Ladies’ Day Out at Jaipur

The Pink City of Rajasthan has two kinds of keen visitors – a) foreign tourists and b) Indian women. That has been my judgement so far, when all the women I know love the city and want to go again and again, and their men have that look on their faces – you know, that says – what-is-there-in-jaipur-?-? and how-many-times-do-we-go-there-?-?-? !

Well, my dear men folk, for only women would have the answer to this : Jaipur is close-by, so no traveling-for-11-hours. Site-seeing is great and kinda mushy. Food is simply wonderful. And… ahem… there are too many shopping opportunities. And yes, Chokhi Dhani, ofcourse.

So we dumped all men around us (except for one – the driver!) and decided to go to Jaipur with only 2 agendas – shop till you drop and an evening at Chokhi Dhani. Though both had to be squeezed to a small capsule, because the youngest female of 2 years suddenly decided to not enjoy it.

Jaipur has 2 main markets – Bapu Bazaar and Johri Bazaar. And then there are various emporia all over the city and on the outskirts; and they all sound govt. owned or represent small scale industry board. (The truth is that they’re faking it. If you ever land into any and end up liking anything that they offer, then negotiate hard. Like you do at flea markets. And they will agree.) So Bapu Bazaar, which is the main retail market (they all claim wholesale prices, but can be brought down by about 30%) is the place for Bedsheets, Jaipuri quilts, bandhni suits, sarees and dupattas and similar stuff.

There are also good shops for Supari, Churan, pickles and papads. Johri bazaar, as the name suggests, is the place for jewellery. There is superb silver stuff – in antique finish, kundan, stones and meena-kari. You can also find good designs in gold and newly-revived-extinct-art forms like thewa and patra. There are designs for all. On the streets of both the markets, there are these guys selling laquer (laakh/laq) bangles and jewellery. There are several Lassiwalas (yes, that’s the brand name – like panchhi petha of Agra) who sell lassi in mitti (mud) tumblers and they are all equally good.

In the centre of Johri Bazaar lies age-old LMB hotel – Lakshmi Mishthaan Bhandaar. Great sweets, supari and vegetarian food. For the non-veg feast, try any of the restaurants on M.I.Road (Mirza Ismail Road). Niros gives very good Laal Maas (Rajasthani Lamb delicacy) and twin parlours – Jal Mahal and Surya Mahal also serve great milk shakes and fast food meals. There is also a row of lassiwala who also make aloo-poori and daal-baati-churma. Whatever you eat, do it in moderation and save the most of the appetite for Chokhi Dhani.

It costs Rs. 275/- per person to enter Chokhi Dhani, the village set-up further away on Tonk Road via the Airport. The entertainment does not stop. There are dancers, magician, puppet shows, rides and what not. But the highlight is the food. You can have it as buffet that is laid out in a corner – just stay away from it – and head straight to where they serve you sitting down on the floor. In a buffet you never know the course of the meal. And since the food looks and smells so good, you just pile up the platter and leave most of it. Ahhh… and then you remember later… ahh… all that feast going down the drain – what a dagger! And post meal, don’t leave immediately, take another round and make the most of it.

Disclaimer : The article may sound too biased towards shopping and food, but those are the author’s views and interest. If you’ve developed severe hunger pangs after this, the website may not be responsible.

8 Comments

  • nandanjha says:

    welcome to Ghumakkars. Very interesting write-up but short one. You probably should have given some parking tips as well (now thats a different side of the whole thing). Park your vehicle on the other side of main road, opp side of Bapu Bazaar entry. Few years back, I took my car insider and then I had to literally act like a parking attendent fixing things which got creates because everyone else was trying to drive inside market.

    Also, one other big thing about Rajashthan in general is that local people are easy to go along with and you would usually not find folks looking to make money out of you.

    keep writing.

  • Nice write-up Smita.

    On lighter note: As most of its about shopping and eating. You can understand that why the male members of family start looking at other side when you mention about going to Jaipur :)

  • Shagoon says:

    Nice one! After reading the article i feel like going there again!!!

  • Gogi says:

    Read about ‘Home Stay’ at Jaipur,sounds good.Run by Mrs Ridhsidh Thirani (Micky) and her husband.She was very warm on the telephone.Also listed on http://www.travelguru.com under Jaipur/Devika’s Home stay.(Devika is their daughter whose 13th birthday was a few days ago).If somebody tries it out in the next few weeks,please write about it….we are two busy with weddings this month!

    Have fun,people!

  • reeta says:

    Interesting post there!

  • Herbie says:

    That is so spot on!! My husband and I have had literally the exact same conversation! Ur very good!

  • Smita says:

    Thanks, Herbie.

    Nice to know that there are others who feel the same way :)

  • 1 says:

    I like how are you thinkingand I must confess Im totally addicted to your articles!

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