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Jaipur

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Jaipur Division : Jaipur
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Rajasthan's Legislative Assembly situated at Jaipur during festival season

Jaipur [1], also known as 'the Pink City,' is the capital of Rajasthan in India.

Understand

Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan and was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India's first planned city. Although Jaipur serves mainly as a stepping stone for travelers heading to the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, it is not without its own attractions, such as several massive Rajput forts. So, despite the chaos and dust, it is definitely worth pausing here for several days. Now Jaipur is growing fast and various development projects are being done by the government and private enterprises.

Jaipur is often called the Pink City in reference to its distinctly colored 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.

Get in

By plane

Jaipur Airport (JAI/VIJP) 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.

Jaipur also has daily domestic air links with many Indian cities such as Jodhpur, Udaipur, Aurangabad, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Goa, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Indore.

One plus point for those flying out of Delhi is that the Delhi airport is close to the highway, so you could reach the airport without entering the city.

By train

Indian Railways[2] 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, Chittaurgarh, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Kolkata, Jammu, Pathankot, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Roorkee, Haridwar, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur and Bhopal.


budgetary requirements. Long-distance trains arrive from many other major cities including Lucknow, Allahabad, Benaras, Vadodara, Surat, Nagpur, Bilaspur, Raipur, Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad, Goa, Mangalore, Kozhikode and Kochi.

However the most popular option from Delhi is the Shatabdi express which departs New Delhi station at 6:05AM and reaches Jaipur at 10:50AM.

There are three major railway stations Jaipur Junction (main station),Durgapura and Gandhinagar (Jaipur), which is not to be confused with Gandhinagar in Gujarat state. All trains stop at Jaipur Junction and a few trains stop at Durgapura and Gandhinagar stations also.

By bus

There is an excellent bus service between Jaipur to Delhi by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation with buses approximately every half an hour both sides. There are several types of buses including Deluxe, AC and the superior AC Volvo buses. 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 hours by other deluxe buses. There are also some private bus operators active in the city but you should avoid them as most of them do not have permits and drive rashly. Also note that if you plan to leave from Delhi airport, you can get off the bus at Dhaula Kuan and get an autorickshaw or perhaps a taxi from there. You do not need to enter congested Delhi.

Express buses to Ahmedabad and several cities amd towns within Rajasthan (such as Kota and Bundi) are also available.

By car

This is the most popular way of reaching from Delhi. The journey by car from Delhi to Jaipur takes less than 4hrs. National Highway no. 8 connects Delhi to Jaipur via the industrial township of Gurgaon. The road is excellent.

Get around

By autorickshaw

By and large, autorickshaw is the best way around the city. In order to hire an autorickshaw for a whole day (with a trip to Amber Fort) costs 250 INR (January 2008). Prepaid autos are available at the Jaipur railway station and the Sindhi Camp bus stand.

The rates have been revised to around Rs. 350-400, and the autorikshaw 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. It'll be best if you start your Sight seeing by 10 in the morning as all the major spots get closed by 4:30 and each spot takes a lot of time especially the Forts.

In some cases, the AutoRickshaw drivers try to bring up with some excuses that this happened or that happened so pay more, or any lame story or excuse to get some more from you after the trip is over. But strict to the original amount decided, Police in Jaipur is very friendly, in case you feel the AutoRickshaw driver is trying to misguide you or forcing you for some extra money then just refer the police persons located at various spots. The cops are really friendly and caring there. Also some autorickshaw drivers will tell you to buy artifacts 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've got to buy some souvenirs buy them in city's main shopping areas like bapu bazzar. Also take some first hand 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 and item or eating at an undesirable place.

By cycle-rickshaw

Cycle-rickshaws are cheaper, but the amount of time it takes quickly makes the extra few rupees worth it. Walking in the bazaar is a treat, although side streets are a bit less welcoming and offer a sharper glimpse of poverty.

By taxi

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.

