Compiled by Editors

{special thank you to Aavriti Jain for her inputs}

With battles, kingdoms, princes and palaces at its core, Rajasthan has layers and layers of history waiting to be explored. Its capital, Jaipur, has long passed the repute of being a city representing just history, heritage and tradition.

Visiting Jaipur is like stepping into a painting. Filled with so many different colors, this city transports one to an era long gone. With the rise of festivals like JLF, jewelry shows and fashion designers that are representing Indian heritage and recreating style, monuments exuding grandeur and the delectable food, The Pink City has become Delhi’s favorite neighbor, and one of our favorite destinations.

ART & CULTURE

Art& Cult

Doll Museum | This one-of-a-kind museum, exclusive to Jaipur, exhibits cultures from all over the world via thousands of dolls. The Indian collection displays dolls in bridal wear, classical dance costumes, and traditional clothing.  Apart from dolls, the museum also hosts a stunning collection of paintings, sculpture, pottery etc. Located 4 km from the city center, this is a must visit, irrespective of whether or not you played with dolls when you were little!

Where | Albert Hall Museum, City Palace; Timings | 10am – 5pm

Jawahar Kala Kendra | An international art and culture center in Jaipur, the Jawahar Kala Kendra is an analogue of the original city plan of Jaipur, as conceptualized by the Maharaja, and each of the 9 blocks is based on attributes of one of the 9 planets. The massive complex houses museums, theatres, libraries, studios, an arts display room, as well as a cafeteria on its premises.

Where | Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg; Entry | Free

EXPLORE JAIPUR

Explore

City Palace | Located in the heart of Jaipur, the City Palace is where the erstwhile Maharaja reigned from. Although it’s been converted into a museum housing artifacts from medieval Jaipur, a part of it houses the current royal family. If you’ve always wondered how kings and queens lived, the City Palace is a must-visit.

Where |J.D.A. Market, Pink City; Entry | INR 75 {Indians}, INR 300 {Foreign Nationals}

Jaigarh | One of the three hilltop forts nestled in Jaipur, Jaigarh offers a panoramic view of the entire city. Inside, you will find an armory, a museum, the assembly hall of warriors, as well as the palace complex. It is also famous for housing the world’s largest canon on wheels.

Where | 4 km from Amer fort; Entry | INR 25 {Indians}, INR 75 {Foreign Nationals}

Nahargarh Fort | Perched at the edge of the Aravali Hills, Nahargarh Fort, also known as Tiger Fort, serves as an ideal sunset location. We recommend you make your way up to the top of Nahargarh fort, and settle yourself in one of the gazebos at the charming, open-air restaurant – Café Padao.

Entry | INR 10 {Indian}, INR 50 {Foreign Nationals}

Jantar Mantar | Part of a series of 5 observatories built in medieval India, the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered the largest, housing on its premises the world’s largest sundial. This monument offers great insight into the science of the past.

Where | Near City Palace, Tripolia Bazar, Jaipur; Entry | INR 40 {Indian} INR 200 {Foreign Nationals}

Amer Fort | Situated 11 km from Jaipur City, the Amer Fort sits atop a hill and showcases a stunning amalgam of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Built in red sandstone and marble, it has beautiful paintings and intricate carvings depicting medieval India.

Where | 11 km from Jaipur; Entry | INR 25 {Indian} INR 200 {Foreign Nationals}

Dera Amer | Situated behind the hills of the famous Amer Fort, Dera Amer is located at the foothills of the Aravali Range and surrounded by the wilderness of a reserved forest. They offer fun recreational activities including Elephant Polo {which you can book and play}, along with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Makes for a perfect day getaway!

Where | 2, Yudhishtra Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur

Walled City | A walk through the Walled City will take you back through the ages, as inside the little known lanes, old ways of life continue uninterrupted. From women bargaining over sarees, to old men smoking their hookahs, to pops of color in the form of traditional art and craft, this walk will be worth your while at the least, and enlightening at the most!

