhi. Direct flights to Sharjah, Muscat and Dubai are also available.
Indian Railways connects Jaipur from all over the country and is one of the cheapest options. A number of daily trains connect Jaipur to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Agra, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Kota, Alwar and Ajmer. Daily connections are also available for Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Kolkata, Jammu, Pathankot, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Roorkee, Haridwar, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur and Bhopal.
Long-distance trains arrive from many other major cities including Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Vadodara, Surat, Nagpur, Bilaspur, Raipur, Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad, Goa, Mangalore, Kozhikode and Kochi.
The most popular option from Delhi is the Shatabdi express which departs New Delhi station at 6:05AM and reaches Jaipur at 10:30AM.
There are three major railway stations: Jaipur Junction (main station), Durgapura and Gandhinagar (Jaipur), which is not to be confused with Gandhinagar, the capital city of the state of Gujarat. All trains stop at Jaipur Junction and a few trains stop at Durgapura and Gandhinagar stations also.
There is an excellent bus service between Jaipur to Delhi by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) with buses approximately every half an hour both sides. non-A/C and AC Volvo bus services are offered. A/C Volvo bus is taken through well maintained highway and has good shock absorbers. From Delhi you can board the bus from Bikaner House on Pandara Road next to India Gate. From Jaipur you can board the bus from Narayan Singh Circle or the main Sindhi Camp bus stand. You can also book tickets up to 6 days in advance from both these places. These buses typically take 6 hours (by Volvo) or 6-7 hr by other buses. There are also some private bus operators from Dhaula Kuan in Delhi and outside of Sindhi camp in Jaipur. No need to make advance reservations but these buses are taken through bumpy backroads to avoid toll roads and their shock absorbers are not good.
Also note that if you plan to leave from Delhi airport, you can get off the bus at Dhaula Kuan and get an autorickshaw (to the bus stand) or perhaps a taxi from there. You do not need to enter congested Delhi.
Express buses to several cities and towns within Rajasthan (such as Kota and Bundi) are also available.
This is the most popular way of reaching from Delhi. The journey by car from Delhi to Jaipur takes less than 4 hr. National Highway no. 8 connects Delhi to Jaipur via the industrial township of Gurgaon. The road is excellent.
There are many car rental services in Delhi which can provide chauffeur driven cars to Jaipur.
By RTDC bus
It is the best and cheaper way to visit the Jaipur Local Sights by RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Dept. Corp.) There are three type of tours: 1) full day tour (April 2015 price: ₹350), 2) half day tour (April 2015 price: ₹300; there are 3 different routes to choose from) and 3) Pink city by night tour (April 2015 price: ₹450). For details see the website. There will be one guide with each bus to give you brief info about all sights.
By local bus
City bus #5 connects directly Amber Fort, Hawa Mahal, New Gate and the intersection of MI Road and Railway Rd every 10 minutes until 9PM.
City bus #2 runs from the train station up Station Road to the City Palace, Minar, Observatory, etc. The bus driver will try to charge you more. They also sometimes ask you if you need change, or say they don't have change, despite it being obvious they do.
A rapid urban rail system, Jaipur Metro, is currently under construction. According to the plans it will consist of two lines and a total of 29 stations. It was originally scheduled to open in early 2014, but the latest promise is that parts of it will open in April 2015. Fares will be between 5 and 25 rupees depending on how far you travel and whether you travel during the peak hours or off-peak.
By and large, autorickshaw is the best way to travel around the city. Hiring an autorickshaw for a whole day with a trip to Amber Fort might have cost ₹385 prepaid in April 2013.
Prepaid autos are available at the Jaipur railway station and the Sindhi Camp bus stand, although prices are a little inflated and often the same as you get with minimal bargaining.
At a certain point, the rates were revised to around ₹350-400. The autorickshaw wallas will tell you to take the slip from the police booths. 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. It'll be best if you start your sightseeing by 10 in the morning as some of the major spots close by 4:30PM and each spot takes a lot of time, especially the forts.
In some cases, the autorickshaw drivers try to make up any lame story or excuse to get some more from you after the trip is over, but you should stick to the original amount decided. Police in Jaipur are very friendly, so in case you feel the autorickshaw driver is trying to misguide you or force you to hand over extra money, just refer the dispute to the police officers located at various spots.
Also some autorickshaw drivers will tell you to buy artefacts and gifts from some shops especially some located on way to Amber Fort. Firmly refuse to stop there as these shops operate on commission to the auto driver and fleece you. If you want to buy souvenirs, get them in city's main shopping areas like Bapu Bazaar.
Take along some of your own information about the eating and shopping places as the drivers have their fixed commissions at shops and eating outlets, so you might end up paying more for an item or eating at an undesirable place.
Autorickshaw drivers have been known to work together with the gem scammers. If you hire an autorickshaw for the day, he may suggest that you 'go for a beer' afterwards, at which point you will be introduced to the point man on the scam attempt, usually a very charismatic person who is clearly much wealthier than his rickshaw-driving 'friend'. Use common sense: why would a rickshaw driver who makes 350 rupees per day (minus petrol) want to take you to a bar where beers are 75 rupees each? Politely decline these invitations; they are nearly invariably more trouble than they are worth.
Cycle-rickshaws are cheaper, but the amount of time it takes quickly makes it worth paying a few extra rupees and going by autorickshaw, bus or taxi. The advantage of traveling by cycle-rickshaw is that you can cover some great places located within narrow lanes of Jaipur which can not be seen if you hire some other mode of transport.
Walking in the bazaar is a treat, although side streets are a bit less welcoming and offer a sharper glimpse of poverty. As the map reveals, many points of interest are rather far out, wherefore walking may not be a viable option.
The taxis in Jaipur are very convenient and comfortable. Most of the vehicles are Maruti Omni Vans or Tata Indica cars, which are much safer than Auto rickshaws, and the drivers are polite. If you are alone or going to an unknown destination, you are strongly advised to choose this option, even though the rates will be double that of an autorickshaw. you must call for a taxi, as it is nearly impossible to hail one unless you are at a major point like the airport. When you call, you should negotiate a fare (or agree on using the meter) and get the taxi's 'number'. The taxi will come pick you up, and call you when they are close. Taxis generally have yellow license plates with black letters. Some taxis are painted with yellow & black color scheme on their body which helps to uniquely identify from the private cars.
Car rental is one of the effective alternatives for wandering around in Jaipur. Radio taxis, which are available at an affordable rate, provide point pick-up and point drop-out services on a per-km basis.
Private taxis or cars, which are very safe, convenient and comfortable in Jaipur, charge twice the auto-rickshaw rate. As in other cities, you will not see running them freely and waiting for passengers. So if you want to travel by private car or taxi, make sure you hire it in advance.
