There are no second thoughts about the fact that the best time to explore Jaipur tourism is winter. The city shines in a different light and through misty mornings and chilly evenings, you explore a never-before-seen side of Jaipur tourism. The months from October to February make up the peak season in Jaipur. If you are travelling on a budget, we recommend delaying your trip or booking much in advance. The rush ensures that everything from food and shopping to transportation and accommodation in the city is expensive.
Summers in Jaipur are dreaded and the least preferred season by travellers. The days are extremely hot, thereby making sightseeing quite a task. We recommend avoiding travelling during summer if you have another option. Monsoon is a beautiful season to explore Jaipur tourism. The city doesn’t see too much rainfall and neither do you have to face the huge tourist rush that marks winter. Most budget travellers prefer travelling in this season since the weather is suitable and there are great discounts on hotels and restaurants.
If you happen to travel during the monsoon, we recommend including cycling tours and heritage walks in your Jaipur tourism itinerary. This not only ensures you see a different side of the city but it also gives you an opportunity to explore Jaipur tourism like a true local.
As you make your way up the narrow winding roads to Amber Fort, you can almost feel a surge of excitement. Yet nothing prepares you for the first glimpse of the majestic monument. The grand architecture and the landscaped gardens might have been renovated numerous times, but one can't miss the royal elements that make Amber Fort one of the most-visited monuments of Jaipur tourism.
The construction of the fort started in 1592 and was finally completed in the 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh. The fort is a fine example of Hindu and Rajputana style of architecture. The signature red sandstone runs throughout the vast fort and you can’t help but marvel at the grandeur. Amber Fort served as the royal residence in the days of yore and is broadly divided into four sections. Most tours begin from the main entrance to the fort which is known as Suraj Pol.
Diwan-e-Aam or the audience hall for the public occupies most of the second level of Amber Fort and the sheer size and vibrancy of the hall is mesmerising. The glasswork and the towering pillars give you an idea of the wealth of the royal era. Sheesh Mahal, another highlight of Amber Fort and Jaipur tourism is made entirely of glass paintings and the play of colours and sunlight is simply beautiful. With flower motifs in glass adorning the ceiling and walls, Sheesh Mahal is the most-visited attraction in Amber Fort and also the most beautiful. Also, attracting attention is Sukh Mahal which is made of sandalwood and ivory.
There are many guided tours to Amber Fort and you can choose one depending on your interests. From heritage walks and photography tours to cycling trips, Amber Fort is arguably the most sought-after monument that makes Jaipur tourism.
Exploring the fort can take anywhere between three and five hours and it's best to keep aside this time in your Jaipur tourism itinerary. We also recommend exploring the monument early in the morning and coming back for the light and sound show in the evening. Sheesh Mahal, the lush gardens and the views of the city below are some of the highlights of Amber Fort. The monument is visited by thousands of tourists everyday but that doesn't hamper your tour at all owing to the sheer size of Amber Fort.
Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort
Jaigarh and Nahargarh Forts are two grand structures which are situated amidst the Aravallis. Owing to the proximity of the monuments, both can be covered on the same day when you are exploring Jaipur tourism. Situated close to each other, these two forts are brilliant examples of Rajput defence forts as well as architectural skills. Jaigarh Fort was built in 1726 primarily to protect Amber Fort from attacks and after seeing the huge, impregnable walls, you can see why.
Jaigarh Fort is situated atop the Cheel ka Teela hills and is often referred to as the ‘Fort of Victory’ since it has never been conquered in any war. The most attractive feature of Jaigarh Fort is the majestic cannon on wheels which is set up on the second level. The largest in the world, the cannon is known as Jaivana and is truly breathtaking. Another reason why Jaigarh Fort features on most Jaipur tourism itineraries is due to the awe-inspiring views it offers of the city below. If you are a photographer, we suggest heading here just before sunrise so you can capture the beauty of this gorgeous city.
