Jaipur

 

Hands down my favourite hotel during my trip to India, Jaipur Inn Hotel was home from home.

Jaipur Inn is a family-run boutique hotel, which had a quirky homely feel to it, founded in 1976. It was set up by the current owner, Pushpendra Bhargarva’s father, who was a Wing Commander from the Indian Air Force.

The hotel is tucked away in a quiet district within the Pink City, but still near to all of the major sights. I especially loved retreating to the rooftop terrace to escape the hustle and bustle and watch the sunset over the busy city.

If you’re up early enough, you can participate in yoga classes at sunrise, or in the evenings they offer Bollywood dance classes which was great fun!

The hotel also has a selection of board games, a ping-pong table and a library for you to borrow or exchange books. We spent our evenings playing card games with the rest of the G Adventures group in the common area. The host briefly joined us and commented on how happy he was for us to be using the facilities and socialising with one another, rather than being engrossed in our phones connected to the free Wi-Fi.

If the hotel hadn’t already won me over with it’s cute decor and comfortable bed, it would’ve been the unlimited Chai Masala and PEANUT BUTTER (!!!) at breakfast that would’ve sealed the deal.

Jaipur is renowned for it’s printed cotton by using the technique of woodblock printing. Block printing is one of the oldest types of print making, as has been around for thousands of years. I liked that Jaipur Inn incorporated this into their hotel, with each room kitted out with printed décor; the bedding was so cute! If I had enough room in my suitcase, I would’ve bought one at the local textile shop to take home with me!

If you’re ever in Jaipur, I highly recommend staying at this hotel.

 

I arrived in the Pink City by a local bus from Agra, which took approximately 4 hours and was a fantastic experience. If I wasn’t on the G-Adventures tour, I think getting around India would’ve been really difficult. The bus stop which we picked the 7:30am bus from Agra didn’t even look like a proper bus stop; it was more of a street corner. I don’t think I would’ve been able to find it without JD!

I checked-in to the Jaipur Inn hotel, which turned out to be my favourite hotel in India. For lunch I had a cheese and tomato toastie from the hotel’s café before heading out for an orientation walk through the local spice markets.

We had a guide, as well as our G-Adventures tour guide, so show us around the market and teach us about the different fruits/vegetables/spices on offer there.

Once we were finished, we went to a rooftop restaurant for a buffet style Indian dinner and watched a Bollywood movie called Queen. I had actually seen this Bollywood movie before and loved it; it is such a feel-good movie! It’s actually available on Netflix U.K. at the moment so if you have a spare few hours, make sure you watch it!

The next day, we got picked up from the Jaipur Inn on tuk tuks and got taken to a magnificent palace called Hawa Mahal, located on the edge of the City Palace. Across the road from Hawa Mahal sat a couple of snake charmers, with their cobra snakes in little round baskets. For a small fee you could take a photo of them, or even pose in the photo. I sneakily took a photo of them from a distance.

Up next was Amber Fort. Built in 1592, this magnificent fort is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan. The entrance fee was included as part of our G-Adventures tour. Although elephant rides are offered to take you from the road up to the top, it is not recommended as the elephants aren’t looked after very well. Instead we walked and it didn’t take long. Another option is to take a jeep ride for a small fee.

The fortress is made from pale yellow and pink sandstone as well as white marble. It is divided into four main sections, each with its own courtyard. We spent a couple of hours looking around with our local tour guide.

We had lunch at a local buffet style restaurant, not far from the Amber Fort. After lunch, we went to Krishna Textiles where we watched the workers use the technique ‘block printing’ onto fabric, and we even got to have a go ourselves.

Krishna Textiles was also a good place to have custom-made clothes for a reasonable price. I got myself a custom-made saree for approximately £22.00, and it was delivered to our hotel that evening. I don’t know when I will ever get to wear my saree, but I think they’re beautiful so why not!

We then went back to the hotel where we took Bollywood dance class for INR 500 each. The lesson took place on the hotel’s rooftop terrace and we all had such a laugh! Who knew that Bollywood dancing could be so complex?! After about an hour, we had nailed the dance routine and we were pretty much professionals. This dance routine stayed with us throughout the tour, and every now and then someone from the group would randomly breakout into it.

After we’d finished our dance class, we went to a local street food place for dinner where we got a variety of dishes and all shared. Our tour guide, JD, talked us through the different foods we were eating and showed us how to eat them properly. During our meal, we kept getting power cuts which is of course normal in India.

The evening was spent in the hotel reception where we all sat around playing card games together. It was so nice that everyone got on so well.

The next morning, we made our way to Tordi Sagar.

Up next: Tordi Sagar

Did you enjoy Jaipur as much as I did? Please leave any comments below.

 

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