Rajasthan's Legislative Assembly situated at Jaipur during festival season
Jaipur , (also known as the Pink City), is the capital of Rajasthan in India.
Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan and was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India's first planned city. Jaipur is a major tourist attraction amongst Indian as well as international travellers. It belongs to the tourist Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. It hosts several attractions like the City Palace, Govind Dev ji Temple, Vidhan Sabha, Birla Temple, several massive Rajput forts and so on. 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 is often called the Pink City in reference 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.
Jaipur gets its name from its founder Maharaja JaiSingh II (1693-1744) the 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 got 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.
Blogs about Jaipur
Need help Planning a trip to Jaipur or are in Jaipur and there is a query: be it shopping, Sight-seeing, eating Out, Excursions...this blog aims at answering all these queries and more.
Jaipur Airport (IATA: JAI, ICAO: 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, Pune 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.
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, Chittaurgarh, 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, Benaras, 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 in Gujarat state. 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 costs about Rs 600 per seat and the 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.
You can also book your bus (govt.) tickets online at [www.rsrtc.rajasthan.gov.in].
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 and cost is Rs 150 for a seat and Rs 250 for sleeper on an A/C bus 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 (Jun-2012 price: 300 Rs), 2) half day tour (Jun-2012 price: 250 Rs) and 3) Pink city by night tour (Jun-2012 price: 375 Rs). 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 9 PM. Cost is Rs 10 - 12 depending on distance. 
City bus #2 runs from the train station up station rd to the city palace, minar, observatory etc. The bus driver will try and charge you more. It's 6 rupees as of mid 2012. They also sometimes ask you if you need change, or say they don't have change, despite it being obvious they do.
http://www.jaipurbus.com/route_map.html# you can view this link to know about the bus routes in jaipur.
By and large, autorickshaw is the best way around the city. Hiring an autorickshaw for a whole day with a trip to Amber Fort should cost around Rs 350.
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.
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 4:30PM 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 stick to the original amount decided, Police in Jaipur are 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.
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 and 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 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.
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.
- taxiGUIDE.in (Jaipur Car Rental), ☎ +91 888 023 4455 ([email protected]), . Inquiry: 7am to 11pm. Jaipur Car Rental services on taxiGUIDE.in - India's Premier Chauffeur Driven Car Rental Service in 75 Cities. Wide Choice of Vehicles. Assured Car & Driver Quality. Multiple payment options. Fares starting Rs.1782 for within city and Rs.7/km for outstation.
It's possible to see the ticket price for each point of interest in the Rajasthan Tourist Government Office website 
Amber Fort, Jantar-Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Albert Hall (Central Museum), Nahargarh Fort 5-monument 2-day Composite Ticket for sale at any ticket booth costs Rs 50/30 indian/student and Rs 300/150 foreigner/student.
City Palace and Jaigarh Fort also share a 1-week ticket for Rs 300.
- Amber Fort, (11 km North of central Jaipur, local bus #5 from Hawa Mahal or New Gate), ☎ +91 14 1253 0293. 08:00-17:30. 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. 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 to arrive there in the morning, otherwise at midday the elephants are over. But the road that elephants pass is not so long). The elephant riding costs 900 (fixed government price) as of July 5th 2011. The real guide will cost about Rs 70-100 and will also take you to the Rajasthan Kala Mandir (a government operated shop) to buy souvenirs. The guide gets a 2% commission on the items you buy. Also see the Amber Light Show below. Rs 25/10 for Indian/student and Rs 200/100 for foreigner/student. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera free. Audioguides Rs 100.
Amber Fort Video
Amber Fort Photo Gallery
- Jaigarh Fort, (A 1 km walk uphill from '''Amber Fort''', or Rs 100/200 for motorbike/auto-rickshaw), ☎ +91 14 1267 1848. 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. Please note, there are multiple board with "no tips allowed" if you have someone bothering you. Rs 35/85 for Indian/foreigner. Included with the 1-week City Palace ticket. Camera Rs 50. Video Rs 200. Automobile Rs 50.
- Nahargarh Fort, ☎ +91 14 1518 2957. 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. An autorickshaw can be taken from the autorickshaw stand in front of the Amber fort and a round trip will cost about Rs 250. Rs 10 entry. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Rs 35 for Madhavendra Bhawan. Automobile Rs 10.
