Jaipur Journals

A Weekend in the Pink City

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A December 2002 trip to Jaipur by phileasfogg

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur Photo, Jaipur, India More Photos
Quote: Once upon a time, there was a magnificent desert city. A city of warriors, polo-players, carpet-weavers, and jewelers. To greet a visiting English monarch, the city -- bazaars, palaces, homes, and hovels -- was painted pink, a deep, unfaded rose that endures to this day. Welcome to the "Pink City" of Jaipur.

A Weekend in the Pink City

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Overview

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur Photo, Jaipur, India
Quote:
The capital of India’s most-visited state (Rajasthan), Jaipur’s a good introduction to the rest of the state. It’s milder, more convenient, less of a culture-shock than if you were to plunge straightaway into the heart of this beautiful desert state. The fact that it’s just over 200 km from Delhi means that it’s also a popular weekend break from the national capital- if you’re in Delhi and don’t have enough time to travel too far, come to Jaipur.The city’s actually two parts- the centre is the Old City, and around it spreads the modern city, which has the hotels and restaurants and stuff like that. The interesting stuff is in the Old City, a delightfully quirky area, all painted pink, and wi...Read More

Saket Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
The Saket Hotel doesn’t look anything like a hotel from the outside (actually, when you come to think of it, it doesn’t really look much like one on the inside either); it looks like a big bungalow, all quiet and calm, completely devoid of the bustle and the din of a busy hotel. C-Scheme, Tilak Marg is a quiet area, with narrow tree-lined avenues, birds singing in the trees, and houses with pretty lawns -- all a far cry from the dust of central Jaipur. The Saket Hotel is much like that -- a nice quiet place where you can unwind at your own pace. The hotel, even on the inside, is very practical all the way -- no frills at all. The lobby had a counter, some sofas and a currency exchange board on ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

Saket Hotel

Jaipur, India
(2381) 791 238-1769

Rainbow Restaurant

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Restaurant

Quote:
The two of us were keen on authentic Rajasthani grub, and our quest -- with the help of a very co-operative chauffeur -- brought us to the Rainbow Restaurant. Our chauffeur, initially surprised that we should want to eat anything other than greasy chow mein or plasticky burgers, eventually suggested Rainbow, and assured us that we’d get a good Rajasthani meal here. "Order the thali," he said. "It’s enough for two people to eat well, and you can always order more rotis if you like." (A thali, for those not in the know, is a set meal -- a table d’hôte -- an array of dishes, each of them in its own little bowl, arranged neatly in a large round platter. There’ll be a dollop of ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

Rainbow Restaurant
72, Near Post Office, Ramgarh Mod, Amer Road
Jaipur, India
267-2237

Jaigarh Fort

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Attraction

Jaigarh Fort Photo, Jaipur, India
Quote:
Of Jaipur’s three forts, Jaigarh is the most interesting. We’d already seen the pretty palaces at Amer and wanted a peek at a hard-core fortress -- this was it. Jaigarh (literally "Victory Fort") was built between the 15th and the 18th century, and stands 15 km from Jaipur, amidst rock-strewn, thorn-scrub covered hills; its forbidding stone ramparts visible from Jaipur itself. We went up a steep road to the main gate, the Dungar Darwaza, from where the view is stupendous, but the din (honking cars, calling langurs and yelling tourists who are invariably Indian families with frayed tempers) is a bit much. Jaigarh, once responsible for the security of both Jaipur and Amer, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

Jaigarh Fort

Jaipur, India

Amber Fort

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Attraction | "Amer Fort"

Amber Fort Photo, Jaipur, India
Quote:
A moated fortress, Amer is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. It stands atop a hill, and you can ascend by car, on foot, or atop a richly painted elephant. We walked up and reached the Bhairon Gate (elephant dung all over!) and beyond that, the Suraj Pol ("Sun Gate"). Amer’s stone exterior is boring, but once past Suraj Pol, you realize why Amer is considered one of India’s loveliest forts. Amer was made by Maharaja Man Singh in 1590 and added to by his successors right up to Jai Singh in 1724. A 12km boundary wall with eight watchtowers surrounds palaces, pavilions, courtyards, and gardens. In the centre is the parade ground, surrounded by stables and a drum house. Bel...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

Amber Fort
Amber
Jaipur, India

The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum

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Attraction

The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Photo, Jaipur, India
Quote:
The City Palace stands in the centre of the geometric grid which was Jaipur’s Old Town. It’s a complex of pink-and-white palaces built in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, and is today partly occupied by the royal family, and partly a museum -- the excellent Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, established in 1959 as the Maharaja of Jaipur Museum, but renamed in 1970. We entered the City Palace through the Tripolia Gate, although there’s another gate called Jaleb Chowk. Inside, the palace’s divided into three galleries -- I liked the Textiles and Costumes Gallery in the Mubarak Mahal best. The modestly-sized Mubarak Mahal, designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, is two-s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum
City Palace, Old City
Jaipur, India

Chokhi Dhani Village

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Attraction | "Chokhi Dhani"

Chokhi Dhani Village Photo, Jaipur, India
Quote:
We were in Jaipur for just two days, and were (obviously) keen on getting a good, hefty dose of full-blooded Rajasthani culture. The driver who took us around Jaipur suggested Chokhi Dhani. Chokhi Dhani calls itself an "ethnic village" and that’s what it is -- a great showcase of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage. Chokhi Dhani has a hotel, with a business centre, health club, shopping arcade, and stuff like that -- more or less everything you’d expect of a hotel. But that’s only part of it: Chokhi Dhani also has a colourful (and noisy!) programme every evening -- and everybody’s invited! We weren’t staying at Chokhi Dhani, so the only option was to go for the evening -- and the ex...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

Chokhi Dhani Village
12 Miles Tonk Road Via Vatika
Jaipur, India
0141 2770555