  • Pinkcity Radio Taxi, +91 141 220-5000
  • Shree Shyam Radio Taxi, +91 141 237-2222
  • Jain Taxi Service, +91 141 229-2064


By car

Most travel agencies will provide cars for local hire. There are many tour operators available which are approved by Tourism deptt. and one can hire for a leisure tours.[3]

See

Amber Fort
Birla Temple
Hawa Mahal
The View of Jal Mahal from Amber Fort
The entrance of Chokhi Dhani. You can experince the real Urban Rajasthan here.


  • Statue circle
  • Ramgarh
  • B.M. Birla Auditorium and Convention Centre


Forts

  • Amber Fort, (11 km from central Jaipur). 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 to 1727. 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 have no signage whatsoever in any language, so it's 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 to arrive there in the morning, otherwise at midday the elephants are over. But the road that elephans pass is not so long). Rs. 10/50 Indians/foreigners, plus optional Rs.25/100 for still/video camera, Rs.100 for audioguide.
  • Jaigarh Fort. 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. Rs.50 plus Rs.40 for camera.
  • Nahargarh Fort. The smallest of the three forts, notable primarily for excellent views over Man Sagar lake and the vast sprawl of Jaipur. 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. Rs.10 entry, Rs.35 for Madhavendra Bhawan.

Palaces

  • City Palace. The City Palace is 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). Another integral part of the palace complex is the Hawa Mahal, standing away from the main complex.
  • Jal Mahal. Jal Mahal (or the Water Palace) is on the way to Sisodia Rani Garden. A Rajput style architectured palace sits in the center of the Maan-sarovar lake. The lake is often dry in the summer but winter monsoons frequently turn it into a beautiful lake filled with water hyacinths.

Temples

  • Govind Devji Temple
  • Moti Doongari
  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Also called Birla temple, this is a relatively new temple made of white marble with beautiful carvings.

  • Akshardham Temple (at Vaishali Nagar)
  • Jain Mandir (Shivdas Pura) 15-16 Km from Jaipur
  • Galtaji

Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site situated 10 km from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra highway near Sisodia Rani Garden. The main temple here is temple of Galtaji in 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.

Monuments

  • Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar is the biggest of five astronomical observatory build by Maharaja Jai Singh during the period 1727-1734 in north India. It is located very close to the City Palace. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices (or yantra in Hindi) for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes etc. Unfortunately no text is made available to tourists regarding the various yantras nor are there any plaques/boards in front of them. In most of the cases local guides are not of any help either.

  • Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal (or Palace of breeze) was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Singh as part of City Palace. It was an extension of the Zenana (women) chamber. It's 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.


Gardens

  • Ram Niwas Garden
  • Central Museum (or Albert Hall Museum)
  • Zoological Garden
  • Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden
  • Vidyadhar Garden
  • Central Park (Entrance near Statue Circle)

Museums

  • Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, Kheri Gate, Amber +91-141-2530226/2531267 [4] 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, clean toilets, small shop, friendly staff & a printer & block carver demonstrating their crafts every day.

Do

  • Visit the bazaar in the city centre. An evening visit is a complete assault on the senses - the colours, the sights, the sounds and the smells. There are different specialist zones, whether it's food, flowers, textiles, carved statues or plumbing.
  • Amber Fort. A fantastic hill-top location and simply a wonderful place to visit. It could be the elephants arriving and departing in the courtyard, or it could be the buildings and the whole setting that feel like they have come straight from a Star Wars set.
  • Amber Sound and Light Show, Kesar Kyari, Amber Fort. Evening. Experience the history, culture, life of AMBER through this spectacular show. Wonderful music and lighting bring the fort alive. A must for everyone visiting Jaipur.
  • Raj Mandir Theatre. An experience in itself. The best movie theater 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 Raj Mandir 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.
  • Nad Sadhna [nadsadhna.com]. Provides a platform to learn Indian Music (Vocal, Instrumental and Dance) from an experienced musician & recipient of several prestigious awards like SUR-MANI and NAD-SADHAK, Dr. Ashwin Dalvi.