A view of Jal Mahal from the road to Amber fort
- City Palace, (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). Rs 300, which includes also a 1-week entrance to Jaigarh Fort.
- Jal Mahal (Water Palace), (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 winter, but summer monsoons frequently turn it into a beautiful lake filled with water hyacinths. Free on the 18th of May, as well as the Observatory and wind palace.
- 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.
- Moti Doongari temple is located in the center of Jaipur city. This Temple is the main center of religion for Jaipur people. Moti Dungri is basically a small hill, which means Pearl Hill. There is a Temple and a Palace on this hill. Moti Dungri temple is dedicated to Lord Ganesha and it is said that at the time of building this city, this temple was constructed first to protect the city.
- Lakshmi Narayan Temple (aka The Marble Temple) (Birla Temple), (below the well known Moti Dungri fort). 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.
- Akshardham Temple (at Vaishali Nagar)
- Jain Mandir (Shivdas Pura) 15-16 km from Jaipur, is a Jain temple in Shivdaspura and is well known as “Bara Padampura”. This temple comes under district Jaipur. Temple is a unique place of miracles and is famous in north India for its very beautiful statue of God Padamprabhu (The 6th Teerthankar for Jain’s). 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 was appeared while digging for foundation of a house.
- 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.
- Galwh Bagh (aka The Monkey Temple) and Suriya Mandir (aka The Sun Temple) are located on the Eastern edge of the city. 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 Rs 50 charge for using a camera.
- Jantar Mantar, (very close to the City Palace.), ☎ +91-141-261-0494, . 9:00 a.m-4:30 p.m.. 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 existant signage. The observatory, the water and the wind palace are free on the 18th of May. Rs20 for Indians, Rs100 for foreigners.
- Hawa Mahal (Palace of Breeze). 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. Free on May 18th. Rs 50. Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket. Camera free.
- 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.
- 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 corder to the next set of stair and go up another floor until you know you can't go any higher. Indian/foreigner Rs5/10, camera/video Rs10/20.
- Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden
- Central Park (Entrance near Statue Circle)
- Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, (Kheri Gate, Amber), ☎ +91 141 2530226, . 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.
- Central Museum (Albert Hall). Included in the 5-monument ''Composite Ticket''.
Activities and entertainment
- 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. 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.
- Amber Fort Sound and Light Show, Lower Amber Fort, ☎ +91 14 1270 9162 ([email protected]). 7 PM - 8 PM. 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. Rs 100.
- Raj Mandir Theatre. 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 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. 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 Rs 120 go first, so its worth going early to avoid disappointment. Shows at 6:30PM and 9:30PM. A great place to meet locals, with the nearby McDonald's as a central congregation spot.
- Nad Sadhna [nadsadhna.com]. Provides a platform to learn Indian Music (Vocal, Instrumental and Dance) from an experienced musician.
- B.M. Birla Auditorium and Convention Centre is located at the heart of Jaipur. This auditorium is spread over 9.8 acre, that includes a computer centre, interactive science museum, an information processing centre, library, a processing planetarium, eight research division, a dissemination cell and an auditorium. Auditorium has the capacity of 1350 people to seat and it is among the largest auditoriums of India. This auditorium is built up to international conference standards.
Just remember that nothing comes 'fixed price' in Jaipur, even in the self advertised Govt. (RTDC) approved shops & emporiums.There are a few RTDC approved shops along "Amer road" claiming to be Government owned and FIXED PRICE - but are overpriced by as much as three times, beware. Almost everything, from food to to transportation to handicrafts, even accomodation can be bargained down up to a 60% discount on 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 shopowners 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.
- 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 and beggars.
- Rajais 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 you shell few extra bucks, visit govt. stores for rajais..
- Jewels 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 6pointed star it shines under natural light). Expect to pay ~Rs 3,000 for a rubystar ring.
