The capital city of Rajasthan, famously known as ‘Paris of India’ and known for its rich heritage is a haven for those in love with all things vintage and artsy. Jaipur is not just about all things ‘pink’ or chaotic mix of art and culture or busy markets bustling with tourists. There is definitely more to the city than being limited to usual landmarks. Let me introduce you to 5 epic offbeat experiences you must have before you leave Jaipur –
- Galta Ji Temple
Also known as Monkey temple, you can trust this one in finding solace. Around 10 km outside the city, this Hindu temple is a sheer beauty. You will like to sit there, maybe contemplate or simply enjoy the quiet, nice vibes. Surrounded by Aravalli hills, it houses a natural spring and sacred water tanks (kund) to bathe for pilgrims, all within the magnificent temple complex. According to the legends, Saint (rishi) Galav meditated here for many years. The intricate details, painted roofs and carved pillars are beautiful even though they resemble a ruin. Blame it on the poor maintenance of the property! Do watch out for the tribe of monkeys, they are friendly only until you don’t seem to get in a way of their food.
LTC’s Tip-off: On the way to the temple, watch out for peacocks and antelopes roaming in the wild.
- Anokhi Café
Visit this place for the love of food and travel, nonetheless. I won’t call this a hidden gem but it’s nothing lesser than that too. The real USP of this place is the organic food (sinfully delicious, mind it!). The place is quite famous among travelers; you can catch up with some and make new acquaintances while relishing the savory delights. They grow food in their own organic farms, you can actually tell the difference when you taste the food that is extremely fresh with rich flavors. Read more about it here.
LTC’s Tip-off: Do check out the Anokhi shop attached to the café.
- A lassi and kachori are absolute must-haves
I am talking about food again, I know right! But if you haven’t tasted Lassi in Jaipur, you haven’t lived. I literally forgo all my years in Punjab drinking lassi, I swear! The thick, creamy yogurt drink is served in a disposable clay bowl called kulhar and it imparts that slight earthen flavor to the drink, making it even tastier. I tried Shreenath Lassi Wala at MI Road and Lassiwala at Bapu Bazaar and loved them both equally.
Coming to Kachori, this is one of the most famous snacks especially Pyaaz ki kachori is native to this place. I tried a few varieties at Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar (LMB) and they were lovely, especially their Dal Kachori!
LTC’s Tip-off: LMB is the best option for snacks but is slightly overpriced for overall dining, so take note.
- Souvenirs – pick the best
Be it the fabulous silver jewelry, drool worthy embroidered clutches/handbags, traditional Rajasthani jootis (colorful footwear) or embroidered cotton kurtas, it’s impossible not to shop in Jaipur, for all of it will make you go weak on your knees. On a second thought, isn’t that our birthright, ladies?! Yas! Well, shop your heart out then.
LTC’s Tip-off: Johri Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Nehru Bazaar are there for your rescue.
- Architectural walk – Exploration on foot
Take a self-guided tour around the city’s architectural wonders and marvel at your own pace. Go for an early morning excursion to the Amber Fort; spend the afternoon exploring City Palace and Jantar Mantar right next to it. Later find your way to Hawa Mahal and I’m pretty sure this will conclude the day. I spend a great deal of time at Hawa Mahal, especially enjoying the 360-degree view from the top. To call it a day, dine in at a traditional Rajasthani restaurant while you enjoy aromatic delights along with local folk performers and their rustic melodies.
LTC’s Tip-off: Pick Chokhi Dhani Village at Tonk Road for a great cultural evening and authentic cuisine.
I hope you like this post, do pour your thoughts/inputs and let me know in the comments below if you are planning a trip to Jaipur or need any tips/info. Till then, happy exploring!