It's possible to see the ticket price for each point of interest on the Rajasthan Tourist Government Office website
Amber Fort, Jantar-Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Albert Hall (Central Museum), Nahargarh Fort 5-monument Composite Ticket for sale at all archaeological monuments costs ₹70/25 Indian adult/student and ₹350/175 foreign adult/student.
- Amber Fort (11 km North of central Jaipur, local bus #5 from Hawa Mahal or New Gate), ☎ . 08:00-18:00. This massive fort-palace complex built in hybrid Hindu-Muslim style dates back to Raja Man Singh and was the royal palace of the Kachwahas from c. 1600-1727. It's one of six world heritage forts in Rajasthan. The name has nothing to do with the rather pretty pastel yellow colour; instead, the fort is named after the town of Amber, in turn named after the goddess Amba. The main sights within the fort include the Sheesh Mahal, adorned with thousands on thousands of mirror tiles on the walls and ceiling. The fort/palace grounds are sprawling and the information panels (Hindi/English) are somewhat limited, so it might be worth getting an audio guide or a real guide. It's a bit of a hike up from the town, and the touristy thing to do is to hitch an elephant ride to the top (in order to get an elephant it is better to arrive there in the morning, otherwise at midday the elephants are done working; however, the road that the elephants walk on is not so long). If you hire a real guide, you will be taken not only to the Amber Fort but also to the Rajasthan Kala Mandir (a government operated shop) to buy souvenirs. Guides get a 2% commission on the items you buy there. Also see the Amber Light Show below. ₹25/10 for Indian adult/student and ₹200/100 for foreign adult/student. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera: free. Audioguides ₹150. Elephant rides: ₹900, 1-way only.
- Jaigarh Fort (A 1 km walk uphill from Amber Fort, or ₹ 100/200 for motorbike/auto-rickshaw), ☎ . 09:00-16:30. Never conquered in battle, this was considered the strongest of the three forts in the area. It is best known as the site of the world's largest cannon, the Jaivana, which was test-fired only once — according to legend, despite using only the half the design amount of gunpowder, the cannonball flew 35 km! A better reason to visit the fort, though, are the scenic gardens at the other end and the spectacular views over the Amber Fort and the hills around. The remains of the foundry where the Jaivana (and many more) were cast are also in the fort grounds. Note that there are multiple boards with "no tips allowed," in case someone is bothering you. ₹35/85 for Indian/foreigner. Camera ₹50 (note: if you do not disclose that you have a camera and later the police/their person sees you talking a photo (e.g. with your mobile) they may ask you to show your ticket, and if you don't have one, will either ask you to buy the ₹50 ticket or penalize you). Video ₹200. Automobile ₹50.
- Nahargarh Fort, ☎ . 10:00-18:00. The smallest of the three forts, notable primarily for excellent views over Man Sagar lake and the vast sprawl of Jaipur. Built in 1734 by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in a mix of Indian and European styles, the fort also houses the (relatively) compact Madhavendra Bhawan palace, although its former splendour is fading fast under a new layer of graffiti and pigeon droppings. Portions of the movie Rang De Basanti were shot at this fort. To go the area where the "Pathshala" song was shot, take a left turn as soon as you enter the fort. An autorickshaw can be taken from the autorickshaw stand in front of the Amber fort. ₹20/50 for Indians/foreigners. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. ₹35 for Madhavendra Bhawan. Automobile, ₹10.
- City Palace, 9:30-17:00 (Inside the old city, close to New Gate and Hawa Mahal). An imposing blend of traditional Rajput and Mughal architecture. It is a vast palace complex occupying nearly one-seventh of the Pink City. It was originally built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. The complex is divided into a series of courtyards, sprawling gardens and buildings. It is home to several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, (home to present Maharajah of Jaipur), Mubarak Mahal (housing a textile museum), Diwan-e-Khas (or Hall of Private audience housing the two largest silver vessels in the world, which are duly mentioned in the Guinness book), the Diwan-e-Aam ( or Hall of Public Audience) and the gateway Ridhi Sidhi Pol (with four small doorways decorated with motifs depicting the four seasons). Be warned that although they sell tickets for taking photos with a camera inside, most exhibits inside have a "no photography" sign. ₹75/300 for Indians/foreigners.
- Jal Mahal (Water Palace), Jal Mahal Amer Road (On the way to Amer Road). This beautiful Jal Mahal or water palace was made by the King of Amber in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. The Jal Mahal represents the use of Mughal and Rajput architecture style. Free to view and photograph, but as of 2015, it is private property, so you probably won't be allowed to enter.
- Akshardham Temple, Vaishali Nagar.
- Birla Mandir (aka The Marble Temple) (Lakshmi Narayan Temple) (below the well known Moti Dungri fort). This 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. Birla Temple is completely constructed with finest high quality white marbles.
- Galtaji (Shree Galta Ji), 10 km from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra highway near Sisodia Rani Garden. This temple is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site. The main temple, Galtaji, is constructed in pink stone. The temple has a number of pavilions with rounded roofs, exquisitely carved pillars and painted walls. The temple is surrounded by natural springs and reservoirs that are considered holy. There are also seven tanks or kunds here.
- Galwar Bagh (The Monkey Temple), Eastern edge of the city (adjacent to Suriya Mandir (aka The Sun Temple)). Both locals and tourists come here to feed the surprisingly tame monkeys, use the temples, and enjoy the views. You can climb to the top of the hill and then down into the valley to see the Monkey Temple, all the while enjoying the company of countless monkeys, goats, and other animals. At the top of the hill, you turn right to reach the Sun Temple for one of the best views of the city, especially at sunset. Monkey food is available for purchase at the bottom of the hill. The Temples are free, but local religious people may ask for donations (optional) and there is a ₹ 50 charge for using a camera.
- Govind Devji Temple. For Vaishnavites, particularly followers of Lord Krishna, this is the most important temple in the world after Vrindavan. Lord Krishna presiding in the temple were brought to Jaipur from Vrindavan during Mughal rein. According to popular legend, Lord Krishna's idol in the temple looks exactly like Krishna's form while his incarnation of Earth. It is located at Jainiwas Gardens, Jalebi Chowk, in the same campus as City Palace. The temple was constructed in 1590. Free.
- Jain Mandir (Shivdas Pura) (15-16 km from Jaipur). Jain temple in Shivdaspura, well known as “Bara Padampura”, famous in north India for its very beautiful statue of God Padamprabhu (The 6th Teerthankar for Jains). God is sitting in a crossed leg seating posture. Height of the statue is 2 ft 4" and statue is made of pure white stone. Statue appeared while digging for foundation of a house.