- K.K. Gems and Arts', 174-A, Kanwar Nagar, Chandi Ki Taksal. (at the far Northeastern end of the city centre), ☎+91 141 3910799; (maito:[email protected] [email protected]). One of the better places to shop for jewels with authentic high quality goods and reasonable prices including many cheaper items (earrings, bracelets) for Rs 120 that make great gifts. Be sure to arrive by yourself, otherwise face higher prices as your escort/driver will earn a commission.
- Chokhi Dhani, 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. Opens at 6PM, 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. Rs 400 per person entry.Nice place to visit but avoid going there during rainy season.
- Ambrosia, KJ city tower, Ashok Marg, C Scheme (right next to ahimsa circle), ☎ +91 141 3153900. lipsmacking food serving varied cuisines such as lebanese, italian, indian, continental, mexican and chinese located in the heart of the city atop a 100 feet high building providing a breathtaking view of the city.
- Apno Gaon. Vegetarian food, including fresh vegetables and fruits. Slightly away from the main city one has to go in for a bumpy ride to reach there. Cost is Rs 350 per person.
- Natraj, MI Rd. Vegetarian, specialty is the Rajasthani Thali. The main courses are Rs 90-175 and some thalis a bit more. Credit cards are accepted and they do not serve alcohol.
- Loharu House,this is the house of a Royal Family in Civil Lines. You can call in advance and request a special dinner. ☎ +91 141 222 5251, +91 141 222 5945
- Rawat Mishthan Bhandar. Do not miss the famous Pyaz ki Kachori (a spicy onion dish). Situated at Polo Victory cinema and very close to both railway station and the bus stand this is a famous age old kachori hangout
- Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar. Another very popular sweet dish all round the country is Rasmalai of Laxmi mishtan Bhandar (LMB). The hotel LMB is situated in the busy market of Johari Bazaar in walled city. LMB is a very well known tourist stop that has reasonable prices  in its comfortable air-conditioned restaurant for authentic Rajasthani and Kashmiri cuisine. Also a well renowned bakery connected with all of the typical rasmalai, rasgullah, gulab jamun. Warning: Overpriced menu at the restaurant with indifferent wait staff [March 2012].
 Prices are way overboard! Tourist trap. Hotel banks on its popularity of it's earlier outdated posts.
- Shakes and Icecreams. Yankee Doodle, Jal Mahal at MI Rd and Milky Way near St. Xavier School are popular ice cream parlours.
- Chitra Cafeteria, behind Amber Towers, Sansar Chandra Rd, ☎ +91 141 237 2456, +91 141 237 1773 ([email protected], fax: +91 141 236 1871), . Good, wholesome vegetarian food. Their lunch buffet is excellent. Rs 150 for a 3 course meal.
- Little Chef's Rasoi, c-Scheme near dear park (near dear park and Statue Circle), ☎ +91 141 222 9634 ([email protected], fax: +91 141 236 1871), . Vegetarian food. Rs 100 for a 3 course meal.
- Anokhi cafe, 2 Tilak Marg, C-Scheme. Organic home-baked 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,. The shop is great for truly ethical hand printed contemporary & wearable clothes & textiles.
- Gangaur sweets, bagadiya bhavan market. Sweets for chamcham, also baked sweets and crispy samosas.
- Niros. Located on MI Rd, Niros is a 60 year old restaurant serving mostly Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes. Expect to spend Rs 500+ on a meal for two.
- Jal Mahal. A popular ice-cream parlor located on MI Rd, (near Paanch Batti). 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.
- BMB, 100 Johari Bazaar. Good mid range north Indian restaurant. Rs 110 for a vegetable curry and Rs 13 for a roti. Thali, Rs 360+VAT (big). The restaurant sells good sweets and chat (Indian sweet and savory snacks).
- Moti Mahal Delux, 5,kamal mansion,M.I. Rd, Jaipur-1 (near Paanch Batti and Rajmandir cinema hall), ☎ +91 141 4017733. 11AM-11PM. Great for authentic Indian tandoori food. Their specialities include butter chicken, tandoori chicken, dal makhani and hand churned kulfi. Started by legendary indian gourmet chef Kundan lal Gujral. Expect to pay Rs 500+ for a meal for two.
- Hotel Pratap, C-29, govind marg, rajapark (Near pink square mall), ☎ +91 141 2601836, . checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 12 noon. A budget hotel with beautiful and big rooms and near to all major tourist attraction. Free wifi facility. Also has a restaurant, bar and billiards 800+.
