Also known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and the home of the Jaipur Literature Festival that is held in January every year. The ‘pink’ of the Pink City however Gerua (or ochre) in which the city was coated during the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1905-06. Known for its fascinating monuments and colorful markets, gorgeous handloom garments and wonderfully laid-out gardens, it is not difficult to fall in love with Jaipur the moment you land here.
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Modernity and tradition jostle for space in this quaint city that is dotted with forts on its peripheries and palaces at its heart. Visit the City Palace or the Hawa Mahal located within the city limits or the Amber Fort (pronounced Amer) that stands majestically on its outskirts. Along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism.
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While it isn’t advisable to travel there in the summers, ensure you carry a sunscreen lotion (SPF-20 or more) and dark sunglasses, and wear cotton clothes. Winters can be brutal, so be prepared.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN JAIPUR
Jaipur has been one of the most popular tourist destinations not just among domestic travelers but foreign tourists too. And so the city is well-equipped to deal with any number of tourists. If you are traveling around the end of January, it is recommended that you book much, much in advance since most hotels are full courtesy the Jaipur Literature Festival that takes place around the last week of January. Jaipurwallahs are usually cordial and warm but the city, like any popular destination, has its share of touts. It helps to have your guard up. But overall the city is safe even for solo women travelers and hotel owners often don’t mind going out of their way to help their guests in distress. One of Taj Group’s gems, Rambagh Palace, is located in Jaipur and is without a doubt the best place to stay if you have the money to burn. But several locals have turned their havelis into homestays — Mahal Khandela being one of them — that offer efficient service and warm hospitality at affordable rates. Following is a concise list of the best places to stay in Jaipur — from charming (and expensive) palaces to hostels:
Taj Rambagh Palace (Bhawani Singh Road, Jaipur Phone: 0141 221 1919 Tariff: 38,000 upwards)
ITC Rajputana Formerly Sheraton Rajputana Palace Hotel (Palace Road, Jaipur 302006 Phone: 1800 102 6482 Tariff: Rs 8,000 upwards)
Jaipur Marriott Hotel (Ashram Marg Near Jawahar Circle, Jaipur 302015 Phone: 0141 456 7777 Tariff: Rs 9000 upwards)
Diggi Palace (Diggi House, Shivaji Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302004 Phone: 0141 237 3091 Tariff: Rs 5500 upwards)
Hotel Clarks Amer (UP Hotels Limited, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jawahar Nagar, Jaipur Phone: 0141 255 0616 Tariff: Rs 5,000 upwards)
Hotel Mahal Khandela (D-219B Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302016 Phone: 99282 64992 Tariff: Rs 3000 upwards)
Red Fox Hotel Jaipur (Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jaipur 302017 Phone: 0141 412 0101 Tariff: Rs 2800 upwards)
Ibis Jaipur (Bombaywalon Ka Bagh, Civil line Area, Ajmer Road, Jaipur 302006 Phone: 0141 475 5000 Tariff: Rs 2800 upwards)
Hotel Pearl Palace (51 Hathroi Fort, Hari Kishan Somani Marg, Near Vidhayakpuri Police Station, Behind Hero Honda showroom, Ajmer Road, Jaipur 302001 Phone: 0141 237 3700 Tariff: Rs 400 upwards for a dormitory)
Hotel Kalyan (59 Hathroi Fort, Ajmer Road, Jaipur 302001 Phone: 093145 01591 Tariff: Rs 650 upwards
Hotel Anuraag Villa (D-249 Devi Marg Bani Park, Jaipur 302016 Phone: 0141 220 1679 Tariff: Rs 1000 upwards
Moustache Hostel (7 Park House Scheme, MI Road, Near Ganpati Plaza, Jaipur 302001 Phone: 0141 403 4419 Tariff: Rs 900 upwards)
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN JAIPUR
Try out some authentic Rajasthani dishes like dal baati churma, mawa kachori and ghewar. Chokhi Dhaani at Tonk Road is great for the perfect Rajasthani meal. Suvarna Mahal at Rambagh Palace serves one of the best thali spreads. The appetizers include vegetable kebabs and barbecued lamb, and among the main courses is the restaurant’s signature dish, lal maas, and gatte among others. Handi, on MI Road, is a must-visit for meat-eaters. It serves tender mutton cooked in traditional pots (handis) and smoked with burning charcoal, along with roomali rotis. Over and above these, following are some of the best places to eat in Jaipur:
Peacock Rooftop Restaurant (Hotel Pearl Palace, address above) is one of Jaipur’s best rooftop restaurants. It offers a view of the Hathroi Fort and offers a wide range of cuisines — from continental to Mughlai and beyond and a relaxed atmosphere.
Laxmi Misthan Bhandar or LMB (Johari Bazaar, 0141 2560845) pampers your sweet tooth with its extensive sweet counter. Don’t miss their Rajasthan thali and their most popular signature kulfa a mix of kulfi and falooda.
1135 AD (Amber Fort, 098290 37170) offers traditional Rajasthani and Indian cuisine and boasts of an opulent ambience.
Islami Kallu Hotel Restaurant (135 Ramganj Market, Johari Bazar, 091665 17808) is best known for its curries and biryanis.
Chokhi Dhani (12 Miles, Tonk Road, Telephone: 096490 88888) recreates a Rajasthani village ambience and serves authentic vegetarian Rajasthani thalis. Hospitality is complimentary.
Indian Coffee House (MI Road, Near Ajmeri Gate, 0141 2362024), part of the chain of Indian Coffee Workers’ Co-operative that has over 400 outlets around the country, offers a wonderful cup of filter coffee and snacks at throwaway prices.
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Jaipur is as given below. The best time to visit Jaipur is also specified.