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A Guide to Sunshine State: Rajasthan - Jaipur


Tripoto.com
Duration: 16 Days
Expenditure 27000

Whenever anyone asks me where they should go on their first trip to India, I always have the same answer: Rajasthan. It is the state that conforms to our exotic preconceptions of India: turbans, lakes, palaces, forts, snake charmers, mahouts, and maharajas.

 

A lot of the images of India we see abroad are of Rajasthan, in the way that many images of Britain are of thatched Gloucestershire cottages, Italy of Tuscan towns, or France of the Chateaux of the Loire Valley. One travels to Rajasthan to witness the India one was hoping for.

 

For me, visiting Rajasthan was love at first sight. I fell head-over-heels for the sunshine and lights (Rajasthan has the best light in the world – you cannot take a bad photograph there), later with the architecture and miniature paintings, the neem and banyan trees and particular serenity that infuses the place, especially around sunset.

 

I adore the smaller places is Rajasthan the most: Dungarpur with its untouched palace hotel on Gaibsagar lake, its gloomy dining room and glass eyed tiger trophies. Deogarh with its market town bustle; Kumbhalgarh's majestic fort and 36 kilometer wall, which I once circumnavigated over two days of hard walking, eagles hovering overhead. Nimaj and the charm of the surrounding rural villages, and the tents at Chhatra Sagar along the dam.

 

It was my grandiose fantasy to buy the old castle in Ghanerao one day, repair it and make it my home – not that the Thakur of Ghanero was ever thinking of selling. These days my tastes are simpler: I'd love a cottage deep in the Kumbhalgarh hills.

 

Physically, Rajasthan is the loveliest of states. My favorite way to travel is by road when you can zone out on long journeys (all journeys in Rajasthan are long), staring out at the Aravalli hills at little crag-top shrines flying red pennants, at the endless empty scrubland and khejri trees. If you pull off the road and take almost any small path into the countryside, you pass village after village where only the occasional satellite dish reminds you it is the 21st century. And sometimes in the middle of nowhere you come across temples or shrines of such history and beauty that they're like engravings by William Daniel.

 

