The Pink city is glorious and offers many attractions to keep travellers and tourists busy. After much shopping, sightseeing and plenty of eating, there are my personal top picks for what you can not miss when you’re in the city of the maharajas.
Amber Fort – this magnificent fort was once home to the rulers of the region. If you visit the city of Jaipur, you must visit this illustrious palace. It is where parts of the movie Jodha Akbar was filmed and boasts of splendid architecture and an exquisite sheesh mahal decorated with glass. What makes the trip even more interesting is the elephant ride right up to the palace gates so you can enter like royalty.
Lassiwalla ki lassi – There is a lassi stall almost every part in the main city but you have to try it at the famous lassiwalla store on MI road. It’s so popular that on a Sunday morning at 9 am I found myself battling a group of aunties and uncles who were up and about or their morning walks but had made a pitstop for lassi. Lassiwalla takes their lassi very seriously and are proud of their produce. Extremely generous with their servings, even a small portion is good enough for 2 people to share. If you are in the city, make the effort to sample some you will love it. A small tip, since they are so popular they tend to finish their stock by about 4pm most o the time so it would be advisable to go earlier.
Traditional marwadi thali– how is it possible to come to the land of Maharajas and NOT sample their traditional Rajasthani thalis. There are dozen chains and restaurant that serves this food all over the country but the fun is in eating it here where it’s cooked best. This is easily available at many restaurants in the city but I sampled by authentic meal at Chokhi Daani and was lucky enough to have it during holi where they served their traditional holi ka malpua which was huge and sinfully delicious.
Daal bhati churma – Rajasthani cuisine is incomplete without their famous Dal Bhati Churma. The bhati is flaky round bread baked with tons of ghee. The dal is also cooked in ghee and masala and the churma is crushed bhaati mixed with sugar and jaggery. The three of them eaten together completes any Rajasthani menu. Mind you it’s a heavy dish with the amount of ghee used and can be filling but extremely tasty. Personally I prefer to eat just the dal and bhaati and avoid the churma but ideally it should all be eaten together.
Drive down to Ajmer or Pushkar– Jaipur by its self is wonderful and there is ample to do but in case you want to venture out and enjoy the drive, Pushkar or Ajmer are ideal places to visit. Pushkar has its annual fair but apart from that it is home to the ONLY bhramha temple in the world. Ajmer of course has its famous dargah and for the religious or spiritual folks, both places are great destinations and easily accessible from Jaipur.
Jewellery shopping- the city of Jaipur is famous for their gems and jewellery. Almost every street seems to have a jewellery store decorated with pretty ornaments. There is a wide range of choice from the magnificently expensive to the more humble and affordable stones. The tourist hub of MI road has shops filled with choice though they tend to be more expensive. The local markets like Bapu Bazaar and Johari Bazaar have enough choice for those on a budget.
Hawa Mahal – Hawa mahal or the palace of winds is built in the shape of Lord Krishna’s crown. The palace, located in the heart of the city is built with reddish pink sandstone and is five stories high. The highlight of the palace is its 953 intricately decorated windows so that the royal women could view life outside the palace without anyone being able to spot them. At the time, women were not allowed to appear in public or in front of strangers. The palace is beautiful and a must visit if you’re in Jaipur.