- Atithi Guest House, 1 Park House Scheme (opposite All India Radio), ☎ +91 141 2378679, +91 141 2379496 ([email protected]). checkout: 12:00. A nice, modern and very clean hotel a few minutes from the Pink City. Has a simple restaurant, laundry service, internet Rs 30/hour and wifi Rs 100/day. 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.
- Bhim Vilas, . 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. A/C Double Rooms Prices [June 2012]: from 1800 Rs to 2,850 Rs. Breakfast & Taxes included.
- Chit Chat Guest house , D-160 Kabir Marg, Bani Park. ☎ +91 141 2201899, +91 2202843 , [email protected]. Rs 300/person single, double room Rs 500/day (hot/cold shower). Airport/rail station/bus station pick up available, nice restaurant.
- Explorer's Nest, , ☎ +91 99 28517801, +91 141 2376173, . Bed & breakfast provided by a couple who are fond of meeting travellers and guiding them about their city. The house has ethnic decor and is situated at a quiet place 5min walk from the center. The whole atmosphere is that of personal care and warmth. Owner Arvind is always there to help, the rooms have A/C and you can use wifi. Rooms Rs 600-800/night.
- Hotel Kalyan (=), Hathroi Fort, Ajmer Rd (1 km from railway station, 13 km from the airport), ☎ +91 141 2368355, . checkin: 12noon; checkout: 12noon. 2 Star hotel with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Free parking and pickup is available from the train station and central bus stand.Very nice hotel with a silent and relaxing atmosphere.Restaurant is nice with mouthwatering dishes.Good and helping people in the hotel. From Rs 800-2,900. (26.912416,75.787288)
- Hotel Ramsingh Palace , B-2, hathi babu ka bagh, kanti nagar, Bani Park. ☎ +91 141 4005191 , . double room Rs 1100/day (hot/cold shower). 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.
- Jaipur Inn (Hotel Jaipur Inn), B-17, Shiv Marg, Bani Park (1.5 km from railway station), ☎ +91-9829013660 ([email protected]), . checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 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 and free WiFi. Computers with internet access can be used for Rs 20/30mins or Rs 40/hour. They can also serve food. -50% discount if you stay 2 days or more. Rs 1,500. (26.928307,75.798092)
- The Karan's Guesthouse, , ☎ +91 141 2363262, [email protected]. Budget house hotel with spacious neat and clean A/C rooms
- Karni niwas, Motilal attal marg. Very good budget hotel. Very clean with hot water, quiet room. Restaurant, includes continental breakfast, from Rs 35-650 double room.
- Krishna Palace, ☎ +91 141 2201395, +91 94 14311252 ([email protected]), . 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 colourTV 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 surround by the greenery. Pick up service from the train and central bus station is free of charge. Double Rooms Prices [June 2012]: from 750 Rs (non AC.) to 1,500 Rs (with AC)/per night.
- Moon Light Palace , S-34, Shanti Nagar, Near Labour Court, Opp. NBC, Jaipur. ☎ +91-141-2450753, 6508059 , . From 900Rs/day. It's a new hotel, clean with solid WiFi. Free pick up from station. Restaurant has a wide range of food and very reasonable price.
- Pearl Palace, . 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 Rs 1050 [June 2012].
- Pink City Guesthouse, 18 Motilal attal 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 cheap-ish food. Make sure you get one of the rooms facing the quiet backstreet Rs 400-700 double room. Off season rate for a very basic room (not attached bathroom) is Rs 250.
- 'Pink Petals Inn, ☎ +91 141 4016727, . Comfortable accommodation in the poshest, hippest neighborhood of Jaipur.
- Sangam hotel', 17 Motilal atal Rd. ☎ +91 141 237179192. Budget room from Rs 600. Good mattress, TV, restaurant, includes breakfast toast. Rs 40.
- satkar hotel, barodia, banipark (near railway&bus stop), ☎ +91 94 14255755,+91 14 12202020, . checkin: 11.00 a.m.; checkout: 12noon. Family run budget hotel, free pick up from railway station, bus stand, free WiFi. 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 Rs 15 big, Rs 10 small pieces. Walking distance to the bus station in a seedy neighborhood. Rs 400-750.
