India 2020: Jaipur 2-Day Travel Guide

After a year, here's the 4th installment of our epic Indian 2020 adventure! From Agra, we travelled for 4-5 hours going to Jaipur. On the way, we stopped and toured inside Fatehpur Sikri, ate lunch and made a quick visit at Chand Baori, a stepwell located in Abhaneri village in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Before our trip, I already messaged Indian Holiday if they could include the stepwell in our tour schedule and they nicely accommodated my request. Originally, wala talaga sha because it's a bit out of the way. In return, I asked them to remove the elephant ride at Amber Fort in our package. Win-win! So tara, join me as I relive our amazing Jaipur trip...

On our way, we stopped for lunch muna at a roadside resto and souvenir shop. Garden setting sha so it was nice and chill. Since mahina lang ako kumain, Nico and I shared one thali set and we ordered nalang extra samosa! I think we paid 800 INR for everything. The food was good and filling!

Our thali set and samosa

From there, it took about an hour before we reached the village of Abhaneri to visit the Chanda Baori Stepwell...

Entrance fee was 250 INR

Wow ang ganda! 

The place was small but beautiful.  We were a bit disappointed though na bawal na bumaba sa steps and may harang na. Huhu. Meron pa naman kaming photo peg for this. Sayang haha! We understand though that it's for safety coz the steps are REALLY steep. Anyway, we spent mga 30 minutes lang inside. 

This hidden secret of India was built in the 8th-9th century by King Chanda in the Abhaneri Village of Rajhastan. It is said to be one of the largest, deepest and one of the most beautiful stepwells in the world. I agree! This perfectly geometrical/symmetrical stepwell has 3,500 narrow steps (13 floors) and is about 20 meters high. Stepwells are mainly used for harvesting and storing water. Sobrang ganda guys. I can just imagine how this was used before. Galing.

Symmetrical on all sides

Hanggang dito lang ang pag awra hehe

Remote , local village in Rajhastan

Local school kids

From Abhaneri Village, we then continued our journey to Jaipur...

After almost 5 hours on the road, we finally reached Jaipur!

Camels everywhere! My first time to see  one upclose hehe

Gate to the historic Pink City!

Our driver Vikhram had a hard time going to our hostel because it's located inside a narrow & super crowded alley in the middle of Indira Bazar road (near Ajmer Gate). Sorry Kuya! We told him that we'll just meet him at the entrance next time so he won't get stuck. For our 2-day stay in Jaipur, I booked a room at Doongri Haveli Homestay which I saw on Booking.com!

From Indira Bazar main road, turn right at an alley and you would see the guesthouse on your right. Yung entrance is a garage and then there's a small elevator going up the guesthouse or you can take the stairs. We just used Google Maps to find it.

Guesthouse details and some prices 

Nico made a friend! :)

Selfie with the very kind owner, Pramila! 

Lobby/Reception area inside the house

One of my favorite spots inside! So homey and cozy.

They also have a rooftop where you can chill and relax

2nd floor terrace

Dining area where breakfast or food is served

Now time for a room tour!!!

This has got to be the biggest room we have ever booked, and for just 2,142 rupees (1,400 php) for 2 nights super worth it! The room is so spacious and there are 2 queen beds inside. We have a private bathroom with hot and cold shower. The room has a table and also a dresser. Actually, this is a warehouse which they turned into a room. So cool! A bit scary lang coz the room was located on a different floor na may dark hallway na parang warehouse (but wala naman ibang tao) and not located in the main house. Okay lang though nasanay din kami eventually. Hehe. 

Kabilang side ng room. The room will fit 4 people.

Room rate comes with free breakfast! Never got to try it though coz I always wake up late, but here's a photo by Nico. Hehe.

After checking-in, fixing our things, taking a shower and settling in, we went out again to look for someplace to eat dinner...

  Main road situation outside our guesthouse. Sharing just in case you want to stay there too.  

  Nico the excited explorer! As you can see, the road is narrow and packed. Love this though!

 This street naman has lots of eletronic shops

 Entrance of Indira Bazar road going to our hostel

From Indira Bazar, we crossed the main road to get to Nehruz Bazar road. Saw a lot of nice souvenir shops but we wanted to save the shopping for later, so we kept on walking until we found the perfect dining spot!

