Jaipur has always been at the head with the buoyant culture with majestic forts and opulent palaces more numerous than anywhere else in India. The splendors of Rajasthan’s past are still here to explore. Tourists from worldwide especially visit this city to taste the charm of the authentic structures of the bygone era. However, if you don’t just want to check off the well-known sights from your list but actually experience Jaipur like a local – authentic, real – then this is the ultimate guide to it. Let’s ride to the brightly colorful culture of modest yet resilient Pink City that encompasses the architecture-packed structures, regal cuisine, vibrant festivities, sky touching aravallis, colorful leheriyas, and humble citizens.
“This write-up tries to give you the insights to what the residents love about this city and the local life of the pink city. Plus a few extra tips to explore Jaipur a little differently than the regular tourist. You will be able to sense the feel of living like a local in Jaipur.”
EXPERIENCE THE LOCAL AURA
Your journey in Jaipur will be a real treat as this is where your journey into Rajasthan will really begin! As soon as you arrive, the glimpse of this city as soon as you arrive will give you a little flutter. The elegant City Palace, still housing the former royal family, is an island of tranquility; the marvelous honeycomb facade of the Hawa Mahal looms over a traffic-clogged thoroughfare; and the city’s pink-hued walls are guarded with 7 imposing, embellishing gates. Look further and you will still find stretching-out hilltop citadels, Escher-like step wells, and temples which are still thronged by devotees.
WALK ON THE STREETS LIKE A LOCAL
Though the vibrant ancient city with its narrow lanes and a surfeit of sights is best explored on foot, if you do not prefer walking much then take a cycle rickshaw through the walled city. You will be having the most terrifying ride of your life! Just like every other activity in this endowed city, you’ll be accosted by food vendors from all sides, old facade havelis and shops selling handicrafts to daily use items. You will be exposed to crowds and hordes of tourists breathing down your neck. We recommend not to feel scared and rather take full benefit of it! You can also opt for a heritage walk tour in Jaipur, it will take you on a journey to real Jaipur.
EAT LIKE A LOCAL IN JAIPUR
A city can be best explored through its local food. The food of Jaipur is rich, spicy and flavorful so you should get yourself ready to go on a gastronomic journey. Rajasthani dishes are prepared with lots of ghee, oil and spices. You will be greeted by wonderful smells and sights of food with plenty of warnings dancing in your head.
Rajasthani thalis. You might want to skip breakfast before you take a stab at the best rajasthani food in Jaipur. Because the locals believe in eating till you get full for a full life. Jaipur presents the best of Rajasthan’s culinary heritage with traditional delicacies including mangodi, dal bati churma, ker sangri, gatta sabji, missi rotis, papad, buttermilk and sweets like ghewar, feeni, sohan halwa, gajak and monthal. Rajasthan has its repertoire of meat delights too, having the smoking hot lal maas (mutton curry) Handi with thin roomali rotis. You can taste the best on MI Road.
Another thing that both locals and visitors swear by in Jaipur, it’s the fried treats such as pyaaz kachori, ghewar, mirchi vada, and mawa kachori. Relish piping hot pyaaz kachori from Rawat Mishtan Bhandar. For iconic sweet treats, visit Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar. You will see a line of locals queuing up and waiting patiently for these deep fried treats. Do indulge in Masala Chai at Sahu ki Chai sipping the piping hot masala chai with the rest of the locals lined up at his storefront.
SPEAK LIKE A LOCAL IN JAIPUR
Though the local language of Jaipur is Rajasthani, most people in Jaipur primarily speak Hindi in the Rajasthani accent. Marwari language is prevalent in the city. English is only used for official purposes at educational institutions or at workplaces. Try striking up a conversation in the street with the locals. They may have a harsh, rugged impression but they are joyous and sociable on the inside. They are known for the charm to win hearts with warm hospitality. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and head up for a talk.
PLACES TO GO FOR A LOCAL EXPERIENCE IN JAIPUR
- Try staying at a heritage haveli in Jaipur, as it is the best place to see the real local life. These age-old havelis are preserved structures of the local rajput families who once used to live in them or still reside here. You get to share space with them, eat the local food, learn the local language, lifestyle and experience the local way of dressing.
- Visit Hawa Mahal. Your experience of local Jaipur would be incomplete until you don’t feel the fresh air of the local Taj Mahal of Pink City ‘Hawa Mahal’. For the best view of the most stunning Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, step down to a small cafe just opposite to this heritage monument. It is just the right place to jump into the local culture. Dwell in the amazing views of the wind palace from the rooftop seating of Wind View Café. Sipping on hot masala chai in earthen kulhads while treating your eyes with the beautiful view is an amazing experience.
- Shop from the street. Two items from Jaipur that are on every tourist’s shopping list are jaipur jewelry and jaipur fabric. If you wish to own a piece of fine, intricate Jaipur jewelry, the family-run Gem Palace has a legacy of making handmade jewelry with antique charm. If you want to buy without burning a hole in your pocket, then Johari Bazaar is one of the oldest markets. Stop to buy some traditional lac bangles from Tripolia Bazar to take home, or maybe some flashy tie and dye bandhani kurtas for that aunt back home who keeps demanding presents.
- Catch a movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema. Though tourists rarely go for a movie when they travel, after all, this is what we normally do at home. But, watching a Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir is a chance to have a local experience. A selfie outside the movie theatre, known for its opulent ceiling design and indirect lighting that changes colours will be a good local experience.
- Go to Cafe Padao at Nahargarh. You might be thinking why again eating some Rajasthani fast food or looking at the structure that every tout forced you toward. But trust us, this would be a totally different experience to have a chill drink, good meal and a great view, just what everybody needs at the end of the day. It makes for a beautiful spot to savor it and tune out the tiredness of the whole day.
The whole city is an excellent amalgamation of convention and cosmopolitanism where the past is blended with the present. You can sense the richness of local life in Jaipur by experiences as simple as walking, eating, and a movie that will move you from being tourists to being a part of the experience. Strolling through crowds, feasting on street food, and interacting with locals – that’s what makes for a great day in Jaipur.
If you like more info like these, do read our other blogs and you will be all set to travel like a local.