If you need this on the go, download this post as pdf on your device Two day Jaipur trip plan . Otherwise, read on!
A part of the golden triangle of Indian tourism, Jaipur demands about two days to see the major sights – three is better, but in a pinch, two will do.
I’ve divided Jaipur into three segments to help you plan this visit easily and save some money –
Segment 1 – Walled city – This includes the city palace, the observatory called Jantar Mantar (a UNESCO world heritage site), Govind Devji temple, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, and depending on the time available, outside the walled city the Albert Hall museum.
Segment 2 – Greater Amer circuit – These are the forts and temples that lie to the north of the walled city of Jaipur and are best covered together in a single day. These include the fort of Amber (or Amer) and the two forts above it (Jaigarh and Nahargarh), the water palace and promenade of Jal Mahal and possibly the temple of Galta (sometimes called the monkey temple).
Segment 3 – add ons – There are some very nice add ons but due to time required and lack of tourist facilities at some of these monuments, require an additional day. These are the old temples on Sagar road behind Amer fort and the cenotaphs of Gaitore. There is also the palace at Samode and the gardens near ‘ghat ki guni’ (eastern entrance to Jaipur on Agra road).
Day 1(segment 1) –
- An atmospheric place to start the day would be the Govind Devji temple- Jaipur’s patron deity. It opens early, but around 8 am would work well. You could do later too, depending on how exhausted you were from the previous day’s sightseeing. Photography of devotees is not permitted but you can photograph the main idol! What’s worth observing is the unusual shape of the temple – it resembles a congregation place open on three sides rather than the closed design that one usually associates with a temple. About a half hour would be sufficient.
- Next stop should be the palace of winds – Hawa Mahal. In the morning, light falls beautifully on the eastern face of the building and there’s little traffic on the road so the photos should come out OK. The entrance is next to the palace façade on the road between Govind devji and Badi chaupar. Purchase a ticket and enter to visit the back of the monument (Indians Rs 40, foreigners Rs 100). Now, you may exit where you entered and go to Badi chaupar (see map below) if you need to photograph the market square that is just coming to life but the smarter thing to do would be to exit towards the Tripolia gate, bear right under the pillared corridors and continue past the tripolia gate (yellow colored, well labelled, can’t miss it). A narrow lane through a gate will help you get inside the area that’s your next stop.
- The narrow lane goes past some shops and through another gate – after this, bear right, underneath another gate and you’d be in a broad courtyard. To your left is the temple of Brij Nidhi and on the right is Pratapeshwar mahadev. Either temple is meant only for the serious enthusiast.
- Instead, continue straight and on the right and then a left and you’ve reached the Jantar Mantar (observatory) entrance. Purchase a ticket (Indians Rs 40, Foreigners Rs 200). It should hold you for about an hour and at the most two if you like to compose your shots well. I’d recommend hiring a human guide (ask for the tourism department’s ID before hiring one). Also this complex closes a half hour earlier than City Palace, so it makes sense to do it first.
- When you exit, again bear right (you’ve actually backtracked several dozen feet), and turn left. Now, you’re at the city palace entrance. Purchase a ticket (Indians Rs 100, Foreigner 400) and take your time in the museum – the audio guide is included in the price of admission so ask for it. Retain your ticket as it will give you entry to Jaigarh the next day.
- All this combined will see you through the day and while there are other monuments such as the Gaitore cenotaphs, the entrance would have closed if you finish sightseeing near 5 pm, so it might be worth visiting one of the many markets for some shopping. Try bapu bazaar, if you’re looking for traditional tie and die pieces – but shopkeepers can be aggressive here.
Day 2 (segment 2) – This day’s plan calls for hiring an auto rickshaw or a car and driver for best results. Otherwise, the walks are approximately 11 kms long if you use the short route between Amer fort and Jaigarh. Otherwise, it is 25 kilometers by road.
- You may start your day early in the morning near the fort of Nahargarh which is a great place to watch the sun rise over the city. If that’s too early for you, starting at Amer fort around 9 am will work nicely. The latest you may start to cover all that is described below is around 11 am.
- Amer fort requires about 2 hours if you’re on foot and enjoy photography. Many visitors rush through it and do it in less, but that’s my minimum estimated time burden for this attraction. An elephant ride from the elephant stand near the lower parking to the main chowk is INR 1100/- (April 2016 prices). From here to Jaigarh requires an Auto if you don’t have a hired car of your own.
- Jaigarh – the victory fort – houses two major and several minor attractions. Touted to be the largest canon on wheels, the Jaivana is rather impressive. The second are large underground water storage tanks. The fort is quite spread out, especially if you visit the museum inside and the part that housed the royal kitchen. It’s a great spot to photograph Amer as you get a view of Amer’s gardens and lake from top down and also views over the old village. I’d give it two hours due to the long walks involved.
- Nahargarh – The inside of the fort, now relatively spruced up, is a good spot to relax at the cafeteria and take in views over the walled city of Jaipur. About an hour is all you need if you’re in a rush.
- In case you have not hired a car or an auto and are doing these on different days, there are buses that stop at the amer village – few hundred feet down the road from Amer fort’s main entrance and they go via the Jal Mahal façade area. From Jal Mahal, it will be another bus to Galta temple.
- Jal Mahal – the water palace is a pretty building, set inside an artificial lake that has been cleaned of water hyacinth for last several years. It’s photogenic but you cannot go inside the palace. So, several minutes of stop over at most – a bit longer if the weather’s cool and you’d like some street food on the promenade.
- The above combined plus lunch at a café in the area should see you through late afternoon. You could go to the Galta temple via the road that turns left from Jalmahal area towards the Delhi road. It’s a great place to watch the playful monkeys (be careful while feeding them, they’re notorious and can attack / bite), observe rituals and watch the sun set over the city.
- After sunset – while Jaipur has many options to eat – I’d recommend not going out of your way but rather selecting something close to where you’re staying as it’d have been a long and tiring day of sightseeing.
- Albert Hall museum – Rajasthan’s state museum. However, given the many museums in other parts of the state (Udaipur city palace especially) most people skip it. If you have an hour or more, it’s worth visiting both for the imposing exterior (great indo sarcenic architecture) and the unique collection (Superb 19th century indian pottery gallery and three galleries of miniature paintings). Entrance is Rs 40 for Indians and Rs 300/- for foreigners. The museum has a nice website – http://alberthalljaipur.gov.in/
- The relatively modern Birla temple (laxmi Narayan temple) stands near the moti dungri (pearl hillock). About a half hour to visit the temple. It’s on the broad boulevard that connects Albert Hall with University of Rajasthan.
Jaipur’s popularity is ever increasing with tourists. This has, sadly resulted in a number of touts attempting to sell you something, anything that they can. Some resort to unscrupulous ways such as misleading an unprepared tourist. This trip plan is intended to help you. I have not added many photos as it may make for a slower download.
Please feel free to ask a question or leave a comment.