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Top 5 winter holiday destinations in India for a luxury getaway: Jaipur
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

This is the last blog in our 5 part series about the best winter holiday destinations in India. Intended to be a mini travel guide, this blog lists out useful information for your Jaipur holiday – places to see, must-try dishes, best restaurants for European food, airports, climate, local languages, what to pack and how to get around.

The epitome of majesty, Jaipur is remarkable for its joie de vivre. Also known as the pink city, Jaipur is the jewel of Northern India. The capital city of the state of Rajasthan has attracted scores of travellers from around the world and keeps them coming back for more with its unique blend of charm, beauty, colour and taste. The legacy of a glorious and regal past, reflected in the architecture, culture and traditions combined with modernity makes this a magnificent travel destination.

Hawa Mahal at Night

Related:

Top 5 winter holiday destinations in India for a luxury getaway (Andamans)

Top 5 winter holiday destinations in India for a luxury getaway – Goa

Top 5 winter holiday destinations in India for a luxury getaway – Kerala

Top 5 winter holiday destinations in India for a luxury getaway – Pondicherry

Land

Jaipur was established by Jai Singh II in 1727, and holds the honour of being the first planned state of India. This city is a curious thing among the pre-modern cities of the nation owing to the regularity noticed in its streets. The city is divided into six sectors by broad streets which are 34 m wide and the network gridded streets further divide the urban quarters.

The history of Jaipur is strongly rooted in royalty, it was once the capital of former Kachwaha rulers. The vestiges of the royal past are still witnessed in grand fortresses, royal palaces, serene temples and gorgeous havelis which compose the city.  Along with the beautiful handicrafts and stunning jewellery found everywhere in the city, Jaipur is an attractive tourist destination today.

The ideal time to travel to this place is between October and March i.e. from fall to winter.  It is at this time that the tourist can escape the characteristic scorching heat of the summer and enjoy a pleasant and calm weather. A number of fairs and festivals are also hosted in the city at this time including Kite festival, Camel festival, Jaipur Literature festival, Teej, Gangaur, Elephant festival. The ambiance of the city is further strengthened by the vibrant bazaars and the colourful traditional attires of the city folk. The cuisine of the land is another highlight of the place.

Where to find European food

Jaipur offers numerous scrumptious local dishes. However for those times, one yearns for a taste of home or a break from local gastronomic fare, one can visit the following restaurants for some non Indian food.

  • Anokhi Café – Open throughout the week till 7.30 p.m, this place provides Western style dishes and drinks especially fusion fare. The bulk of the ingredients used are organic and sourced from their own farms, the ambience clean and fresh. The Caprese salad, desserts and French pressed Arabica coffee deserve special mention.
  • Samode Haveli Restaurant – An all rounder in the food and service business, this restaurant offers delectable food, genteel ambiance and helpful service. In the Pink City yet secluded from the hustle bustle, this serene establishment is like an oasis when you crave a bit of calm and quiet. The menu is multi-cuisine based and the food though scrumptious is spiced on the low side to suite the European palate.
  • Krishna Roof Top & Garden Restaurant -  A pleasant family style restaurant, open for dinner from 7.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. , one can find multiple cuisine dishes including European. Set in an exceptionally calm and serene neighbourhood, the restaurant offers great food for extremely affordable prices.
  • LMB – An iconic sweet shop, definitely try the Ghevar here and if you can handle the sugar rush, take your pick of the sweet array.

Must Try Dishes

The local cuisine of Jaipur is both flavourful and unique with ample options for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians.

Rajasthani Thali

  • Dal Batti Churma – A specialty from Rajasthan, the Dal-batti-churma, is a wholesome meal in itself. A bowl of piping hot Dal or lentil curry is paired with Bhatti, a golden roundel of stuffed flour that’s baked to perfection in a charcoal fire or oven. The whole dish is tied together with Choorma, a dessert like concoction prepared with flour, jaggery or sugar and ghee or clarified butter.
  • Pyaaz Kachori – Crispy fried dough breads stuffed with a mouth watering blend of minced onions and spices. Very moreish.
  •  Keema Bati: Another variation of the much adored Dal Batti churma, Keema bati serves up the same deep fried roundels stuffed with minced meat and spices.
  • Jungle Maas: A heavy and delectable mutton based gravy dish, prepared with generous proportions of clarified butter.
  • Laal Maas: Another mutton based dish unique to the region, Laal Maas is a must have when in this part of the world. This spicy preparation gets both its name and ruddy hue from the spiciest of chillies it is prepared with.
  • Mirchi Vada – Long and juicy green chillies are coated with chickpea flour and deep fried till they become crispy and golden on the outside, and soft and gooey on the inside. Sounds scary to those who are not used to hot dishes. But this preparation is surprisingly mild in its taste and not nearly as hot as one would think it should be, given that the fundamental ingredient is green chilly.
  • The Rajasthani thali – A platter with small helpings of many dishes, it takes you on a gastronomic trip through Rajasthan as you are provided generous and unlimited servings of all the local specialities like dal bati churma, gatte ki sabzi, Kadhi, aloo pyaaz ki sabzi, roti, rice salad, ended with sweet fragrant halwas and piping hot syrup filled jalebis.
  • Ghewar – Another dish that proves Rajasthan’s love for everything deep fried. Ghewar is a sweet dish that highly in demand both among the locals and tourists, a staple during festivals like teej and one of the tastiest desserts one will ever taste.
  • Rotis – Rajasthan offers various kinds of rotis or flat breads like Bajre ki roti, Besan Ki roti, Makki ki roti.

