Know how you can reach Jaipur by Flight, bus or Road

Riding on the popularity of our Udaipur series, we’re marking the new beginning with Jaipur! It is not just another city in Rajasthan, but also its capital. It is also known as the “Pink City” owing to the color scheme widely followed by the buildings in the city. In fact, if you’re perched high enough and looking down on the roofs of buildings, the city is a sea of pink! It is said that the city was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales in 1876, and since then, the city decided to maintain this quirk. With this much significance Learn how you can reach this city of palaces and rich heritage sites.

How to reach Jaipur?

Jaipur is a mere 4.5-hour drive from Delhi. Situated at just over 280 km away from the national capital, its ease of access makes Jaipur is a wildly popular weekend getaway among Indians here. In fact, Jaipur’s appeal is highlighted by its prominence in the Indian “Golden Triangle“, making it a popular haunt for foreigners as well.

Though the best way to reach Jaipur is to drive down from Delhi due to its proximity, traveling by rail and air are also feasible options. The shortest flight from Delhi to Jaipur is just 50 minutes and costs about INR 1500. Even so, upon adding up check-in time and commute time to and from the airport in both cities, driving seems like a more reasonable option, especially if you’re in a large group. The route also has a vast range of buses plying, with prices starting at just INR 250!

Places to visit in Jaipur

Like any other city in Rajasthan, Jaipur too is famous for its palaces, gardens, and lakes. Founded in the early 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the ruler of Ajmer, Jaipur is an extremely well-planned city. The king actually moved his capital from Amer, a smaller town in Rajasthan, to Jaipur to accommodate the growing populace and provide access to better infrastructure. He then consulted architectures and planning experts to lay out what would be his new capital.

Among its main attractions are the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and the Amer Fort. The latter two are named World Heritage Sites. Jaipur’s folk art and embroidery are exquisite, making it a popular destination for fashion designer wedding shoppers as well.

Rajasthan typically faces hot and arid climate, and so winter is really the best time to visit any city in Rajasthan. September to March offers pleasant conditions to enjoy Jaipur.

Through the rest of the blogs in this series, we’ll talk about where to stay, what to see, and what to eat in Jaipur. Stay tuned!

Stay in Udaipur (1/3): Luxury Hotels

Need to plan a special trip but confused about where to go? These extravagant 5-star hotels in Udaipur are sure to life your spirits and convince you to pack your bags right now!

  • Taj Lake Palace – Formerly known as the Jag Niwas, the Taj Lake Palace Udaipur is a 5-star luxury hotel located on the island of Jag Niwas in the middle of Lake Pichola, Udaipur. To get to the hotel, you may avail the speed boat service operated by the hotel from the main banks of the city. Originally a palace, the hotel now has 83 uber-luxurious rooms and takes pride in its royal treatment of its guests. Book early to get a *slightly* better deal; the usual rate here is around INR 30,000 per night.

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  • Fateh Prakash Palace – Situated on the banks of Lake Pichola, the Fateh Prakash Palace is quite popular among both Indian and foreign tourists for its beautiful views of the lake. This hotel, too, was a palace belonging to one the rulers of Mewar in the days of yore. Decorated lavishly, a room here with a lake view offers a breathtaking experience at sunset. Book your room here now if you have about INR 25,000 to burn through in a day 🙂

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  • The Leela Palace Udaipur – The Leela group never fails to impress. One can only imagine, then, what an extravagant affair The Leela Palace in Udaipur would be! Boasting of large, magnificent rooms with balconies and lake views, palatial suites with dedicated butler services, a bar, a spa, and much more, a night at this lavish property will set you back by about INR 32,000.

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  • The Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur – The Oberoi group of hotels needs no introduction, and this one is no exception. Think uber-luxurious rooms, impeccable hospitality, vast private pools overlooking the lake!This place is nearly always booked full so get your room early to avoid a last minute heartbreak! Room tariff is upwards of INR 45,000 a night.

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  • Trident Udaipur Resort – Also located on the banks of Lake Pichola, this sprawling property offers a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Each room is tastefully done up in muted tones and sports traditional Rajasthani curios. Its main restaurant, Aravalli, serves some of the most authentic dishes from the Kingdom of Mewar and is known for its flavorful spread. Rooms start INR 16,000; be sure to book yourself a boat ride on the lake during sunset.

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Luxury hotels not your cup of tea? Don’t be disheartened! We’ll be back soon with the most amazing budget stays and hostels in Udaipur. Stay tuned!

