The roads inside city are well maintained with good width, neat dividers and signals. Four wheeler traffic is decent in Jaipur whereas two wheeler traffic is maniac. Two wheelers stop at red signal but as soon as signal turns green they go criss-cross and block all four wheelers (saw few of them dashing with each other as well). Jaipur bypass is very well designed, the bypass is long and passes through some narrow lanes with dense habitat as well. Jaipur stands as one of the cleanest city.
We visited famous Choki Dani in Jaipur. This place serves authentic Rajasthani veg food. I don’t like their charging method. They charge children by their height (same in Pune’s Choki Dani). Everyone who is more than 3.5 feet needs to pay Rs.700 per head.
To add to this when I entered inside I could see everything is chargeable apart from welcome drink and main dinner (not fare in my terms, even Pune’s choki dani provide some complimentary option).
The travellers who are tight on budget and needs to taste Rajasthani veg food then I would recommend “Heritage Buffet” restaurant near Hawa Mahal, they have decent and limited Rajsathani thali which has all the options provided in Choki Dani.
Places to see inside Choki Dani, Jaipur
Authentic Rajasthani Food in Choki Dani
Rajasthani Thali from “Heritage Buffet” restaurant
Below are the attractions which we covered in Jaipur. 1) Birla Temple
The location is right on the main road. There is a steep road towards parking. The parking is good and organised (Parking fee is Rs.20/30 – forgot??). Entry to temple is free. Footwear needs to be kept outside temple in dedicated area where you need to pay Rs.5 per pair.
You can see one fort uphill here, don’t know what exactly it is as I could not see any entry there. Asked a local who said there is Shiva Temple up there which opens only on Mahashivratri.
Fort like structure near Birla Temple 2) Albert Hall Museum
This location is located at roundabout on main road where on other hand you will find Jaipur Zoo. Parking is good and organised (Forgot the parking fee). You can spot this monument from distance as there are lots of pigeons around this building. Time
: 9:00am to 5:00pm (Closed on last Tuesday of each month). No charges for camera. Ticket
: You can purchase composite ticket here for most of the Jaipur attractions which is valid for two working days. In case there is holiday on the particular date then the composite ticket shall be valid for next working day. Charges are Rs.300/adult and Rs.40/Children (Up to 7 years it is free).
Composite ticket have entrance of Amber Fort, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall, Nahargarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, Sisodia Garden, Vidhyadhar Baug and Isarlat.
Structure of Albert Hall
Albert hall is normal museum with painting and armouries. The highlight of this museum is an Egyptian Mummy which is kept in underground section. This is the only section where photos are prohibited (there were no sign boards of photography restriction but the guards keep a keen eye on tourist, still I managed to take one ) 3) Hawa Mahal
This is the area where you enter pink city. The roads are bit busy and crowded as they pass through market area. You can park your vehicle at City Palace parking or at Ramniwas baug and either walk or take eRick to visit the places nearby. Time
: For entry inside Hawa Mahal the time is from 9:00am to 5:00pm. No charge for camera.
One can reach up to top of Hawa mahal via staircase. From above you can view the entire market area along with busy street below. You can also see Nahargarh Fort from here. There is a “Wind View Café” just opposite Hawa Mahal from where you can click entire front side of Hawa Mahal. But there is no need to enter this café as you can stand in front of it and click Hawa Mahal. Lots of lassiwala’s on this road serving lassi in earthen glass and Kachori.
Lassi served in earthen glass 4) City Palace
The descendants of royal family stay here hence only half of the palace is accessible to tourists. The accessible part also is museum. If one is short of time then this place can be skipped. 5) Jantar Mantar
The location of Jantar Mantar is next to City Palace. One can walk for few meters to reach here. Time
: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Basically this place is an observatory. There are lots of “Yantra’s” (machines) built to calculate time, geographical norms etc. You may hire a guide here if you want to know more about the structures. There are boards where they have mentioned details of these machines, one can read it and see the magic of shadows. The prefer time to enter here is around 11:30am to 12:30pm so that you can see shadows properly on these Yantra’s. 6) Amber Fort Time
: 8:00am to 5:30pm
This is the main attraction of Jaipur. You will find lots of foreigner tourist on this spot. The road going uphill is crowded by vehicles and tourist buses. You will see boards stating way to Nahargarh and Jaigarh fort on your way. Amber fort is having steep to very steep parking spots where you need to be very cautious as vehicles are parked right on the steep bends. There are many jaywalkers, guides and sellers on this road. Taking your car to parking lot is a task in itself, I managed to stall my car few times. The traffic gets piled up soon on ascent as any car comes out of parking lot. Lots of guides at the entrance, as you get out from your car the guides will surround you.
Amber Fort is divided into Diwan-E-Aam, Diwan-E-Khas, Sheesh Mahal, Sukh Niwas, Kesar Kyaari (Mughal Garden)
The fort is famous as few scenes from Bollywood movie “Jodha Akbar” along with song "Jashn-E-Bahara" were shot here. Also few scenes of films like “Bajirao Mastani” and Sonam Kapoors “Khubsoorat” were shot here.
Amber fort as seen from road
Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors)
Diwan-E-Aam (Hall of Public audience)
Diwan-E-Khas (Hall of Private audience) 7) Panna Meena Kund Time
: All time open
This is a step well at a walkable distance from Amber Fort car parking area. Those who are short of time to visit famous “Chand Baori” can fulfil their photography here as well. The place is very less touristy hence crowd less. There is no entry fee here
8) Jaigarh Fort Time
: 8:00am to 5:30pm Tickets
: This fort is somehow not covered in composite ticket. Rs.50/ adult, Rs.30/child (under 10 years free). If you want to drive your car inside the fort then you need to get separate ticket of Rs.50
While descending from Amber Fort you will come across signboard stating way to Jaigarh fort as well as Nahardurg fort. The ghat section is steep with lots of curves, if bus comes then traffic get piled up in no time. After taking ticket you can enter fort along with your car.
This is how traffic get piled up when two buses pass each other (put the hand brake and enjoy the game)
The main highlight of Jaigarh fort is India’s biggest cannon named “Jaivanna”. Apart from this you can get view of surrounding area. There is one of the steepest climb inside to reach Jaivanna Cannon, parking inside and taking your car out again is a task in itself. If anyone is short of time then this fort can be skipped.
9) Nahardurg Fort Time
: 8:00am to 5:30pm
While coming back from Jaigarh you will see signage for Nahardurg fort. This fort is famous for pink city view. You can see Jaipur Wax museum at the entrance (can be skipped) and an artificial sheesh mahal (can be skipped if you have seen actual Sheesh Mahal on Amber fort). The fort has become famous as the scenes of “Rang De Basanti” and “Shudh Desi Romance” were shot here.
(This entire fort can be skipped if you are short of time.) 10) Jal Mahal Time
: All time viewable
Once you descent the fort road and come on plains then you can see Jal Mahal next to the road. Entry inside is restricted. You can just take photo and move on. Here you will find lots of road side eateries like chat and kulfi’s.