There are some parts of the world that once you visit, get into your heart and never leave. Although I was only there for a short time India has found a place next to my beloved Turkey and Bali. There is something about the devastating yet rich culture. I was overwhelmed by the exotic architecture of Jaipur, the crazy streets, and taken by surprise as I landed in our hot air balloon in the middle of lush green fields! Moments after arriving my senses were overloaded with concentrated intensity from the smells of spices, the sounds of chaotic traffic, the colours of palaces and saris that women wear so beautifully. India you stole my heart and I will be back. Here are our 15 top things to do in Jaipur, India!
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How to get to Jaipur:
By Air- Air Asia has regular flights to Jaipur from the hub KL. To find connecting flight from your home country you can search Skyscanner. Jaipur International Airport is located in Sanganer, approximately 12 kilometres from the city centre.
By Train- Traveling from Delhi to Jaipur by train is a quick and convenient option. The fastest trains complete the journey in around four and a half hours. Find out about the best trains from Delhi to Jaipur here.
Where to stay in Jaipur:
- Mandawa Haveli | Heritage |
Luxury Hotel Mandawa Haveli was built in 1896 by Thakur Bhagwat Singhji, the 15th ruler of Mandawa. Originally conceived as a townhouse it was under the guidance of Thakur Devi Singhji, the 17th descendant of Rao Shekha, that the Haveli was converted into a luxury hotel with all modern amenities. Today the hotel boasts 70 well-appointed rooms, swimming pool and a beautiful dining room overlooking one of the terraces. The hotel offers special arrangements for gala evenings of folk dances, music and puppet shows.
- Grand Uniara | High End |
The Grand Uniara is a classic example of history recreated and its regal charm would be further validated by its strong sense of originality. So if you are seeking to find a hotel which can balance heritage, regality and worldly comforts then we have synced with your cherished dream. The hotel is located in the heart of Jaipur in the closest vicinity of the mighty Moti Doongri Hills.
- Chokhi Dani Resort | Royal |
The Chokhi Dhani Resort is a 5 Star Ethnic Resort with traditional and picturesque dwellings set in a lush green landscape. It has Royal Cottages, Luxurious Suites, and Conference Halls for all your business meetings, Best Rajasthani theme Multi Cuisine Restaurant Bindola, Outdoor Barbeque, Bar, Disco cum Club, Spa, Banquet Lawns and Swimming Pool.
15 TOP THINGS TO DO IN JAIPUR
1. Bask in the presence of Hawa Mawal
The pink city’s most iconic building is the incredible Hawa Mahal or the palace of winds. Build in 1799 AD by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to allow his ladies of the royal household to watch the life and chaos of the city down below, as they were not allowed out in public. The impressive structure is an elegant mix of both Hindu and Islamic architecture, and has a crazy 953 windows on the outside walls! The honeycomb-shaped structure and its beautiful carved windows are five stories high to mimic the forms of Krishna’s crown (a Hindu God)!
2. Visit the weird and wonderful Chohki Dani
If you are looking for a true Rajasthani cultural experience, head on over to the Chokhi Dhani. Escape to the electrifying ambience of this wonderland where you will enjoy puppet shows, magic shows, Rajasthani folk performances, traditional games, acrobatics, cultural demonstrations and so much more!
3. Discover the ancient Amber Fort
Perched on a hilltop, this 15th-century fort is an awe-inspiring look at royalty in Jaipur. Its size and structure is both impressive and unique and can be explored through walking the cobbled pathways leading to its gates. There are many houses and sections to explore, the most impressive is the Diwan-e-Aam, or ‘Hall of Public Audience’ and the Sheesh Mahal, the ‘Mirror Palace’. Head to the site at dusk to experience the Sound & Light Show a beautiful rendition of the history surrounding the Amber Fort.
4.Wanderlust over the views from Nahargarh Fort
Set on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, Nahargarh Fort (meaning ‘abode of tigers’) is a great architectural wonder that offers panoramic views of Jaipur city. Built as the summer palace for the royal family in 1734, the fort boasts royal frescos, marble engravings and a gorgeous rooftop.
