Jaipur holds the distinction of being India’s first planned city. A rare combination of historical treasures and attractions of a modern metropolis, this colourful city has been recognised as one of India’s major tourist attractions. The proof of this lies in the fact that it has been included in the Golden Triangle, the other two cities being Agra and Delhi.
10 key things about Jaipur, India
1. History of Jaipur
It was established in 1727 by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber, when he shifted his capital from Amber to Jaipur. The planning and designing was done by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a famous architect of that era. It took close to four years to build the main infrastructure. The city was built following the principles of Vastu Shastra. It was divided into nine blocks, out of which two consist of the state buildings and palaces, whereas the remaining seven blocks were allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were made along with seven strong gates for ensuring security.
The story behind it being labelled as ‘Pink City’ goes back to 1876. Ahead of Prince Wales’ visit, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur got the entire city painted in pink (symbolic of hospitality). This pretty colour along with the broadly laid out avenues and magnificent infrastructure lend a magical charm to the city.
2. Night Life of Jaipur
The Pink City has a lot to offer to those who detest spending their nights at home! So all you night owls, you’ve got many options ranging from discotheques, pubs and bars, to puppet shows, music concerts, traditional dances and theatre.
Ta BLU, Geoffrey’s, Red’s, The Fireball, Amigos and Club Oxygen are some of the popular bars famous for their décor, scrumptious meals, invigorating drinks and foot-tapping music, and some even have outdoor seating. The more sober ones need not fret for lack of options. Head to Jawahar Kala Kendra or Birla auditorium for puppet shows, plays, concerts and Rajasthani folk-dance. All the culture enthusiasts should have the Sound and Light show on the top of their ‘must-visit’ list. It is a 50-minute musical, highlighting the rich culture and describing the many legends of Jaipur.
3. Safety in Jaipur
It is a reasonably safe city but being cautious always helps. Tourists should always have emergency numbers like 100 and 102 on their speed dial, and can even use GPS and suitable apps on their phones. Women must carry a bottle of pepper spray at all times. One must ensure that the hotel/paying guest accommodation/bed-and-breakfasts are approved/classified by Rajasthan Tourism Department Corporation (RTDC).
4. Living Expenses in Jaipur
Jaipur is quite inexpensive to live in as compared to the metropolitan cities in India.
Renting a studio apartment in the City Centre would cost you Rs. 8000 (USD 118)on an average, whereas a similar apartment outside the City Centre would be in the range of Rs. 4000-5000 (USD 59 to USD 74). The cost of basic utilities comprising of electricity, water, heating and garbage disposal for an apartment of 85 sq. metres would be close to Rs. 3000 (USD 44) per month. One will have to shell out anything between 500-1000 (USD 7 to USD 14) per night for a single-bedded room in a budget hotel. A similar room in a luxury hotel can go up to Rs. 40,000 (USD 590) per night.
5. Cuisines of Jaipur
The Pink City is sure to spoil you for choice if you’re looking for dining options.
The cuisine of this place has been influenced by the long lineage of Maharajas (Kings). A famous dish which is purely Rajasthani is Dal-Baati-Choorma cooked in saturated fat (ghee) and is a little spicy. It has an assortment of curries, pulses and Indian bread. Jal Mahal restaurant in ITC Rajputana, Saffron at Jaipur Marriot and Marble Arch in the Jal Mahal Palace are upscale restaurants famous for North-Indian dishes. Choki Dhani, Spice Court and Natraj are cheaper alternatives.
But owing to the huge influx of foreign tourists, it had to adapt to the taste of its foreign patrons too. Giardino, The Forresta Kitchen and Bar, Café LazyMojo, Cinammon and Nibs Café are some of the popular dining-out options in Jaipur. These offer cuisines from all over the world.
6. Statistics of Jaipur
As of 2011, it was India’s 10th most populous city with a population of 6.66 million and a total area of 111 sq. kms. The Hindu population accounts for 78%, Muslim 18.6%, Jains 2.3% and others 1.0%. The main languages spoken in Jaipur are Hindi, Rajasthani and Marwari. English is also understood by the common people so communication is not an issue.
7. Public Transport in Jaipur
For the comfort of city dwellers as well as thousands of tourists flocking to the city every year, Jaipur has an extensive public transport system comprising of AC/Non- AC buses, autorickshaws, cabs and eco-friendly cycle rickshaws. Metro services have also been started recently. Travelling all day using metro and/or buses costs anywhere between 30-70 rupees (<= USD 1). Travellers are advised to purchase Metro cards and bus-passes if they intend to stay in Jaipur for a long time. Cabs and autorickshaws are a little on the higher side with an average cost of up to Rs. 200 (USD 3) for both ways. All routes, time-tables, fares and other necessary information can be looked up on here.
8. Weather of Jaipur
Jaipur has a semi-arid climate with rains mostly occurring between June and September.
Spring: March, Average high: 30 °C, Average low: 25 °C
Summer: April-July, Average high: 47 °C, Average low: 33 °C
Monsoon: June-September, Average high: 40 °C, Average low: 30 °C
Winter: October-February, Average high: 18 °C, Average low: 6 °C
Summers tend to be hot and humid but the winters are cool and pleasant. Hence, winter is the ideal time for sightseeing in Jaipur.