Nahargarh Fort was constructed as a retreat by Maharaja Sawai Singh II. Built in 1734, the mesmerising views of the city are completely worth the time you spend here. A wall connects Nahargarh Fort to Jaigarh Fort and it's quite inspiring to see the architectural feat they accomplished during that time.
Nahargarh Fort was primarily a retreat for women of the royal family. Known as Madhavendra Bhavan, the zenana was built on one side of the fort while Mardana Mahal occupies a different area of the fort. Your tour of the fort should also include a visit to Nahargarh Biological Park. Located a short distance from the fort, the park should also be part of your Jaipur tourism itinerary owing to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Standing tall in the centre of the city is an unmissable part of Jaipur tourism – the City Palace. The majestic City Palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh and occupied a major portion of the erstwhile royal city. The City Palace served as the seat of the Maharaja and one can still see remnants of the glorious era. The City Palace is divided into broad sections and the best way to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything is by heading out for a guided tour. You can include a guided tour in your Jaipur tourism itinerary by booking tickets at the City Palace office or through a local tour agency.
The architecture of the City Palace is a fusion of three to four architectural styles including Shilpa Shastra, Mughal, European and Rajput. While there were numerous people who were involved with the design of the City Palace, the main architects were Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. Red and pink sandstone dominate the architecture and you will find this colour theme throughout the monuments that are part of Jaipur tourism. There are three entrances to the palace which were carefully designed keeping in mind the intricate art on the walls of the gate.
The City Palace has gone through a series of changes but the outer gate has remained untouched for ages. The most attractive highlights of the palace are Chandra Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam and Maharani Mahal. Mubarak Mahal is another beauty which takes your breath away and is a must-visit for history lovers. The mahal served as a reception area but has now been converted into a museum. With exhibits dating back to the royal era, you can admire the arts and crafts of the state. Keep a look out for embroidered shawls, block-printed apparel, formal costumes and the ornamental clothes adorned by Sawai Madho Singh I.
It can take about two to three hours to explore the City Palace so we recommend starting early and keeping sufficient time in your Jaipur tourism itinerary.
Hawa Mahal is located on the main road amidst bustling markets and the mesmerising red- and pink-sandstone structure features on most Jaipur tourism itineraries. Built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, Hawa Mahal owes its name to the unique architecture.
The mahal has more than 900 small mesh windows which allow cool wind to enter during summer. The wind keeps the mahal cool and comfortable during hot summers in Jaipur. The palace was constructed primarily for this reason. It allowed the women from the royal family to view the festivities from the windows and participate in the celebrations. It wasn’t considered appropriate for the women in the family to openly participate in any of the public proceedings.
You can book a guided tour of Hawa Mahal in your Jaipur tourism itinerary to learn more about the architecture and the history of the palace. There are five floors in the mahal but not all areas are open to the public. Some parts of the palace are in ruins and it’s best not to venture into these areas, especially if you are travelling with children. The top of the mahal offers stunning views of the city, the City Palace and Jantar Mandir.
We suggest heading here in the morning since exploring the mahal will not take more than two to three hours. If you have time in your Jaipur tourism itinerary, we also recommend spending time in the market outside Hawa Mahal. Offering a plethora of Jaipur’s popular arts and crafts, the market is a delight for shopping enthusiasts.
Spend a day at Elefantastic
Elephants have been an integral part of Mughal architecture and there is no better way of exploring Jaipur tourism than by spending time with them. Elefantastic gives adventure buffs and nature lovers an opportunity to experience the joy of spending time with these gentle creatures. Elefantastic is located a few kilometres from Jaipur and is a wonderful way to spend time in the city.
It has gradually gained importance in Jaipur tourism owing to the large number of activities it offers. You can choose from different packages but the most popular is the day package which includes spending time with elephants through a series of activities. These activities range from bathing an elephant to feeding it. A guide is with you throughout the experience to ensure you understand the temperament of the elephants.
