Jaipur is home to a surprising amount of attractions and a wealth of activities that rival that of any major city. Visitors to Jaipur can choose between an authentic visit full of local markets and temple hopping and a luxurious break in a five-star hotel complete with spa treatments. These options blend together to make this diverse city a great choice for people searching for all types of holidays.
Jaipur was the first truly planned city in all of India. As a tourist destination, it is part of India’s “Golden Triangle” of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Well-connected by rail, these three cities are a popular circuit for tourists in northern India. Jaipur is also the gateway to the rest of Rajasthan and the Thar Desert, so visitors exploring that state may find themselves passing through Jaipur multiple times on their way to other points in the region.
Some important travel tips for tourists who are travelling Jaipur for the first time:
Jaipur’s weather is what one would expect from a city located in a desert, with extreme climates endured throughout the year. Three main seasons visit Jaipur: the summer, the winter and the monsoon seasons. The summer runs from March to June and is extremely hot and dry with temperatures regularly hitting 45oC and the monsoon season follows until September, bringing with it dust storms and showers. Winter is then welcomed in November and although the days are pleasant and sunny, the temperatures dramatically drop during the night to as low as -5oC.
December through to February is arguably the best time to visit as the weather is at its least extreme and it is common for fog to shroud the city as night falls in the winter months, providing an eerie yet captivating sight.
The easiest way to travel the city is by local rickshaw or taxi but a price should always be agreed before you get in or the meter should be switched on. It is possible to hire public transport like this for the day if required and tour guides often double up as taxi or rickshaw drivers.
Rail travel is also popular here and many choose to use the service that runs between Jaipur and Delhi that takes five hours as trains are more comfortable than buses and cheaper than flying.
Jaipur is a chaotic city with a considerable air pollution problem, sitting on the outskirts of the Thar Desert. Dust and smoke are a persistent problem, and those suffering from pulmonary complaints or reduced lung capacity should plan accordingly.
In addition to its major sights, Jaipur offers its visitors a handful of special and interesting opportunities. Keep your eyes open and your cameras handy. Snake charmers with their cobras work near virtually every tourist draw. Finally, Jaipur is a major trading area for semi-precious gem stones, so shopping for gems is a must of jewelry-makers and other crafts-minded people.
Perhaps because of Jaipur’s place in trading gem stones, the infamous “gem scam” is a popular hook for tricking and robbing tourists there. The scam begins with a stranger using a pick-up line such as “I am a student and want to learn about your culture,” followed by an invitation for tea. Then at a later, second meeting, potential victims receive an offer to cheaply sell you fake gem stones that you can then resell at home. The stones are fakes and therefore worthless. Deal only with established vendors, and ignore anyone who approaches you about gems out of the blue.