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Introducing India’s Pink City

Introducing India’s Pink City

India is much bigger than it looks on the map, and it’s also much more diverse than you might think it is. You might even argue that different regions of India are like entirely separate countries.

One of the best examples of this truth is in the country’s northwestern Rajasthan state. Defined by deserts and open space, it feels more like somewhere in the Middle East or Central Asia than it does the Indian megacities of Delhi or Mumbai.

If you’re planning to visit Rajasthan, you’ve almost certainly got the “Pink City” of Jaipur on your radar. But is Jaipur worth visiting? Continue reading and allow me to answer this question for you!

Where to Stay in Jaipur

One of my first pieces of good news? Jaipur hotels are some of the cheapest in the world, whether you stay at five-star properties like The Lalit or the Umaid Bhawan, one of the many boutique guest houses on offer in the city. To put a number on it, it’s more than possible to spend less than 100 USD per night on absolutely opulent accommodation in Jaipur.

This makes Jaipur a great destination not only for couples on honeymoon and older travelers taking trips after the kids have left, but also for students. A good rule of thumb is if you can afford to navigate to in order to seek help writing an important essay, you can afford to stay in a very nice place in Jaipur during your next trip to Rajasthan.


What to Do in Jaipur

Visit Amber Fort

If you want to get a panoramic view of Jaipur, you’ll want to ascend Amber Fort, a 16th-century outpost that thankfully no longer serves a defensive purpose. Do note that in spite of is name (and its presence in the pink city), it’s not actually amber in color—its alternate name is actually “Amer.”

(But don’t ride an elephant)

The majority of tourists use elephants to go up to the top of the fort, which makes sense: An Elephant Booking Office is right next to the ticket office. Riding elephants is not humane, however, so I’d suggest that you hike up instead. Even if it’s difficult for you, you’ll look back on it as one thing that made Jaipur worth visiting.

Take selfies in front of Hawa Mahal

As I’ll explain later in this post, Jaipur doesn’t have any structures that compare to the Taj Mahal in Agra. The 19th-century Hawa Mahal is probably the most iconic place you can find here, however, even if it’s not much of a mahal (which means “palace”) when compared to the Taj.

Study ancient astronomy at Jantar Mantar

Although it can be difficult to tell these days, as a result of pollution, skies over Rajasthan were once among the clearest in the world. This is why the various astronomical instruments you see at Jantar Mantar have been there for centuries. This unique observatory is one of the main reasons I believe that Jaipur is worth visiting!

Continue to Jodhpur—or don’t

Rajasthan is a big place, and Jaipur is only the beginning. While I highly recommend continuing on to the “Blue City” of Jodhpur, which makes a great companion to Jaipur, this isn’t a requirement. If you do, however, you’d might as well enjoy a Thar Desert camel safari, and dig even deeper, continuing to Udaipur.


How Many Days Do You Need in Jaipur?

Jaipur isn’t a massive city, but covering ground here does take some time. Moreover, after the journey here (likely, but not necessarily, from Delhi), you may want at least an afternoon to relax. As a general rule, I recommend spending a minimum of three nights in Jaipur. This gives you what I just described—one day to chill—plus two full days for sightseeing. (Or, a full day for sightseeing and a second chill day!)

Of course, there’s also the reality that any discussion of how many days in Jaipur you spend must necessarily include the rest of Rajasthan. In this case, you need to be thinking not so much of days, but a week or longer, especially if you plan to spend any time on camelback in the Thar Desert. In fact, I’d recommend a minimum of seven nights if you plan to visit Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur, dromedaries notwithstanding.


Other FAQ About Visiting Jaipur

What is so special about Jaipur?

Jaipur is special for a couple of key reasons. Superficially, it is known as India’s “Pink City,” with many important structures painted either pink or an orange-pink terra cotta. More substantively, Jaipur is usually the first city travelers visit when they come to Rajasthan, so there’s a certain sense of arrival upon setting foot there for the first time.

Which is better, Agra or Jaipur?

On one hand, Agra is home to the Taj Mahal, which might just be the most magnificent building on the entire planet. On the other hand, Agra itself is a dusty, congested nightmare of a city; I personally prefer visiting Jaipur by a pretty wide margin, even if there’s nothing close to the Taj Mahal on offer here.

Is Jaipur, India worth visiting?

Jaipur is definitely worth visiting if your India itinerary includes plans to visit Rajasthan, the desert state in the country’s northwest. Do keep in mind, however, that Rajasthan is just as far in miles from major Indian cities as it is in culture. A “quick trip” up here might not be so quick at all!


The Bottom Line

Is Jaipur worth visiting? Yes, if you’re planning on being in Rajasthan anyway, although its distance from other cities in India means it might be too long a trek otherwise. I particularly love spending a few days in Jaipur prior to traveling deeper through Rajasthan, whether that’s with a quick bounce over to the “Blue City” of Jodhpur, or continuing all the way to Udaipur and its famous floating palace and making a week—or longer—of it. Need personalized help putting your ideal India itinerary together? Hire me as your Travel Coach, and let me take the guesswork out of your trip of a lifetime.


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