The capital of Rajasthan and City of Victory, Jaipur is also the largest city in the state. Also known as the Pink city, Jaipur holds a diverse number of things for the visitor to see. From scenic hilltop forts, palaces holding the keys to the past and bazaars to fill your every need, Jaipur can be considered as a place that constantly has something going on.
Other than the buildings and markets, it is also the gateway into the state of Rajasthan. As a result, people are constantly moving around the bazaars, businessmen going in and out of hotels, camels parading the streets with their cart-filled goods, etc. Jaipur is actually best at dusk, though words won’t do it justice. You’ll just have to go over and see for yourself!
There are a great many things to do and see in Jaipur. As a testament to the city, both international and Indian tourists like to journey here, so you will have a great time here.
Amber Fort – As the name suggests, it is a fort. As the name doesn’t suggest, it is also a palace built in a Hindu-Muslim style. Named after the goddess Amba, the fort includes the Sheesh Mahal, an elephant ride to the top and a great souvenir shop. If you want to ride the elephants, be sure to get there in the morning, well before midday as that is the cutoff for elephant rides. There is a discounted price for students. Some other forts that deserve mention are Jaigarh and Nahargarh.
Temples – Jaipur, as a big tourist spot and also highly religious city, contains a great number of temples. All of the temples are definitely worth a visit, so I’ll list the best ones here: Govind Devji, Moti Doongari, Lakshmi Narayan, Jain Mandir, Galtaji, Galwh Bagh and Suriya Mandir.
Jantar Mantar – Jantar Mantar is a UNESCO world heritage site and an astronomical observatory that was built all the way back in the early 1700s. It contains many geometrical instruments with explanations to accompany them. If you buy a ticket, which is highly recommended, you also get a 2-day free pass to Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh, the Amber Palace and the Albert Hall.
Anohki Museum of Hand Printing – Your obligatory museum visit is one that features the traditional art of hand block printing textiles. What makes this museum special is the printer and block carver that offers live demonstrations of their craft everyday, so it is definitely a place to embrace the art side of culture.
Planning Your Trip
Jaipur is on the Indian Rupee, so you probably won’t have too many issues with money. Of course, for us students, money tends to always be an issue, but in comparison to other places, Jaipur (and most of India for that matter), is probably one of the best places to travel to if affordability is at the top of your list. Jaipur has many bazars and markets in which you can buy extremely cheap stuff, so feel free to loosen your wallet a bit. ATMs are located all over Jaipur, so you don’t have to worry about carry a lot of cash, but be sure to draw cash inside the banks for safety reasons.
Culture Shock and Support
India, and so Jaipur, is a good ways away from America. As such, you can expect a culture and experience that is entirely different from anything you’ve ever experienced. While by the end of your trip you’ll be trying to avoid going back to the US and truly treasuring your time there, the beginning can be a bit daunting in terms of getting used to a new culture. As such, be sure to pick a problem that caters to American students, so that you can be well informed of the cultural differences and avoid making a faux pas.
However, remember that you have your fellow students! If you’re missing the long hours of studying and the obnoxiously loud people back in the US, well, then you’re weird. On a more serious note, talk to your fellow peers! If you’re experiencing some homesickness, there is every chance that they are as well. Don’t be embarrassed if you need to talk to someone about home, it is completely normal and who knows, you may become even closer friends!
Though there is a bus system in Jaipur, autorickshaw is the best way to travel around Jaipur. Being a larger tourist spot, you won’t deal with as much trouble with the autorickshaws as other Indian cities. As a testament to how cheap it is to travel around, a day will probably cost you only 350 Rupees, or 5-6 dollars. Always be sure to stay with the original price as the drivers may bring up some bogus excuse for extra money.
Be sure to visit the Bazaar as it embodies the very essence of Indian culture. A vibrant, flamboyant amalgamation of flowers, goods and animals, the Bazaar will capture your attention, and it is worth a visit even if you don’t buy anything (but you probably will). Make sure you haggle for prices! It’s almost always possible to get a lower price.
Scholarships for Study in India
Studying in Jaipur, India is an awesome experience, and it would be a shame if it were money holding you back. Here are some scholarships:
- CIEE has many scholarships available for its program participants (applicable for its pretty great program in India!)
- Fulbright offers a large number of scholarships for those traveling to India.
- More Study Abroad Grants and Scholarships