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Travel diaries: a three day stay in Jaipur
Oct 14, 2022
I first landed in this historic pink city over 10 years ago; chaotic, inspiring and bursting at the seams with talent, this is the city that has led to new beginnings - it's taken me on a roller coaster of a ride as I took a complete career and lifestyle change, Jaipur is where my new life adventure began. It is this city and its people that I have so much to be thankful for.
I often get asked where to go, what to see, how to get around so I thought I'd share my top picks with you.
Jaipur: the pink city and the desert capital of Rajasthan is one place that has my heart.
Full of opportunity, full of talent and a hot bed of creativity. This is one city where everyone believes anything is possible.
It's where my jewellery brand started, I was invited to design a ring as a thank you and when friends saw it, they wanted one too, no one knew their ring size, so, I set about designing a ring that would fit every finger - that was the very beginning of my love affair with India.
Why is Jaipur known as the pink city?
The reason behind the terracotta-pink colour of the city was the influence of a king called Sawai Ram Singh. In 1876, Queen Victoria’s son, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII, Emperor of India) visited India. Pink was considered the colour of hospitality at the time, so Sawai Ram Singh had the whole city painted pink to welcome the royal guests.
Lord Albert was said to have described Jaipur as the ‘pink city’, hence creating the name Jaipur is known by today.
Sawri Ram Sing had a concert hall built for the Royal Visit and still today Jaipur has it's very own Albert Hall
Let's discover my hidden gems:
Where to stay in Jaipiur
When I travel to Jaipur I am usually alone, I need to feel safe and comfortable so I stay in the oldest Heritage Hotel in Jaipur, Arya Niwas, it is situated near the MI road making it easy to get in and out of the pink city.
For something more modern and boutique try 28 Kothi
Part of the Palladio group is, Villa Palladio , this bijou country estate is inspired by the great hotels of the past, it's grand simplicity with hand painted rooms are set in amongst the jasmine groves 20 minutes outside the pink city. Stay here for your own corner of Jaipur paradise.
Where to eat in Jaipur
Bar Palladio is just across the road from Cafe Palladio and is open for enchanted evenings serving classic Italian food amongst the mango trees and peacocks. Top tip: Book one of the mini tented pavilions outside for a truly magical experience.
Anokhi Cafe is part of the famous Anokhi brand - famous for block printing clothes and homewares, stroll around this beautiful store and i can recomend the sweetcorn fritters in the cafe.
The world famous for its sweets Laxmi Misthan Bhanda is the place to pop into for lunch during the day, their cafe sells savoury as well as their world famous sweets - set in the heart of Bapu Bazaar.
Niros is a Jaipur institution, for everything from prawn cocktails to Mughlai (North Indian Cuisine). Naomi Campbell as well as a host of other celebrities have allegedly eaten here.
Where to shop in Jaipur
The pink city is a walled city set in a grid system with different bazaars.
Bapu Bazaar is one of the most famous, know for its exotic Rajasthani products such as textiles., handicrafts, brass work and semi-precious stones. It's situated near the MI road near to Arya Niwas Heritage hotel.
Chanpole Bazaar is the oldest market in Jaipur - it dates back to 1727AD, and sells dried fruits from every corner of the globe as well as marble artifacts, traditional saris, lac and metal bangles, glasswork and costume jewellery.
Note please check with your hotel for opening times for the Bazaars as they seem to change.
My favourite place to visit not just for the clothes is Idli (owned by Theiry Journo, he sells both menswear as well as women's and a shop full of exceptional craftwork from suits, shirts, hand block and embroidered cushions to stunning accessories - he is based in C-Scheme where you will also find Anokhi for hand block printing.
Shopping at Narian Niwas
If you are short of time, want to go for a swim, visit some boutiques and eat all within 5 minutes try visiting Narain Niwas.
Small inspiring boutiques such as Hot Pink are nestled in the grounds of peacocks and the heady perfume of Jasmine at Narain Niwas.
For exquisite cashmere try Andraab
Shop Studio Kassa for a mix of artisan homewares and fashion.
Also at Narain Niwas Palace you can use their pool for a small fee here
What to do in Jaipur
City Palace is a sprawling complex of mogul buildings built around a series of landscaped garden courtyards overlooking Jaipur and Lake Palace. It is situated in the beating heart of the Pink City and is well worth the trip, allow a couple of hours to walk around. My favourite part: it's the incredible hand painted walls with three dimensional peacocks. You'll find City Palace at Tulsi Marg, Gangori Bazaar.
Palace of The Winds is nearby - it is the outside that is more impressive than the inside.
Amer Fort 11km out of Jaipur - this fort my not have the splendor of the Mehrangargh Fort in Jodphur - if you plan to visit Jodphur that is a must. Amer Fort is clad in pink and yellow sandstone. Built by one of the most trusted generals of Akbar, Maharaja Man Singh I in the year 1592, Amer Fort served as the main residence of the Rajput Rulers.
Day 1: Visit the Bazaars from 11am and drop into LMB for lunch based in Bapu Bazaar - insider tip: order the Thali. In the evening visit Rambagh Palace for supper
Day 2: Visit C-Scheme for Idil and Anouki, have lunch in their cafe. In the afternoon visit City Place. Evening visit Bar Palladio
Day 3: Take a trip to Amer Fort (note: if you are visiting Jodphur - I'd see Mehrangargh Fort instead) visit Cafe Palladio or Niros for supper
Other things to do in and around Jaipur
Rajasthan Polo Club. The polo is open to everyone, it is for all classes to enjoy, cheap to get in and you get free tea too.
Chad Baoli: the worlds steepest step well. This step well is 1200 years old There are double flights of 3,500 stairs on ten landings on three sides of the well, which run parallel to the baori rim. These stairs are perfectly proportioned in a way that they form stair-triangles along a very sharp descent. The walls of this baori are so steep that when one looks down from the top edge the stair-triangles alternately hide and show the people going down. The fourth wall of the baori has a multi- storied corridor with pillars and two projecting niches that have two beautiful murtis of Ganesha and Mahisasuramardini in them. The well was orginally used as a gathering place for locals when the heat was too intense, it is 5 - 6 degrees cooler at the bottom than the top.
Best time to visit Jaipur October - February.