If you choose to go for a package with Elefantastic, it's important to remember that it will take the entire day. It's best to schedule your Jaipur tourism itinerary accordingly. The package also includes a traditional meal at the end of the tour. This is not only a great way to interact with elephants but it also gives you an opportunity to learn more about the local culture.
If you want to include a day tour to Elefantastic in your Jaipur tourism itineraries, you must keep some extra budget. The activity is expensive and can set you back by Rs.4000 to Rs.6000 per person.
Enjoy a cultural evening in Chokhi Dhani
Chokhi Dhani has become a favourite for travellers from across the world. A luxury resort located a few kilometres away from the main city, it offers you a peek into the local way of life. The resort recreates the rural villages of Rajasthan and brings together the various art and craft forms that have put the state on the global map.
Chokhi Dhani is divided into two sections. One section comprises the resort that is home to village-styled cottages and the other section houses a cultural village which sees performers from across the state. The resort is open for only the guests that book a stay, while the cultural village is open for everyone. The cultural village opens in the evening and includes a tour of the village, access to all the stalls in the village including dance, music and food stalls. While the entry to the village is free, you have to pay for the food which is served in the form of a sit-down buffet and a traditional-style buffet. You can choose either of the options but the traditional-style buffet is a favourite with all guests. The buffet includes all traditional dishes including gatte ki curry, bajra roti, kachori, lehsun ki chutney, ker sangri and khichdi. There is a separate dining area for those who don’t want to try Rajasthani cuisine. Serving Italian, Chinese, continental and Indian cuisines, the buffet is a favourite with most travellers. However, if you truly want to experience Jaipur tourism, we recommend choosing the traditional buffet.
A visit to the cultural village is sought after in most Jaipur tourism itineraries owing to the huge number of activities and cultural performances. You can spend time at the intriguing parrot stall deciphering your future, indulge in some traditional games including shooting balloons and arm wrestling, explore the man-made maze village-maze covered with thick greens and spend time in the bustling shopping complex. The shopping complex gives artists from across the state a platform to exhibit their arts. If shopping is on your mind while exploring Jaipur tourism, we definitely recommend spending time here.
Shop in the city’s markets
You can’t explore Jaipur tourism without including a visit to the city’s bustling markets. The markets of the city are its lifeline and if you want to experience the pulse of the city, there isn’t a better way. There are many tours that include a visit to the markets but you can easily explore them on your own. Most of the markets are located close to each other and irrespective of your interests, we recommend visiting all the markets in Jaipur.
Johari Market is popular for precious stones, semi-precious stones and silver jewellery. Exquisite designs and handcrafted jewellery puts this market on the list of top markets to visit in India. While bargaining is not frowned upon, most of the rates depend on the material and make of the jewellery.
Nehru Bazar is another delight which is part of Jaipur tourism. Offering a variety of footwear and bags, this market is ideal for those who enjoy great bargains. Sireh Deori Bazaar is located opposite Hawa Mahal and the series of shops here are a delight for shopping buffs. Among the most sought-after shopping markets in the city, you can find a variety of knick-knacks as well as wall hangings, leather shoes, and puppets. Some of the other markets that can feature in your Jaipur tourism itinerary, we recommend visiting Chandpole Market, Kishanpole Market and the Rajasthan Emporium.
There are a variety of accommodation options in the ‘Pink City’ that are part of Jaipur tourism. You can choose between heritage properties, boutique homestays and 5-star hotels in Jaipur. For budget travellers, there are numerous hostels and small homestays that offer a comfortable stay.
Luxury hotels in Jaipur
Who doesn't want to feel like royalty in the vibrant city of Jaipur? With luxurious rooms, mesmerising views, heartwarming service and special attention to the needs of guests, high-end resorts in Jaipur tourism are an ideal choice for luxury travellers. Here are some of the best hotels in Jaipur tourism.
Mid-budget hotels in Jaipur
Unlike most places, mid-budget hotels in Jaipur offer you a memorable experience. Recreating the royal lifestyle, these hotels offer you a taste of authentic Rajasthani hospitality. Here are some of the most sought-after mid-budget properties in Rajasthan tourism.
