Jaipur, the Pink City. Its at an arm’s distance from Delhi courtesy wide-n-quick NH8 and the toll road, even though it charges a bomb (Rs 90 + Rs 30) each way but is worth each tar of it. It can be reached in about 5 hours of drive from Delhi. By now I must be sounding like a Delhi-ite who goes to Jaipur every weekend. Well, an average Delhite doesn’t, to know more, read “Why Delhi Loves Mussoorie …..” but I have been to Jaipur many times. No travel experience site is worth its salt if it doesn’t mention Jaipur, so I decided to remember what I could remember at my age and share with you. My reason of visiting Jaipur multiple times were many, the primary being that its home town of a close friend, Avinash.
Jaipur is 260 KM South-West of Delhi and is on Delhi-Mumbai NH8. There are trains like Pink City Express but you would better do by driving there or hiring a car. If you plan to use public transport then catch RSRTC (Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation) buses from Bikaner House, near India Gate, Delhi. From other towns/cities, post a query at our forum and I am hoping that someone will get you a good answer. There are all kinds of buses with Volvo being the best one. It charges Rs 400+ but its very comfortable, you can also take Silver Line which costs about half of it and is pretty good. Buses usually stop at Midway (Behror) for snacks-break and you get decent food there. You can find more info on this at http://www.rsrtc.org/
Ok, now where to stay in Jaipur. I have stayed at Hotel Ashish which is a fairly decent Budget Hotel. Its very close to Bus Stand and Railway Station, fairly popular so you should be able to locate it. I am not able to find nos but I can possibly dig that and get that to you when you need. Nice staff, good food, clean rooms, its not a big hotel, so no big reception or dining area but pretty comfy for the price. I guess you can get a double AC room for less then 1K with complementary breakfast. At other times, I have stayed at Avinash’s place, Hotel Umaid Bhavan or Palace, Dak Bunglow and one other government place which was pretty scary.
What to do.
1. City Palace – Its in the heart, close to MI road, just beyond Bapu Market (or before, don’t remember). An old palatial building which has a very rich museum having those big hand looms, life size portraits of kings, palace architecture, a big white shining vessel (see pic) and general shaan-o-shaukat (pride-n-luxury mix). You can probably spend half a day here.
2. Amer Fort – Amer deserves a separate post. It’s a fort through which you enter the city. There is a shish mahal, a sacrifice point where the king used to slaughter a goat in praise of goddess which Indira Gandhi stopped (this was told to us by the guide), stairs and chhatris, and lots of city-watching from the top, a standard fort with all the standard fitments.
3. Albert Hall – An old building (done in 1868) which houses a museum, a sports ground, garden and some animals. This has been in news for wrong reasons recently. We didn’t go inside but it’s a good photo op. It was in news because of pigeons, apparently ASI doesn’t like them since they ruin the building and somehow people have got into a habit of buying grains for them so there was some plan to get all the pigeons out and all. Interesting point to visit , in quiet surroundings.
4. Chokhi Dhani – Must go place. A small village setup inside a big hotel with camel rides, bullock card rides, magician tricks, puppetry , eat fresh bajra roti, general time-pass, some small time shopping and a great ambiance of fun and frolic. There is any entry fee of Rs 300 + (it keeps increasing every now and then) and the show starts in the evening and goes on till 11 or so. End the day (or night) with a feasty Rajashthani food which is part of entry charge. The servers would insist you to eat more then what you can take so be warned.
5. Shopping and Eating – Buy lots of bed sheets, colorful suits, block painting stuff and more at Bapu Market. I am little challenged here so would request Smita (my wifey) to write on this. Everytime she spent some time on this. There are some good joints on MI Road, have lassi for sure.
And finally here’s are some pics of our visit to Nahargarh fort. It has the world’s biggest cannon, my friend Syal asked me that how did they carry this big monster here since the fort is at quite a height and the roads are not as wide and equipped, did they build it here ?
Delhi Jaipur Route – Google Map
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