Jaipur : A Photo Guide

Tripoto

This is a photo guide based my three-day visit to Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital of the desert state of Rajasthan. Jaipur is famous for its forts, palaces, Rajasthani food, block printing, blue pottery and its colorful people.One of the first things that I noticed about Jaipur was its cleanliness. Never have I seen a tourist place, so clean. So with this introduction let us begin our photo journey through the Pink City.

The most popular tourist destinations in Jaipur can be divided into two groups. City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar and Albert Hall are at a stone's throw away from each other. At the other end of the city lie the Jal Mahal, Amer fort, Jaigarh fort and Nahargarh fort which can be covered together.

1) City Palace: Once the seat of Maharaja of Jaipur, a part of it sill serves as a royal residence.

Photo of City Palace, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

2)Jantar Mantar: This astronomy observatory which houses the world's largest sundial left me awestruck about the scientific advancement of our ancestors.

Photo of Jantar Mantar - Jaipur, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

3)Hawa Mahal: An ornately built, high screen wall which was used by the ladies of the royal family to view proceedings on the street below, this one is an architectural beauty.

Photo of Hawa Mahal, Hawa Mahal Road, Badi Choupad, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

4)Albert Hall: A museum made out of white stone, this stands in the middle of a busy street but oddly its serenity blends perfectly with the hustle and bustle of the state capital.Of all the monuments, this one was my favorite, I sat for almost an hour gazing at the purity of this white building, looking at pigeons fly by, even as cars and bikes honked around, one look at the Albert Hall and I was transported to a different era.

Photo of Albert Hall Museum, Ram Niwas Garden, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

5)Jal Mahal: Located at the center of Mansagar Lake, this five storeyed palace is for floors under water when the lake is full. Due to its cooling architecture, it was used during summers. This palace is closed for tourists and can be seen only from a distance.

Photo of Jal Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

6)Amer Fort: This is arguably the best tourist attraction of Jaipur. The fort campus is huge and offers scenic views of lake Maota, alongside which it is built.

Photo of Amer Fort, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

7)Jaigarh Fort: A military fort, this houses the largest canon in the world.

Photo of Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

8)Nahargarh Fort: Situated at the highest point in the city, Nahargarh fort offers spectacular views of Jaipur city nestled in the lap of Aravali Hills. This one should not be missed at any cost.

Photo of Nahargarh Fort, Maila Bagh, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

9)Birla Mandir: One of the many beautiful temples built across our country, this one needs no introduction.

Photo of Birla Mandir, Tilak Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

#Tip 1: Most of the tourist attractions in Jaipur are historical monuments. What brings these stone walls to life are the stories that surround them. Take a guide to fully understand the grandeur of each of the palaces. They usually charge up to Rs 200/- (depending on your bargaining skills). If you don't want to be bound by the itinerary of a guide then get yourself an audio guide. They come at Rs 100 /- and are super easy to use.

#Tip 2: Check the timings before you plan your tour. Most of the monuments are open from 8 am to 5 pm.

Experiences:

1)Block printing: Rajasthan is famous for block printing, using vegetable colors. Visit one of the innumerable factories located here, to see this art first hand. You can try it yourself and take your block printed fabric as a souvenir.

2)Chokhi Dhani: This is a traditional Rajasthani village themed restaurant. Expert performs showcase Rajasthani dances, magic shows, fire stunts and more. There are many games and Rajasthani thali restaurant. Although this place is very famous, the performers looked very tired and a lot of food is wasted in the thali restaurant. I didn't leave this place with a good feeling and it doesn't really fit into my traveling ethic.

Photo of Chokhi Dhani, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

3)Camel Ride: Being in a dessert this one goes without saying. The thrill of rising with a camel and sitting down with it is no less than that of a roller coaster. Again, be humble, be respectful to the dessert ship.

4)Shopping at Bapu bazar: I am not really the shopping types. I prefer exploring a new place rather than spend hours in a shop. But shopping in Jaipur is totally worth it. It introduces you to the variety of handicrafts that Rajasthan has to offer and you stand a chance at having some interesting conversations with the local shopkeepers. While popular in the tourist circuits is the Johari bazar, it is the nearby Bapu Bazar that locals shop at. Block printed bed sheets, soft blankets that make you feel like a king, colorful Kurtis, antique wine glasses and what not. Put your bargaining hat on for a 2000 can easily mean a 800.

When in Jaipur make sure you try Pyaj Kachori, Mirchi Vada, Laas Maas, Ghewar and the DAAL BAATI. Here are a few places I visited and their reviews.

1)Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar - I had heard a lot about this place and was very excited to visit it.It is situated very close to city palace and I went in on an empty stomach. To my disappointment, this is a classic case of "Naam bade aur darshan chote". The place is very old and was once famous for its food. Now it is a rather overpriced restaurant which serves a not so good tasting Daal Bati for Rs 400. The only positive I found here, was its Pyaj Kachori.

2)Peacock Rooftop Restaurant - Now this one is a gem and you cannot miss this at any cost. A rooftop restaurant with quirky furniture, this place offers superb food for a budget price. When here, you have to try the Laas Maas and their cheese garlic naan(Foodgasms all the way).

3)Indian ice-cream and Kulfi Falooda - I stumbled upon this place while shopping near Bapu Bazaar. I am not a Falooda fan but after having it here, I stand converted. All their ice creams are homemade and the place is so old that when they first started selling Falooda its price was only 25 paise.

4)The Thali House - Very close to Jaipur railway station, come here for the Daal Baati. Though not out of the world, the best one I got to taste in Jaipur.

Where to stay?

Jaipur is thronged by Indian and international tourists throughout the year.There are many stay options available, from high-end Havelis to backpacker hostels. I stayed at Gumaan heritage OYO premium. The hotel simple interiors with a Rajasthani touch. The best part was its open terrace with dome shaped kiosks which gave it heritage hotel feel.

Getting around

There are many options to travel around this beautiful city. You can take rikshas or taxis. Taxis charge around Rs 2000/day. My favorite mode of transport though was an environment-friendly one - eco Rikshas. These run around the city palace and can sometimes take you farther than the Birla temple. For a meager 10Rs, you can reach your destination and reduce your carbon footprint.If you have more time you can explore the city using a bicycle or even on foot

Photo of Thali House, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Karishma Mayur

#Tip : The people of Jaipur are usually very good and helpful, but a lot of drivers get commissions from various shops and restaurants. Distance and timings may increase or decrease based on their convenience. So make sure you double check these details through an authentic source.

When you come to Jaipur, bring time along. It is not a city to be visited in a day. It is feeling the history in the palaces, going back to the realm of royal families, it is walking on colorful cobbled stone pathways and it is meeting equally colorful people.

This was my Jaipur experience and my search for the best Daal Baati still continues. Have you been to Jaipur? What do you most love about the Pink City?

This post was originally published on Karishma Mayur's Blog.