Two days in Jaipur

We loved our time in Jaipur. It was the full package. Clean and ordered (relatively speaking), pretty, blue skies (no fog), we bumped into friends (yes – really), history and views, as well as amazing food and incredible hotels. Jaipur very much got the Parker seal of approval. We had 2 days in Jaipur and I wish it has been a week. Although who am I trying to fool – if we’d had a week’s worth of time we’d have visited Udaipur and Jodhpur as well, obviously….

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker


Where we stayed

We adored both places we stayed and they were so different to each other. First we had a night at the Conde Nast blessed boutique home-stay 47 Jobner Bagh. Relaxing, friendly, great home-cooking and the perfect night to follow our stay in Agra! We had to tear ourselves away from here…

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

But thankfully we were off to the Oberoi Rajvillas. Yes – there are a couple of Taj palace hotels in town, but they aren’t really ‘us’. The Oberoi was totally us, in spade loads. We were staying in a beautiful tented villa in the most private, relaxing and beautiful setting. It had us at hello – leaving was pretty torturous!!

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker


Where we ate

Aside from hotel dining, we strayed out to enjoy the local environs on a couple of occasions.

The Grand Peacock

Lunch at the Grand Peacock in town was a raucous affair. We met our friends here, who just happened to be in the same country and same town on the same day, what are the chances?! Good fun was definitely had and the thali was rather good too, as was the kingfisher. And there was loo roll. There were locals eating here too, not just tourists, bonus.

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Suvarna Mahal

The pièce de resistance was however supper at Suvarna Mahal at the Rambagh Palace. This is a very upmarket and ostentatious Taj hotel that was magnificent to explore, but just for an evening. Donning our finery for we headed over to commence with cocktails in the famous Polo Bar. The Polo Bar was apparently where the Maharaja would go after a polo match to relax and it is decked out with polo playing paraphernalia as well as a cartoon that Tatler magazine has drawn of the king and his team in a world cup winning year.

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Onto no ordinary supper. This was supper in a glorious ball room with priceless frescoes on the ceiling and gold plated glasses and crockery. The restaurant is pretty famous and has a clever menu that offers food cooked in the style of 4 regions of India. Service was exemplary.  I kid you not, when Mr P tried to top up his gold water goblet, not 1 but, 2 waiters gracefully ran over to stop such behaviour. We were very well looked after and in the warmest and friendliest way possible. The food was one of the best meals we had in India. For £40/head it is relatively expensive but the whole experience was a real treat!

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker


Here are our best bits! This was all with another incredible guide from Banyan Tours – Vikram – and our trusty driver BD. The small world that it is, Vikram’s son works at my company’s offices in Hyderabad that I visited last year! Vikram really knew his stuff – he also worked out quickly we liked to stand or sit in the sunshine at any point possible!

Hawa Mahal

It looks like the most impressive of palaces, with its symmetry and ornate frontage.  But in fact that is all it is, a facade.  It is actually a wall of screens for the women of the palace, so they could observe the every day goings on of the street below without being seen.

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

City Palace

Lots of people call this the pink balance, but it isn’t pink.  It’s a terracotta painted sandstone, as is the whole city. The ‘pink’ name comes from a former Prince of Wales visiting the city back in 1846… It was spruced up for his visit. He said it was pink.  Henceforth is has been called pink! The palace was charming and gleaming. Our particular highlight was the four seasons worth of beautiful doors.  Interesting fact – when the Maharaja visited England many moons ago he brought two massive urns full of his own drinking water! When he returned to Rajasthan the empty one was filled with Scottish whisky!

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Jantar Mantar

Mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun… That was us, but we needed sunshine to use the world’s largest sundial, dating back to 1734. It’s an enormous stone structure and its time-keeping is accurate to 20 seconds. We tested it, it was. There are many other astronomical instruments, for telling the time, tracking stars and planets as well for each sign of the zodiac to create accurate horoscopes. It was a fascinating place and impressive how instruments that were seemingly simple were so incredibly clever and accurate.

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Old town walk about

I was particularly looking forward to this. We hadn’t had the time to explore any of the shops and markets in Delhi or Agra so this was a real treat. We visited the flower market where garlands were prepared for hotels and weddings and where roses are kept on ice to keep them fresh. Into an indian sweet shop we went. So many interesting things – be it a wedding procession, a monkey on a motorbike, a man carrying Bombay mix on his head or a side-street seller of betel leaf. To be fair it was quite a sheltered tour, on another visit I would definitely don trainers and find somewhere grubbier!

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Panna Meena ka Kund stepwell

Through a gap in the wall we were taken, both wondering what would be interesting enough to stop en route to the Amber Fort. Suddenly we were looking down 100 feet of stone steps to a well. It is from the 16th century and will remind you of those crazy images that dentists always have on the ceiling above the reclining chair by MC Esher.