Apart from these, Jaipur also offers an endless array of kebabs and snacks that can be both munched on while in town and carried away for the rest of the trip.

What to see

As mentioned before, Jaipur has a regal past and its traditions, culture and remnants are still very much alive in the city. You won’t run out of sights to see and places to visit while at Jaipur. Some of the highlights of the city:

  • Monuments and Forts – The vestiges of the past standing regally and tall in the heart of modern day Jaipur, these forts and monuments represent everything from the royal heritage to the then scientific progress. There are plenty of monuments to be explored throughout the city including the famed Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace and Amber Fort. No matter how short the trip may be, these are the sites that must not be missed while in Jaipur.

Suraj Pole, Amber Palace

  • Gardens – Within the arid desert of Rajasthan, Jaipur houses some of the most beautiful gardens one can ever lay eyes upon. Most of the gardens were once presented as gifts by the Kings to their beloved queens, like the Sisodia Rani ka Bagh. To this day the beauty and grandiosity of the gardens are well maintained.
  • Hindu Temples – In all its splendour and exuberance, Jaipur is still a city deeply rooted in ts religious and spiritual beliefs. Most of the temples are of historic significance and were established to mark royal patronage. The temples are also notable for their tremendous architectural value. Some of the most important temples of the region include the Galtaji temple and the Birla temple.

Birla Mandir

  • Festivals – With the significant role both tradition and culture plays in the day to day life of this city, festivals and fairs are a matter of daily occurrence in this part of the world. Of all the festivals that are hosted throughout the year, the grandest and most exciting are the Kite festival in mid-January, Elephant festival and the Jaipur Literature Festival.
  • Bazaars – No trip is complete without shopping for some of the local souvenirs, and in Jaipur the whole experience is taken to an entirely new level. The local bazaars of the city are some of the most colourful and thriving business areas on the face of the world. The vibrant attires of the localites, the mojari shops, hand crafted puppets, bandhni dupattas liven up the whole surrounding while the snack stores dotting the markets provide shoppers the much needed energy and break from the loure of the shopping spree.

Info

  • Distance from nearest airport - Jaipur Airport (IATA: JAI, ICAO: VIJP) is located in the southern suburb of Sanganer, which is situated at a distance of 13 km (8.1 miles) from Jaipur. This airport is also the only international airport in the entire state of Rajasthan.
  • Average temperature during winter months – While summers can get really hot in Jaipur (around 45° C), winters are rather pleasant with September to March offering around temperatures of 10°C to 25°C, occasionally it may also dip as low as 5°C. January is taken to be the coldest month of the year in Jaipur and the average high falls to 17 °C.
  • What to pack- As winters can be on the cooler side, especially if there is a sudden dip in the temperature, it is prudent to carry a few warm garments with you in the luggage for layering purposes. Apart from that usual cotton or blended casual clothes work fine.
  •  Languages spoken – Hindi, Rajasthani and English (to a very small degree and usually only in hotels and restaurants).
  • Popular modes of local transport – Jaipur has three main mediums of transportation – buses/ mini buses, tempos, three wheeler taxi and auto-rickshaws. There are also a number of taxis meant for tourists. The buses regularly ply the previously set routes and charge a standard fare. Autorick-shaws are supposed to run only according to their meter, three wheelers can also be hired on a day to day basis while the rickshaws have no fixed fare.  Most modes charge extra for luggage.
  • Other nearby destinations – Jaipur has a number of tourist destinations located around it like Shekhawati, Tonk, Abaneri, Kishangarh and the famed Ajmer and Pushkar.
  • Boutique Hotels and Luxury Villas – Today Jaipur is a prime location for vacationing and hosting elaborate social functions like weddings and engagements. So the city is brimming with luxury boutique hotels, villas, restored colonial bungalows and more. The staying accommodations can fit any kind of budget and cover the entire range from the extremely basic to the ridiculously decadent. While the no frills basic accommodations provide for lodging and food usually, the higher end establishments come with a slew of other services including spa, fine dining, event planning, elephant rides. See Jaipur Accommodations

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Posted by Sudha at 11:59 pm
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Plan to travel to an Indian holiday destination?

We are here to help. At no extra cost.
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About me

The wise man travels to discover himself - JR Lowell

 

My name is Sudha Mathew. I'm an ex-banker who quit the rat race after a decade to follow my passion for travel and to combine it with my experience in understanding client requirements and exceeding their expectations.

 

While our content is mostly about the holiday experience, the accommodation and services, there's so much more to a journey. I have discovered a whole new me through travel. So I've reserved this corner of the website to share the unexpected aspects of travel. This space is also to hear from you about your journeys and discoveries. Bon Voyage!

 
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