- Moti Dungri Mandir (Pearl Hill), JLN Road (City centre). Always open. This temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, is the main centre of religion for Jaipur people. Moti Dungri, meaning Pearl Hill, is a small hill that hosts a temple and a palace. It is said that this temple was built before construction of the rest of the city was begun, so as to protect the city.
- Gaitore (Gatore) (In the walled city area named Brahmpuri, the foothills of Nahargarh Fort). This is a royal cremation site of the royal rulers of Jaipur.
- Hawa Mahal (Palace of Breeze). 9:00-17:00. Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Singh as part of City Palace. It was an extension of the Zenana (women's) 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. Free on May 18th. The iconic facade is best seen from the street, which is free. ₹10/50 for Indians/foreigners. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera free.
- Iswari Minar Swarga Sal, Chandpol Bazaar near City Palace (Look for the big tall tower near Tripolia Gate. The entrance is not from the main street, but is around the back of the shops. You can get there from the alley that’s 50m west of the minaret along Chandpol Bazaar, there's also an entrance near the City Palace, which is 50m west of Tripolia Gate and 200m east of the minaret.). There is an alternative to the minor that's open 24/7. Just across the other side of the road (Chandpol Bazaar) from the minaret is a shopping complex with stairs up to a rooftop area where you can get basically the same view as from the minar. To get there, go through the arched gateway almost opposite the minar, then as soon as you get to the courtyard, look to the left for a metal spiral staircase and keep climbing until you reach the roof, walk around the corridor to the next set of stair and go up another floor until you know you can't go any higher. Indian/foreigner: ₹5/10, camera/video: ₹10/20.
- Jantar Mantar (very close to the City Palace.), ☎ . 9:00-17:00. This UNESCO world heritage site is the largest of five astronomical observatories build by Maharaja Jai Singh during the period 1727-1734 in north India. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices (or yantras in Hindi) for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets and determining the celestial altitudes etc. There is signage providing elaborate explanations for the use of each device, and guides can be hired to provide much the same information in a more digestible format. The audio guide at the observatory isn't great and doesn't tell you very much more information than the already existent signage. The observatory, the water and the wind palace are free on the 18th of May. ₹40 for Indians, ₹200 for foreigners.
- Panna Meena Ka Kund (Near Amber Fort). This place is near the famous Anokhi Museum on the Jaipur-Amber road. People come here to get water, swim or hang out with their loved ones.
- Ram Niwas Garden (Albert Hall), exact city center. Built in 1868 by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh of Jaipur, this garden contains a bird park, zoo, Ravindra Rang Manch Theatre, art gallery, exhibition ground, gymnasium and several cafes and picnic spots.
- Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden. 8:00-20:00. This palace was established by Sawai Jai Singh for his queen Sisodia, rulers of one of the oldest kingdoms of India. There are tiered multi-level gardens with fountains, watercourses and painted pavilions. A double-storeyed palace occupies the top terrace of the garden. The palace has many galleries, pavilions and beautiful murals depicting scenes from the life of lord Krishna. ₹20/50 for Indians/foreigners.
- Vidyadhar Garden. 9:00-17:00. The garden is a real treat for those who want to see a fusion of Mughal and Hindu culture. ₹20/50 for Indians/foreigners.
- Zoological Garden (inside Ram Niwas Bagh). 9:00-17:00. Located in the serene environment of Ram Niwas Bagh, this garden is prized for its rich flora and fauna. ₹10/100 for Indians/foreigners.
- Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing (Kheri Gate, Amber), ☎ . Tues-Sat: 10:30-17:00; Sunday: 11:00-16:30. A beautiful clean museum dedicated to the traditional art of hand block printing textiles, this museum is housed in a recently restored heritage haveli tucked into the back streets of old Amber. Small cafe (see "Eat"), clean toilets, small shop selling hand printed contemporary wearable clothes and textiles, friendly staff and a printer and block carver demonstrating their crafts every day.
- Central Museum (Albert Hall), Ramniwas Bag, Adarsh Nagar (Inside Ram Nivas Garden). 9:00-17:30. A fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, this building was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob and was opened as public museum in 1887. Maharaja Ram Singh initially wanted this building to be a town hall, but his successor, Madho Singh II, decided it should be a museum for the art of Jaipur and included as part of the new Ram Nivas Garden. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts like paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures and colourful crystal works. It is named after King Edward VII (Albert Edward), during whose visit to the city as the Prince of Wales, its foundation stone was laid on 6 February 1876. ₹20/150 for Indians/foreigners. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket.
- Statue Circle, C-Scheme, Ashok Nagar (Intersection of Bhagwan Das Rd and Prithviraj Rd). Statue Circle is exactly what it sounds like: A roundabout that contains a pretty statue that is beautifully lit up at night.
- Amber Fort Sound and Light Show, Lower Amber Fort, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 7PM - 8PM. Experience the history, culture and life of Amber through this spectacular show. Amitabh Bachhan narrates the story of Rajasthani kings with a script written by Gulzar. Don't forget the mosquito repellent. The light show can be watched from outside the fort, but the sound won't be audible from there. There is also a sound and light show at Jantar Mantar for ₹100. ₹200.
- B.M. Birla Auditorium and Conference Hall, Birla Institute of Scientific Research, Statue Circle, ☎ , fax: +91-141-2385121, e-mail: email@example.com. These are located at the heart of Jaipur. This auditorium is spread over 9.8 acres and includes a computer centre, interactive science museum, an information processing centre, library, a processing planetarium, eight research divisions, a dissemination cell and an auditorium. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 1350 and is among the largest in India. This auditorium is built up to international conference standards. However, people visiting Jaipur for leisure are likely to be most interested in the Planetarium (all shows in Hindi) or Science Museum (may be under renovation) that are part of the complex.
- Rajmandir Cinema, C-16, Panch Batti, Bhagwan Das Rd, C-Scheme, ☎ . , An experience in itself, and another "don't miss". Once known as the best movie theater in India, and still the best in Rajasthan, it offers an overwhelming experience. From the pushing, shoving, and general chaos in the ticket line, to an audience that laughs, cries, cheers, claps, and consistently talks through the entire film, the Rajmandir provides an insight into Rajasthani culture. The movies themselves are always interesting; Masala movies are action, drama, mystery, suspense, and epics all wrapped into one single movie, teeming with dances and obligatory wet sari scenes, and unabashedly lifting generous amounts of plot devices from Western movies. The theater-goers are very friendly and genuinely curious about overseas visitors who come to the Raj. Expect to answer many questions about country of origin and movie likes and dislikes, as well as take photos of theater-goers themselves with their mobile phones. Don't be put off by "House Full" notices at the entrance. The box office opens again a nominal 45 minutes before the next performance, and there are usually tickets available. Box seats at ₹ 120 go first, so its worth going early to avoid disappointment. Shows at 12:30, 15:30, 18:30 and 21:30. A great place to meet locals, with the nearby McDonald's as a central congregation spot.