Activities

Kerala Ayurveda Kendra- Spa retreat Ayurvedic Massage starts at Rs500/hour PH: 5106743 Website: www.KeralaAyurvedaKendra.com

Chakrapania Ayurveda- spa retreat Body type analysis at Rs200 Ayurveda Massage Rs650 PH: 2624003 Website: www.ChakrapaniaAyurveda.com

Rajasthan Astrological Council & Research Institute- Computerized Horoscopes and Palm readings. Appointments preferred PH: 2663338

Buy

File:Jaipur3.JPG
Snake charmers in Jaipur's Bazaars
  • Bazaar. A brilliant colorful explosion of flowers, elephants, ox carts, and wares! 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. 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, beggars etc.
  • Teamoods An exotic Tea Boutique located right as one enters the Pink City. The Boutique offers a myriad range of Indian Teas (Darjeeling, Assam & Niligiri) and Flavoured teas.
  • Rajais Jaipur is famous for its `Rajais' (A type of light quilt stuffed with cotton). You can get colourful & soft `Shaneel ki Rajai' in velvet finish. These are quiet warm, soft and long lasting. You can shop in the main market area. But remember to bargain.

Eat

  • 'Daal Baati' - Daal-Baati of Jaipur is not to be missed item. It is available in most of the joints. Do not miss it.
  • Chokhi Dhani & Apno Gaon - Two excellent places to enjoy Rajasthani food served in the traditional mode. Chokhi Dhani a.k.a lalten restaurant is a more popular place because of being on the main road near the airport and excellent to do things like horse riding, camel riding, maze, boating, kathputli (puppet) show etc. Apno gaon however serves mouth watering delicious food as all vegetables and fruits are plucked minutes before from the field before being served to you. Slightly away from the main city one has to go in for a bumpy ride to reach here.
  • Natraj - On MI Road is an excellent Vegetarian place serving local fare. Their specialty is the Rajasthani Thali.
  • Loharu House - this is the house of a Royal Family in Civil Lines, where you can call in advance and request them to put together a special dinner. Tel 0141 - 222 5251/0141 - 222 5945
  • Four Seasons - If you are looking for vegetarian food this is the place. Location -C-Scheme
  • Pyaz ki Kachori- Do not miss the famous Pyaz ki Kachori (a spicy onion dish) of Rawat Mishthan Bhandar. Situated at Polo Victory cinema and very close to both railway station and the bus stand this is a famous age old kachori hangout
  • Rasmalai - Another very popular sweet dish all round the country is Rasmalai of Laxmi mishtan Bhandar (LMB). The hotel LMB is situated in the walled city
  • Shakes and Icecreams - Yankee Doodle, Jal Mahal at MI Road and Milky Way near St. Xavier School are popular ice cream parlours.
  • Chitra Cafeteria, Behind Amber Towers, Sansar Chandra Road, Jaipur - 302001, ''+91 141'' 237 2456, ''+91 141'' 237 1773, ''+91 141'' 510 6010'' (, fax: ''+91 141'' 236 1871), [5]. Good, wholesome vegetarian food. Their lunch buffet is excellent. Rs 150 for a three course meal.
  • Anokhi cafe. excellent organic home-baked cakes (the carrot cake is a winner!) & freshly prepared sandwiches, pastries, savoury snacks plus organic cafetieres of coffee, a selection of good teas etc. Quiet, relaxing, good value for money & situated outside the Anokhi shop, 2 Tilak Marg, C-Scheme, jaipur. The shop is great for truly ethical hand printed contemporary & wearable clothes & textiles.
  • Gangaur. sweets for chamcham.
  • Niros - Located on MI Road, Niros is a 60 year old restaurant serving mostly Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes. Expect to spend Rs. 500+ on a meal for two.
  • Surya Mahal - A popular ice-cream parlor located on MI road (near Paanch Batti), Surya Mahal has an assortment of ice cream shakes, and some very indigenous ice cream flavors. Excellent after a hearty meal at one of the MI road restaurants.

