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Jaipur: Buy From Me, No Me, No Buy From Me…

Posted by Heliocentrism on November 5, 2017

July 22 – 24, 2017

Jaipur, the Pink City, had some of the most beautiful photo-opps. Just scrolling through my Jaipur album online takes me back to a place with magical views. But, traveling through Jaipur was very tiring. Everyone is working you hard to buy their stuff.

Our flight into India landed at midnight, so we made sure our hotel came with an airport pick up. On the ride over our driver kept asking us about our plans for our time in Jaipur. Before we had even pulled out of the airport parking lot, he was hounding us to hire him as our driver for the duration of our stay.

We did hire a driver for one day. He too kept asking us about our plans in Jaipur. We couldn’t lie to him and tell him that this was our last day, he worked at our hotel. Instead we tried to change the subject and evaded his questions. But he was a determined guy.

We had a list of places we wanted to see, but he had his own plan. He talked about a restaurant he wanted to take us. We politely told him we already had a restaurant in mind. When we stopped at the Amber Fort, we had lunch at 1135AD which is in the fort. When we got back into his car he was ready to take us to his restaurant.

“We already ate,” we told him.

“When?” he scowled.

“While we were at the fort. Remember, we told you we wanted to have lunch at 1135AD,” Mark replied.

“So you don’t want to have delicious dalh?”

“No.”

We wanted to see a museum and asked the driver to take us there. But he didn’t. He took us to a craft and textile shop instead. We didn’t know what was going on, but once we realized he had taken us to a place where we were expected to buy expensive paintings or statues, we walked out of the building.

“Don’t you want to look around?” he asked.

“No, we want to go to the museum!”

He tried to talk us into staying, but we would not stay. I started yelling that I wanted to go to the museum. He told us that it was too late to go to the museum. We had wasted too much time driving to the stupid shop. (Later, I found out that it was not too late to go to the museum.) We asked to be taken back to the hotel.

“You would rather go home than look in this shop?” The driver seemed surprised.

We were so pissed off at this driver, we never hired him or anyone else who worked for our hotel again.

These women tried to charge me for this photo and only one of them seems happy.

At the Amber Fort we saw these sweeping ladies with their beautiful bright saris. Their job is to sweep the fort and palace. They approached me and asked if I wanted to take their photo. “Sure, why not?” I told them. I pointed my camera at them, but they encouraged me to hand my camera to someone else and get in the photo too.

I handed my camera to Mark, and sat next to them. The one who asked me to take the photo looked really pleased. Her friends, on the other hand, could not hide their disdain. Mark snapped a few photos and then I thanked them. As I got up, all the women, as with one voice, said, “MONEY”.

They had asked me to take their photo. True, I was happy enough to oblige, but I did not know this would require payment. Mark offered them a few rupees, but they wanted more. “Dollar,” one of them demanded. Mark and I walked away.

I saw them do this with many other tourists. Each tourist thought that they had met a friendly lady wanting to be in a photo. No one I saw gave these ladies any money. It’s unfortunate, because had these women put up a sign saying “photo 5 rupee” or something, many people would have gladly paid. No one likes being scammed.

Another day, Mark and I were walking down a street in Jaipur. We were looking for a place to have lunch. As we walked, all the shop keepers called to us to come buy their food, drinks, clothes, shoes, etc. One shop keeper in particular caught our attention. He stood in the doorway of his shop. I didn’t fully understand why he was calling to us.

“Don’t you sell tires?” I asked.

“Oh yes. The best tires! Come in and see.”

“I don’t have a car.” I thought it was necessary for me to point this out.

“I can give you a good deal,” he said and he motioned for Mark and me to enter.

“No thanks.”

I raise my lassi to Jaipur. “To Jaipur!”


India
(Republic of India)

How to get there:

You can enter India by plane, train, bus, or boat.

The question of visas are a little hard to answer. There are conflicting options online. Some sources say most people can get a visa on arrival, other’s saying you can’t.

  • I recommend getting an e-visa before you go.
  • If you get a visa from the embassy or consulate on your country, just know that the visa process might be outsourced to  Cox & Kings Global Services.

Phone:

  • Emergency Numbers:
    • Police 100
    • Ambulance 102
    • Emergency 108
    • Women help line 1091

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Watch out for touts.
  • Be wary of anyone being too nice or helpful. They are usually, but not always, looking for a way to get your money.
  • When taking tuk-tuks or taxis, use google maps or some other GPS app to make sure the driver has taken you to the correct destination.