- Rickshaw or elephant ride. You might have enjoyed speed but have you ever experienced new things while moving in slow motion? Feel it by having a rickshaw or elephant ride while in Jaipur.
- Chokhi Dhani, 12 Miles Tonk Road, Via Vatika, ☎ , e-mail: , +91-141-516 5015; Mobile No: +firstname.lastname@example.org. The restaurants are open from 17:00-23:00. Located around 18 km from Central Jaipur on the Jaipur-Tonk highway, Chokhi Dhani (Fine Hamlet in Rajasthani dialect) is a kind of virtual village and also a 5-star resort. There are lodging facilities available but the real attraction is the evening fun-fairs. There are two excellent places to enjoy Rajasthani food served in the traditional mode at their resort. Chokhi Dhani a.k.a Lalten Restaurant is a more popular place because it is on the main road near the airport and also has other attractions, such as horseback riding, camel riding, bullock cart rides, a maze, boating and kathputli (puppet) shows. One can also watch live folk dances and listen to live folk music for free. It gives you a glimpse of culture from different parts of Rajasthan, and could be nice if you will not have time to see much of Rajasthan yourself. It opens at 5 PM, and be sure to get here early as many of the sites are difficult to see when it gets dark; 30-min rickshaw ride from Central Jaipur, or you can go there by bus or taxi, but you are best off making sure you have a ride back. If you would prefer to sleep at the resort, have a look at their accommodations. Avoid going there during the rainy season. Traditional Rajasthani dining: Adult: ₹600; Kids up to 3.5 feet high: ₹350; AC Royal Rajasthani Dining: Adult: ₹800; Kids up to 3.5 feet high: ₹500; Multicuisine buffet: Adult: ₹950; Kids up to 3.5 feet high: ₹650. Rooms: ₹5999-34999/night per double room.
- The Gangaur Festival of Jaipur is famous in all over the world. It starts on the day after Holi (March or April) and lasts for 18 days. In 2015, it began on 22 March, and in 2016, it will begin on 9 April. In Jaipur, a sweet dish called a ghewar is characteristic of the Gangaur festival. People buy ghewar to eat and distribute among their friends and relatives. The celebration is dedicated to the God Shiva and his consort, the Goddess Parvati. A procession with the image of Gauri commences from the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace. It then passes through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chaugan stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora. People from all walks of life come to witness the procession.
- Dhamma Thali Vipassana Meditation Centre, There are 8 locations in Jaipur, which you can see here, along with contact information of instructors. 1- to 45-day meditation courses (10-day residential courses are given for new students) run for a donation.
- Madhavanand Girls College, ☎ . Free hatha yoga courses from 6AM-7AM.
- Maharaja Sawai Mansingh Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Music lessons 8:00-11:00. Dance lessons, cultural exchange program, volunteer program and elephant care program, 16:00-20:00. Tuition started from ₹500/month a few years ago; their website gives no pricing, so contact them for further information.
- Nad Sadhna, E-122(A) Kataria Colony, Ram Nagar Extension, ☎ +91-141-2295153; mobile: +91-9414461059, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An institute of Rajasthani music that holds group classes for vocals, guitars, synthesizer, tabla, sitar, flute, mouthorgan, dholak and dance. Tablas and sitars can be provided to students; other instruments must be brought by students to the class.
Just remember that nothing comes 'fixed price' in Jaipur, even in the self advertised government (RTDC) approved shops & emporiums. There are a few RTDC approved shops along "Amer road" claiming to be government-owned and 'fixed price' - but beware: They are overpriced by as much as three times. Almost everything, from food to transportation to handicrafts, even accommodation can be bargained down to as much as a 60% discount off the quoted price. The lowest rates will be found in the bazaars - Bapu & Johari. Even here, keep inquiring in several shops - each one will have a different price for the same item. Don't be ashamed to spend an hour or more in each shop with the friendly shop owners sharing stories over masala chai as you look at their goods. While they are doing their best to run a business, do not overlook the genuinely hospitable culture of Rajasthani people.
Jaipur has not one but tens of bazaars of different sizes and specializing in different products. Expect a brilliant, colorful explosion of flowers, elephants, ox carts, and wares; a complete assault on the senses. The traveller 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. There are different specialist zones, whether it's food, flowers, textiles, carved statues or plumbing. The noise is chaotic, the people constantly will stare if you are a Westerner and anybody who has something to sell will try to sell it to you, repeatedly. Watch cobras dance out of their wicker baskets, and don't be too surprised if the snake charmer slaps his cobra for having a wayward eye. Be prepared to be asked for money if you plan to take photographs of snake-charmers and beggars. While you should always be wary, be sure not to completely close yourself out to the locals as one of the highlights of Rajasthan is the chance to interact with the friendly people. It is not uncommon to be invited to homes for dinner, parties, and even weddings as many middle class young people are curious of foreigners and genuinely very hospitable as is the open culture of the region (which you will not find in Delhi/Agra). Be sure to spend time time sharing masala chai and chatting with some of the gen Y of Rajasthan.
- Bapu Bazaar and Nehru bazaar. Both Bapu and Nehru bazaars are for budget yet tradional shoppers. They are popular and chaotic bazaars of the city and this is where one can find anything, from tradional handicrafts to western outfits.
- Johari Bazaar and Chameliwala Market. Johari bazaar and Chameliwala Market both best known as jewellery bazaars. There're hundreds of shops lined up in each bazaar selling jewellery of all types, from silver to gold as well diamond. Local speciality jewellery alongwith authentic gems and stones can also be purchased here in plentyful and in reasonable prices.
Jaipur is famous for its many jewel merchants where you can get great deals on semi-precious gems such as turquoise, lapiz, tiger eye, and the magnificent rubystar (a gem found only in India that is distinct for the 6-pointed star it shines under natural light).
- K.K. Gems and Arts, 174-A, Kanwar Nagar, Chandi Ki Taksal (At the far north-eastern end of the city centre), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. One of the better places to shop for jewels with authentic high quality goods and reasonable prices including many cheaper items (earrings, bracelets) that make great gifts. Be sure to arrive by yourself, or else you will face higher prices as your escort/driver will earn a commission.
Jaipur is famous for its 'Rajais' (A type of light quilt stuffed with cotton). You can get colourful & soft `Shaneel ki Rajai' in a velvet finish. These are quiet warm, soft and long lasting. You can shop in the main market area. But remember to bargain. If you want to be sure of quality and are willing to shell few extra bucks, visit government stores for rajais.