 

**Pictures from hotel website

Top 5 Eats in Udaipur

In part 3 of our Udaipur series, we list 5 dishes that top our list of favorite Rajasthani food! Also, check out our previous pieces on how to get to Udaipur and what to see here!

  • Dal Baati Churma: Dal baati is a savory combination of hard, unleavened bread (baati) dipped in ghee served with mixed lentil soup (dal). Churma is a delicacy made of coarsely ground wheat crushed and cooked with ghee and sugar. Originally believed to have been introduced by the founder of the Mewar dynasty, this is the quintessential Rajasthani dish to try in Udaipur.

 

  • Gatte ki Sabzi: ‘Gatte’ is gram flour (besan) dumplings which are then added to a spicy curd gravy. Usually paired with rice or flatbreads (naan, roti, or parathas :)), this is a delicious dish that’s also easy on the stomach.

 

  • Kadhi: Most Rajasthani dishes are curd-based to keep you cool and hydrated in the hot and arid climate. Kadhi is no exception to this. This dish, again, consists of besan or gram flour mixed with onions to make small, soft dumplings. The dumplings are then cooked in a light broth of curd and spices to make a flavourful curry, typically paired with steamed rice.

 

  • Kachori: A popular snack all over India, the Rajasthani variety is the most famous. The dough is often stuffed with pulses, onions, spices, or even dry fruits and deep-fried to make the snack. It is then served with chutney, curd, or even curried potatoes. Kachori is easily available at every street corner; it’s easy on the pockets and keeps you full for a long time.

 

  • Laal Maas: Rajasthani cuisine is often associated with vegetarian food, but this is a misconception. The non-vegetarian Rajasthani fare is equally delectable, and we saved the best for the last on this list! Laal maas is a fiery red meat curry. The meat used is mutton and is based in a thick gravy of sautéed onions, tomatoes, and lots and lots of red chili among other spices! Best paired with steaming or flatbreads, this dish is not for the faint-hearted!

Think we missed any? Let us know what your favorite Rajasthani dish is in the comments below! Bon Appetit!

Top 5 Places to Visit in Udaipur

 

Udaipur, with its exquisite palaces and lakes, is a must-visit for any traveler in India. In part 2 of our Udaipur series, we’ll explore five places you absolutely need to see here. Also check out part 1 of our series on how to get to Udaipur! 🙂

  • Udaipur City Palace: If there’s just one site you’ll visit in Udaipur, let it be this one. Built with the contributions of several Mewar rulers, construction originally began during the rule of Maharana Udai Singh II in 1553. The palace is situated on the eastern bank of Lake Pichola and is considered the largest of its type in Rajasthan. Its flamboyance is par excellence.

Its opening hours are 9.30 am to 5.30 pm on all days, and the entry fee is INR 30. There’s also a museum inside the palace with the same opening hours and entry fee of INR 300. A boat ride around the lake will set you back by about INR 400. Try to catch the Light and Sound Show here if you’re around at 7 pm.

Fun fact: James Bond’s Octopussy was shot here in 1983!

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  • Lake Palace: Do a quick search on Lake Palace, and you’ll only see booking options at the Taj Lake Palace. A luxury hotel now, Lake Palace was originally built in the 18th century under the direction of Maharana Jagat Singh II as a winter palace. It was then called “Jag Niwas” and is built on the island of Jag Niwas spanning 4 acres in the middle of Lake Pichola.

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  • Fateh Sagar Lake: Another lake, this is an artificial one situated to the north of Lake Pichola. It is named after Maharana Fateh Singh of Udaipur and Mewar and houses three small islands, the most popular of these being the Nehru Park. An idle evening by the lake as the sun sets is quite something else. Plus: No entry fee! Boating is chargeable, if that interests you.
  • Ahar Cenotaphs: If you’re tired (or not) of the lakes in Udaipur, definitely give this a try! A small town within Udaipur, this is the cremation ground for Mewar rulers. The site is lined with cenotaphs of these rulers and is quite a majestic sight at sunset.

The Ahar Musuem, also situated here, houses ancient remains dating back to the 10th century.

Opening hours for the museum are 10 am to 4.30 pm; it’s closed on Fridays and national holidays.

  • Saheliyon Ki Bari: Literally translating into “Garden of the Maidens”, this is a large garden in the northern part of Udaipur. The story goes as follows: Maharana Sangram Singh’s queen was accompanied by 48 maids at the time of their marriage. The king built this garden for the enjoyment of the queen and her maids. The garden is dotted by beautiful sculptures and fountains. Like most other places, this too houses a museum.

