So, you’ve been with us through Varanasi, New Delhi and Agra. Now, we continue heading West into Rajasthan, India’s largest state.
We took a comfortable 5 hour train ride in the AC Chair car from Agra to Jaipur for a total cost of about $13 U.S. Upon arrival, we quickly set out to see the sites. During our four days in Jaipur, the Pink City, we were fortunate enough to encounter a great driver to take us around to all the sites. He was even honest enough to go by the taxi stand and get a pay slip so we could be sure we were not overpaying. This is basically the most honest man in India by our account.
We took time to visit the Isarlat Tower to see a great panoramic view of the city, which actually isn’t as pink as we thought it would be. Honestly, it’s more of a beige city. After seeing the view, we headed over to visit the City Palace. City Palace, once a royal residence, is now a really cool museum. It has courtyards and interesting artifacts, as well as a guy who “charms” snakes regularly outside the gate. The beautiful doorways that adorn each entryway around the palace are enough to make anyone want to stay around for hours.
Just across from the City Palace is one of the most interesting and most visited places in all of India. Jantar Mantar is an observatory and planetarium that houses fourteen large geometric devices for measuring time, tracking the positions of stars and planets and predicting eclipses, etc. The instruments were designed by Maharaja Jai Singh II, who was King of Jaipur in the 1700s. He had 5 such observatories built, of which the one in Jaipur is the largest and most famous.
Next on the list in Jaipur was the Palace of Wind, which is a really cool structure that was meant to be shaped like Krishna’s crown. It reminds most people of a honeycomb.
Griffin checked out the Amber Fort for some photo opportunities and we took a brief stop to look at the Jal Mahal, or water palace, which is visible from the main road.
We enjoyed our visit to the Pink City and were also excited to move on to the next city, Jodhpur. Check back soon for info on “The Blue City.”See more pictures from Jaipur here!
We stayed at a lovely place called the Vinayak Guesthouse, which is located down what is possibly the quietest street in India. This was the only time we were able to sleep in without being woken up by chaos outside. Raman, the guy working the desk while we were there is totally amazing and will take care of anything you need. Towels are provided. Air con and hot water are definitely a plus. Wi-fi was free, but iffy. Overall, I can’t recommend this place highly enough. The cost was around $15 per night for the two of us.
We had an excellent driver for a day and a half, named Sadar. If you are interested in meeting up with Sadar, you can probably just ask at the pre-pay autorickshaw counter outside the train station. Everyone there knows him as the most honest guy in India and one of the workers told us he thinks of Sadar as his son. If you have a phone, his number is 992-805-0788. He’s an awesome guy and I hope you will give him some business. We paid Sadar 500 Rupees for the full day tour, including a tip, which was about $10 total at the time of our visit.
We arrived in Jaipur via AC Chair class train and it was a very comfortable ride. For more information about about trains in India, visit seat61.com and click on India in the left hand banner.
Our daily budget for Jaipur was a little more expensive than the other cities we visited so far at $35.54 for 3 nights and 4 days. This includes all transportation, meals and accommodation.