- Gangaur Sweets, J-32, Subash Marg, C-Scheme, ☎ . Sweets for chamcham, also baked sweets and crispy samosas. ₹180-580 per order.
- Jal Mahal, 85, MI Road (Near Panch Batti), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A popular ice-cream parlor located on MI Rd. An assortment of ice cream shakes, and some very indigenous ice cream flavors. Excellent after a hearty meal at one of the MI Rd restaurants.
- Anokhi Cafe, 2nd Floor, KK Square, C-11 Prithviraj Road, ☎ . Mostly organic non-Indian-style ("international flavour") home-style cakes, freshly prepared sandwiches, pastries, savoury snacks plus organic coffee and a selection of good teas. Quiet, relaxing, good value for money, situated outside the Anokhi shop (see Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing listing in "See"). Salads: ₹120-200; Sandwiches and savoury dishes: ₹150-300; Desserts: ₹80-230; Beverages: ₹25-250.
- Ambrosia, In the Hotel Ramsingh Palace, B 2, Hathi Babau Ka Bagh, Kanti Nagar, Banipark (Right next to Statue Circle), ☎ . Open 24 hours. Serving vegetarian and vegan, Chinese food and barbecue atop a 100-foot-high building providing a breathtaking view of the city.
- Old Take Away, 146, Subhash Corner, MI Roa, ☎ . Various chicken and mutton dishes for take-away. ₹130-400 for main dishes.
- Peacock Rooftop Restaurant, 51, Hari Kishan Somani Marg (at Hotel Pearl Palace), ☎ . daily 7:30AM-11:30PM. A rooftop restaurant serving Indian, Western and Chinese food. Fast service and good value. Soups and salads: ₹95-195; Tandoori starters: ₹245-495; Vegetarian mains: ₹185-325; Non-veg mains: ₹295-615; Continental cuisine: ₹295-395; etc.
- Rawat Mishthan Bhandar, Opposite Polo Victory Cinema, Station Road, Sindhi Camp (Very close to railway station and bus stand), ☎ . Do not miss the famous Pyaz ki Kachori (a spicy onion dish). This is a famous age-old Kachori hangout. Nothing on the menu costs more than ₹250, including thalis, except for a special ₹450 tasting menu..
- Apno Gaon, 14, New Loha Mandi, Sikar Road, Vishwakarma Industrial Area, ☎ . 11:00-23:00. Vegetarian food, including fresh vegetables and fruits. Slightly away from the main city: One has to go on a bumpy ride to reach there. ₹330 for lunch or dinner thali.
- Four Seasons Restaurant, D-43A, Subhash Marg, C Scheme, ☎ . 11AM-10:30PM. Indian and Chinese food, among the most popular vegetarian restaurants in Jaipur. Main dishes are mostly in the 100s and 200s with a couple over 300; Thalis: ₹250-300.
- Handi Restaurant, Maya Mansion, Opp GPO, MI Rd, ☎ . noon-3:30PM, 7PM-11PM. Specializing in meat dishes; chicken, mutton, kebab, tandoori and the super spicy Rajasthani specialty lal maas. ₹171-562 for mains; the dishes in the 500s are full chickens.
- Little Italy, C/11, K.K. Square, Prithviraj Marg, C-Scheme, ☎ . noon-10:30PM. Part of a chain with restaurants around India and some other Asian countries, as the name reveals, this is a place to go to for Italian food. Wide selection of pizza, pasta and other typical Italian food and also, surprisingly, some Mexican dishes on the menu. Lastly, they have a lot of wines from all over the world to choose among — more than you might expect in India. pizzas and pastas are mostly in the ₹300-500 range.
- LMB, LMB Hotel & Restaurant, 100 Johari Bazaar. 8:00-23:00. Good mid-range north Indian vegetarian restaurant. The restaurant sells good sweets and chat (Indian sweet and savory snacks) and is most famous for its Aloo ki Tikiya and Paneer Ghewar. Snacks, sandwiches, pizza: ₹50-310; Breakfasts are mostly in the ₹130-280 range; Lunch and dinner mains: ₹190-430; Sweets: ₹60-200.
- Loharu House, ☎ . , This is the house of a Royal Family in Civil Lines. Primarily a hotel, but they also serve food. You can call in advance and request a special dinner. Otherwise, dinners are served for in-house guests.
- Mamu's Infusion (Mamu's Cafe), 101, 1st Floor, Mangalam Ambition Tower, Subhash Marg, C Scheme, ☎ . 11AM-11PM. Looking at the menu, this is an Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai and Middle Eastern restaurant, all at the same time! Quirky decor, large servings and friendly staff. Starters: ₹180-425; Soup: ₹170-190; Salad: ₹210-295; Pizza: ₹370-450; Pasta: ₹350-475; Risotto: ₹320-430; Mexican items: ₹190-350; etc..
- Natraj, Panch Batti, M.I. Road, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Vegetarian, specialty is the Rajasthani thali. Credit cards are accepted and they do not serve alcohol. They also have a mithai shop. Thalis are ₹200.00-450.00.
- Okra, Ashram Marg, Jawahar Circle (at Jaipur Marriott Hotel), ☎ . Both a large buffet and a la carte. Reservations are required. Appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, risotto: ₹225-535; Western mains: ₹575-1675; Indian and other Asian mains: ₹210-695.
- Zodiac, Fortune Park Bella Casa, Cityplex, 1, Ashram Marg, Tonk Road (in the MGF Metropolitan Mall), ☎ . 24h. A buffet restaurant with North Indian dishes. Mains: ₹225-450.
- 1135 AD (Amber Fort), ☎ . 11AM-11PM. Upscale restaurant located in the Amber Fort complex. They serve traditional Rajasthani cuisine in royally decorated dining rooms. Mains: ₹425-1,500.
- Chandravanshi Pavillion, Palace Road (At the ITC Rajputana hotel), ☎ . 24h. Fine dining, western cuisine. Approximately ₹1,800 for 2 people.
- Cinnamon, Jacob Road, Civil Lines, (at Jai Mahal Palace), ☎ . 12:30PM-3PM, 7PM-11PM. Northern Indian cuisine in a romantic setting, however they are reportedly a bit overpriced. Approximately ₹3,000 for 2 people.
- Niros, MI Rd, ☎ , fax: +91-141-2371746, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Niros is a 60-year-old restaurant serving mostly Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes. Diner opinion seems split between those who absolutely laud the restaurant and others who consider it overpriced and more hype than quality. Mains: ₹260-770.
- Steam (at Taj Rambagh palace), ☎ . 7PM-11:45PM. A train turned into a fine dining Italian restaurant, located at the grounds of the Taj Rambagh palace. Popular among the upper class of Jaipur, they are also famous for their pizzas. ₹1,400 per person.
