Jaipur : Travel to Pink City and its Palaces

"I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad." – George Bernard Shaw

You would agree with Shaw when he says that. And why not? You look for exquisite destinations and tour packages to take you away to that special place. And Jaipur in Rajasthan (North India) is one such city. Pink City, as it is popularly known is an ancient city of palaces and forts. The breathtaking view of Amer Fort (outskirts of Jaipur) is thoroughly captivating. It is proof that once great battles were fought and maharajas resided here. The best time to visit this city is during the winters (October to February) because after that, it's just heat as the temperature surpasses 45 degree centigrade. So if you are traveling on your own without a fancy tour package, make a quick trip to Jaipur. It is just about 6 hrs by road from Delhi (book tickets at the government RSRTC office in Delhi situated at Bikaner House, Pandara Road). You can also reach this exciting travel destination which is about an hour's flight from Mumbai and Delhi. The other option is – incase you are in Agra (visiting the Taj Mahal) - then you can take road trip to Jaipur by bus which will cost you about Rs 250- Rs 300 per person (4 hours at a distance of 233.2 km via NH 11).

After the initial burden and the formality of reaching the destination is over, you need to find palatial accommodation (in case you are traveling on a higher budget) in this city of castles. There is a surplus of beautiful hotels and home stays to choose from and a great reason to choose it a travel destination. The popular areas are Bani Park, MI Rd, and Ajmeri Marg. You will find good clean rooms starting from Rs 500 per person for bed and breakfast. It can also go as high as Rs 10000 per night.

So after you are well-settled in your temporary abode, it's time to book a good Rajasthan tourism travel package which will take you around for the tour of the city or book a taxi for 30-40 dollars for the entire day. The other option is a rickshaw ride (3-wheelers) for a decent 15 -20 dollars.

Popular tourist spots like Hawa Mahal (a five-storey spectacular semi-octagonal monument which has 152 windows), Sheesh Mahal (the Chamber of Mirrors), Jantar Mantar (consists of huge masonry instruments used to measure the movement of constellations and stars in the sky), Jaigarh Fort (contains the world's biggest cannon on wheels) and the Nahargarh Fort (situated on a hill high above the city) can be completed at a day's stretch. It's a promise that this will be really leg-crunching.

Towards the end of the day, you can ask your taxi or rickshaw or the bus to leave you the namesake area of Jaipur (Pink City Area) called the Ajmeri Gate. You can shop till you drop — colourful beads and jewels (at Johari Bazaar), traditional Jaipuri outfits, carpets, etc. End your day one with dinner at Surya Mahal or Mahar Haweli restaurant or sprawl in your bed and order in.

If you have another day, then you can begin your day by visiting the market again. You can also head for Choki Dhani, a Rajasthan tourism project meant to bring your Jaipur/Rajasthani experience (food, culture and music) come alive. George Bernard Shaw would be delighted now. He traveled. He saw places. He never felt at home.