Hawa Mahal
(Palace of the Wind)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 26.923938, 75.826750
  • Entrance 26.923366, 75.826070

Address:

  • Hawa Mahal Rd, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002

Phone:

  • 0141 261 8862

Websites:

Cost:

  • Foreigners: Rs. 50

    2 Composite tickets

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00

Video

Notes:

  • Included in the 5-monument Composite Ticket.
    • Tickets are valid for 2 days, starting on the day it is purchased.
    • You can buy the ticket at any of the monuments.
    • It’s called the 5-monument composite ticket, but you use it for 5 monuments and 3 other things.
  • You can take photos without having to pay a fee.
  • There is a composite tickets that’s lets you get into several sites.
    • Another benefit of this tickets is that you only have to queue once.
    • The down side is that the officials who inspect your composite tickets take about 5 minutes to scrutinize the paper before carefully punching a hole in the appropriated spot.

Jal Mahal

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • free
  • Part of the 5-monument composite ticket (though, I don’t know why)

Hours:

  • 24hrs

Notes:

  • This is a palace that is sinking in a lake.
  • You cannot go to it; you can only look at it from the shore.
  • It will take about 3 minutes to see it; 10, if you take a lot of photos.

Jaipur Lassi

Basic Information:

  • Jaipur is know for it’s wonderful super thick lassi with a milk skin on the top.
  • It’s served in a ceramic cup.

Website

  • Maybe this is the original shop called Lassiwalla.

Cost:

  • 1-2 Rupee

Hours:

  • If you want a lassi, there will be someone willing to sell you one.

Video

Notes:

  • There are a thousand and one shops called Lassiwala. There was one Lassiwala that became very famous, but then every shop changed their names to Lassiwala, so who knows which one is THE Lassiwala?
  • It doesn’t really matter, they’re all great.

The Amer Fort
The Amber Palace/ Fort

Basic Information

Cost:

  • 200 Rupee
  • Part of the 5-monument composite ticket

Hours:

  • 8:00 – 17:30

Video

Notes:

  • Built in 1592.
  • Very near to the Jaigarh Fort.
    • On a good, non-rainy day, you can walk from one fort to the other (no matter what your driver tells you).
    • It is a bit of a hike, being up hill and all.
  • There are a crowd of touts aggressively selling junk you don’t want outside the gate.
  • There are colorfully dressed sweeping ladies who will gladly let you take their photos, then hound you for money.
    • Whatever you give them, they will demand more.
    • Give them money if you want. They probably really need it.
    • But, you can also just walk away since they are not up front that they expect money for photos. No one will force you to pay them.

1135 AD

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

Hours:

  • 12:00 – 22:30

Notes:

  • The place can be a little hard to find.
  • It is in the Amer Fort, off to the side and in away from sight.
  • It looks fancy-ish. There are many photos of rich and famous people, like Prince Charles, in the restaurant, but the places looks a little shabby these days.
  • It’s still a nice experience.

Jaigarh Fort

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • 85 Rupee
  • Part of the 5-monument composite ticket

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 17:00

Video

Notes:

  • Here you can see the biggest cannon on wheels at the time it was made.
    • It was supposedly, used only once as a demonstration. It killed several horses, wounded an elephant, and caused many pregnant women to go into early labor.
    • It caused so much destruction that it was never used again.
      • It’s like they didn’t fully understand the point of a cannon…
  • Built in 1726.
  • You can walk between Jaigarh Fort and Nahargarh Fort.
    • It is a 2 hour walk.

Nahargarh Fort

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • 200 Rupee
  • Part of the 5-monument composite ticket

Hours:

  • 10:00 – 17:15

Video

Notes:


Isarlat

Basic Information

Websites:

Cost:

  • 200 Rupee
  • Part of the 5-monument composite ticket

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 16:30

Video

Notes:

  • Built in 1749.
  • Close to City Palace.
  • Just a tower.
  • We really only saw this because it was part of the composite ticket. It’s not that interesting.
  • It does give you a nice view of the city, but I’m not sure it’s worth the climb up and the walking around in pigeon poo.

City Palace

Basic Information

Websites:

e-mail:

Cost:

  • 500 rupee
  • 300 rupee for an audio guide

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00

Notes:

  • The palace was built between 1729 and 1732.

Jantar Mantar

Basic Information

Website

Cost:

  • 200 rupees
  • Part of the 5-monument composite ticket

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 16:30

Video

Notes:

  • Construction was completed between 1724 and 1735.
  • Wear a hat, it’s super hot here.
  • Bring water and maybe an umbrella too.

Map:

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