Just the thought of a ‘weekend’ is enough to put us in a good mood! After a hectic work week, all we’re looking for is an escape that will take us away from our hum-drum lives into a world full of fun, excitement, activities, adventure or sometimes just plain, good ol’ relaxation…
Weekends often call for short trips that let you explore nearby or sometimes far-off destinations that you can manage to travel to and enjoy in a few days! And when the usual ‘Saturday’ and ‘Sunday’ is accompanied by an extended (but much wanted) holiday of ‘Friday’ or ‘Monday’, it is the ideal long weekend! In such cases, you cannot help but plan a trip with your loved ones, family or friends (even solo) that will make your weekend better and give you a fresh, rejuvenated spirit for the work week later…
When you think about a weekend trip, the first thought that pops into your head is to consider any nearby destination that saves travelling time. But, when you have 2-3 days in hand over a weekend, have you ever thought about a ‘Jaipur trip for 2 days’? If you haven’t, we think it’s high time you put your weekends or long weekends to good use and explore the wonderful pink city of India. Being a well-connected city (by air, rail and road), has given Jaipur the fair advantage in the North and has enabled people from many states to visit this beautiful city with the help of several Jaipur travel packages. You will not just be enchanted by this city but you will also be pleasantly surprised by its colourful and ethnic charm. A place that is ideal for all age groups, all seasons and definitely ideal for your weekends…
Here’s how you can plan your weekend Jaipur trip for 2 days and also include Mandawa – the heart of the Shekhawati region if you plan the trip, over a good long weekend! The below weekend plan is for 3 Nights, 4 Days and covers the cities of Jaipur (2 nights) and Mandawa (1 night) in Rajasthan.
How to reach Jaipur?
To save on travel time, the best mode of transport you can opt for is, by air! Jaipur airport is a well-connected airport that operates both, domestic as well as international flights. If you are travelling from Delhi, the flight time taken is roughly 1 hour whereas the time taken from Mumbai is approximately 2 hours by flight. Major cities such as Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Indore, Ahmedabad etc. are also well-connected with Jaipur and offer frequent flights to this destination. This is also the major reason why many Jaipur holiday packages include airfare to and fro as part of their plan!
Travel Hack – Opt for an early morning flight on the day of your travel to enjoy the major part of the day at your destination; catch a late evening flight after work on the previous day to reach the destination on the same night and begin your exploration the next morning. (Remember, the 2nd option will increase your hotel stay by 1 night)
Sightseeing for the day!
You have 2 options today – Either travel to Mandawa and explore the quaint old city of the Shekhawati region or discover the capital city, Jaipur. In this travel plan, we head first to Mandawa, which is located about 190 km, north of Jaipur. This distance can be covered by road in 3.5-4 hours approximately. Mandawa is often included in many Jaipur vacation packages due to its close proximity to the pink city. It is a region which can essentially be explored in 1 day. Once you reach Mandawa, try to cover the following sightseeing attractions, as per time permits:
The most prominent of all tourist attractions in Mandawa is the Mandawa Fort situated in the heart of the city. This 18th-century fort was built by Thakur Nawal Singh and uses a traditional medieval theme in its construction and design. The main archway of the fort is adorned with beautiful frescoes depicting Lord Krishna and his cows. Even the interiors and the many rooms of the fort are decorated with paintings of Lord Krishna, exquisite carvings and amazing mirror work. The fort also houses a ‘Durbar Hall’ that is home to a huge collection of antiques and paintings.
Mandawa is home to a large number of havelis that truly depict the culture and charm of the Shekhawati region. This town is often referred to as an ‘open-art gallery’ due to the magnificence and beauty of its havelis that adorn every nook and corner of this pretty town. The havelis are all lavishly decorated with stunning architecture, fascinating paintings and beautiful frescoes. Some of the famous havelis of Mandawa that are worth your time and visit are, Sewaram Saraf Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli, Binsidhar Newatia Haveli, Goenka Double Haveli and Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, amongst many more. Of these, the Sewaram Saraf Haveli dates back almost 100 years and has been famously used as a shooting location for many Bollywood movies such as PK, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Mirza Sahibaan etc.
Along with these tourist attractions, the town of Mandawa itself has become a Bollywood favourite and has been featured in many movies such as Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Paheli, Manorama – 6 Feet Under, Shudh Desi Romance, Mirzya, Half Girlfriend etc. You can also visit the Main Bazaar for some amazing souvenirs along with handicraft items, paintings and fabrics inspired by the local art. Mandawa also has interesting monuments such as the Goenka Chhatri, Harlalka Well and temples such as the beautiful, Thakurji Temple which can become a part of your Jaipur holiday packages.
Where to Eat?
When you are in Mandawa, do not forget to try out the local delicacies that are available throughout the town! Rajasthan is famous for its huge spread of Thali, its signature dish – Daal Baati Choorma, the lip-smacking street food – Pyaaj Kachori, succulent curries such as Laal Maas and mouth-watering sweets such as Ghewar, Moong Dal Halwa and Rabdi. Food choices are mostly ