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What to do


Shop, shop and shop some more, tick off the sightseeing list, eat some food and then go back to the shops.

  1. See & Do
  2. Eat & Drink
  3. Shop

See & Do

Sightseeing: Pink City
Though the Pink City can at first seem to be a tough sprawl of endless shops, temples and people, it’s definitely worth a visit. Notable landmarks include: The Ram Niwas Gardens, at the centre of which lies the splendid Albert Hall; the Tripolia Gate, which leads into the City Palace complex; The Ishwar Lat tower, described as a “minaret which pierces the heavens”; the Govindji Temple; the Jantar Mantar observatory, which has 18 different instruments to plot the movement of the sun, stars and moon; and Johari Bazaar, a broad and busy street that deals mainly in textiles and jewellery. A guided tour is a really good bet to get your bearings and learn some of the city’s secrets. Details below.

Sightseeing: Forts
Along with the temples and havelis, Jaipur is known for the forts that crown the rugged Aravalli hills surrounding the city.

Amber Fort, famous for its majestic facade and the intricate beauty of the Sheesh Mahal within, is the most visited, with a Son et Lumiere (Sound and Light) show every evening in English and Hindi. Jeep and elephant rides up the winding road to the fort from the car park are available. Go early to avoid the crowds whose numbers can sometimes diminish the experience.

Jaigarh Fort, perched on a rocky hilltop above Amber, is a magnificent mountain stronghold dating back to the 11th century. The fort was used as a gun foundry from 1584 onwards and its decorative Jaivana wheeled cannon is still claimed to be the largest in the world.

Nahargarh, also known as the Tiger Fort, was designed to protect Jaipur and house the city’s treasures. Now in a slightly shabby state, it is still worth a visit for the magnificent view from its ramparts.  The Padao Terrace restaurant is a good place to enjoy a drink while watching the sunset.

Hot-air balloon
Perhaps the best way to make sense of the city and see the stunning panorama of the Aravalli Hills in all its glory is be ascending in a hot-air balloon early in the morning as the sun rises and Jaipur awakens. Organised by private travel company Sky Waltz (skywaltz.com 9717295801), these 60-minute long balloon rides slowly circle the city and its surroundings, taking in temples, forts, palaces, small villages, forests and farmland. The flight costs approximately 250 dollars per person and also includes pick up and drop facilities from your hotel, snacks at the launch site and a certificate of first flight signed by the pilot.  The pilots, almost all American or European, are highly trained and the company strictly follows international safety standards. The season runs from September to March with launch sites spread out across various locations in and around Jaipur including Samode Palace Hotel, Amber Fort, Shiv Vilas and Jal Mahal.

Heritage walks
Jaipur’s rich past is often hard to grasp for a new visitor to the city. There are too many shops, people, taxis and too much garbage to make sense of it. So this is where a good guided tour comes in, allowing the city to reveal its charm, history and secrets, preferably by foot. There are many choices for guided walks.

The cheapest option, for a visitor in a hurry, is to join the 90-minute Heritage Walk (Mudra mob: 9314612870) that runs daily between 9 am and 3 pm and starts at the Hawa Mahal Main Entrance before moving onto the Goverdhan Nathji Temple, Jantar Mantar and the Govind Dev Ji Temple. Besides the wisdom of Mudra, the local guide, these walks are also accompanied by a sophisticated audio script that gives great descriptions and anecdotes of the places visited.

Highly recommended – if you have the time – is Jaipur Walks ([email protected], mob: 9829071784). Run by Vineet Sharma, who is both owner and principle guide, it offers five different types of walks each of which promise to reveal a different facet of the city. These include: Religious Walk, The Built Heritage Walk, The Bazaar Walk, The Cuisine Walk and The Art and Crafts Walk and cost approximately Rs.500 for a three to four hour walk taken either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

A more expensive option is Jaipur Magic (jaipurmagic.com 98677 07414), which runs a Taste of Jaipur tour including a walk around the milk bazaar, the vegetable and fruit market, an in-depth introduction to Rajasthani food followed by a home-cooking demonstration and meal.  They also offer Bazaar Walks around Jaipur’s famed and crowded markets and a more expensive, personalised full-day car tour. Prices range from Rs.2000-6000.

Shop for textiles
No serious visitor to Jaipur leaves without at least one major shopping expedition at one of the myriad textile emporiums that dot the city. The most visited and loved is undoubtedly the high-end Anokhi, which is famous for its cotton-block printed tunics, pants and home-furnishings. If you’re interested in the production process, you can visit The Anokhi Musuem of Hand Printing in Amber where you can witness painting demonstrations and make your own block-printed scarf or t-shirt.

Otherwise, there are a plethora of block print experts and shops in the city that sell everything from vintage fabrics from Afghanistan to local Jaipuri quilts. More details in our shopping section.



Eat & Drink

Anokhi Café – 2nd floor, KK Sq Mall, Prithviraj Rd. 0141 400 7245
One of our favourite places in Jaipur, Anokhi Café’s great mix of sandwiches, organic salads, smoothies, cakes, thin-crust pizzas and pastas is only matched by the cool, informal setting, with wicker chairs, a bamboo ceiling and Anokhi’s trademark block-printed fabrics filling the room. The produce is mostly organic and the food, prepared by a Kiwi chef, is fresh, healthy and very tasty.  With designers, ex-pats and cool locals the regular clientele, the café is the perfect refuge from both the tourist spots and the busy world outside.

Niros – MI Road 0141 237 4493
Although Niros was made famous in the 90s’ for its celebrity clientele (included – so the word goes – Amitabh Bachchan and Naomi Campbell) and great food, the quality of the dishes seems to have dipped somewhat in recent years, but it is still a decent, reliable and clean place in the middle of the city to grab a good, hearty meal amidst backpackers and locals on a fancy night out. The cuisine is a mix of Indian, Chinese and old-school continental.

Laxmi Misthan Bhandar (LMB) – 100 Johari Bazaar 0141 256 5844
Located right in the bustle of Johari Bazaar, this decades-old Jaipur institution is famous for its robust and spicy vegetarian food. Though they have a large and varied menu listing a range of Chinese and continental dishes, it would be wise to stick to the Indian and Rajasthani food: the chaat, somasas and daal baati churma come highly recommended.

Lassiwala – MI Road, Opp Niros
Creamy, curdy goodness of the kind other lassiwalas only dream of. This nondescript shop front houses the makers of arguably Jaipur’s most famous lassi, served in clay cups to be happily drunk from and then smashed into the bins provided. The sweet variety is the overwhelming favourite, but salted has its fans too.

Samode Haveli – Gangapole 0141 263 2407
One of the principle pleasures of eating here is being seated in the stunning fresco-covered dining hall, but the food gives the setting a run for its money too. Choose from a very generous, tasty and reasonably priced buffet service that includes Indian, Rajasthani and Western dishes, or go à la carte with a wide variety of the same.

Saba Haveli – Gangapole 0141 263 0521
In season, this charming haveli turned hotel in the old town lays out a fantastic spread of north-Indian and Rajasthani food, and is a great place to come to for a traditional thali. If you like your food spicy, make sure to let the chefs know beforehand as they tend to turn it down a notch for foreign tourists.

Four Seasons – D 43A2 Subhash Marg 0141 237 5450
Unpretentious and tasty vegetarian food that locals swear by, Four Seasons is a great place to come to when you’re craving non-touristy food in a simple setting.

Narain Niwas Palace Hotel – Narain Singh Road 0141 256 1291
Certain Jaipur insiders declare their thali one of the best in the city – simple, powerful flavours with none of the heaviness that can mar an otherwise lovely Rajasthani food experience. The front terrace of this pretty haveli hotel is also a great place to have a drink in the evening; an added bonus is the presence of cool fashion store Hot Pink on the premises.

Steam, Rambagh Palace Hotel – Bhawani Singh Rd 0141 221 1919
A spiffy lounge bar set in an old train carriage, Steam is well known for its authentic cocktails and “wood-fired Italian crust pizzas”. If you’re looking for a sharp night about town mingling with Jaipur’s gilded young denizens, this is as good as it gets.

Rawat Mishtan Bhandar – Station Rd 0141 236 8288
A one-stop shop for both savoury and sweet snacks, this Haldiram-style establishment set in a clean modern building is famous for its kachoris and jalebis. Good for an introduction to Jaipur’s street food culture without any of the attendant grime.

Street food:
Jaipur’s crowded markets – Johari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Chaura Rasta and MI Road – are where you will find the best paranthas, kachoris, samosas, pakodas, jalebis and ladoos. Persuade your auto-wallah to take you where he would eat (instead of where he thinks you want to eat) and you’ll probably find yourself at an authentic local stall eating some of Jaipur’s tastiest food. As ever, foreigners should go for the places that are very busy, with a high turnover.

Jagannath Sharma Pakodi Wale – 162 Thansi Payou, Tripolia Bazaar
 A 100 year old hole-in-the-wall shop run by two brothers, continuing the family tradition of cooking on a blackened coal stove without any onions or garlic; the pakodas they turn out – filled with potatoes, chickpeas, lentils or green chillies – are excellent.

Shri Ram Namkeen Bhandar – Off MI Rd
This nondescript cart down an alleyway off MI Road is the dictionary definition of basic, but it serves possibly the tastiest kachoris we ate in Jaipur. Get Raju, the rickshaw wallah who sits outside Diggi Palace (number above) to take you, he knows it well.

