Jaipur was an incredible first stop on our Rajasthan tour. The forts were absolutely incredible, and I bartered the HECK out of two custom made dresses. Here are all my Jaipur tips, including a less touristy spot to see some incredible architecture. A great welcome to India.
And over to Jaipur!
After flying into Delhi and leaving all of our trekking gear (a whopping 120L combined!), we took the train to Jaipur.
Day 1: A Bust.
The entire first day, I was ill! I couldn’t get out of bed, which was so frustrating because all I wanted to do was see the city. Luckily, the next day, I was all better and ready to go!
Day 2: Shopping.
We started our day with a walk around the city, making sure to go around the City Palace, Hawa Mahal, and Ajmeri Gate. It’s past peak season, so a lot was closed in the morning, but it picked up a little later. It was incredibly hot out (over 45 degrees!), so we stopped into The Tattoo Cafe.
The Tattoo Cafe has a beautiful view overlooking the City Palace and Hawa Mahal, as well as AIR CONDITIONING. We took full advantage of sitting inside and cooling off before heading out onto the terrace to see the view.
The owner is very lovely and we visited his nephew’s fabric shop because I had mentioned that I wanted to get some dresses made. I only packed 2 dresses with me (seriously my bag is full of trekking gear and trekking gear only) and nothing else for the heat, so I was in the market for something new, especially when you’re sweating so much and your clothes need to be washed more often!
Jaipur is known for its block printed fabric, so I figured this was the place for some clothes shopping.
Custom Made Dresses
They pulled out loads of fabric for me to look at. While there were so many beautiful fabrics, there was an indigo flower print and a red and white print that really caught my eye.
After selecting my fabrics, I looked at forms. There were some more traditional Indian styles, as well as some more Western ones. I knew I’d probably get more wear out of the Western styles back at home, so I went for that. I ended up with a belted maxi dress and a shorter sundress.
We bargained for the price next. We were originally quoted 10,800 rupees, about 115 GBP. That is a LOT for two dresses and I would not recommend paying that price. Trilok, the shop owner, is very willing to negotiate for a price that works for the both of you. I’m on a tight budget this trip, and I’m very happy with what I paid for my dresses.
And the last step was getting my measurements. They called the tailor and I tried on the sample forms. Those fit everywhere except around the bust, so they took my measurements and the tailor was off! They delivered the dresses to my hotel by 9pm.
The Final Product.
If you like these dresses, I had them made by Trilok Choudhary. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re keen to get in touch 🙂
Where to Stay:
After getting the dresses ordered, Phil and I headed back to our hotel for lunch. We stayed at the Pearl Palace, which is a great budget option. It’s a very nice hotel with great air conditioning (the only place we have felt cold!) and some beautiful rooms. They also have a more upscale hotel. We accidentally went here when looking for our hotel and it looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL. I think it’s called the Heritage Hotel Pearl Palace.
What really stands out about this hotel (the budget one) is the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant. We seriously didn’t eat anywhere else! The rooftop is beautiful and the food was absolutely fabulous. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
What to Do:
We met a tuk-tuk driver outside our hotel earlier that morning who was super reasonable about pricing from the get-go. He was incredibly friendly and we got his contact info. In the afternoon, we decided to call him to arrange a ride to the Lake Palace and then up to Tiger Fort.
We had the whole afternoon, so Rashid (the lovely driver!) took us to the Royal Gaitor, which was almost empty and so beautiful. The entrance fee was only 30 rupees and I highly recommend checking this place out if you like architecture. It was absolutely gorgeous!
I’d actually skip the Lake Palace. We stopped for about 5 minutes but driving by is more than enough.
Tiger Fort’s formal name is Nahargarh Fort. I know it isn’t the big fort in Jaipur, but I thought it was beautiful and I liked that it was not busy at all! The views overlooking the city are wonderful.
After spending quite some time at the fort, we headed back to the Peacock Rooftop Restaurant and had a lovely evening eating great food and listening to live music.
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