In addition to these listings, see the "Do" listing for Chokhi Dhani.
Bars & Pubs
- 100% Rock, R 14, Yudhishthir Marg, Opposite Deer Park, C Scheme, (at Hotel Shikha), ☎ . 11AM-11:30PM. Dimly lit, classic rock-themed bar. A popular happy hour and cheap prices, but sometimes they run out of stock.
- Amigos Bar & Discoteque, Church Road, MI Road (at Hotel OM Tower), ☎ . 12PM-4:30PM, 7PM-midnight. Mexico-themed bar at the 9th floor of the OM Tower hotel, in the adjoining room there's a dance floor. Apparently a wider range of beverages and cocktails than at restaurants.
- Colorbar, Radisson Blu, Plot 5 & 6, Airport Plaza,Tonk Road, Durgapura, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 8PM-11PM. On the top of the roof of Radission Blu Airport hotel, with nice views of the planes landing and taking off. Barbecue, pool and interesting luminescent chairs and tables.
- The Courtyard, SB-59, 4th & 5th Floor, UDB Tower, University Marg, Tonk Road, ☎ . 11AM-11PM. Beer, cocktails and wine; however their food has got some very negative reviews. The rooftop section is popular among younger patrons, while the indoor restaurant is good for families too.
- District 9 Lounge, E-20, Prem Plaza, Girdhar Marg, Opposite Reliance Fresh, ☎ . noon-11PM. Rooftop and indoor seating. Actually more of a restaurant than a bar, with dishes from all over the world (spring rolls to pizzas and fajitas to burritos). 100-200 rupees for a pint, food 150-250 rupees.
- Drop Zone Lounge Bar, 14/82 & 83, Niti Nagar, Opposite Capt Amit Bhardwaj Petrol Pump, Malviya Nagar, ☎ . , 11AM to 11PM. This bar has a pleasant rooftop seating with fantastic views and they serve food as well. Approx ₹ 600 for two (without alcohol), VAT extra.
- Henry’s – The Pub, Park Prime Hotel, Prithviraj road, Near Statue Circle, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. noon-11:30PM. Cozy pub in the basement of the Prime Park Hotel, reportedly great for an evening out with your friends. Many different snacks and cocktails. On the downside some guests find the service is a bit slow.
- Hightz, Hotel Man Singh, Sansar Chandra Rd, ☎ . More of an upscale restaurant, actually, serving Rajasthani and Chinese food. Meals and drinks for two ₹ 1700.
- Replay, SB-57, Riddhi Tower, 5th Floor , Opposite SMS Stadium, ☎ . 11AM-midnight. Bar, restaurant and lounge with Mexican and Italian cuisine. Different sitting areas, which makes it a good place for private events.
- 3D's Restro Lounge, A2 Corporate Tower, Near Jawahar Circle, ☎ . 11AM-11PM. A lounge bar with two restaurants (fine dining and casual). A good place to hang out with your friends, and fairly popular among students.
- Blackout, 9th floor, Golden Oak Hotel, Landmark Building, Ahinsa Circle, C Scheme (at Golden Oak Hotel), ☎ . 11AM-midnight. Bar and nightclub popular with the party crowd, though their food is apparently not very good. Great views of the city from the rooftop lounge.
- Club Seven, The Byke Grassfield Resort, Kishan Nagar , Near Bansal Hospital, ☎ . Celebrated their "grand opening" in October 2014, this is a nightclub with electronic music and different events every few weeks. Located at the Byke Grassfield Resort, some 6-7 km southwest of downtown.
- Duplay, MI Road (Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Hotel, Ground Floor), ☎ . We 9PM-2PM, Fr-Sa 9PM-3AM. Popular nightclub with two dance floors (Bollywood and electronic dance music). Wide choice of drinks, though less so with non-alcoholic.
- Waves (Wavs), Hotel Maharani Palace, Station Rd, ☎ . 1PM-midnight. Bar and nightclub, the place to go if you want to party. They have a selection of food too. Special events during times like New Year or Valentine's Day. drinks from ₹ 135.
- Atithi Guest House, 1 Park House Scheme (Opposite All India Radio, 2 blocks from M.I. Road), ☎ , e-mail: , email@example.com. Check-out: 12:00. A nice, modern and very clean hotel a few minutes from the Pink City. Has a simple restaurant, laundry service, Wi-Fi (check on current rates, which are not posted on their site). Full of foreign travellers. Be careful of rickshaw/taxi drivers - they don't get a commission here so may try to bring you somewhere else. Standard Room: ₹1,000.00 single occupancy; ₹1,100.00 double occupancy; Large Room: ₹1,100.00 - 1,200.00 single; ₹Rs 1,200.00 - 1,300.00 double; Air-Conditioned Room: ₹1,400.00 single; ₹1,600.00 double; Extra bed: ₹350.
- Bhim Vilas, 1 Gopinath Marg (Behind G.P.O.). Family-run guesthouse located in the heart of the city, with 8 A/C rooms. The service is friendly and it is also excellent value for money. Standard Room: ₹1800 single; ₹2000 double; Deluxe Room: ₹2000 single; ₹2500 double; Super Deluxe Room: ₹2500 single; ₹2999 double; Suite: ₹2850 single; ₹2850 double; Extra Bed: ₹500.
- Chit Chat Palace, D-160 Kabir Marg, Bani Park, ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Airport/rail station/bus station pick up available, nice restaurant. Standard double with fan and hot/cold shower: ₹1,500; Family room: ₹2,000; .for special rates, contact Mr. Sushil Kumar at above email address.
- Hotel Kalyan, Hathroi Fort, Ajmer Rd (1 km from railway station), ☎ +91-141-2368355; Mobile: +91-9314501591, fax: +91-141-4015919 Contact Us, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00 noon, check-out: 12:00 noon. 2-star hotel with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Free parking and pickup is available from the train station and central bus stand. Tasty restaurant. Good service. ₹850-950 for non-A/C double room; ₹1200-2595 for A/C double room; bigger rooms are available for up to 4 guests.
- Hotel Malak Mahal, 54, Near Jal Mahal, Amer Rd, ☎ +91 8890825040; Mobile no: +91 88908 25040, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This hotel, which opened in 2012, has 45 rooms, an in-house restaurant, reserved parking space offers free Wi-Fi, AC rooms with attached washroom and a nice guest service system. Their reservation phone number is covered 24/7. Heritage Deluxe: ₹1500 (double occupancy)/Negotiable; Heritage Suite: ₹2000 (double occupancy)/Negotiable; both tariffs include taxes and breakfast.