 Wanted to try this but never got the chance sayang

 Shops were still open 

 Lots of food stalls

After checking out the whole stretch, we walked back and finally decided to eat at NEELAM DHABA restaurant! We walked past this resto coz the facade was not appealing (it looked old and dilapidated), but on our way back we got enticed by all the delicious dishes being cooked and served and so we decided to give it a try. Worth it! Ang sarapppp. Take note that is purely a vegetarian restaurant.

Neelam Dhaba facade

Si smiling Uncle talaga nagdala kaya kami napatry! Hehe. He was cooking these amazing looking dishes, we got curious so we decided to try them. 

In action! 

Fresh Rotis!

We ordered Paneer Butter Masala for 100 INR, Jeera Aloo for 50 INR, 3pcs of Butter Naan for 120 INR and Mixed Veg Rice for 120 INR. Sarap!!!  We also chose this nice table on the rooftop. 

Bought vanilla milkshake outside for 70 INR

The next day, we were picked up by our driver Vikram of Indian Holiday who was already with our Jaipur guide when we arrived. Mejo na-late kami coz d kami nagkaintindihan ng driver huhu. Anyway, our first stop was HAWA MAHAL!

Reality! Haha. It was difficult to take a photo coz we're already standing along the main road. Our guide took this photo across the street and timing lang na walang car. Thank God for my Samsung A51 wide-angle shot!

Hawa Mahal or the 'Palace Of The Winds' is located in the heart of the beautiful Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India. This famous tourist attraction is one of the most distinctive landmarks of the city known for its rich cultural and architectural history. This beautiful structure made of pink & red sandstone was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh of the Kachhwaha Rajput Dynasty. The high screen wall was made so that royal ladies could watch festivities and everyday street life without being seen by the public. This five-storey building was constructed in the shape Lord Krishna crown because the ruler was a devotee of the Hindu God. The palace extension has 953 windows/jharokhas (overhanging enclosed balcony) and its facade was designed to resemble honeycombs. So beautiful!!!

2nd Stop: AMBER FORT
Steep drive to Amber Fort's entrance

View from the car park

Stolen shot coz you have to pay if you want to take a photo

They said if you want to buy nice & quality textiles, buy in Jaipur!

Ticket counter is somewhere on the left. Entrance is 550 INR (365 php) per person

Elephant rides from the car park to the main courtyard is being offered for 1,100 INR for 2 people. But don't do iiiit pleaseee.

An elephant ride was originally included in our tour package, but since Nico and I are strongly against animals being used for tourism, we skipped it. So I really hope you guys avoid this too on your future trips. They limit the total number of journeys each elephant completes each day to avoid exhaustion, but still -- let's all try to be responsible tourists! :)

Stairs going up the main entrance

Feeling mahinhin cheret

Amber Fort or Amer Fort is a fortress located on the top of a hill in the town of Amer in Rajhastan India, 11 kilometers away from Jaipur. It was built by Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh over a period of about two centuries. 

Love the ornate wall paintings all over the place!

 View from the top

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the bastion of the Kachwahas of Amber, until the capital was moved to the plains, to what is today Jaipur. The palace, located in craggy hills, is a beautiful melange of Hindu and Mughal styles. Raja Man Singh I began construction in 1592 and the palace, which was built as a strong, safe haven against attacking enemies, was completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh. The contrast between the harsh exterior and the inviting interior couldn’t be more surprising. Made entirely of red sandstone and white marble, visitors are left spellbound by the magnificence of the palace that utilises carvings, precious stones and mirrors. The splendour of the palace is enhanced by the breath-taking vista of the Maota Lake in front. The palace is nearly seven centuries old and has a legendary past.

 Parang maze yun noh?

Diwan-i-Aam or Hall of Public Audience where the Raja meets with his officials and other visitors.

