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Jaipur Travel Tips

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The cultured capital of Rajasthan state, Jaipur's impressive architecture is carved out of rosy sandstone, giving it the nickname Pink City. It’s a city where mystical adventure is never far away, whether you discover it in a majestic desert fort or at an elephant sanctuary. It may be modernizing fast, but the ghosts of history are ever-present, with strong traditions present in everything from the cuisine to the theatre scene.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

With extreme desert heat coupled with intense monsoon humidity for half the year, Jaipur is best visited between October and March. You’ll need to pack a few warm items though, as in this desert environment night-time temperatures can drop to the low single figures. Still, if you can cope with uncomfortable heat, visiting outside this time can mean a lack of crowds at the main sights, while predictable afternoon rains break the humidity.

 

Not to Miss

 

One of Jaipur’s most enchanting sights has to be the Jal Mahal Palace, which appears to float in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. It was once a lavish residence of royalty, and it’s easy to see why – forested mountains hug the lake’s edge, providing a habitat for leopards and flamingos, and a lush, green respite from the desert sands. Take a tranquil ride on one of the wooden boats out to the palace, and look back at the hustle and bustle of Jaipur from a serene distance.

 

Getting around

 

Jaipur Airport is located just 10 kilometres from the city, and has excellent domestic and Middle East connections. Direct chartered flights are also available from London and Dublin. If you’re visiting Jaipur as part of a bigger India trip, travelling by rail is also a popular option. It has a major train station, with long distance services arriving from all over the country. A wide range of local transport is available around the city, including taxis, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, and buses.

 

Cuisine

 

The Rajasthani royalty of the 18th century demanded lavish banquets, and it’s left Jaipur with a rich, decadent cuisine. Many restaurants offer thali, or tasting platters, so you can sample a whole variety of delicacies. Vegetarians will be in heaven, with meat-free dishes a speciality here - dal Baati is a satisfying dish of spiced lentils stuffed into soft, buttery, unleavened bread. Sweet dishes are also prized – try ghevar, a lacy, pancake-like dessert, or halwa, a sugary, carrot and fruit based dish.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

With deep Hindu traditions running through Jaipur, it’s a colourful but conservative place. To avoid causing offence, dressing modestly is recommended, particularly when visiting places of religious significance. Light-coloured, loose clothing is helpful in the heat, while still keeping you covered up. The culture is fascinating and you may want to get snap happy; just make sure you have permission when taking photos of people, and sometimes offering a few rupees is expected. Elsewhere, tips are about 10% in restaurants and hotels, and help to ensure pleasant service.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 3 million

Spoken languages: Rajasthani, Hindi, English

Electrical: India runs on 230V, 50 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +91 141100