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Jaipur, India: A 48-hour guide

By Kriti Gandhi 1 December 2020

Header image courtesy of VED (via Unsplash)

Jaipur is home to some of the most historic and cultural sights in India—ranging from the architecture of the Hawa Mahal (हवामहल) to the picturesque Amer Fort (आमेर दुर्ग), the Pink City is full of heritage, making it a traveller'’ dream destination. With this in mind, Jaipur is the perfect location for you to go, even if you’re on a time crunch. Here is a 48-hour guide for a top-notch experience in Jaipur, the iconic Pink City.

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Getting there

Getting to Jaipur may be the more complex and time-consuming aspect of this trip. Depending on where travellers depart from, there are almost no direct international flights to Jaipur. You are recommended to land in Delhi and either take a connecting domestic flight to Jaipur (one hour) or take a short road trip from Delhi to Jaipur (five hours). The air travel method is recommended to increase efficiency and save time, however, travellers must be cautious of the domestic baggage restrictions if choosing this method. Once you arrive, let the fun begin!

Where to stay

Jaipur is home to a vast list of accommodations with varying price ranges—from traditional havelis (a traditional townhouse) to exceptional hotels, you can select what best fits your taste. When looking for luxury, there is probably no better option than Rambagh Palace. Built in 1835, Rambagh Palace was used as a residence by Jaipur’s royals. Now a five-star hotel, Rambagh Palace is the perfect option for a lavish Rajasthani stay. If that is not for you and you’re looking for a mid-range option, both the Diggi Palace and Holiday-Inn are exceptional alternatives. All three accommodations are in the city centre, close to famous attractions and markets.

Day 1: Morning 

Spend your first morning in Jaipur at the city’s most visited and well-known market—Johri Bazaar. Notoriously known for its sights, food, and shopping, Johri Bazaar is the perfect start to an eventful journey. For breakfast, head on over to Laxmi Misthan Bhandar (LMB) for the real Rajasthani thali (राजस्थानी थाली) experience—an Indian-style meal consisting of multiple dishes served on a round platter. LMB is also popular for its sweets, so don’t forget to try their doodh jalebi (दुध जलेबी). Established in the 1720s, LMB is famous for its authentic Rajasthani food and popularity amongst foreigners—spot on for your first meal in the city.

Once you're done savouring the Rajasthani thali, exploring Johri Bazaar is the best bet. Johri Bazaar is an established market area in Jaipur recognised for its handcrafted jewellery, textiles, and—here, you’ll be able to find many nice souvenirs for family and loved ones.

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By Kriti Gandhi 1 December 2020

Day 1: Afternoon 

For lunch, there’s no better way to explore Jaipuri cuisine than through its street food. Outside Hawa Mahal (हवा महल; the Palace of Winds)—also located in Johri Bazaar—you’ll find a ton of street food vendors that serve a variety of snacks and drinks. The best way to tackle street food for the ultimate experience is through dividing and conquering—from pakoras (पकोड़े) to chai (चाय), try to get a plate of everything if you can.

Furthermore, the nearby Hawa Mahal, City Palace, and Jantar Mantar (जंतर मंतर) are all attractions perfect for travellers who want to learn about the city’s rich heritage, culture, and tradition. The Hawa Mahal, famous for its unique structure, has a lot of windows or jharokhas (झरोखास) that allow free-flow circulation in the palace, integral for Jaipur’s hot summer. 

Built from red sandstone, Hawa Mahal is conveniently located 10 minutes away from the iconic City Palace. Jaipur’s City Palace is home to the city’s royal family—be sure to visit the museum inside the palace when you go!  Before you end your afternoon of sightseeing, there’s one last attraction you must visit. Just adjacent to the City Palace is the world's largest stone astronomical observatory, Jantar Mantar (जंतर मंतर). As a true testament to the wisdom of the past, Jantar Mantar is still operating and open to visitors. It has some of the world’s most elaborate scientific structures, making it the ideal attraction for knowledge seekers.

Day 1: Evening 

As the sun sets, make your way to the outskirts of Jaipur for the ultimate Rajasthani adventure. Chokhi Dhani, a village themed resort, will show you the depths of Rajasthani culture, history, and heritage. The place is filled with amusing live entertainment and fantastic cuisine. From elephant rides to mehendi tattoos (मेहंदी टैटू) and traditional puppet shows, Chokhi Dhani encapsulates the full Rajasthani experience into a night filled with good food and even better company. The lavish resort gives you a glimpse into traditional Rajasthan for IN₹1,800 including food, drinks, and cultural events—be sure to bring some extra cash to partake in rides, games, and other activities so you can make the most out of the experience. 

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Day 2: Morning 

Start your day with Samrat’s samosas (समोसे), kachori (कचौड़ी), and chai (चाय). After devouring this exquisite breakfast in Chaura Rasta (चौड़ा रास्ता)—one of Jaipur's main streets—head over to Nahargarh Fort (नाहरगढ़ का किला). We recommend that you rent a car for the day as it would be the most efficient and reliable way to get to the attractions. The drive from the cafe to the fort is approximately 30 minutes short. 

Situated in the outskirts of Jaipur, the Nahargarh Fort is one of the many historic sights in Jaipur. Built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the fort’s impeccable structure presents a breathtaking view of the entire Pink City. As a witness to Jaipur’s rich history, the Nahargarh Fort, together with its neighbouring forts—Amer and Jaigarh—once protected and defended the city. Once you’ve explored the fort and taken many Instagrammable pictures, hop in the car and take a short drive to its neighbour—Jaipur’s famous Amer Fort (एम्बर पैलेस).

Day 2: Afternoon 

The incredible Amer Fort lies at the top of the Aravali Hills. Once you’ve arrived at the fort, it’s time for lunch! The 1135 AD, a magnificent traditional-style fine dining restaurant inside the fort is a Mughai experience worth every penny, known for its grand culinary valour.

After an appetising royal lunch, you can begin to uncover the magnificent Amer Fort. This venture is likely to take three to four hours as the vast fort is filled to the brim with majestic structures and architectural masterpieces that hold a great significance in Indian history. If you’re looking for a guided tour of the fort, you can choose to rent an audio guide that will lead you through the fascinating fort whilst simultaneously unravelling the history of the place. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Amer Fort is a one of a kind landmark every traveller to Jaipur must experience.

Day 2: Evening 

On the way back to the city, make a pit stop at Jaipur’s magical floating water palace, the Jal Mahal (जल महल). This heirloom of structural excellence effortlessly lays in the midst of Man Sagar Lake (मन सागर झील). Although entry inside is forbidden, the view of the palace from afar is just as mesmerising. In the evening the palace lights up, making for an absolutely awe-striking view of the Jal Mahal. In addition to this marvellous view, the bazaars in the vicinity of Jal Mahal are known for their textiles and blue pottery. Make sure to check out these markets before heading back to the city for dinner.

Masala Chowk at Ram Niwas Garden is the perfect place to round off your Jaipur visit. The open-to-air food court offers 21 different flavours of bliss, and to top that, the experience is relatively affordable. With a wide variety of delicious street foods and mouthwatering cuisines, the Masala Chowk is the ultimate finale for your 48 hours in Jaipur.

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Kriti Gandhi

Editorial intern

Kriti was born in Mumbai but raised in Hong Kong and shares a strong bond with both places. As a current journalism student, she is keen on writing, sharing stories, and has a growing interest in photography. When she is not reading (Harry Potter, or anything really), you’ll find her exploring the city, attempting to skateboard, and finding new dumpling places.

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