P.S. Right opposite Hawa Mahal you will find a middle-aged, toothy gentleman with a rickety, vintage, tripod camera. Tikam Chand has carried forward his family’s legacy of over two generations, of using what is now a 150-year-old camera to take beautiful, vintage-style shots of anyone who’s been lucky enough to spot him.  It’s well worth the wait, as the instrument takes time to develop, for the final product is nothing short of being the best souvenir you could take back home – a beautiful B&W image of yourself that would fit right into the dusty, old family albums, alongside those of your grandparents.You can call Tikam Chand at +91-9828072800/ 9324715885.

Entry | Free

Raj Mandir Cinema Hall | Categorized as a must-visit, the Raj Mandir Cinema, a meringue-shaped cinema hall that opened in 1976, continues to run today. From stunning chandeliers, to opulent adornments, to its beautiful royal pink décor, this hall is considered India’s equivalent of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Where | B-16, Panch Batti, Bhagwan Das Road; Entry | INR 50-110

FOOD & DRINKS

Restaurants

Restaurants

Dragon House |  With red and gold décor, The Dragon House will compel you to order their Dimsums, the Master Blaster Chicken, and the Fish Shirgi. This is where you want to satiate your Chinese cravings.

Where | Hotel Country and Suites; Price Range | Medium

Chokhi Dhani VillageWhat do we say about this venue, that hasn’t already been written about {ad nauseam} in any and every guide book.  What we will tell you is to not be put off by the overly-touristic vibe, and make the drive here for authentic Rajasthani cuisine.  The warm Rajasthani hospitality comes replete with wearing colorful turbans, camel rides, folk singers, and dancers, all in a thematic village setting.

Where | 12 Miles Tonk Road, Via Vatika Jaipur; Price Range | Budget

Dasaprakash | Opened in 1979 at the Ambassdor Hotel {now part of Taj Vivanta}, New Delhi, Dasaprakash was a family ritual for us to get our weekly fix of mouth-watering dosa and idli varieties, the Dasaprakash Thali, and more. They shut shop here and opened in Jaipur; the ambience of the Jaipur outlet lacks the class and feel of the fancy Delhi predecessor, but retains the awesome taste in all its dishes.

Where | 5, Kamal Mansions, MI Road, Jaipur ; Price Range | Budget

Handi | As you make your way past a closed gallery, you enter an intriguing set up comprising a thatched-tent-like-roof, low-hanging Rajasthani lamps, and those ubiquitous Rajasthani bird/puppet danglers.  The village décor aside, this place is a must-visit for what is quite possibly, the best lal maans in the city.  Also good for other Indian food, be sure to visit if you’re craving rich, spicy Rajasthani cuisine in the heart of the city.

Where | Opposite GPO, MI Road, Jaipur ; Price Range | Budget

Rawat Mishtan Bhandar | I was first introduced to Rawat’s kachori by a friend who toted it all the way from Jaipur, and ever since, I make it a point to stop here on every visit to Jaipur because the kachoris are to die for.  Don’t miss ‘em for anything.

Where | Polovictory Cinema, Railway Station Road, Sindhi Camp, Jaipur; Price Range | Budget

1135 AD | When in Jaipur, dine like a Maharaja {or maharani} at this uber-fancy restaurant that’s located right within the fortified confines of the Amber Fort.  Luxurious, romantic and plush, this grand venue features pure silver crockery, sparkling chandeliers, a recast roof with glass inlay and gold leaf motifs, and regal furniture with silver-plated armrests. Head here for a dose of heavy-duty royal glamour, and fantastic {but, very expensive} food.

Where | 1135 AD, Amber Palace, Amber City, Jaipur; Price Range | Expensive

Peshawri | Jaipur’s version of Delhi’s Bukhara, Peshawri is a classic, fail-proof restaurant that will leave you wanting more of its Dal Bukhara, Butter Chicken and Kebabs. The quality of the food will transport you out of the land of Dal Baati to a village in Punjab – a must-visit for all the foodies visiting Jaipur!

Where | ITC Rajputana Hotel; Price Range | Expensive

Kasbah | While Kasbah offers a host of cuisines, we especially liked their Lebanese menu. It also has a  lovely ambience to add to the delicious food.