5. Explore the Pink City
The charm of Jaipur can be seen in the rich clan of historical forts and palaces. Also known as the Pink City, because of its buildings and monuments within the pink wall that gates the entire old city. The historical reason for the uniform colour of Jaipur lies with the Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh (1835- 80) and his extreme strategy to impress Prince Albert during his 1876 tour of India!
6. Shop till you drop at Johari Bazar, Tripolia Bazar or Nehru Bazar
Pick up some treasures at the Bazar, each row of shop specialises in different textiles. I wasn’t too interested in buying anything but it is a great place to people watch, get to know the locals and get an idea about everyday life in India. From the crazy traffic, watching how different things are made and even seeing elephants and camels in the middle of the city!
Johari Bazar: This is where you can buy jewellery and tie and dye sarees.
Tripolia Bazar and Chaura Rasta: You can shop here for textiles, utensils, ironware and trinkets. If you want to see the artisans at work, step into the side lanes and see for yourself.
Bapu Bazaar and Nehru Bazaar: Here you can purchase textiles, local perfumes and shoes.
7. Explore the Chand Baori
The Chand Baori is a stepwell built over a thousand years ago in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. It is one of the largest stepwells and can be reached 2 hours from Jaipur city.
8. Try a Traditional Rajasthani Feast
A trip to Jaipur wouldn’t be complete without experiencing a traditional Rajasthani feast. A Thali is comprised of fragrant curries, pickles, breads and desserts allowing you to taste a little bit of everything this region has to offer. Traditionally it is served on plates and bowls made from leaves and water in a clay vessel. We experienced our feast at Chokhi Dani after exploring the grounds.
9. Stay at a Heritage Hotel
Feel like royalty after staying in a traditional heritage hotel. Here you will not only find impeccable service you will also have beautifully kept gardens and traditional architecture and style so you can really experience the true Jaipur.
10. Wonder at Jantar Mantar
Dating back to the 18th century, Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation site and a testimony of the scholarly brilliance of a bygone era. Among the 20 instruments found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, it also houses the largest sundial in the world.
11. Survive the Tuk-tuk Life
Tuk-tuk or auto-rickshaw is a motorized local transport heavily seen in Asian countries. These days most are motorized but cycle generated tuk-tuks are still seen. A great way to get around the city but be sure to negotiate and agree upon a price before you depart!
12. Get to the Know the Locals Over Some Tasty Chai
Chai in India is more than just a cup of tea to start the day – the delightfully spiced sweet drink is an integral part of the rhythm of life. Chai is made from cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn, nutmeg, and cloves and traditionally was served in small clay pots, known as kulhar in Hindi.
13. Taste test the Street Food
One of my all-time favourite things to do in a new city is to try all the treats at street food stalls! My top picks for Jaipur are traditional lassi, chai, samosas, buttermilk, giant cracker with chilli, Kaathi Roll and anything at Nand’s GolGappa’s!
14. See the Water Palace/Jal Mahal
Admire the exotic architectural styles that combine both Mughal and Rajput characteristics at Jal Mahal (Water Palace) in Jaipur. This fort is like a jewel nestled among the Nahargarh hills and situated on the Mansagar Lake. It was built as a summer resort for the royal family and was used to host duck-hunting parties. You don’t need a lot of time here just stop briefly to get a photo and see it for yourself!
15. Explore more of India in Hot Air Balloon Ride
There is something so special about a hot air balloon ride. The fantasy and adventure of the whole experience usually allows you to see the world in a whole other perspective. We were taken 1.5 hours away from Jaipur city into the countryside to embark on a journey at sunrise. I did not expect the breathing taking lush terrine below, local villages or the whole community coming to greet us on arrival!
MORE HELP PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO JAIPUR, INDIA
–Indian Food you have to try
– Exploring Jaipur, the pink city
–Top places to visit in Jaipur with kids
I flew to Jaipur with Air Asia and was a guest as part of their inaugural flight. The media trip was a shared famil between Air Asia and Rajasthan Tourism. As always all opinions, photos and ideas remain my own.
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- Mandawa Haveli | Heritage |