- Sunder Palace Guest House, , ☎ +91 141 2360178, [email protected]. Clean rooms, great service, convenient location, a rooftop restaurant, a lovely garden area and a terrace. Tiled double room with cableTV, big bathroom with hot water and a Persian carpet area with a small table where you can sip tea and read for Rs 550. Internet available at Rs 40.
- Youth Hostel, Janpath Rd, (on the approach road of the Raj Assembly), . A great low budget hostel run by the Government of Rajasthan part of the Youth Hostel Association of India, affiliated to Hostelling International, offers accommodation for backpackers.
- Hotel Meghniwas,  ☎ +91 141 2202034, [email protected]. Single and double rooms from Rs 2,000. It also has a swimming pool open to non-guests for Rs.200.
- Hotel Umaid Lake Palace, Kalakho, Post Office Kalakho (13 km from Dausa on the Jaipur-Agra national highway. 70Km from Jaipur & 160Km from Agra.), ☎ 91 98 29546226 ([email protected]), . Designed in the traditional Rajasthani style Double Room prices [June 2012]: from 1400 Rs..
- Sumati Villa, 7, Shubham Enclave, Jamnalal Bajaj Marg, (near Civil Line Crossing), ☎ +91 141 5140965,+91 141 5125176, +91 98 29055772, . A budget guest house located in the heart of the city. situated near bus station, railway station, airport, shopping complexes and cinema hall.
- Hotel Mandakini Nirmal, Subhash Nagar Shopping Centre, ☎ +91 141 2280211. 29 guest rooms with cableTV, direct-dial phone, refrigerator, and broadband internet access. Conference room that can hold up to 200 people, and a complimentary pick-up service from the nearest airport and railway station.
- Hotel Mandakini Castle, Sansar Chandra Rd, ☎ +91 141 2371779, . 3 star hotel only 12 km from the domestic airport. 12 superior rooms and 26 suites. All are fitted with a private bath with hot & cold water, cable/ satTV, and broadband internet connection. The travel desk, 50-capacity conference area, complimentary transfer services. Double Rooms Prices [June 2012]: from 1,990 Rs to 3,390 Rs. Breakfast included & Taxes not included..
- Arya Niwas Hotel, Sansar Chandra Rd (behind Amber Towers), ☎ +91 141 237 2456, +91 141 237 1773, +91 141 510 6010 ([email protected], fax: +91 141'' 236 1871), . 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. Double A/C Rooms Prices [June 2012]: from 1,800 Rs to 2,200 Rs. Breakfast (200Rs) & Taxes not included. For special offer check the website.
- Hotel Classic Holidays , A-79, Shyam Nagar, Sodala, Ajmer Rd. ☎Telefax: +91 141 229 3999, +91 141 229 3890 [email protected]. 10 year old hotel in a residential area with peaceful, clean, and green surroundings.
- Loharu House, Civil Lines, ☎ +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, D1-2A, Behari Marg, Bani Park, ☎ +91 141 2206426, [email protected], fax +91 141 2207445), . 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 1,100-1,600/1,200-2,800 (singles/doubles). Great value, a great place.
- Umaid Mahal, ☎ +91 141 220 1952, . A very Nice heritage house hotel with all 3 star facilities and also offers free pick up from train and bus station From Rs 1,800.
- Sarang Palace, A-40, Subhash Nagar, ☎ +91 141 2281199, , . 3 star heritage hotel, offers free pick up from train and bus station From Rs 1,800.
- Colonel's Homestead Jaipur, 10 & 11 Cosmo Colony, Ram Marg, Amrapali Rd, Vaishali Nagar (near Vaibav Inox Multiplex), ☎ +91 99 8379 6656, [email protected], . checkin: 12noon; checkout: 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. From Rs 1,800. (26deg50'40 N,75deg44'50E)
- Deogarh Mahal, ☎ +91 93 1442 0016, . checkin: 5PM; checkout: 10:30AM. A large heritage hotel. From Rs 3,000.