Ang haba ng explanation about this place so google nio nalang! Haha. Or click this link to read about the fort's history:

OOTD muna! Top from Uniqlo, Skirt from Style Ana and sneakers from Keds

The Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace

Sheesh Mahal or The Mirror Palace is one of the most fabulous structures inside the Agra Fort. This structure was one of the many additions made by Shah Jahan. Built between 1631-1640 AD, it also served as the imperial bath of the Emperor. The Mahal is also famous for having extra thick walls which were built to keep the interiors cool and pleasant. It is called The Palace of Mirrors because it is literally adorned by mirrors both in its walls and ceilings. When illuminated, they would lend a sparkling effect to the entire palace. Abdul Hamid Lahauri, Shah Jahan’s historian, wrote that these fascinating mirrors were brought from Haleb (Aleppo, Syria) specially for this purpose. For this reason, he also referred to this structure as "Shishaye Halebi".

Artsy mirror shot suggested by our guide!

Pnicturean kami ni Kuya guide pero d kami ready or sha ata yung hindi ready hahaha

Went inside this tunnel/walkway to go upstairs

Awra awra sa taas! Below me is the Mughal Garden.

Awra sa corner

View from one of the towers

 Palace of Raja Man Singh

Awra sa pavilion sa gitna

Debutante? Cheret. Awra sa museum

 Souvenir shop inside

Found this nice spot where our car was parked!

3rd Stop: Jal Mahal

From Amber Fort, we stopped by a park along the road to take pictures of Jal Mahal or "Water Palace" from afar. Jal Mahal is the King's summer palace situated in the middle of Man Sagar Lake.

This red sandstone is five stories high but four floors remain underwater when the lake is full and only the top floor is exposed. The state government has declared the palace and the lake as a protected area and placed it under the Rajasthan Lake Development Authority to restrict “activities” in and around the water body

4th Stop: Gem Factory

 How they polish gems and precious stones! So cool. 

We were then taken to a gem factory/souvenir shop. Mandatory sha sa tour and super okay sha if you have the budget for more pricey pasalubongs or souvenirs. But if you're like us na cheapos (haha sa Bapu Bazaar kami namili), you have the option not to buy. Ang hirap tumanggi but nagawa namin haha! 

Jaipur is the center of colored gemstone or raw semi precious stones! 

My birthstone Peridot! Ang gandaaa.

Wasn't able to take photos na inside coz bawal but this souvenir shop is huge! There was an area for scarves, figurines, home decors, tapestries, shoes, clothes, jewelries, etc. Mejo pressure coz they will ask you to view their demos but you're not obliged to buy naman. So, goodluck. Haha.

Along the way, I asked our driver if I could withdraw money and we stopped here. Si Nico nalang pinababa ko bes. Shokot ako sa mga bantay! Haha.

For lunch, we ate sa mejo pricey na resto located in a hotel, recommended by our guide. Ito yung resto na may free meal sila when they take customers there. So okay lang samin para maka eat din sha. We paid more or less 1000 INR. Sarap naman din!!! Ordered this thali set. Sulit.

5th Stop: City Palace
Entrance fee is 500 inr for tourists

The City Palace was established at the same time as the city of Jaipur, by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who moved his court to Jaipur from Amber, in 1727. Jaipur is the present-day capital of the state of Rajasthan, and until 1949 the City Palace was the ceremonial and administrative seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The Palace was also the location of religious and cultural events, as well as a patron of arts, commerce, and industry. It now houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, and continues to be the home of the Jaipur royal family. 

Sarvato Bhadra 

The Sarvato Bhadra is a single-storey, square, open hall, with enclosed rooms at the four corners used as a Diwan-e-Khas or Hall of Private Audience. Because of its location between the public areas and the private residence, it has traditionally been used for important private functions like the coronation rituals of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Today, it continues to be used for royal festivals and celebrations like Dusshera. During Gangaur and Teej, the image of the goddess is placed in her palanquin in the centre of the hall, before being carried in procession around the city. During the harvest festival of Makar Sankranti, paper kites belonging to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II who lived almost 150 years ago are displayed in the centre, and the roof is used for flying kites. It is also used for more modern celebrations like parties and weddings. 

There are two huge sterling silver vessels of 5.2 ft in height and each with the capacity of 4000 litres and weighing 340 kilograms on display here. They were made from 14,000 melted silver coins without soldering. They hold the Guinness World Record as the world's largest sterling silver vessels. These vessels were specially commissioned by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II to carry the water of the Ganges to drink on his trip to England in 1901 (for Edward VII's coronation). Hence, the vessels are named as Gangajalis (Ganges-water urns). 

