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How to spend a perfect day in Jaipur

Photography Abhishek Bali

The beautiful Rajasthani capital is fast overtaking Mumbai and Delhi as the sparkling jewel in India’s weighty crown. DELILAH KHOMO explores the Pink City

Awe-inspiring interiors
The opulent Haveli was built 175 years ago as a residence of the rulers of Samode

The best place to wake up is in the Samode Haveli, a small oasis amid the bustling city. It’s owned by a scion of the Jaipuri royal family, who still live in one of the turreted apartments on-site – you can often hear their children kicking a ball around with one of the mustachioed waiters on the hotel lawns. It’s also home to the loveliest pool in Jaipur, which is the best place to take an early morning dip. Book room 115, the 18th-century Sheesh Mahal Suite, which has been mirrored and muraled within an inch of its life.


Avoid Jaipur’s heavy traffic and take a tuk tuk to the nearby flower market, Phool Mandi, where women sit out and make ritual marigold and rose necklaces and jasmine garlands.

Drive out to Brigitte Singh’s bougainvillea-fringed haveli on the outskirts of the city, which specializes in hand-printed fabrics. Stop for a home-cooked meal in the garden before stocking up on Singh’s signature poppy-print textiles. (+91-141-253 0229).

Golden era
Experience the otherworldly beauty and history of the Jal Mahal by boat

Take a long shikari boat to the middle of the Man Sagar Lake to see the floating palace of Jal Mahal. Conceived in the 18th century as a duck-hunting lodge and pleasure pavilion by the city’s founder, Maharaja Jai Singh II, this incredible construction is now open to the public after 300 years, with private tours of the grounds and rooftop Chameli Bagh (jasmine garden) now available.

Come dusk, Bar Palladio, set within the gardens of the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, is the only place to go for cocktails. Order a traditional rose sharbat and some cicchetti snacks and watch the peacocks strut past.

The Narain Niwas Palace Bar is a luxe watering hole for you and some feathered friends
Decadence, glamour and fabulous thalis are on the menu at the Suján Rajmahal Palace

Dinner at Suján Rajmahal Palace’s restaurant, 51 Shades of Pink, is a must for the finest Rajasthani thali in the most opulent and theatrical restaurant. After dinner, visit Jantar Mantar, an open-air observatory with huge zodiac charts – it’s the most atmospheric place to see the North Star.

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