Sleep

  • Jaipur Hotels (Hotels in Jaipur), Jacob Road (Civil Lines, Jaipur), [6]. A complete list of all 5 star, luxury, deluxe and budget hotels and accommodation in Jaipur city on govt approved prices.
  • Jaipur Accommodation (Hotels Jaipur), Jaipur (Map of Rajasthan), [7]. Hotels in Jaipur are all embellished with fabulous ancient architecture with influences of Mughal and Rajputana art. Apart from glaring citadels, broad porches, ornamental gardens these hotels also avails state of the art amenities to its guests with the wholesome goodness of Jaipur tour. To rejoice the vintage experience of Rajasthan travel, these palace hotels are available in numerous star categories thus is affordable for both luxury and budget clientele. One amongst these Jaipur hotels, Hotel Rajvilas Jaipur has been recently ranked No. 3 in the Overseas Leisure Hotels category for Asia. One of the finest modes of accommodation in Jaipur, Chokhi Dhani is a wonderful ethnic village resort which blends rustic atmosphere of Rajasthan villages perfectly with the modern day amenities available in the plush cities of Rajasthan. Ranging from a variety of budget to economy and even most unique of accommodation in Palace hotels; Rajasthan offers major options to its visitors for a wonderful dream vacation here.

Budget

  • Krishna Palace,[8], tel: 91-141-2201395, 91-9414311252, info@krishnapalace.com . Krishna Palace is a heritage property which looks like a palace. Nice beautiful garden, quiet and very clean spacious rooms with hot shower. 24 hour service. Comfortable beds, each room comes with colour TV with all channels. Roof Top Restaurant facility available. Walking distance to the train station. Managed by the friendly family. Very quiet and relaxing neighbourhood surround by the greenery. Pick up service from the train and central bus station is free of charge.
  • Bhim Vilas, [9]. A fantastic family run guesthouse located in the heart of the city, with 8 air conditioned rooms, which has a home like feeling in the design. The service is friendly and it is also excellent value for money. It is by far the best bet when choosing superior comfort along with excellent location and service. www.bhimvilas.com
  • Youth Hostel, [10]. A great low budget hostel run by the Government of Rajasthan part of the Youth Hostel Association of India which is affiliated to Hostelling International. Located on Janpath which is the approach road of the Raj Assembly it offers best accommodation for backpackers.
  • The Pearl Palace [11] is a wonderful place to spend a week! The place is uniquely designed, and just walking around the hallways has a feel of being in an art museum. The roof top patio restaurant is wonderful and very inexpensive. The owners are so nice! Mr Singh will invite you into his home and make you feel very welcome. This place is a great budget hotel which feels like a 4 star hotel. The front desk clerk is very moody, however it is still well worth it.
  • Pink Petals Inn [12] Comfortable accommodation in the poshest, hippest neighborhood of Jaipur. tel: 091-141-4016727
  • Sunder Palace Guest House [13], tel: 091-2360178, sunderpalace@hotmail.com. Fantastic clean rooms, great service, convenient location, a rooftop restaurant, a lovely garden area and a terrace. We had a huge tiled double room with cable TV, big bathroom with hot water and even a Persian carpet area with a small table where you can sip tea and read for Rs 550. Internet was also available at Rs 40 and the computers were the fastest we have encountered in India so far.
  • The Karan's Guesthouse [14], tel: 91-141-2363262, karans@bsnl.in. A Budget House Hotel with spacious neat and clean air conditioned rooms providing personalised service at a reasonable price.
  • Explorer's Nest [15], tel: 91-9928517801, 91-141-2376173, 91-141-4002580, jaipurtravel@yahoo.com. A Bed & Breakfast accommodation provided by a couple who are fond of meeting travellers and guiding them about their city. The house has ethnic decor. The whole atmosphere is that of personal care and warmth.
  • Arya Niwas [16] out of the noisy central roads, but 100 yards to the city wall. Spacious lawns and a wonderful organic food restaurant serving quality food.
  • Atithi Guest House, 1 Park House Scheme, Opp. All India Radio, Jaipur, 302 001, +91-141-2378679, +91-141-2379496 (). checkout: 12:00. A nice, modern and very clean hotel a few minutes from the Pink City. Has a nice, simple restaurant, laundry service, internet (Rs30 per hour) and wi-fi(Rs100 per day). Full of foreign travelers. Be careful of rickshaw/taxi drivers - they don't get a commission here so may try to bring you somewhere else.