- Hotel Pearl Palace, 51 Hathroi Fort, Hari Kishan Somani Marg, Ajmer Road, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The place is designed as an art museum. Wonderful roof top patio restaurant. The owners are nice but the front desk clerk is very moody. They do not always honor reservations made from their website. A/C rooms from ₹1200.
- Hotel Ramsingh Palace, B-2, Hathi Babu Ka Bagh, Kanti Nagar, ☎ , e-mail: (Mr. Mahendra Singh)firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 12:00 Noon. Comfortable beds, each room comes with LCDTV with all channels. Walking distance to the train station and central bus stand. Airport/rail station/bus station pick up available, multi-cuisine restaurant. Deluxe room: ₹1700-2200; Super Deluxe room: ₹2000-2500; Family Suite: ₹2800-3800; Extra bed: ₹250-500.
- Hotel Sangam, 17 Motilal Atal Rd, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Good mattress, TV, restaurant, includes breakfast toast. ₹1,000 for non-A/C room; A/C rooms starting at ₹1,500.
- Hotel Shikha (Hotel Shikha Jaipur), R-14, Yudhishthir Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12 noon, check-out: 12 noon. The only hotel in Jaipur that is opposite to the deer park in c-scheme. Cafe Coffee Day lounge on the premises with Rock Pub and discotheque. Special offers on website. ₹1899 "best deal" as of winter, 2015.
- Jaipur Inn, B-17, Shiv Marg, Bani Park, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12 noon, check-out: 12 noon. Hot water, AC, TV, heater, and telephone in every room. The hotel also has a backup power generator and a lift. Nice rooftop bar with great views over the city. All room rates include rooftop Wi-Fi and free cancellation. They can also serve food. During low season (April/May/June), -50% discount if you stay 2 days or more. Standard Room (Non AC): ₹1250; Deluxe Room: ₹1500; Super Deluxe Room: ₹2000; Luxury Room: ₹2950; Service Apartment (3 rooms): ₹5000.
- Karan's Guesthouse, D-76,Shiv Heera Path, Chomu House Colony, C-Scheme, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Budget house hotel with spacious neat and clean A/C rooms. Single: ₹1300; Double: ₹1500; Extra bed: ₹300.
- Karni Niwas, C-5 Motilal Atal Road (Behind Neelam Hotel), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Very good budget hotel. Very clean with hot water, quiet room. Restaurant, includes continental breakfast. ₹650.00-1,000.00.
- Krishna Palace, E-26, Durga Marg, Bani Park, ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Heritage property which looks like a palace. Nice garden, quiet and very clean. Traditional-style spacious rooms with private bath and hot shower. 24-hr service. Comfortable beds, each room comes with colour TV with all channels. Roof top and garden restaurant available. Walking distance to the train station. Managed by a friendly family. Very quiet and relaxing neighbourhood surrounded by greenery. Pickup service from the train and central bus station is free of charge. Standard (non-A/C): ₹850 single/₹950 double; Deluxe A/C: ₹1350 single/₹1450 double; Superior A/C: ₹1500 single/₹1750 double.
- Moon Light Palace, S-34, Shanti Nagar, Near Labour Court, Opp. NBC, ☎ , e-mail: , email@example.com. It's a relatively new hotel, clean with solid Wi-Fi. Free pick up from station. Restaurant has a wide range of food and very reasonable price. From ₹2100/day.
- Pink City Guest House, 18 Motilal Atal Rd, ☎ . Clean rooms and good value with reliable hot water, TV and WiFi-just ask the guy at the reception. Steps away from bus station and few min walk from old town and/or rail station. Female manager speaks great English, her number is ☎ 9829 804048. Five stores down the road south on that side of the street is an amazing vegetarian restaurant Mohal's which does great cheapish food. Make sure you get one of the rooms facing the quiet backstreet. The hotel lacks its own website, and current tariffs seem to be impossible to find online. As of 2012 or so, they charged ₹400-700 for a double room, with off season rates of ₹250 for a very basic room without attached bathroom.
- Satkar Hotel, 187, Barodia Scheme, Banipark (Near railway station and bus stand), ☎ . , Check-in: 11.00 a.m., check-out: 12noon. Family run budget hotel, free pick up from railway station, bus stand, free Wi-Fi. A/C and non A/C rooms with attached bathrooms and TV. Hot shower, food, travel desk, laundry, 5 min walk from railway station. Not especially clean, ceiling fan noisy. Laundry is available for a charge. Walking distance to the bus station in a seedy neighborhood. A/C Single: ₹900; A/C Double: ₹1250.
- Sunder Palace Guest House, No. 46, Sanjay Marg, Near Hathroi Fort, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Clean rooms, great service, convenient location, a rooftop restaurant, a lovely garden area and a terrace. Tiled double room with cable TV, big bathroom with hot water and a Persian carpet area with a small table where you can sip tea and read. Internet available, but there was a charge for this service a few years ago, so enquire. Starting at ₹1,450 for A/C double room.
- Anuraag Villa, D-249, Near Collectorate Circle, ☎ , fax: +91-141-4025096, e-mail: email@example.com. 3-star hotel situated 15min by rickshaw from the city centre. Peaceful place to relax with clean, comfortable rooms and free Wi-Fi Onsite restaurant offers very good vegetarian options Rajasthani style. Starting at ₹1650 for A/C doubles; ₹2050 for double with garden view.
- Arya Niwas, Sansar Chandra Rd (behind Amber Towers), ☎ , , , fax: +91 141 236 1871, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A feudal lord's mansion converted into a hotel with the ambience of a stately home. Centrally located, family managed, cafeteria serving decent vegetarian food and a garden to relax in during the evenings. Starting at ₹1445 for an A/C double room, taxes not included. Buffet breakfast: ₹190 per person every day; buffet dinner, available only on weekends: ₹225/person..
- Colonel's Homestead Jaipur, 10 & 11 Cosmo Colony, Ram Marg, Amrapali Rd, Vaishali Nagar (near Vaibav Inox Multiplex), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 12noon, check-out: 12noon. Run by a retired army colonel and his wife, who hails from a royal family of Rajasthan, a peaceful place to stay adjoining 50 acres of bird-filled nature. Home-cooked meals available, and good advice on attractions and shopping. ₹1500/night for a double room; all rooms are air conditioned.
- Hotel Classic Holidays, A-79, Shyam Nagar, Sodala, Ajmer Rd, ☎ , fax: +91 141 229 3999, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in a residential area with peaceful, clean, green surroundings. Starting at ₹1200/night for double rooms.
- Hotel Mandakini Castle, Sansar Chandra Rd, ☎ . 3-star hotel. 12 superior rooms and 26 suites. All are fitted with a private bath with hot & cold water, cable/sat TV, and broadband internet connection. The travel desk, 50-capacity conference area, complimentary transfer services. It is not easy to find current room rates, but the hotel gets mixed reviews from travellers. Double room prices as of June 2012 were ₹1,990-3,390. Breakfast was included, taxes were not..