Opening hours are 8 am to 8 pm daily; ticket price is INR 10.

Udaipur: Getting There

If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions…, I should point to India.

– Friedrich Max Müller

Udaipur or the “City of Lakes” is a quaint city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Known for its exquisite palaces and picturesque lakes, Udaipur is steeped in history and grandeur. Udaipur’s fame can be traced back to the 16th century when it was established as the capital of the Mewar kingdom by Maharana Udai Singh II. Prior to this, Chittorgarh used to be the capital before it was besieged by Akbar. For over two centuries afterward, Udaipur continued to be Mewar’s capital.

There are a plethora of reasons to visit Udaipur – its lakes being just one of them. In fact, for its intricate structure of lakes, Udaipur is often referred to as the “Venice of the East”. Of these, Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, Swaroop Sagar Lake, Rangsagar, and Doodh Talai Lake are the most famous.

 

Udaipur is about 665 km from New Delhi. The drive up there could take up to 12 hours. The best way to get to Udaipur is the train. A number of trains commute between the two cities every day, and the fastest train, the Chetak Express, gets you there in about 12 hours. Even though the drive takes roughly the same amount of time, I prefer the train as it’s a very convenient overnight journey. This way, you arrive in Udaipur nice and fresh in the morning, rather than groggy and irritable in the evening after a day-long drive through incessant traffic.

Udaipur also has an airport – the Maharana Pratap Airport. Flights start at about INR 2000 and the travel time is just about 1.5 hours. This is a great option too if you’re pressed for time, though flight fares can go up sharply closer to the date.

Rajasthan typically faces hot and arid climate, and so winter is really the best time to visit any city in Rajasthan. September to March offers pleasant conditions to enjoy Udaipur.

Through the rest of the blogs in this series, we’ll talk about where to stay, what to see, and what to eat in Udaipur. Stay tuned!

5 Reasons to Pack Your Bags. Now.

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

–  Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

We all know the gist – traveling rejuvenates you; it offers a refreshing break from your mundane 9-5 job; it gives you new “adventures”. Dig a little deeper, and there’s a myriad of reasons why everyone must travel.

 

  • Reward your hard work: Everyone works for a reason. While you dream of a palatial house by the seaside, your neighbor may be building herself a neat little fund for a new car. Traveling gives you short-term rewards to look forward to. Plan a couple of vacations a year, and it’ll give you the motivation you need to work all year round. Set up a countdown to your next holiday on your desk and drive those Monday morning blues away! On the flipside, traveling gives you enthralling memories that’ll tide you through the tough times.

 

  • Appreciate life: Every culture is unique, and experiencing them first hand, gives you a fresh perspective on life. You meet new people, you try new food, you witness new ways of living life. Your 9-5 job may be cushy, but how about that gondolier ferrying tourists across the Grand Canal? Or the tea picker in the Nilgiris? Visiting new places also allows you to look at your life back home from a different perspective. How much do you miss your family? Your comfort food? Your job? Many people “find” themselves when they’re away from home and come back to much happier

 

  • Manage your finances: Keeping a track of your expenses and savings is the source of nightmares for many. Planning a vacation is a great way to learn this the fun way! Start with a destination in mind. Find the best time to travel. Look for tickets on a roughly estimated date. You now have an idea of how much a round trip ticket to your dream destination will pinch you. Build a budget in your mind, and find hotels accordingly. Experiences last you a lifetime; but do you really need that fancy candlelight dinner every single night on your vacation? Why not sample the street fare on three nights out of seven?

 

  • Become interesting: Building on my earlier point on carrying memories back home that tide you through tough times, traveling also makes you a super fun friend! A lot of people, still, lack the luxury to travel to their dream Instead, they get their thrill from hearing about others’ adventures. Be sure to note down specific details of your trip – how you got there, what you ate, whom you met; weave them all into a gripping story and voila! It’s a sure shot way to appear “worldly” and adventurous in front of your buddies.

 

  • Become even more interesting: Let your vacations do more for you by reaping the benefits of your experiences even after you’re back. Savored an interesting dish on your night about town? Find a restaurant serving that specific cuisine back home. Better still, sign up for cooking classes and learn to whip it up for yourself! Walk up to your neighborhood and borrow books about your last (or next) destination for a seamless continuation of your holiday experience. Learn to play the ukulele. Write a travelogue. Bring home your holiday experiences and let them stay on!

 

Convinced? Let us know in the comments.

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