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Amber Palace

One of the most striking places we visited, on the drive to the fort the size of it is clear as there is a wall around the outside of the fort’s land that seems to run on for miles.  Rather like a mini great wall of China! We drove to the top where we started our tour. There is an option for an elephant ride up, but this wasn’t something Banyan recommended and I’m glad. Avoiding the hawkers, goats and elephants we started our tour. The fort is high on the hill and has a certain grandeur. It is a beautiful yellowy colour and has a vast expanse of outdoor space. Many beautifully coloured walls and doors, a perfect little parterre garden, a magnificent mirrored winter palace as well as great views of the surrounding scenery.

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and ParkerTwo days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Jal Mahal

I would love to visit Udaipur on another trip, specifically the hotel on the lake!  We did however stop to look at another such lake-structure near to the Amber Fort.  Jal Mahal actually means water palace and it is a lovely sight.  Although goodness knows how it was built.  The pig rooting through the rubbish for food definitely added to the experience!

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

Block-printing

We missed this. It was on our itinerary but we’d taken our time at the Amber Fort and I had an appointment with a sun-lounger and pool. We were on holiday after all and with so much to see in one town we felt that we’d seen the best of it but left ourselves with enough to do on another visit in the future.


Worst bit?

Leaving. But even the internal flight process with Jet Airways was easy and on time. Next stop was South Goa, which had a hard job to follow….

Two days in Jaipur - Travel with Penelope and Parker

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24 Comments

  1. January 12, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    How nice that you met up with friends, and the architecture looks simply amazing!

    • January 12, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      We seem to make a habit of it, always fun. Stunning buildings and scenery, it just was everywhere

  2. January 12, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    What a wonderful read and the hotel on the lake looks fabulous! I can’t get over how stunning the architecture is and I’m not surprised you had a hard time pulling yourself away from the fantastic hotels you stayed in!

    • January 13, 2017 / 9:11 pm

      The afternoon we just lounged by the pool at the Oberoi I did have a sense of fomo…
      But decided we needed to enjoy the hotel as well as the culture!

  3. January 13, 2017 / 10:23 am

    So, so beautiful – I love all the colors! I can’t wait to visit Jaipur and Rajasthan is also at the top of my list!

    • January 13, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      One taste of India is never enough!! Two trips and I still need to see more!
      Will you go back next year?!

  4. Kelly Michelle
    January 14, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    Like Jamie, I just love all the colours! I’m more determined than ever to visit India now…Rambagh Palace is on my afternoon tea wish list, the location looks wonderful. Absolutely adored all the cute photos of you both together…super super cute! xx

    • January 14, 2017 / 2:08 pm

      The benefit of having a tour guide, they take the photos – so much better than selfies and timers! There is a new Alila hotel opening soon, I think it has your name on it, it is housed in an ancient fort… I expect the Rambagh afternoon tea is epic if it is in that gold-crusted ballroom!

  5. Claire Robinson
    January 18, 2017 / 9:48 am

    OMG! I am SO in love with Jaipur after this! Everything looks beautiful: where you stayed, the palaces, even the crazy busy streets and old market. I really do have to visit one day.

    • January 18, 2017 / 5:13 pm

      Job done! I’m thrilled I’ve sold it, it really is an amazing part of India! The right measure of everything India

  6. Jaillan Yehia
    January 18, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Fab pics as usual! I really like the colours and the architecture. But the fact you bumped into friends is pretty awesome. I once bumped into a friend at Stonehenge, and that’s still in England, and I thought that was incredible enough!

  7. January 18, 2017 / 8:49 pm

    Oh how I long to return! Love India, especially Jaipur. So much colour and chaos. So many pictures waiting to be captured, every which way you turn!

    I’m glad you didn’t take the elephant ride up to the Amber Palace though. I did many, many years ago long before I knew about the horrific cruelty involved in training elephants, or rather breaking their spirits. Neither did I know then that carrying people on their back is actually very bad for them. Sad to see they are still being used.

  8. January 18, 2017 / 9:14 pm

    I found myself going up and down through the photos in your post more than I care to admit. Jaipur tops my list in India, I’d love to get to the Literary Festival they have, I’ve heard it’s wonderful. And the Oberoi, well that is one of those experiences that stays with you forever!

    • January 20, 2017 / 8:39 am

      That would be an amazing thing to be in the city for, I can imagine very romantic setting!

  9. Lucy Dodsworth
    January 19, 2017 / 7:07 pm

    I remember Jaipur as being one of my favourite stops in this part of India (I’d totally forgotten we went to see the Jal Mahal, I don’t think I took any pics so it was lost to the depths of memory until now!).

  10. Sara Dobak
    January 19, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Everyone seems to have been to India! It’s on my agenda and I have a friend who has promised to show me around Gujarat – it would be a start, at least. I’m especially intrigued by those astronomical instruments at Jantar Mantar, though, I’d love to see those.

    • January 20, 2017 / 8:43 am

      Being shown around by a local would be fantastic! Jantar Mantar is fascinating, so intricate even though it is made of concrete

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