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Things to do in Jaipur

Jaipur is the capital and the largest city of Rajasthan, with a deep fusion of tradition and modernity blended impeccably. The city will make you fall in love with its rich ancient heritage, colourful costumes, peaceful lakes and hospitable local people. Jaipur is the symbol of Hindu Rajputana culture of India which makes it a favourite shooting location among film/TV serial directors wanting to showcase the magnificent royal lifestyle on the big screen. As you roam around the city, you’ll be enchanted by its magnificent palaces, bustling markets and vibrant fair/festivals. You must visit Jaipur to get a feel of our country’s royal culture and tradition. Here’s a list of things to do in Jaipur:
1.Take a boat ride to JAL MAHAL
Built in 18th century, the ‘Water Palace’ stands tall in the centre of the Man-Sarovar lake in Jaipur. The architecture style is similar to that of Amer Fort reflecting a fusion of Rajput and Mughal design. It is made of red sandstone thereby producing a radiant reflection in the surrounding water. You can only see the top storey of this five storey palace as it is submerged under the lake. Earlier, it was closed for visitors but after undergoing renovation, it’s now accessible. If you love boat riding, then take the beautiful handcrafted wooden boats to reach the Mahal. Enjoy the ride and get a feel of royalty!
2. Go to Johari Bazaar for jewellery shopping
Johari Bazaar is the oldest market of Jaipur and all its shops are painted in pink. This bazaar is a paradise for shopaholics where unique pieces of silver and gold jewellery, precious gemstones and Rajasthani jewellery can be found. There are two lanes named as Gopalji ka Rasta and Haldion ka Rasta where Minakari and Kundan jewellery (favourite among the tourists) is sold exclusively. Other than expensive jewellery, you can buy low-priced costume jewellery and bangles. A must visit here is the Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar which is popular for its mouth watering sweets. The bazaar remains open all seven days and the best time to shop is from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. As a first time shopper, bargain well as the shopkeepers tend to quote higher rates for tourists. If you have spare time, then first explore the bazaar, get an idea about prices from different shops and then start shopping!
3. Get a thrilling adventure in Hot Air Balloon Rides
If you love indulging in adventure activities, then you must take the Sky Waltz Balloon Safari, one of the most famous balloon ride operators in Jaipur. A one hour ride costs around Rs. 12000 which might seem costly but the view it offers is simply spectacular. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the city as you look down from the balloon far away from the noisy crowd. Delhi-Jaipur Road, Jal Mahal, Shiv Vilas and Amber Fort are some of the places from where you can take this ride.
4. Feeling Hungry? Enjoy a meal at Handi Restaurant
Located at MI Road, the Handi Restaurant was nominated in the Times Food and Nightlife Awards 2014 under the category of ‘Casual Dine: Best North Indian in Jaipur’. It is famous for offering delicious food and excellent hospitality. Get a taste of tandoori chicken, paneer butter masala, Handi meat and seekh kabab. Though it’s a perfect place for non-vegetarians, various lip smacking vegetarian dishes are also available. It is open for everyone from 12 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
5. Looking for authentic Rajasthani clothes/jewellery?
Govind Rajasthali Cottage Industries is the right place for buying eye-catching beautiful local clothes and jewellery. Here, you’ll find variety of local stuffs like the famous Jaipuri quilts, readymade Rajasthani dresses, handicraft items etc. Other items like paintings, bed sheets, kurtas and silk/cotton sarees are also available here. Their staff is known for its excellent friendliness as they help you in choosing and ensure that you are buying the best stuff available. For those who love painting or have an interest in painting can learn hand painting free of cost. Visit this store for a rare experience of learning while shopping!
6. Visit Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing
The museum was made for preserving the unique craft of hand block printing of Jaipur’s artisans. Once you enter in this three storey building, you’ll see enormous variety of textiles with factual information about every single fabric and its print. The biggest attractions of this place are the large boards of the open courtyard that explain the method of hand block printing. If you don’t like reading, then you can watch documentaries about this rare art which are shown in the museum’s small auditorium. Also, a two day workshop is organised for those who would like to learn and work with the skilled artisans. Visit the museum to get a first-hand experience in hand block printing.
7. Watch a movie at Raj Mandir
If you are tired of sightseeing, shopping and touring then for a change you can watch a Bollywood movie at Raj Mandir Cinema. Located at B-16, Panch Batti, Bhagwan Das Road, this theatre is known as one of the best cinema halls in India. The grand hall can seat up to 1300 people at a time and is one of the largest movie theatres of Asia. Enjoy an entertaining movie with your family. Take a bite at McDonald which is located just next door.
8. Tired and Exhausted? Go to Spa centres for relaxation
There are various spa centres in Jaipur like O2 spa Marriott, Ziva Spa, Chands Ayurveda Massage and Beauty Salon which offers varieties of massage treatments. These places are perfect for rejuvenating your mind and body. Go for scrubs, facials, aromatherapy, full body massage, oil therapy and Ayurvedic massage. Take a break from a hectic schedule and enjoy the soothing therapies.

By Anita Bhandari

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