Mid range

  • Hotel Mandakini Nirmal, Subhash Nagar Shopping Center, Jaipur 302016, Rajasthan, India, +91 1412280211, [17]. Hotel Mandakini Nirmal is located in Jaipur, India. It boasts a convenient location in Subhash Nagar Commercial Complex. It is close to the city center and major tourist spots namely City Palace, Hawa Mahal, and Amber Fort. It offers 29 guestrooms, all of which have cable TV, direct-dial phone, refrigerator, and broadband Internet access. Their facilities include a conference room that can hold up to 200 people, and a complimentary pick-up service from the nearest airport and railway station. Reserve from the official website and get instant confirmation online.
  • Hotel Mandakini Castle, Sansar Chandra Road, Jaipur 302001, Rajasthan, India, +91 1412371779, [18]. Hotel Mandakini Castle is a three star hotel only 12 km from the domestic airport. The hotel is in close proximity to some of Jaipur’s celebrated landmarks. It has 12 Superior Rooms and 26 Suites. All are fitted with a private bath with hot & cold water, cable/ satellite TV, and broadband Internet connection. The travel desk, 50-capacity conference area, complimentary transfer services, and pampering assistance define worry-free vacationing at Jaipur’s Hotel Mandakini Castle. Reserve rooms at this affordable Jaipur hotel online and get instant confirmation. Rates start at 1,790 INR.
  • Arya Niwas Hotel, Sansar Chandra Road (behind Amber Towers), +91 141 237 2456, +91 141 237 1773, +91 141 510 6010 (, fax: +91 141'' 236 1871), [19]. 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.
  • Hotel Classic Holidays, A-79, Shyam Nagar, Sodala, Ajmer Road, Jaipur-302019. Telefax: 0141-2293999, 2293890 hotelclassicholidays@gmail.com, [20]. 10 year old hotel in a residential area with peaceful, clean, and green surroundings.
  • Hotel Suryaa Villa, [21], 3, Peelwa Garden, Moti Doongri Road, Jaipur; Phone : +91-141-2607972; Fax : +91-141-2611871; Mobile : +91-98295-46226 - Welcome to Hotel Suryaa villa, finest luxury Hotel in Jaipur provides best accommodation at low-priced room charge. It is located in the heart of Jaipur near about all Tour and Travel destinations and landmarks.
  • Hotel Diggi Palace, [22].
  • Loharu House, Civil Lines, Jaipur 302001, Tel:+91-141 222 5251, +91-141-222 5945 - 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. Around US$30-40/night including breakfast.
  • Umaid Bhawan, [23], D1-2A, Behari Marg, Bani Park, +91 141 2206426 (reservation@umaidbhawan.com, fax +91 141 2207445), [24]. 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. Rs 1100-1600/1200-2800. (singles/doubles). Great value, a great place.
  • Umaid Mahal, tel. +91 141 2201952, [25].A very Nice heritage house hotel with all 3 star facilities and also offers free pick up from train and bus station From Rs. 1800.
  • Sumati Villa, 7, Shubham Enclave, Jamnalal Bajaj Marg, Near Civil Line Crossing, Jaipur. Ph: +91-141-5140965, 5125176, 9829055772, [26]. A budget guest house located in the heart of the city. situated near bus station, railway station, airport, shopping complexes and cinema hall.

