Jaipur, the City of Victory, is chaotic and congested, though it still has a habit of tickling travellers pink. Stunning hilltop forts and glorious palaces fit like footprints from a rich royal past, candyfloss-bright turbans blaze a trail through brilliant bargain-filled bazaars, and fluttering saris catch the eye like butterflies.
As the gateway to the desert state of Rajasthan, however, it’s also a city permanently under siege. Package tourists are captivated by (and offloaded on) the bustling bazaars, world-class hotels and clammy sophistication, while camel carts and cows waddle through diesel-soaked streets, rampaging rickshaw drivers hustle and burn past businessmen and tourists, and scores of street children beg outside huge jewellery shops and palatial hotels.
Jaipur beams boldest at dusk – when it’s well worth walking to Amber – and, much like its founder, Jai Singh II, the Pink City is both proud and resilient.
There’s the Elephant Festival in March, Gangaur is celebrated in March/April and Teej celebrations occur in August.
Best places to stay in Jaipur
Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra - Jaipur (Chapter)
The colourful, chaotic streets, where careering buses dodge dawdling camels, ebb and flow with a heady brew of old and new. The splendours of Jaipur's majestic past are islands of relative calm evoking a different pace and another world. Coverage includes: Sights, Activities, Courses, Tours, Sleeping, Eating, Drinking, Entertainment and Shopping.
India's Golden Triangle: the remix
India is seeing an ever-increasing number of visitors who come to experience the unique blend of headiness that the subcontinent so effortlessly brews. The route between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur has, for many years, been a veritable 'India 101' - an introduction to those on tighter travel schedules.
Jaipur destination guides
The world's greatest guilty pleasures
Everyone needs to indulge their vices every now and then. In this extract from Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2012, we bring you some of travel's guiltiest pleasures.
Travel to India and visit the enchanting northern province of Rajasthan. One of the most beautiful places to visit in India, Rajasthan is awash with colour and the nostalgia of a romanticised era. On our classic adventure we discover the grisly history of massive forts and the opulence and splendour of Maharajas' palaces.
Delhi to Kathmandu Adventure
If you’re looking to experience the diversity of India and Nepal, this 15-day trip contrasts the colourful culture of India with the pristine serenity of Nepal's Himalayan mountains.