9. Culture of Jaipur
Jaipur is the cultural hub of India. India’s history is reflected in the art, architecture, culture and cuisine of Jaipur. The city’s vibrant dance, theatre, literature and music is praised across the globe. Some of the talents of artisans include Bandhani work, Block printing, Stone carving and Sculpture, Zardozi, Silver Jewellery designing, Miniature painting, etc. Regular art, literature, theatre, music and religious festivals dot the entire calendar. Jaipur holds an international literature festival every year in January. Some of the other popular ones are Gangaur festival, Kite festival, Teej, Shitla Mata Fair, Chaksu Fair and Elephant Fair.
10. Places to visit in Jaipur
If you love palaces and are keen on delving deep into the lifestyle of the rulers of the bygone area, Jaipur is the city for you. You will be awed by the flamboyant infrastructure proudly flaunting the expertise of the artisans of the past along with the heritage hotels and elephant rides. In the 2008 Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Survey, Jaipur was ranked the 7th best place to visit in Asia. According to TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travellers’ Choice Awards, Jaipur ranked 1st among Indian destinations for the year.
Things to do in Jaipur: Visit the old city, famously known as the Pink City, to experience the originality of Jaipur with a traditional touch of its glorious past. You cannot help but marvel at the architectural magnificence of the City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort
and Jantar Mantar. For a bird’s view of the whole city, pay a visit to Nahargarh Fort. On your way to Amber Fort from Jaipur, you’ll be smitten by Jal Mahal (Water Palace)- standing right in the middle of Mansarovar Lake and flanked by Aravalli hills on three sides. To get a feel of royalty, take a ride in one of the beautifully handcrafted wooden boats to observe the Mahal closely.
Jaipur manages to keep shopping aficionados as happy as history lovers. Shop for silver jewellery, gemstones and traditional Rajasthani dress materials and clothes from Bapu, Nehru and Johri bazaars. Jaipur also boasts of swanky malls to satisfy those who prefer branded items.
Satiate your hunger with delicious North-Indian food by paying a visit to Handi Restaurant on MI Road, after which you may pamper your sweet tooth with mouth-watering delicacies at Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar.
Museums and Galleries: Anokhi Museum of Handprinting promises to give its visitors a delightful experience of working with artisans skilled at handblock printing. There is also an enormous variety of textiles on display with factual information about every fabric and its print. You may even watch documentaries in the museum’s auditorium to know more about this rare art. Albert Hall Museum, or Central Museum, showcases a number of archways, courtyards and towers which represent the rich architectural heritage of India. The dolls in Dolls’ Museum will give you an insight into cultures from all over the world. Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II museum also provides a visually stunning experience. Artchill and Samanvai art galleries are sure to take your breath away with their large collection of contemporary Indian and modern art by famous and upcoming artists from all over the country.
Things to do for Kids in Jaipur: Snowpark in GT Central complete with a snowman, characters from Snow White and the seven dwarves, slides and sledging activities would be a unique experience for children. There can’t be a kid who doesn’t enjoy movies! Take your child to Modern Masti 7D to have a thrilling experience. Kids would love to indulge in a camel safari, take an elephant ride at Amber Fort or visit the zoo to have a look at some rare animals. For those with an inclination towards science, Maharaja Jai Singh II’s collection of astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar would be a visual treat. These are major the attraction for kids.
Places Nearby: One can visit nearby retreats like Ranthambore National Park and Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary which are sure to add on to the fun and excitement of the vacation.
Offbeat places: Sports enthusiasts should not miss polo matches or practice sessions at Rambagh Polo Grounds (4-6 PM every evening). Those looking for some adventure must go for Sky Waltz Balloon Safari for a breathtaking view of the city. Vidyadhar Garden and Sisodia Rani ka Bagh are worth a visit if you’re looking to go for an idyllic stroll or seeking solace. The supposedly haunted Bhangarh Fort (87 kms from Jaipur) is sure to give you goosebumps. No one is allowed to remain in the precincts of the fort at night as per a notice board put up by the Archaeological Survey of India at the entrance.
Author’s Conclusion: To merely say that Jaipur is a tourist spot is an understatement. It is a city that invokes your inner artist to appreciate and ponder over the beautiful art and infrastructure, enjoy the colourful dances and interact with your favourite author during the International Literary Festival every year. So all you enthusiastic travellers, pack your bags to experience the great food, stunning views and the delightful history and culture of Jaipur.
|Area||111.8 sq. km|
|Population||6.6 million (approx.) as of 2011|
|Languages||Hindi, Rajasthani, Marwari, English|
|Currency||Indian Rupee (1 USD= 67.85 INR) as of 10 Feb 2016|
|Time Zone||India Time Zone (UTC +05:30)|
|Driving||Left Hand Traffic, Right Hand drive vehicles|
|Emergency||Police: 100, Ambulance: 101|
Don’t forget to PROMOTE your Incredible Jaipur using the Share buttons.