Guards outside the Sabha Niwas. Taking photos or videos inside the throne room/hall is not allowed.

The Sabha Niwas was the throne room of Jaipur state, designed for ceremonial assemblies by the ruling Maharaja for Thakurs (nobles), court officials and visiting dignitaries. Here, the Jaipur court used to receive emissaries from other Indian states and – in later times – British Viceroys and Residents. The period room showcases original furniture, artworks, lights and a special display of ceremonial garments and medals. It has multiple cusped arches supported by marble columns and a beautifully painted plaster ceiling. The jalis on the southern end of the hall would have been used by women to oversee the proceedings in the hall, and facilitated their involvement in the outside world, while following the purdah. The Baggi Khana just outside is meant to showcase highlights from the transports in the collection. 

Sarvato Bhadra courtyard

Awra sa magandang wall

Entrance of Pritas Niwas Chowk

Pritas Niwas Chowk is the inner courtyard which provides access to the Chandra Mahal. Inside, there are four small gates (known as Ridhi Sidhi Pol) that are adorned with themes representing the four seasons and Hindu gods:

*Northeast Peacock Gate (with motifs of peacocks on the doorway) representing autumn and dedicated to Lord Vishnu

*Southeast Lotus Gate (with continual flower and petal pattern) suggestive of summer season and dedicated to Lord Shiva-Parvati

*Northwest Green Gate also called the Leheriya (meaning: "waves") gate, in green colour suggestive of spring and dedicated to Lord Ganesha
*Southwest Rose Gate with repeated flower pattern representing winter season and dedicated to Goddess Devi

This is the Northeast Peacock Gate. So pretty!

The marbel elephant gate Rajendra Pol (Gateway of Princes)

Beautiful drawing by a local artist in the bazaar hall! Behind it is Mubarak Mahal.

 Chandra Mahal

Chandra Mahal is one of the oldest buildings in the City Palace complex. It has seven floors, a number considered auspicious by Rajput rulers. The first two floors consist of the Sukh Niwas (the house of pleasure), followed by the Rang Mahal (alternatively called Shobha Niwas) with coloured glasswork, then Chhavi Niwas with its blue and white decorations. The last two floors are the Shri Niwas, and Mukut Mandir which is literally the crowning pavilion of this palace. The Mukut Mandir, with a bangaldar roof, has the royal standard of Jaipur hoisted at all times, as well as a quarter flag (underscoring the Sawai in the title) when the Maharaja is in residence. The current King still stays here! Woww.

Once upon a time, they use carriages like this to transport royalty 

6th Stop: Jantar Mantar Observatory

The Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur, is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments. They are monumental examples in masonry of known instruments but which in many cases have specific characteristics of their own. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, they embody several architectural and instrumental innovations. This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India's historic observatories. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period.

                                                                   Instrument to read time!

 The lines are hours and minutes and you determine the time according to the shadow casted by the sun. 

Standing at the Virgo structure/instrument! Meron lahat ng zodiac signs

The Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur constitutes the most significant and best preserved set of fixed monumental instruments built in India in the first half of the 18th century; some of them are the largest ever built in their categories. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, they embody several architectural and instrumental innovations. The observatory forms part of a tradition of Ptolemaic positional astronomy which was shared by many civilizations. It contributed by this type of observation to the completion of the astronomical tables of Zij. It is a late and ultimate monumental culmination of this tradition.

Brihat Samrat Yantra

I think this big instrument is for identifying dates?

The observatory was the last stop of our Indian Holiday Jaipur tour package. Our tour ended at around 4pm so we had enough time to explore and shop at Bapu Bazar afterwards. Finally, time to shop! We didn't shop so much though, only bought what we really wanted and needed.  

Winter nito so I was wearing a thermal top hehe

They said it's best to shop in Jaipur because it is one of India's top shopping destinations. And one of the most popular markets and almost always in the places to visit list is BAPU BAZAR! 

Bought purses and a cute bag!

Mojari footwear is everywhere! 

So pretty!

Trying to bargain for a cute bag!

Got the bag for P200! Love it!

Nico's Royal Enfield photo op haha

Vegetarian bakery

Nico with our Jaipur guide Rajash. Thank you!

