Jaipur, along with Delhi & Agra, features amongst the most visited ‘triangles’ of the world. Ask any non-Indian who has toured India at least once and there is a high probability that they have covered this northern India triangle. Also called the Pink City, Jaipur is India’s first planned City – hence has only parallel and perpendicular roads all over the main (old) city areas. Rich in heritage, culture, colours, architecture, food, royalty and design, this is a must Indian city to visit. Here are my tips for a basic, comfortable, stay at Jaipur – on a budget.
Stay: Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel
I take pride in extracting unique hotel experiences at budget costs. Pearl Palace Heritage Hotel, Jaipur, was the location for the shoot of Hollywood film Exotic Marigold Hotel 2. It’s voted most romantic hotel (2015) in India. The quaint hotel has just nine rooms where each room is stylishly decorated with an Indian regional design or theme. That apart there are large bathrooms, excellent staff, old-fashioned fort style colourful doors, the measly cost of homemade breakfast and great wifi. We stayed in Viceroy room which has a living room, a bedroom with two queen beds, a stylish pillar in between and cost us just INR 4000/- per night ie roughly 60USD for 4 pax! They also arrange their own private guide city tour for a mere INR 350/- or 5USD per head and have a restaurant which gives one of finest dining experiences at reasonable prices (covered separately in Jaipur best meal experiences). No wonder westerners flock to this hotel.
The basic sightseeing tours (including the one given by above-mentioned hotel) will contain Amber Fort, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Johri Bazaar, Jantar Mantar and Jal Mahal photo point. Add Birla Temple (for a temple) and your day is done. If you are staying another day then add Bapu Bazaar for shopping (comparatively less touristy) and Chowki Dhaani for village fair experience and you have already covered the best the city has to offer. Here are some pictures of what we covered.
Jal Mahal Foto Point
The tour includes a visit and demo of natural colours ‘block printing’ factory
Birla Temple is a free entry site and best visited night time. Since you need to open your shoes, in winter, the chill of the marble hitting your feet is fun! You can wear socks though!
Jaipur is also a fascinating food city with an array of cuisines to linger your taste buds. I have shared my experiences here.