Howdy all! And it’s time for the August instalment of this old favourite! Yes today we are seeing what we can achieve in the top city of the State of Rajasthan, India, and that is Jaipur! We have $100US and 2 days to travel to this awesome city in India, so let’s see how we might go about it, what we can see and do and the like!
So the deal is, as always, arrive on Day One early morning, stay one night, leave the evening of day two. And the first thing to look for is a bed for the night. Fortunately, when faced with a tight budget, India is a place where cheap rooms are not hard to come by outside of the biggest of cities such as Delhi and in particular, Mumbai. It doesn’t take a lot of rupees to set yourself up in a passable room for the night without the need to share a room with backpackers etc.
I spent literally seconds doing a search and I found the Hotel Arya Niwas for just $31USD for a night and it looks pretty gosh nice for that price, let me tell you. India is great in that if you are prepare to lift your level from dirt cheap to budget or lower-mid-range, you can find yourself with a really comfortable room away from the dust, hustle and bustle of the city, a little oasis which really helps if you’re not so familiar with the craziness which can be India sometimes. YES it’s the cheapest room they have but it looks like a place similar to where I stayed a few years back, but around 60% of the price and I was really happy there.
The price of a taxi into town from Jaipur’s International Airport is set at the prepaid taxi booth at the airport. These prepaid booths are very common in Jaipur because taxi drivers will always try to get the most out of you when you arrive tired from a long flight, but with a prepaid booth you know you have a reasonable price. In the case of Jaipur airport to town, according to the lovely interweb, the reported price is 166 rupees. One USD is around 80 rupees, let’s allow for inflation, let’s give ourselves $5USD return from and to the airport on the second night. We are up to $36USD spent.
The good news on our accommodation above is that not only is it quite central, but it’s also got breakfast included in the price. So that’s one meal taken care of, four left in two dinners and two lunches. It’s India and if you want to try street food or where the locals eat (the second a safer bet) you will certainly get a decent meal for under a couple of bucks. But let’s give ourselves $25 USD for food, which will allow at least one meal in a higher establishment or perhaps something more western if you really want to, although honestly you are better off sticking to the local cuisine for the most part in India. If you want to be ultra frugal, I discovered I liked dahl pretty early on on my first trip to India and that is a lentil curry/soup, with naan bread and drink it won’t set you back more than 2-3 bucks in most places in India.
We have spent $61USD now, and let’s add $15USD for transport during the two days (aside from transport to and from the airport). That sees us at $76USD, leaving $24 for sightseeing. You can make use of the metro system in Jaipur, although it’s not as comprehensive as most. The auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuks) require some negotiating, but aside from the Amber Fort you aren’t going that far and you should be able to keep those costs to a minimum.
Here are some of the top sights to try and get to see in Jaipur –
City Palace – can lose yourself in here for a few hours, 700 rupee so around $8.50USD and I think the most expensive site in Jaipur.
Jantar Mantar – Opposite the City Palace, Jantar Mantar is this huge, ancient ‘observatory’ which is great to visit. Appreciate the structures and sit and relax on the grass with the chipmunks! Foreigners pay 200 rupee to enter, around $2.50USD
Hawa Mahal – Located near the City Palace, this amazing building is one I regret not entering. At 200 rupee it’s around $2.50USD, I would thoroughly recommend it.
City Gates – Don’t miss a quick stop for photos at the City Gates, they are a pink colour – Jaipur is known as the ‘Pink City’. And they cost nothing to look at!
The Royal Gaitor – This beautiful site under the surrounding hills is beautifully carved in marble and worth seeing. The cost is 30rupees for both Indians and foreigners (you will often find a two-tier system) so that’s less than 50 cents. Well worth it.
Hanuman Ji Temple (also known as the ‘Monkey Temple’) – I believe this one is free and has great views of the city – donation may be given. On top of a hill, and yes there are quite a few monkeys there, which is part of the attraction (yet my least favourite part of it).
Amber Fort – This incredible fort is a bit of an auto-rickshaw ride out of the centre of town, and very much well worth it. It’s a huge fort which you can explore. 550 rupees for foreigners, that’s around $7USD or a fraction under.
Jal Mahal – on the way to the Amber Fort you will probably pass this lake with the Jal Mahal Palace on it. I don’t believe you can visit the palace (unlike the one in Udaipur) but it is definitely worth a lakeside stop to see it!
And I THINK I’ve covered all the major sights in Jaipur. If you add all those sights up (their entrance fees) you get a projected $21USD, leaving you with THREE DOLLARS to just go crazy! I think you could get all that into two days, but you’d be pushing it. But if that’s all you had (2 days), GO FOR IT!
Thanks for popping by today. I think 2 days and a hundred bucks gets you a pretty decent time in Jaipur on reflection. All these places are beautiful too in their own ways! Thanks for popping by today, take care wherever you are in the world, and…. May the Journey Never End!