Welcome to Jaipur, let us begin in the dark.
Like a jewel in the night, there is a flicker that emanates which entices you in. Arriving at night after a full day en route from Agra you can find yourself staying at one of the many incredible hotels this town has to offer. When I first arrived here, it was for my internship at the Gem Palace. We drove direct from Delhi and I had no idea what was in store for me when I awoke. Wherever you arrive from, breathe easy, tuck into your bed and prepare yourself for the sensory kaleidoscope which will ensue in the morning.
Jaipur was founded in 1727 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II as the capital of Rajasthan. It is arguably the most famous region in India, known for its textiles, jewelry and jet-set scene, all alongside the impoverished chaos that India embodies. Jaipur is the most popular of these Rajasthani cities, and although takes much gusto to navigate, once you understand the body language otherwise known as the national “head bob” you are well on your way to success and the experience of a lifetime.
STAY. AT THE NARAIN NIWAIS HOTEL
One of my favorite hotels in the world. This is the real insider scene of Jaipur, rooms range between $70 - $250 depending on the season, the staff remains the same since I lived in Jaipur in 2009 and peacocks roam the small garden and pool area. Additionally, there is now a swanky shopping center featuring local artisans next door. Treat this place with the utmost respect as it has withstood the test of time and style.
STAY. AT THE OLD HUNTING LODGE OF THE MAHARAJA?
The Rambagh Palace Hotel, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005 the old hunting lodge of the Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh in 1887 was once in the middle of a forest but now is the center of spotless gardens, and many great restaurants. Have a drink at sunset on the back patio and then head to Steam, the Maharaja’s old train which has been converted into a pizza place!
The Oberoi Amarvillas, Taj East Gate Rd, Paktola, Near, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India stunning and just outside of Jaipur this exclusive retreat is the best smelling hotel I have ever stayed in, and the bathtubs are next level (submerged marble slabs in glassed in a courtyard
Samode Haveli Palace, Village Samode, Tehsil Chomu, Jaipur, Rajasthan 303806, India similar to Narain Niwais and on the other side of town this heritage hotel boasts beautiful rooms extraordinary details and quite the pool.
READY, SET, GO.
MOVE ON TO THE JANTAR MANTAR
An astrological playground made in the 18th Century use the headphones to navigate this place
THEN FIND THE HAWA MAHAL
This exquisite work of architecture was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh as a place for the royal ladies to look out upon the city during festivals and special events. It specific feature is the tiny peep holes for the women to look out of so that they themselves would be concealed.
DON’T FORGET THE AMER FORT
The Amer Fort dates back to the 17th century when it was originally built as its own town and territory. The walls were built in 1600 and the fort itself was made the capital of the state of Kachwana Rajputs, the warrior leaders of the Rajputana regime. There are elephant rides, but please refrain but riding as we are now well aware of how cruel that is. When you are there do not forget to go to Jaigarh Fort which over looks the Amer Fort, as well as the Nahargarh Fort and then driving back to Jaipur make sure to stop on the side of the road and take moment to take in the Jal Mahal the palace in the middle of the lake, a nice preview to Udaipur.
EAT. SAAG PANEER OR BUST
Peshawari, ITC Rajputana, Jaipur Palace, Road, Gopalbari, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006, India
Niro’s, MI Road, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Anokhi Cafe, KK Square, C 11, Prithviraj Road, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Steam, Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India
Polo Bar, Rambagh Hotel Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302005, India
Bar Palladio, 100, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302004, India
Nine out of ten precious stones in the world has passed through Indian hands. This is because India has a long standing culture of being the best stone cutters in the entire world. Some of the largest names in the jewelry industry stop into Jaipur to source stones for their next campaign necklace, and The Gem Palace is where they go. This institution has an incredible history and I was lucky enough to hold a job here 8 years ago. The Kasliwal family, who are 8th generation jewelers were the crown jewelers of the Maharaja Saway Jai Singh II and were given high honors by the British Crown, they also have an extensive vintage car collection which is ideal for the Vintage Car Rally which Jaipur holds each spring. Whenever I get married, if I do, they will make my ring you can be sure of that. This place changed my life, and will continue to be by my side for all my rite’s of passage.
SHOP. TO DYE FOR JEWELS AND DO-IT-YOURSELF BLOCK PRINTS
The Gem Palace, Shop No. 348, MI Road, Jayanti Market, New Colony, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Jaisalmer Arts, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India
Satayam, 174, Laxman Dwara, Near City Palace, Opposite Jantar Mantar Ticket Window, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Rajasthan Fabrics and Arts, 174, Laxmandwara, Near City Palace, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Anokhi, 2nd Floor, KK Square, Ghatiwala House, Prithviraj Rd, Panch Batti, C Scheme, Ashok Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Hot Pink, 26, Hotel Narain Niwas Palace, Narayan Singh Road, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302007, India
Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Center, Near Jain Mandir, Amer Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Teatro Dhora, 9, yashwant palace, ajmer road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006, India
Johari Bazaar, oldest market in Jaipur
Bapu Bazaar, you can get shoes and clothes here just remember to bargain big
Satguru's The Textile World, 36, jagdish colony, mount road, near ramgarh mod, jaipur - 302002, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India tailoring factory for block prints ask for Raj