- Hotel Meghniwas, C-9, Sawai Jai Singh Highway, Bani Park, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. It also has a garden and a swimming pool, which is free for guests and open to non-guests for a charge. Doubles starting at ₹3,800.
- Hotel Sarang Palace, A- 40, Subhash Nagar Rd, Near Peetal Factory, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 3-star heritage hotel, offers free pick up from train and bus station. Starting at ₹1,650 for doubles without breakfast and ₹1,950 including breakfast.
- Loharu House, Civil Lines, ☎ . , This property belongs to the Royal Family of Loharu and they rent out a few rooms. The place is quaint and beautiful and the rooms are well appointed. The service also has the touch of personal care and warmth. A plus side is the cooks are excellent and put together some fine dinners. Doubles ₹4,580-5,150/night including tax and "sumptuous meals".
- Milestone 251, Near Collectorate Circle, D-251, Devi Marg, Bani Park, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Located near to Railway Station in Bani Park area. Double rooms start at ₹2,100.
- Sumati Villa, 7, Shubham Enclave, Jamnalal Bajaj Marg (near Civil Line Crossing), ☎ . , , A budget guest house located in the heart of the city. ₹1,500-3,500.
- Umaid Bhawan, D1-2A, Behari Marg, Bani Park, ☎ , fax: +91 141 2207445, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A nicely restored heritage hotel with clean, comfortable rooms, many with balconies. Beautifully decorated, it looks like a mini-palace. It has a roof-top restaurant with views of the rising sun in the morning and the setting sun in the evening. The swimming pool is on the ground floor, and it's cold in the off-season. The friendly and helpful staff will arrange airport/train station pickup. Great value, a great place. Doubles start at ₹2,199.
- Umaid Mahal, C-20 / B-2, Bihari Marg, Sawai Jai Singh Highway, Opp. Lane of K.P. Automotives, Bani Park, ☎ . A very nice heritage house hotel with 3-star facilities and also offers free pick up from train and bus station. Doubles start at ₹2,199.
Jaipur has an excellent selection of expensive places to be treated like a maharaja for a day or two, most of which are often booked a year in advance. Though the list is endless, a few of them are:
- Lohagarh Fort Resort Jaipur, Kachera Wala, Kukas (NH-8) (Via Delhi-Jaipur National Highway), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Lohagarh Fort Resort Jaipur is situated in 13 acres of green lush mountain area in Kukas, a 50-minute drive from Jaipur. They have cottages with private pool, tree houses and a Swiss tent. Apart from accommodation they offer spa & massage and their pool is one of the biggest in the city. The in-house restaurant is as big as a normal hotel and it has entertained celebrities like Jonty Rhodes and IPL cheerleaders. From ₹5,787; Airport shuttle fee: ₹2,500 per vehicle (round trip).
- Naila Bagh Palace (Heritage home hotel), Moti Doongari Road (Landmark), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12noon, check-out: 12noon. Heritage home built in 1872 by the Prime Minister of Jaipur (Late Thakur Fateh Singh ji of Naila), currently owned and managed by his 7th-generation descendants. It is surrounded with sprawling gardens and open spaces on all sides; the large front courtyard provides ample seating space for our visitors along with providing a calm and serine ambience. One of Jaipur's oldest heritage buildings and home the erstwhile Prime Minister, Thakur Fateh Singh Ji. Surrounded with gardens and open spaces on all sides, large front courtyard provides ample seating, antique chandeliers, original frescos, colonial furniture and a heritage of family history on display. Swimming pool, modest gym, Wi-Fi in some areas. From ₹4,200 including breakfast, taxes excluded.
- Oberoi Rajvilas Palace Hotel, Goner Rd, ☎ , fax: +91 141 268 0202, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. If you have money to blow and you want to stay in the lap of luxury, this is the place for you. The only problem is that it is nearly impossible to get a booking here. Room prices: From ₹22,000 for a double room up to ₹500,000-750,000 for a villa with private pool. Breakfast & taxes excluded. Check wothebsite for special applicable discounts..
- Taj Rambagh Palace Hotel. A former palace and an excellent place to stay. ₹19,000-128,000. To include breakfast, ₹2,000 additional. Rate includes Wi-Fi.
- The Trident Jaipur, Amber Fort Rd (opp Jal Mahal), ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Surprisingly intimate low-rise hotel built like a glittering white Mughal palace, recently renovated and well maintained. Small pool. It's worth it to pay the few bucks extra for a lake view room. Advance purchase rates starting at ₹5,000.00; otherwise, starting at ₹25,500.00; ₹21,000.00 additional for breakfast..
Beyond the standard dangers of travelling in India (thieves, hustlers, touts, questionable drinking water), Jaipur has developed its own set of unique scams.
The gem scam
You may be accosted by youths on motorbikes who claim that Westerners are unwilling to engage with the Indian people. "Why don't tourists want to talk to me", or "I am a student, I want to learn about your culture" is the normal opener. The scam artist then changes their tune and invites the traveler to drink tea. Often the tourist will only be told of the gem stones the next day or after dinner. Usually it is some sort of tax problem. The unwitting mark is then sold fake stones for resale in his/her home country. Even if stones are posted in front of your eyes, you are more likely to see Elvis than the gems again. As a general rule, do not accept tea from strangers, but in addition be wary of any who invite you to talk in secluded areas. The simple fact of the matter that if you are a Westerner and a person outside your hotel accosts you, there is nearly a 100% chance that this person is scheming to acquire your money. There have been reports of smugglers trying to entice travelers to assist in smuggling items. Under no circumstances accept - smuggling is a major criminal act.
There are many other fascinating and beautiful places to visit in Rajasthan.
If you are booking train tickets out of Jaipur, make sure to ask for Tatkal tickets at the reservation office, as tickets to just about everywhere sell out weeks in advance. Tatkal (last minute) tickets only open for sale the day before the train leaves, and are not always offered voluntarily by the staff, who will simply tell you the train is full.
- Udaipur — train #2965, Gwalior Udaipur Superfast Express (via Agra), is the best option for this beautiful City of Lakes
- Jodhpur — the stunning Blue City, with its awe-inspiring Mehrangarh Fort
- Bikaner — another, less touristed desert city
- Abhaneri — you can arrange transport to this village, which contains an impressive ancient stepwell and a beautiful 9th-century temple
- Bhandarej — a little-known town 62 km from Jaipur off the Jaipur-Agra Highway, which dates from the times of the Mahabharata and features 11th-century monuments and temples