Bombay Mishthan Bhandar (BMB) – Sanganeri Gate
Open from 5 am till midnight, this popular local shack at Sanganeri Gate is famous for its jalebis and saffron-flavoured milk. Also serves samosas and kachoris if you’re craving something salty. 


The entire city of Jaipur is effectively one huge market, with many streets focussing on just one particular trade.

Ramganj Bazaar is famous for embroidered and leather footwear; Badi Chauper, Johari Bazaar, Chameliwala Bazaar, Jadiyon-ka-Rasta, Gopalji-ka-Rasta and Haldiyon-ka-Rasta for jewellery; Maniharon-ka-Rasta off Tripolia Bazaar for lac bangles; Khajanewalon-ka-Rasta off Chandpol Bazaar for stone carving; Johari Bazaar for textiles; and the area around Hawa Mahal for both real and counterfeit antiques. Sanganer, just 16 kms northwest of Jaipur, is where all the textile specialists have their factories, a good place to explore if you’re looking for more unique pieces outside of the more famous stores in the city.

Saurashtra Impex Jorwar Singh Gate, Amber Rd 0141 2635647
The ground floor of this famous textiles emporium sells all manner of block-printed textiles including Jaipuri quilts, bedsheets, dohars and tunics; their prints are often excellent, designs contemporary and prices reasonable. Also ask the owner to show you the first floor where he stocks his collection of antique fabrics and tribal clothing (wedding dresses, antique Souzanis, vintage sarees) sourced from the subcontinent and Central Asia.

Hot Pink – Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Narain Singh Rd, 0141 510 8932
Bringing together the best of contemporary textile design and fashion in a beautiful space within the gardens of Narain Niwas Hotel, Hot Pink – set up by jewellery magnate Munnu Kasliwal and French jewellery designer Marie Helene de Tailiac – is Jaipur’s first high fashion concept store. Expect to find a beautifully curated collection of very fashionable clothes and home furnishings in a gorgeous setting.

Rajasthali – Ajmeri Gate, MI Road, Opp Ajmeri Gate, 0141 237 2974
Government emporium with a wide range of fixed-price souvenirs.

Khadi Ghar – MI Rd 0141 237 3745– A government-run emporium that specialises in hand-woven and hand-spun fabrics at fixed, reasonable prices.

Nayika MI Road 0141 2362664
Jaipur insiders make a beeline to Nayika for their trademark quilted silk jackets (you can choose the print and order it to your size) but this lovely store also has a great range of cotton shirts and dresses, stoles and handbags.

Textile Specialists:
Many of the boutiques we’ve listed now have outlets in other big Indian cities, but their origins are all in Jaipur and it is here that you’ll find the largest variety of prints and fabrics, all competitively priced.

Anokhi – 2nd floor, KK Sq Mall, Prithviraj Rd. 0141 400 7245
The undisputed leader of the block-print trade, they roll out a stunning collection of dresses, tunics, pants, bedsheets, dupattas, bedcovers, quilts, shirts and bags, with unerring and highly pleasing regularity. Their Jaipur outlet is large, airy and beautiful, making the whole experience of shopping or browsing a pleasure. The added bonus is the attached Anokhi Café, to refresh yourself between splurges.

Cottons – Jacob Rd, Civil Lines, 0141 222 3870
Popular with college girls for the bright and colourful printed skirts and scarves on display, they also has a small collection of jewellery.

Kilol – Sadar Patel Marg, 0141 511 4683
Known for their sophisticated collection of hand-block printed silk sarees.

Soma – Jamnalal Bajaj Marg 0141 237 2246
Soma have one of the best home-furnishing collections in India, with a contemporary, regularly updated range of pretty prints on bedsheets, cushion covers and quilts. They also keep a small collection of tunics and men’s shirts.

Ratan – Papriwal Cottage, Ajmer Rd 0141 222 2392
Great prices and a good range of products at this family-run specialist in screen and block-printing.

For expensive jewellery:

The Gem Palace – MI Road 0141 237 4175 Run by the famous Kasliwal family, whose ancestors were the court jewellers to the Mughal emperors, this 160-year-old store has multiple rooms filled with some of the finest jewellery in India. The place to come when you want something spectacular and have money to burn!

Amrapali – Ashok Marg 0141 237 4175
For connoisseurs of beautiful hand-crafted jewellery and tribal antique silver jewellery, Amrapali can’t be beat. Their range runs from the reasonable to the fantastically expensive, well worth a visit just to admire the stunning collection.

Bhuramal Rajmal Surana
Another iconic store in Jaipur famous for their exquisite traditional jewellery dripping with precious stones. Essential shopping for your wedding trousseau.