Jaipur is a great weekend getaway for those living close by (Delhi/ NCR/ Agra etc). The highways are decent and it is easy and nice to drive down. If you are not interested in driving then you can take a deluxe bus or a Volvo from Delhi/ Agra. You can also take a train depending on the day of your journey.
DAY1 – Saturday:
So if you are coming for just the weekend and wanting to relax then try to reach jaipur by lunch. Check-in and have a nice lunch. There are many options for a great lunch, you can either have a quick one in the hotel or explore the EATING OUT section and select one to your liking.
Post lunch you can go to the old city also known as walled city and explore the bazaars. You can start at Bapu Bazaar and Saraogi Mansion. At Bapu Bazaar you will find textiles, local perfumes, shoes made of camel skin (jutties/ mojaries), Rajasthani trinkets, glass and lac bangles, bindi, imitation jewellery and bandhani/ bandhej fabrics. Bapu Bazaar also Houses the famous SARAOGI MANSION complex- that has many famous stores, known for Indian bridal trousseau. For handicrafts like puppets, bandahwars, wall hangings, white metal artifacts go to Linking Road - Bapu Bazar. For wonderful trousseau packing visit Ratan textile and a few tiny shops next to Ratan. When in bapu Bazar do not miss the golgappas and kulfi faluda.
|Linking Road- BAPU BAZAAR|
Please note most of the markets remain close on Sunday, so if you have shopping in your agenda then make it a point to cover the bazaars on Saturday. Sometimes before diwali and high wedding season, some do stay open. But I won't take my chances!
Post Bapu Bazaar you can proceed to Johri Bazaar. Johari Bazaar is the one stop spot for jewellery and tie dye sarees, fabrics, suits, lehengas and textiles. Gopalji ka Rasta, and Haldiyon ka Rasta houses numerous establishments selling jewellery, gems, sweets, silverware etc. The Old city markets also remain closed on Sunday.
So far it has been a relaxing day and its almost evening by the time you are done at the bazaars. Now, its time for a unique Jaipur experience. For the evening, I recommend the Light & Sound Show in Jaipur. Amber Fort & Palace Complex, in Jaipur, holds the Light and sound show. The show is an attempt to revive the pride of Amber, bring forth the traditions that moulded the lives of its people, the pomp and show that once existed in its fullest form. It brings forth The spirit of Amber. This musical extravaganza has highlighted the local legends, folklore, and a connoisseur of folk music that continues to give Rajasthan its unique identity. The show has been set in a very exotic location with the panoramic view of the Amber Fort & Palace Complex in the front, the rising Jaigarh on the left, the hills at the back and the gallery itself in the Kesar Kiyari Complex of Maota lake. The Show runs on daily basis at 6:30 pm (Hindi Language ) and in English at 07:30 pm This show is for 50 minutes. And approx Tariff for the Indian National is Rs.100 and Foreign nationals Rs.200.
Post The Light and Sound show you can have dinner at 1135 A.D. A gorgeous restaurant set right inside Amber Fort, a truly royal location. The food is okay but, the ambiance and the experience is totally worth it. You will feel like royalty here.
|Light & sound show|
Post dinner drive back to your hotel and have a good night’s sleep, cause Sunday will be a busy day.
DAY 2 – Sunday:
Start the day early, say by 9:00 a.m. Have a filling breakfast at your hotel. If you are coming for the weekend it is recommended that you pre-book a package and make sure the deal includes breakfast. This will make life much easier.
Try to leave the hotel for sight-seeing by 9:30 or at the max 10:00 a.m. Now you know all about amber from last night. Now its time to see it all.
AMBER FORT: Here you can enjoy an Elephant ride. You can leave your car/ taxi at the lower parking area and take an elephant all the way up to The Amber Fort. The ride costs approx INR 1000 for one Elephant (2 persons can fit in one Elephant) and those are one way charges i.e. just to go up, to come back you will have to shell out the same amount. If you are not interested in the elephant ride and don’t want to walk all the way up there is a way to go all the way up-to the main entrance.