Splurge

Jaipur has an excellent selection of expensive places to be treated like a maharaja for a day or two, most of which are many times booked a year in advance. Though the list is endless, a few of them are:

  • Fort Madhogarh (Village Madhogarh), Tehsil Bassi, Jaipur, +91-1429-281141 (), [27]. This beautiful fort is situated in the middle of the village. It is an old fort on top of the hill.
  • Oberoi Rajvilas Palace Hotel, Goner Road, Jaipur 303 012, ''+91 141'' 268 0101 (, fax: ''+91 141'' 268 0202), [28]. 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. Rs 22,500 to Rs 127,000.
  • The Trident Jaipur, Amber Fort Rd (opp Jal Mahal), +91-141-2670101, [29]. Surprisingly intimate low-rise hotel built like a gilttering 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. US$89.
  • Taj Rambagh Palace Hotel, [30]. A former Palace and a excellent place to stay in. Rs 22,500 to Rs 127,000.

Stay safe

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 traveller 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.

There have been reports of smugglers trying to entice travellers to assist in smuggling items. Under no circumstances accept - smuggling is a major criminal act.


Learn

Dhammathali Vipassana Meditation Center 10 day meditation courses run for a donation. PH: 2680220

Madhavanand Girls College Free hatha yoga courses from 6am to 7am PH: 2200317

Mr Kripal Singh Renounced artist offers Indian painting and ceramic classes for free, however you must supply materials. Advance bookings are required. PH: 2201127

Maharaja Sawai Mansingh Sangeet Mahavidyalaya (music school) Music lessons 8am-11am Dance lessons 4-8pm Tuition starts from Rs500/month

Get out

Continue into Rajasthan, to the beautiful city of lakes Udaipur, the stunning, powerful fort of Jodhpur, and onto the dreamy, enchanted desert city of Jaisalmer or for a more untouristic desert city go for the charm of Bikaner as an alternative to Jaisalmer.

To Udaipur train #2965, Jaipur Udaipur Superfast Express, is the best option has it has recently entered service after work was finished on converting the gauge enroute although many will try to tell you that it is still not operational at Railway Reservation Offices outside of Jaipur.

There are frequent busses to the small village of Amber from the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur (Rs 8, 25 mins). You can also arrange transport to the village of Abhaneri


  • Chokhi Dhani. Chokhi Dhani (Fine Hamlet in Rajasthani dialect) is a 5 star ethnic resort. It is located on Jaipur-Tonk highway, around 18 km from city center. There are lodging facilities available but the real attraction is the evening fun-fares. One can watch live folk dances, listen to live folk music, enjoy elephant, camel, bullock cart rides and eat a traditional eat-as-much-as-you-can meal on a single ticket. 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. They open at 6PM with entrance fee Rs 300 (including dinner). You can go there by bus, auto-rikshaw or taxi, but best is probably to make sure you have a ride back.
  • Bhandarej Is a little known town 62 km from Jaipur off Jaipur-Agra Highway.From the times of Mahabharat,it is said,has seen a lot of history made. Around 11th century A. D. Dula Rai defeated Badgujjars at both Dausa and Bhandarej and ushered in the rein of Kachhawaha princes and established the kingdom of Dhundar. The Bhandarej Fort was built around then. It has been renovated extensively since. In 1994 it was made in to Bhadrawati Palace Hotel(P)91-141-2363262.In the ancient times the fort was connected to the step well in the village.The Step Well has five stories,is known as the Bari Bawari and was made in 1732A.D.by the Kumbhani rulers Deep Singh and Daulat Singh.It was renovated by Kuber Singh.Every year a Mela is held here at the Ancient Temple of Balaji.It is attended in large numbers by the local villagers.Other ancient temples in the village are of Bhadreshwar Mahadev,Bhandana Mata,Gopalji's Temple and Masthala balaji.Abhaneri,an ancient step well,built on a much larger scale than the bhandarej step well and the ancient haunted towns of Ajabgarh-Bhangarh are 30km from bhandarej.

In 1767 A.D. then aged Rao Dalip Singh was commander of Jaipur forces against Bharatpur ruler Jawahar Singh at Maonda-Mandholi, near Neem Ka Thana, for Jaipur ruler Sawai Madho Singh I. In a fierce battle Rao Dalel Singh his son Kunwar Laxman Singh and grand son Bhanwar Raj Singh (11yr) all lost their lives. Such was the bravery of Bhandarej chieftains.




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