Where | Country Inn and Suites, Mirza Ismail Rd, Gopalbari, Jaipur; Price Range | Expensive

Cafes

Cafes

Anokhi Café You just can’t go wrong with this firangi-favourite; organic, wholesome, freshly prepared and lip smacking food, served in a charming, sunlit, tourist-packed ambience.  Small but cute, with a thatched roof, and ‘mooda’ seats – this is the best place to curl up with a book, or catch up on work using their free Wifi.

Where | C 11, 2nd Floor, KK Square, Prithviraj Road, Jaipur; Price Range | Budget

Tapri Café | Stocked with over 100 varieties of tea, this modern ‘chai ki dukaan’, frequented by Jaipur’s youth, provides the perfect ambience for some relaxation after a busy day.

Where | 43, Everest Colony, Lal Kothi, Tonk Road; Price Range | Budget

On The House Bistro & Bakery | One of the hidden gems of Jaipur, and popularly known as ‘OTH’, this Bistro and Bakery is as good as the show with the same abbreviation. Located in the heart of the city and away from parking hassles, OTH has a brilliant menu with pastas and pizzas and breads and eggs benedict and…{you catch our drift!} to die for.

Where | Ramesh Marg, Behind Talwalkars, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar; Price Range | Budget

Dzurt Patisserie and Café | If you’re getting sick of the kaju ki barfis and gulab jamuns that are on every street corner in Jaipur, and are craving some cheesecake, crème brulee or croissants, Dzurt is the little French Patisserie you’re looking for. Our advice – google map your way here!

Where | Achrol House, Jacob road, Civil Lines; Price Range | Budget

Bars

Bars

The Forresta Kitchen and Bar | If bingeing and drinking is on your agenda, visit this serene Kitchen-Bar in the middle of the hustle-bustle that is Jaipur. They have some excellent food options, so rest assured your alcohol intake will be balanced by chow!

Where | Devraj Niwas, Near Moti Mahal Cinema, Bani Park; Price Range | Medium

The Polo Bar, Rambagh Palace | Jaipur is synonymous with dynasties, palaces, culture, silver and the elite equestrian sport of polo.  Thus, this aptly named bar is bedecked with the sport’s memorabilia, and is well equipped to serve up single malts, wines, liqueur and Cuban cigars.  Perfect for when you want to make a post-festival chukker.

Where | Polo Bar, Rambagh Palace, Bhawani Singh Road, Jaipur; Price Range | Expensive

Tablu, Hotel Clarks, Amer | A popular rooftop restaurant, that by way of ambience boasts of an open blue sky, eclectic décor, live acts, the who’s who of the pink city in attendance and a great drinks menu.  Perfect for a romantic evening, or just getting together with friends.

Where | Ta Blu, Rooftop, Hotel Clarks Amer, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, Near Bajaj Nagar, Jaipur; Price Range | Medium

Steam | A lounge bar quite unlike any other, this restored steam engine, complete with a recreated Victorian style station offers a great selection of liquors. We love their wood-fired Italian crust pizzas too!

Where | The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur; Price Range | Expensive

100% Rock {Erstwhile ‘TC’} | Franchise of the well-loved Adchini {Delhi} bar, 100% Rock and its famous branch only share a name and a music selection.  This bar boasts of being the only place in Jaipur that plays a good selection of rock music, and as added bonus – offers a greater variety of cuisines than the Delhi counterpart. {We weren’t too impressed with the food though.}

Where | R 14, Yudhishthir Marg, Opposite Deer Park, Ashok Nagar, C Scheme, Jaipur; Price Range | Medium

Lounge 18 | A well-stocked bar, skilled {lady} bartenders, leather upholstered couches you can sink into, and delicious cocktails –  Lounge 18 in Jaipur’s Marriot is perfect for some Friday night shenanigans!

Where | Hotel Marriot, Tonk Road; Price Range | Medium

Henry’s | Henry’s offers a classic English pub feel right in the middle of Jaipur, with its wooden floors and walls. Perfect if you’re a beer drinker looking for draught beer, or have the skilled bartenders mix you your favorite drink.

