Day 8. Jaipur

Overnight – Rambagh Palace

Enjoy a diverse selection of local, national, and western delicacies for breakfast, including scores of made to order delights. After breakfast you will begin your exploration of the walled pink city of Jaipur with a visit to Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a fascinating stone observatory built in 1728. Among other instruments, it includes a massive stone sun dial that is accurate to within 2 seconds.

After the observatory you have the option to be driven to your nest 3 destinations, or you can choose to walk – the total distance of the walk not including exploration of the sites, is about half a mile, and your stroll will be through parts of the fascinating main bazaar in the heart of the pink city and watch the locals as they shop for pretty much everything a consumer can possibly want. This atmospheric and crowded bazaar has street sellers of vegetables, fruit and other goods occupying the curbs with their displays. There are stores selling spices, nuts, flowers, toys, footwear, hardware, and a lot more, mixed in with street food vendors and brick and mortar eating establishments. Byzantine alleys lead into inner courtyard shops.

Located next to Jantar Mantar is the City Palace, the royal residence that was built in a delightful blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. A part of this massive complex is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public. Your Tour Director will regale you with stories of royalty as you admire their trappings. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that include displays of armor, miniature paintings, and a large and impressive collection of ancient royal garments and accoutrements.

Another few minutes of walking will bring you where you have a photo opportunity at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind).

This intriguing facade was built in 1799 so that the ladies of the court could use its unique windows and observe the bustling bazaar without being visible to the people on the streets.

Jaipur is India’s capital for jewelery, and the largest supplier of exquisitely crafted jewelery to much of the world, and Johri Bazaar (jewelers’ market) is a historic enclave that happens to be the center of the largest precious stone cutting area on our planet. You will experience a short walk through a section of the area (please note that all the jewelry manufacturers are located on higher floors and so you will not be seeing the jewelers at work) and soon arrive at a small boutique hotel, The Johri. This five-room inn has an excellent restaurant where you will enjoy lunch. Locally sourced fresh organic vegetarian cuisine is served here, and you will order ala carte from their menu of seasonal and regional offerings. We strongly recommend all their chaat and appetizer items, but their main entrees are not to be missed either.

Optional late afternoon activity: Jaipur is India’s shopping mecca for all sorts of exquisite hand-crafted items, fabrics, carpets, as well as jewelery, and those who are interested in shopping can have their Tour Director serve as your personal shopper, or you can choose to return to your spectacular palace hotel. You are on your own for dinner on self-pay basis tonight and, as before, we recommend a light western meal at the excellent Marble Arch restaurant, or the palace’s atmospheric fine dining Indian Restaurant.

Enjoy a diverse selection of local, national, and western delicacies for breakfast, including scores of made to order delights. After breakfast you will begin your exploration of the walled pink city of Jaipur with a visit to Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a fascinating stone observatory built in 1728. Among other instruments, it includes a massive stone sun dial that is accurate to within 2 seconds.

After the observatory you have the option to be driven to your nest 3 destinations, or you can choose to walk – the total distance of the walk not including exploration of the sites, is about half a mile, and your stroll will be through parts of the fascinating main bazaar in the heart of the pink city and watch the locals as they shop for pretty much everything a consumer can possibly want. This atmospheric and crowded bazaar has street sellers of vegetables, fruit and other goods occupying the curbs with their displays. There are stores selling spices, nuts, flowers, toys, footwear, hardware, and a lot more, mixed in with street food vendors and brick and mortar eating establishments. Byzantine alleys lead into inner courtyard shops.

Located next to Jantar Mantar is the City Palace, the royal residence that was built in a delightful blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles. A part of this massive complex is still occupied by the Royal family and is not accessible to the public. Your Tour Director will regale you with stories of royalty as you admire their trappings. This immense complex also houses a number of museums that include displays of armor, miniature paintings, and a large and impressive collection of ancient royal garments and accoutrements.

Another few minutes of walking will bring you where you have a photo opportunity at the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind).

This intriguing facade was built in 1799 so that the ladies of the court could use its unique windows and observe the bustling bazaar without being visible to the people on the streets.

Jaipur is India’s capital for jewelery, and the largest supplier of exquisitely crafted jewelery to much of the world, and Johri Bazaar (jewelers’ market) is a historic enclave that happens to be the center of the largest precious stone cutting area on our planet. You will experience a short walk through a section of the area (please note that all the jewelry manufacturers are located on higher floors and so you will not be seeing the jewelers at work) and soon arrive at a small boutique hotel, The Johri. This five-room inn has an excellent restaurant where you will enjoy lunch. Locally sourced fresh organic vegetarian cuisine is served here, and you will order ala carte from their menu of seasonal and regional offerings. We strongly recommend all their chaat and appetizer items, but their main entrees are not to be missed either.

Optional late afternoon activity: Jaipur is India’s shopping mecca for all sorts of exquisite hand-crafted items, fabrics, carpets, as well as jewelery, and those who are interested in shopping can have their Tour Director serve as your personal shopper, or you can choose to return to your spectacular palace hotel. You are on your own for dinner on self-pay basis tonight and, as before, we recommend a light western meal at the excellent Marble Arch restaurant, or the palace’s atmospheric fine dining Indian Restaurant.