- Anuraag Villas, . 3star hotel situated 15mins by rickshaw from the city center (100rps each way). Peaceful place to relax with clean comfortable rooms and internet facilities for 1300rps per night. Onsite restaurant offers very good vegetarian options Rajasthani style.
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:
- Naila Bagh Palace (Heritage home hotel), Moti Doongari Road, Jaipur-302004, Rajasthan, INDIA (Landmark), ☎ +91 141 260 7492 ([email protected]), . checkin: 12noon; checkout: 12noon. Heritage home built in 1872 by the Prime Minister of Jaipur (Late Thakur Fateh Singh ji of Naila), presently 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 jaipurs 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, wifi in some areas. From Rs 4,950 Breakfast included, taxes excluded. [June-2012]. During low season is applied a minimum of 20% discounts (check website).
- Fort Madhogarh (Village Madhogarh), Tehsil Bassi, ☎ +91 142 928 1141 ([email protected]), . This beautiful fort is situated in the middle of the villageand on top of the hill. Rooms prices [June 2012]: Single: 2500Rs. Double 3000Rs., Suite 3500Rs. Tax excluded.
- Village Sanjharia, Before Toll Gate, Via Vatika City/Thikaria, 22 Milestone, ☎ +91 93 1407 7093 ([email protected]), .
- Oberoi Rajvilas Palace Hotel, Goner Rd, ☎ +91 141 268 0101 ([email protected], fax: +91 141 268 0202), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 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. Themed suites from 1,400,000 Rs/night. Rooms Prices [June 2012] From 38,500 Rs for a double room up to 280,000 Rs. for a villa with private pool. Beakfast & Taxes Excluded. Check website for special applicable discounts..
- The Trident Jaipur, Amber Fort Rd (opp Jal Mahal), ☎ +91 141 267 0101, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. 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. Rooms Prices [June 2012]: From 12,500Rs. to 21,500Rs. Breakfast & Taxes excluded. Supplement for high season. Check website for special offers..
- Taj Rambagh Palace Hotel, . A former Palace and an excellent place to stay. Rs 22,500-127,000.
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. 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 travellers to assist in smuggling items. Under no circumstances accept - smuggling is a major criminal act.
Dhammathali Vipassana Meditation Centre. 10 day meditation courses run for a donation. ☎ +91 141 2680220
Madhavanand Girls College. Free hatha yoga courses from 6AM-7AM. ☎ +91 141 2200317
Mr Kripal Singh. Renowned artist offers Indian painting and ceramic classes for free, however you must supply materials. Advance bookings are required. ☎ +91 141 2201127
Maharaja Sawai Mansingh Sangeet Mahavidyalaya (music school). Music lessons 8AM-11AM. Dance lessons 4PM-8PM. Tuition starts from Rs 500/month
The entrance of Chokhi Dhani. You can experience the real Urban Rajasthan here.
Traditional chulha cooking at Nirvana Organic Farm, where you can get a glimpse of Rajasthani folk & farm culture.
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.
If 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.
To Udaipur train #2965, Gwalior Udaipur Superfast Express (via Agra), is the best option for Udaipur
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 and listen to live folk music for free, and enjoy elephant, camel, bullock cart rides for Rs. 20-30 per ride and eat a traditional, vegetarian eat-as-much-as-you-can meal for Rs. 350. 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. You can go there by bus, auto-rikshaw (Rs 400 for a return trip) or taxi, but best is probably to make sure you have a ride back.
- Nirvana Organic Farm . This organic farm located 22 km from Jaipur offers a glimpse into rural Rajasthan. Originally barren land, it has been converted into a mini forest using organic farming techniques, and is managed by a farmer & his wife. Accommodation is provided in basic thatched-roof cottages, and is priced at Rs 1,500 for a double-bedded cottage. The farm is surrounded by fields of mustard & jo, and attracts a lot of migratory birds in all seasons. Typical Rajasthani food is cooked on traditional chulhas using farm-grown ingredients. Artisans of the neighboring Maheshpura village perform traditional folk music & dance on prior request. Advance booking is required & can be done at +91 8527 141 626 or [email protected]
- Bhandarej, Is a little known town 62 km from Jaipur off Jaipur-Agra Highway, from the times of the Mahabharat.
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