Where | Hotel Park Prime, Prithviraj Road; Price Range | Expensive

Street Food

Street Food

Lassiwala |  The real Lassiwala is very hard to locate due to imitation Lassiwalas having set up shop {rather shamelessly} all around. LBBD insider info – it is the one that says ‘Shop 312’, and rest assured, Lassi from Lassiwala at 312 in clay handis will not disappoint. Be sure to get there early though, as they only serve till stocks last!

Where | Shop 312, MI Road, Ashok Nagar; Price Range | Modestly Priced

Mamu’s | Having undergone a crazy transformation from the time it was established in the 90s, Mamu’s is now a household name, with people of all ages flocking here for their coffee and extensive Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Continental menu.

Where | Shop No. 9, Block 0, Ashok Marg, C Scheme; Price Range | Modestly Priced

Aunty’s Café | This is the Indian street food haven, with a diverse menu ranging from chola bhatura to dosa to American Chopsuey. Like any street-side restaurant, this is not for the faint stomached. If you’re a seasoned roadside eater – knock yourself out!

Where | Nigam Chaat Bazaar, Sarojini Marg, MI Road; Price Range | Modestly Priced

Pandit Pav Bhaji | Make a trip to Birla Mandir, and you’ll see tons of Pav Bhaji vaalas across the road. Now we tried to locate the original one, but unfortunately, LBBD can’t give you insider info on this one. We can tell you this though – they’re all equally delicious, so take your pick!

Where | Opposite Birla Mandir, Jawahar Circle Garden; Price Range | Modestly Priced

Kiran’s Gol Gappas | No trip to anywhere in India is complete without gol gappas, so whatever you call them in your part of town, head to Kiran’s for some spicy, flavorful ones. 

Where | Opposite Rajput Sabha Bhawan, Bhagwan Das Road; Price Range | Modestly Priced

Pyaz ki Kachori | Steaming hot pyaz ki kachoris are sold at almost every sweet shop across Jaipur, and this signature dish is a must -try. We suggest you stop by the Rawat Mishthan Bhandar for some delicious kachoris.

Where | Adjacent Polo Victory Cinema near the Railway Station; Price Range | Modestly Priced

WELLNESS

Wellness

Tree of Life Resort and Spa | In addition to 6 outdoor swimming pools, Tree of Life Resort & Spa in Jaipur features a restaurant, a full-service spa, and a poolside bar. The spa is a mountain view spa, with standard services like massages, facials, body wraps, and body scrubs, and a variety of treatment therapies.

Where | Kancherwal Kukas, Jaipur

Fitness Inc | If you’ve been adhering to our ‘food’ guide, odds are that you might need to burn off those calories, and what better place to do it than at Fitness Inc – replete with modern equipment, you’ll be back in shape in no time!

Where | E145, Ramesh Marg, C Scheme

Rambagh Golf Course | This 18 hole golf course, which is playable all year round, and extremely picturesque with a view of the Rambagh Palace Hotel and Nahargarh Fort is exactly the kind of recreation you might need. Centrally located, and easily accessible, this golf course traces its roots back to when Maharani Gayatri Devi coaxed her father, the Maharaja to build her a personal golf course.

Where | Bhagwant Das Road, Rambagh

Ashok Club | Under the patronage of the Maharaja himself, the Ashok Club offers facilities for swimming, lawn tennis, squash, badminton, croquet, table tennis, billiards, and a card room. A little birdie tells us that the chilli chicken here is to die for.

Where | Opposite Secretariat, Bhagwan Das Road

Cambay Golf Resort | Spread over 1,61,869 square metres, this extremely upscale property hosts within itself a 9-hole golf course, a spa built over 2,800 square metres {the largest such facility in Rajastan}, a health club, a swimming pool, air hockey and multi -cuisine restaurants. The natural beauty surrounding it makes it a very pristine location for some relaxed exercise.