For our last night in the city, Nico and I decided to go on a nice date! A few steps away from our hostel is a nice rooftop resto called DAGLA...

Sorry blurry but this is how it looks like inside! Pretty!

My cutie date haha

Best way to cap the night. Their tandoori is so good!!!

For our meal and beers, we only paid more or less 1,300 INR or P900 php! Not bad. For the food quality, service, ambiance, and the view (you can see Agra Fort from there!)-- super worth it. 

Checking out and saying goodbye to our wonderful host, Pramila. 

Goodbye Doongri Haveli, Goodbye  beautiful Jaipur!

The drive from Jaipur to Delhi took 5-6 hours but I really didn't notice because I just slept the whole time. We had a quick stopover for lunch at a resto along the road but we were disappointed with the food and price huhu. Anyway, we spent 2 more days in Delhi to explore on our own. Already blogged about that, so please check my Delhi post! :)

Nico saying goodbye to our driver/friend Vikhram! 

So this is where my India posts ends! Thank you so much for reading my stories and hope these posts help you and guide you on your future trip. As for me, I will surely be back India! Still so much places to visit and discover. My next post will be our 3-day Penang, Malaysia sidetrip before finally going back home. Again, thanks for reading! :)

BUDGET per person in PHP:

Airfare = P21,627 or P16,695
Airport tax = P1,620
Indian Visa = $25 or P1,285
Indian Holiday Tour = $400 or P20,514/2 = P10,257
Travel Insurance = P1,295
Accommodations = P4,926
TOTAL = Php 36, 078

Delhi 1st Day
OLA to hostel = P340
Food and drinks = P350 / 2 = P175
TOTAL = Php 515

Delhi Days 2-4 in Rupees (per person)
Jama Masjid camera fee - 300
Nagoyo ng kuya tip for photo - 100
Humayun's Tomb entrance - 600
Lunch at UPSC Food Lane (including food of our guide)- 450/2 = 225
 Tip for Sebastian our guide - 500/2 = 250
Dinner at Sikkam Kitchen - 500/2 = 250
Tuktuk to Agrasen Ki Baoli - 100/2 = 50
OLA to Chandni Chowk - 80/2 = 40
Daulat Ki Chat Wale snack - 50
Chole Kulche snack - 60 
Aslam Chicken Meal - 300/2 = 150
Tuktuk to Connought Place - 120/2 = 60
Fire paan - 30
Coffee shop at Connought - 250/2 = 125
Tuktuk to Main Bazar - 100/2 = 50
Dinner at Drunkyard Cafe - 450 / 2 =225
Biryani food cart - 330 / 2 = 165
Maggi noodles from store - 50/2 = 25
Drunkyard Cafe breakfast on last day = 200
Shopping - 1500
Miscellaneous buys (masks, water, snacks, etc) - 1000/2 = 500
Airport service - 450/2 = 225
TOTAL - Rs. 5,180 or Php 3,441

Agra Days 1-3 in Rupees (per person)
Stopover breakfast - 300 
Taj Mahal ticket - 1250
Good Vibes cafe lunch - 550/2 = 275
Secret Sunset tour - 550
Dinner - 300
Breakfast - 200
I'timad entrance fee - 260
Agra Fort entrance - 550
Moon Terrace meryenda - 350
Dinner - 150
Miscellaneous - 200
Tip for guide - 500/2 = 250
Lunch (sa pricey restaurant recommended by guide hehe)- 400
TOTAL = 5,035 INR or P3,297

Jsipur Days 1-2 in Rupees (per person)
Chanda Baori Stepwell fee - 250
Neelam Dhaba dinner - 460 / 2 = 230
Milkshake - 70
Amber Fort entrance - 550
Hotel resto lunch - 1000 / 2 = 500
City Palace entrance - 500
Jantar Mantar entrance - 200
Bapu Bazar - 1000
Tour guide tip - 500 / 2 = 250
Dagla dinner - 1300 / 2 = 650
Vikram driver tip - 1000/2 = 500
Lunch stopover - 400
Miscellaenous - 500
TOTAL: 5,600 inr or P3,727

*Budget depends on spending habits and food preferences


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my humble blog! I read all your comments (even though I don't reply often). So keep them coming! Love to everyone:)