Rajasthan Part 1: Jaipur

In January, we took two carry-ons and our two kids and went to India for a month. We spent the bulk of the month in New Delhi, where Josh was working, but we also had a chance to explore Agra, Mumbai, and Rajasthan during our stay.

My favorite part of our trip was the week we spent in Rajasthan. Rajasthan is a state on the northwestern side of India. It is known for its desert-like atmosphere and its ancient hill forts, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Our first stop in Rajasthan was Jaipur, the capital. We took a five-hour-long Uber ride from New Delhi to get to Jaipur. It cost $40… not a bad deal.

In Jaipur, our first stop was Amer Fort. Walking around Amer Fort felt like being transported back in time to the 1600s. We marveled at the gorgeous architecture and the elephants walking regally through the fort’s gates.

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After we left Amer Fort we headed Elefantastic, a local elephant sanctuary. I highly recommend Elefantastic if you want to spend some time with Elephants during your stay in Jaipur.

They arranged for a driver to pick us up directly from Amer Fort. The driver took us to the owner’s house, and his mother served us a home-cooked Indian lunch. After that, we headed to the sanctuary and spent over two hours petting, painting, bathing, and bareback riding our sweet elephant, Sampa. Sampa was rescued from the circus in India, and she now enjoys a life of ease at the sanctuary. Sampa and her keeper stayed with us throughout our entire stay, and Sampa was so sweet with the kids.

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After bidding Sampa adieu, we headed downtown to explore Jaipur’s Pink City.

We stopped at a few shops, bartered for leather sandals, drank Chai in front of the Hawa Mahal Palace, walked through a vibrant fabric market, bought Winston a balloon, and found a Henna artist to tattoo my hand.

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A few notes about Jaipur:

  • The streets are crowded and not stroller friendly. Use carriers instead if at all possible. If you’re going to Amer palace, plan to use carriers. There are a lot of stairs and it would be difficult to get around without a stroller.
  • We loved the Peacock Rooftop restaurant. There was live music and the food was delicious. There’s also an adorable store in the same building that sells handmade clothing.
  • We stayed at the Hotel Hari Mahal Palace, which was nice for the price and centrally located. Not my favorite hotel ever, but far from terrible.

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