Rajasthan's capital is one of India's first and finest planned cities. Designed on the lines of Manhattan, this bustling city has broad, parallel roads-even the narrow streets are wide enough to let four elephants pass side by side. The architecture blends Rajput and Mughal influences with stunning palaces, hillside forts and unbeatable hospitality. But for me , it's also the crafts capital of the offers every luxury and amenity of a modern city yet retains a vintage charm. Start your day with a deliciously creamy lassi in a traditional earthen pot at the roadside lassiwalla on MI road before you take a picturesque elephant ride up to the Amber Fort. A centrally located heritage hotel, Narain Niwas palace on Narain Singh Road offers excellent Rajput-style service, modern amenities and period furniture without a princely tag. Once there, enjoy the lakeside garden, which seems to float over the still lake , and a stunning view of the Pink City from the terrace. after a quick launch at NIROS , dedicate the entire afternoon (and maybe a bit of the evening) to shopping for handicrafts, gens and souvenirs at Johri Bazaar. Make a stop at Purohit Ji Ka Katla , Jaipur's best known cloth market. End with a trip to City Palace Museum.
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 1/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 2/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 3/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 4/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 5/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 6/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 7/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 8/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 9/10 by Prashi
Photos of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 10/10 by Prashi
For beautiful Banarsi silks, lehengas, lehriyas and flashy saris , make a trip to RANA'S in Johri Bazaar; I love their bandhej and bhandhini work. They also have impressive Indian wear for men,accessories,dress material and salwar kameezes.
Photos of Rana's, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 1/1 by Prashi
Some of Jaipur's best block-printing worck can be found at RATAN TEXTILES ON Ajmer Road. Traditional and modern techniques combine to create exceptional and high quality home furnishings, handmade paper and gifts.
Photos of Ratan Textile Pvt Ltd, Madrampura, Civil Lines, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 1/2 by Prashi
Photos of Ratan Textile Pvt Ltd, Madrampura, Civil Lines, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 2/2 by Prashi
I've picked up beautiful candle lders for my country house from AFKD, a lifestyle and fashion store on Pritviraj Road that offers unique pieces and crafts in beaten brass, stone carvings and mirror work.
Photos of AFKD , Jaipur  1/3 by Prashi
Photos of AFKD , Jaipur  2/3 by Prashi
Photos of AFKD , Jaipur  3/3 by Prashi
No trip is complete without indulging in a Rajasthani thali at 1135AD on Jaleb Chowk near Amber Fort. Meals are served on a silver platter in a magnificent setting: waiters in safrom turbans , antique silver furniture anal chandeliers. For romantics, the best seat in the house is on the back terrace, with views of Jaigarh Fort.
Photos of 1135 AD , Jaleb Chowk , Jaipur  1/3 by Prashi
Photos of 1135 AD , Jaleb Chowk , Jaipur  2/3 by Prashi
Photos of 1135 AD , Jaleb Chowk , Jaipur  3/3 by Prashi
For a quick i often visit NIROS on MI Road. It is a 60 year old restaurant that attracts a loyal following of celebrities and regular diners. I'm a vegetarian and love the paneer tikka masala, but friends tell me that the chicken version is equally fantastic.
Photos of Niros, Mirza Ismail Road, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 1/3 by Prashi
Photos of Niros, Mirza Ismail Road, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 2/3 by Prashi
Photos of Niros, Mirza Ismail Road, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 3/3 by Prashi
Incase you need a break from Indian flavours, LITTLE ITALY on Prithviraj Road is a little bistro that serves vegetarian Italian cuisine like pastas, risottos and wood-fired pizzas and has a great selection of desserts.
Spend a day with elephants-feeding,bathing and even painting them at the elephant safari at Dera Amer, Kukas. It's adventure camp behind Amber Fort that offers fantastic elephant,camel horse and jeep safaris organized by the resident Rajput family. Indulge in the high tea at the base camp , before the elephants take you on a sunset safari across the Aravali forest.
Photos of Dera Amer, Kukas  1/4 by Prashi
Photos of Dera Amer, Kukas  2/4 by Prashi
Photos of Dera Amer, Kukas  3/4 by Prashi
Photos of Dera Amer, Kukas  4/4 by Prashi
A fabulous platform for the visual and performing arts, Amber's Kawa Cultural Centre features shows by renowned Indian and international artists , followed by a delectable traditional dinner.
Photos of Kawa Cultural Centre , Jaipur  1/4 by Prashi
Photos of Kawa Cultural Centre , Jaipur  2/4 by Prashi
Photos of Kawa Cultural Centre , Jaipur  3/4 by Prashi
Photos of Kawa Cultural Centre , Jaipur  4/4 by Prashi
A traditional country home in Anopura in Ramgarh , an hour's drive from Jaipur , is the best way to ex rustic India. With just two luxury bedroom suites and one tent, it is perfect for a quick gateway. Dive into the plunge pool, stuff yourself on the Indian and international fare or just unwind and soak up the beautiful surroundings.
The boutique hotel Devi Ratn on the Jaipur-Agra Road is inspired by the Jantar Mantar observatory Jaipur's gem crafts. Gorgeous suites and villas are equipped with five star amenities, and you can try kite-flying , stargazing and a camel safari. There's also an Eco-friendly spa and a well-stocked library.
Photos of Devi Ratn, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 1/2 by Prashi
Photos of Devi Ratn, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 2/2 by Prashi
With 47 acres of ornate gardens and Rajput -Mughal architecture, the Ram Bagh Palace Hotel on Bhawani Singh Road is a celebrity favorite. Book the Peacock Suite , which overlooks the Mughal terrace and garden where former residents Maharaja Swai Man Singh II and Maharani Gayatri Devi celebrated Holi. The butlers treat each guest like royalty. Indulge in a round of drinks at Polo Bar after a game of polo.
Photos of The Ram Bagh Palace Hotel , Jaipur  1/4 by Prashi
Photos of The Ram Bagh Palace Hotel , Jaipur  2/4 by Prashi
Photos of The Ram Bagh Palace Hotel , Jaipur  3/4 by Prashi
Photos of The Ram Bagh Palace Hotel , Jaipur  4/4 by Prashi
Just off the NH-11 , The Oberoi Rajvilas on Goner Road is situated in 32 acres of lush countryside . The room boast grand four-poster beds and sunken marble baths overlooking private gardens, while the embroidered tents outside have old-style baths and outdoor decks. It's a great place to relax and recharge. The beauty if the Rajvilas is that it offers every luxury and amenity of a modern city yet retain a vintage charm.
Photos of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Jagdish Colony, Paldi Meena, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 1/7 by Prashi
Photos of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Jagdish Colony, Paldi Meena, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 2/7 by Prashi
Photos of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Jagdish Colony, Paldi Meena, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 3/7 by Prashi
Photos of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Jagdish Colony, Paldi Meena, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 4/7 by Prashi
Photos of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Jagdish Colony, Paldi Meena, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 5/7 by Prashi
Photos of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Jagdish Colony, Paldi Meena, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 6/7 by Prashi
Photos of The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, Jagdish Colony, Paldi Meena, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 7/7 by Prashi
In the Old City are stylish rooms at Samode Haveli, a majestic old mansion in Gangapole. The Heritage hotel is well located and yet very peaceful, as it doesn't entertain large groups. Live the princely life in Sheesh Mahal Suites. Couples can pick the central courtyard for a romantic starlit dinner.
Photos of Samode Haveli, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 1/5 by Prashi
Photos of Samode Haveli, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 2/5 by Prashi
Photos of Samode Haveli, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 3/5 by Prashi
Photos of Samode Haveli, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 4/5 by Prashi
Photos of Samode Haveli, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India 5/5 by Prashi
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