Jaipur is also known as the Pink City because, obviously, the whole city is pink. Why? We'll give you a little lesson in history: In 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India on a tour. Since pink denotes the color of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the whole city pink in color to welcome the guests. The tradition has been sincerely followed by the residents who are now, by law, compelled to maintain the pink color.
As it was camel festival in Pushkar, the direct buses from Pushkar to Jaipur did not go. We therefor took a local bus to Ajmer first, at 9 am for 20 rupees p.p. The bus annoyingly stopped 1 km before the busstand in Ajmer and surprisingly there were taxi’s who loved to bring us. We of course walked and jumped a little bit after 10 am on one of the many buses at the busstation of Ajmer and headed to Jaipur (130 km, cost 260 rupees in total, 150 rupees for Michiel and a lady ticket of 110 rupees for Marije). We arrived in Jaipur around 1 pm from where it was a 200 rupees tuktuk ride to or hotel (which was payed for by a very nice indian guy, as we did not have small notes and the 500 and 1.000 notes were worth nothing).
We had to look out for restaurants where we could pay with creditcard (because it was really difficult to get cash due to the demonetized of all 500 and 1.000 notes) and ended up at the Heritage Buffet Restaurant the first night. The restaurant itself is nothing special, it’s not cosy or anything. But the food was pretty good, the staff was friendly and the prices were fair. Do we recommend going here? For the food maybe, but there are nicer restaurants than this one.
Like the Art Cafe. It was a bit chaotic because the actual owner wasn’t there and the man who normally runs the gallery, attached to the restaurant, had to take orders. But it was a really sweet man so we did not mind. And the atmosphere is really nice. It has art everywhere, the food is different then other restaurants we went to and it’s tasteful. If going to Jaipur, this is a place we would definitely recommend going to.
We stayed at Rawla Mrignayani Palace. A great place to stay when going to Jaipur. The rooms are lovely and spacious and in Indian style. When you arrive, and they're not full, they'll show you different you rooms and you can choose which one you like best. There is a first time for everything. Of course we choose the biggest room.
About the room itself. The beds are comfy, the shower is nice (we even had a bathtub) and it’s close to the City Palace. The staff is helpful and friendly and we only saw one cockroach.
** You can find them on booking.com
As said in the Pushkar story, the government demonetized all 500 and 1.000 notes and that became a bit of a problem for us here. We needed to go to a bank where they could exchange the old notes for new ones. Luckily, the son of the owner of our hotel could help us out. He knew which bank to go to where they would help foreigners first. All we had to do was wave with our passport and we could skip the line. That didn’t feel good because people normally have to wait in line for like 6 hours, but we did use this advantage because standing in line for that long didn’t sound appealing to us. It still took us one hour, but we left the bank with money that we could spent!
There were 2 places of interest to us: the City Palace and the Nahargarh Fort. We saw some awesome photos of the different rooms inside the palace and thought we could visit all of them, once we bought a ticket. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You have to buy an extra ticket for this. Since the entrance fee was already 500 Rupees, we did want to spent 2.000 rupees extra to see the private rooms of the Maharadja and therefore we did not see them all. We were a bit disappointed when we found out, but still liked the palace. It has some nice bows and beautiful doors. We skipped the museum stuff, not really our thing. You can also do an audiotour for 100 rupees extra and it is possible to pay with creditcard here.
About 3 kilometers outside the centre, and high above the city, you’ll find the Nahargarh Fort. Walking up will take you about 30 minutes via a curved road, and seeing the sunset from here is definitely worth it! Entrance fee to go in is 200 rupees, but you can manage to get great shots without paying, just outside the fort like we did! One tip when climbing on the walls be quick with shooting your picture, because you will get send off by the guards!