Just a bit ahead of where people take the elephants from is a narrow lane, just go up that lane (in your car/ taxi) and take a parking ticket for 30 INR. The car can be parked close to the entrance while you can finish your sightseeing. Read more about Amber on my tripadvisor page: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g304555-d319875-r114644001-Amber_Amer_Fort_and_Palace-Jaipur_Rajasthan.html
Stop 2: JAIGARH FORT: This rugged fort is also known as Victory Fort and houses the largest canon on Wheels in the world- Jaibaan. You can get some gorgeous views from jaigarh. Many movies are shot here, concerts held here and weddings hosted year after year. Read more about Jaigarh on my tripadvisor review page: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g304555-d325116-r114643001-Jaigarh_Fort-Jaipur_Rajasthan.html
Stop 3: CITY PALACE OF JAIPUR: If you still have time and energy left you can cover The city palace. The City palace is a great mix of traditional Rajasthani & Mughal Architecture. Withinthe City Palace, you can see the textile and costume museum, arms and armour museum, art gallery and hall of public and private audience. Please Note: The City Palace and S.M.S II Museum. Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Again they have great audio guides in many languages and it makes a lot of sense to take one and then tour the palace. Read more about City Palace on my tripadvisor review page: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g304555-d324468-r25078887-City_Palace_of_Jaipur-Jaipur_Rajasthan.html
At this point of time, if you are really hungry then you can grab a quick bite at The Palace Cafe and proceed for the next stop.
Stop 4: JANTAR MANTAR: This is an 18th century Observatory and is great for those who have not been to The Jantar Mantar at Delhi. The architecture is very interesting and it’s a great learning /educational experience. There are audio guides available at the ticket counter in various languages, must take one if you are not taking a guide otherwise nothing will make sense!
Stop 5: HAWA MAHAL/ THE PALACE OF WIND: HAWA MAHAL- Palace of Winds, is the most recognizable monument of Jaipur and for many it has become the symbol of JAIPUR. You don’t need to spend too much time here. Just click a few pictures of facade and explore from outside. There isn’t much inside, except the views of old city and missing that isn’t that big a deal. Read more about Hawa mahal on my tripadvisor review page: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g304555-d317345-r121412884-Hawa_Mahal_Palace_of_Wind-Jaipur_Rajasthan.html
If you have not grabbed a bite at The Palace cafe at The City Palace of Jaipur, then by the time you finish the Forts & Palace, it will time for lunch. Now there are 2 ways to go about it: ONE- The Touristy way, where you stay close to the sightseeing area and go to a place like LMB (Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar) or one of the many restaurants at M.I. Road. (Moti Mahal Deluxe (Non-Veg), Dasaprakasa (Veg), Niros (Non Veg), Surya Mahal (Veg), Natraj (Veg), Handi (Non Veg), KFC, McDonalds etc.)
LMB: I personally feel, this is over-rated. The Ghevar is great here but the food on the whole is average. However its located very close to the main sight-seeing stuff, so one can grab a quick lunch and get going. Read more about LMB on my tripadvisor review page: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g304555-d2073244-r115744520-Laxmi_Mishthan_Bhandar_LMB_Restaurant-Jaipur_Rajasthan.html
TWO- You can relax a bit and go for a nice leisurely lunch at a great food place. Read the section on Eating Out/ Recommendations; also see the pictures of each of the suggested places and take a call accordingly.
After lunch, I strongly recommend a nap. So go back to the hotel and chill for a bit. For the evening you can either opt for dinner in the hotel or Read the section on Eating Out/ Recommendations; also see the pictures of each of the suggested places and take a call accordingly.
I personally like:
The buffet dinner at Marriot (Global cuisine),
The Indian Spice (Great Indian Food) at The Country Inn & Suites,
Jammie’s Kitchen (great Indian & continental Cuisine)
Haandi (Awesome Indian & rajasthani cuisine)
For more itineraries on jaipur read: http://visitingjaipur.com/itineraries