Budget hotels in Jaipur
Budget travellers can breathe a sigh of relief since Jaipur is home to a plethora of beautiful hostels and homestays. Backpackers can not only meet like-minded travellers but can also experience a comfortable and memorable stay. Some of the best budget hotels in Jaipur tourism are:
Some of the best hostels which are part of Jaipur tourism are:
No mention of Jaipur tourism is complete without paying attention to the local cuisine. The capital city of Rajasthan is a keeper of traditional recipes and local restaurants that have been serving food lovers for decades. Pyaz kachori, gatte ki sabzi, kadhi, bajra roti, ker sangri and khichdi are some of the popular dishes that you will find everywhere.
For non-vegetarians, lal maas is a big temptation and you can't explore Jaipur tourism without giving this spicy dish a try. Lal maas is one of the few dishes that have been passed on from generations and is made using red chillies by following a slow preparation process.
It's also worthwhile to mention that the street food in Jaipur is exceptional. You can choose to eat at any of the small local restaurants and you won't be disappointed. While tikki, kachori and chaat are staples in all Indian cities, the taste of the chutney and special preparation process in Jaipur’s local eating joints wins the heart of all food lovers.
Some of the must-visit restaurants in Jaipur tourism are Handi, Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar, The Rajput Room, RJ14, Chao Chinese Bistro, Cinnamon in Jai Mahal Palace and The Verandah in Rambagh Palace. Owing to the increasing popularity of Jaipur tourism among foreign travellers, Jaipur tourism has slowly made space for cafes. Offering world cuisines with a touch of Indian hospitality, the cafes that are part of Jaipur tourism are a must-visit. Here are some of the best cafes that are part of Jaipur tourism.
The easiest way to explore Jaipur tourism is by hopping on a cycle rickshaw or an auto rickshaw. The old city is dotted with these easy and convenient means of transport which are more enjoyable than you’d imagine. Owing to the popularity of Jaipur tourism, private cab companies like Ola and Uber have also made travelling in the city easier.
However, for those on a budget trip, we recommend booking an auto rickshaw for your sightseeing sprees or choosing a cycling tour. Auto rickshaws typically charge between Rs.300 and Rs.450 for a full day of sightseeing. This includes a visit to Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Amber Fort and Jaigarh Fort. If you also want to include a visit to Birla Temple, Jantar Mantar and Albert Hall Museum, you will have to negotiate the fares.
Jaipur also has a well-connected network of roads which makes travelling by buses easy. Though, if you are on a trip, we recommend not using buses as a means of transport simply because of the irregular schedule. Buses don’t always run on time and it might ruin your planned Jaipur itinerary.
What is the one thing that forces all of us to reconsider our travel plans? Our budget constraints. But for everyone travelling to Jaipur, you can relax! Jaipur is among the most-popular and most-welcoming cities in the world. Jaipur welcomes all kinds of travellers and you can easily enjoy a luxurious trip as well as a budget trip. Catering to the needs and requirements of all kinds of travellers, the city offers you just the kind of vacation you want. Here are rough costs for all kinds of travellers who want to explore Jaipur tourism.
Luxury travellers can expect to spend between Rs.15,000 and Rs.25,000 per day. This cost includes transport, food and activities that you include in your luxury package.
Mid-budget travellers, on the other hand, can expect to spend between Rs.5000 and Rs.10,000 per day. This cost can drastically reduce if you choose mid-budget accommodation and book in advance for your Jaipur trip.
Budget travellers can easily keep their per-day costs under Rs.500 if they choose auto-rickshaw tours, eat at local restaurants and include more group tours in their Jaipur tourism itineraries. If you choose a hostel or hotel which includes the majority of your meals, this cost will reduce further.
Written by Kirat Sodhi. She is a proud mom of three cats and lives for lemon tea, a good book and spontaneous travel plans.