Where | Jaipur Agra Highway, Jamdoli, Jaipur

Amritam Yoga Studio | An integrated and holistic Yoga Studio, Amritam provides a serene, homely and ashram like atmosphere. They provide personalized yoga menus to suit your personality, and offer customized yoga practices based on your body conditions, needs and requirements, which you can take back home.

Where | 4th Floor, Evershine Tower, Amrapali Cirle, Vaishali Nagar

FASHION & DECOR

Shopping

Amrapali | You can’t ignore the cult of Amrapali when in their hometown! Much, much larger, prettier and better stocked than its  counterparts  – the original Amrapali store is a must-visit for beautiful jewelry, even if you aren’t looking to buy anything.

Where | Panch Batti, M.I.Road, Jaipur {huge store situated right at the traffic intersection} 

Miss India |   Cutlery, show pieces, large matkas, figurines, glasses, furniture, antiques, and tonnes {literally} of jewelry, the store is perfect if you’re in the market for pure silver.

Where | MI Rd, Ghat Darwaza, Jaipur {opposite the Forest Essentials store on MI Road} 

Juttis at the Old City | Within the Old City’s fortified walls, you will find hordes and hordes of the stunning juttis that Jaipur is famous for. Wear them with a salwar-kameez or with jeans – they look equally chic.

Zarri Gotta by Sandhya Dilip | We spotted Zarri Gotta’s beautiful gotta-patti work at an exhibition in Delhi, and vowed to look them up when in Jaipur.  Vibrant colors, intricate work, beautiful fits, and a long waiting list of clients – visit them, even if it is just to start a checklist for what you want in the next wedding season.

Where | Call for an appointment at +91-98293 70616 or visit P-12 Goverdhan Kripa Building, Sahdev Marg, C-Scheme, Near Secretariate, Jaipur

Anokhi | Anokhi’s products attract people from all over the world. Their vibrant range has beautiful cuts and they’ve also introduced kids wear which is adorable. A definite must-visit.

Where | B2, Ram Nagar Shopping Centre, Shastri Nagar; 2, Tilak Marg, Secreteriat, C Scheme; Ghat Ki Guni, Jaipur

Saffron by Nidhi Tholia | If you are wedding shopping, head to this beautiful store for Anarkalis, sarees, lehengas and anything else your trousseau might need.

Where | C 72 sarojini marg, C  Scheme.

Benu Bhatnagar | Benu Bhatnagar is renowned the world over for her exquisite gota-patti work, and while in Jaipur, you can visit her where all the magic happens, as she is based out of the pink city.

Where | 52, Jaipur GPO, Jaipur

For Indian textiles with a contemporary edge |

~ Cotton’s | Kalyan Kunj, 17 Civil Lines

~ Fasateen | Basement, C-12/103, Prithviraj Apartment, Prithviraj Road, C-Scheme

~ Hot Pink | Narain Niwas Palace, Kanotha Bagh, Narain Singh Road

~ Sikar House | 11 Prithviraj Road

~ Ratan Textiles for home linen | Papriwal Cottage, Ajmer Road

~ AKFD | B-6/A-1, Prithviraj Road, C-Scheme, Jaipur

Gem Palace | From antique jewels from the coffers of Maharajas, to contemporary designs studded with precious gemstones, this shop has it all. Connoisseurs of fine jewelry, this one stop shop will leave you with hearts in your eyes.

Where | MI Road, Jaipur

Jewels Emporium | Jewels Emporium emphasizes on original creativity and attention to detail. Their jewelry is all hand made, so every piece is an original and is exquisite in its own right. While in the land of the Maharajas, this is a must-visit.

Where | MI Road, Jaipur

STAY

Royal Heritage Haveli | A beautiful heritage haveli-turned-hotel, with a pool and spa, fantastic service and great food.

Chokhi dhani | For a typical Rajasthani village experience.

Castle Kanota | A heritage resort, has a museum, a library, offers various activities.

Arya Niwas | Great value for money, basic rooms, well-located.

Suryaa Villa | A heritage property, well-located, has tariffs to suit different budgets.

{Image Courtesy: flashpackatforty.com}