Why India’s Pink City, the capital of Rajasthan, should be on your travel hotlist

One of India’s most intriguing cities, Jaipur should be on everyone’s travel to-do list. Jenny Coad explains why.

Rather special: The Amber Fort is an extraordinary palace complex – a true Jaipur must-see


Jaipur, known as the ‘Pink City’, is the capital of Rajasthan and a key stop on India’s cultural triangle.

It is home to the splendid Amber Fort: the former capital of the state and an extraordinary palace complex with a twinkly mirror gallery, a formal British garden and wonderful views.

The old city was painted a pinkish terracotta – the colour of warmth and welcome – for the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1876 (who later became King Edward VII) and the city has embraced the shade ever since.


The City Palace, which provides fascinating insight into royal life past and present. The textile museum inside displays the enormous pyjamas of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I, who was 4 ft (1.2m) wide and 7 ft (2m) tall.

Pritam Niwas Chowk, a square, has a set of hugely impressive gates, all intricately embellished to represent the seasons. Visitors with selfie sticks might drive you mad, but it’s worth queuing to get a closer look at the designs, especially the glorious turquoise peacocks.

The Jantar Mantar will thrill amateur astronomers. It is a sculptural playground filled with enormous instruments for measuring the heavens.

Most guides will give you what they call a ‘Japanese stop’ (picture stop) at the frilly facade of Hawa Mahal, a giant, flamboyant screen, behind which the women of the palace could gaze, unseen, on the streets below.


Those on a budget will like 47 Jobner Bagh, a characterful new boutique hotel, near Police Line. It’s homely, but far from scruffy.

The owner, Shiva, has created an Art Deco-style haven filled with antiques he’s collected over the years. Even the bedroom locks are quirky — mine is a toy soldier.

There’s a courtyard and rooftop restaurant, where you can have a traditional three-course curry supper for 1,800 rupees (£19), cooked by his wife.

The rooms are big, some with rattan-filled terraces, the bathroom is polished concrete and chai is served with digestive biscuits. There is a small spa and the shop, run by Shiva’s daughter, sells all manner of things, from marble tea lights to embroidered bags.

Room rates from £78 a night, including breakfast (www.jobnerbagh.com).


Those who long for the regal touch will adore the recently restored Sujan Rajmahal Palace. The swish hotel is decorated with 46 different wallpapers.

One, featuring parrots and urns, is inspired by the giant silver vessels belonging to the Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. Each one was filled with 900 gallons of holy Best Exotic Hotel, starring Dench and Dev shot across including in Tripolia Ganges water for the King’s trip to attend the coronation of Edward VII in 1902.

Royal references abound – the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and Prince Charles and Diana (plus Jacqueline Kennedy) have all stayed.

The poolside is relaxing and suppers are served in the romantically lit lawn colonnade. Sporting sorts can bowl into the Polo Bar.

You can have breakfast 24 hours a day in the restaurant, 51 Shades Of Pink. ‘You’re in a palace, you will be treated like a princess,’ they tell me.

Room rates from £592 a night, including breakfast (www.sujanluxury.com).


It’s easy to spend big in Jaipur – this is the place to buy block-printed fabric, for which the city is known, and gems.

Having a driver to transport you and your bags is helpful, as shops are not always easy to find. Ethically minded Anokhi (www.anokhi.com) sells clothing, scarves and printed bedlinen. Hot Pink (www.hotpinkindia.com) offers beaded kaftans and paper handicrafts.

And Kashmir Loom is the place for best-quality pashminas. (There’s one at the Sujan Rajmahal Palace, where Good Earth has just opened, too).

If you are hailing a rickshaw, be firm about where you want to go, because your driver might have other ideas. Be aware that, in India, ‘no’ means ‘perhaps’.


Samode Haveli in the Old Town serves Rajasthani thali — a selection of curries, breads and rice — as well as international cuisine in the magnificent courtyard or by the poolside. The indoor restaurant is decorated with murals (www.samode.com).


Hit film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Dame Judi Dench and Dev Patel, was shot across Jaipur, including in the hectic Tripolia Bazaar 


Love Jaipur, by India devotee Fiona Caulfield, is a brilliant and beautifully presented guide to the city. It’s available on Amazon and widely sold in India, including in Hot Pink, Jaipur. 

Travel Facts: Plan your own expedition to Jaipur 

Greaves India (www.greavesindia.com, 020 7487 9111) tailor-makes tours to the Subcontinent and offers a seven-night trip from £1,320pp, based on two travelling. Price includes return BA flights, B&B at the Taj Palace New Delhi, Trident Agra and Jobner Bagh, Jaipur, plus a short cycle rickshaw ride in Old Delhi, a visit to Taj Mahal in Agra, an excursion to the Amber Fort with an elephant ride and private transfers, sightseeing and excursions throughout.


Read more at DailyMail.co.uk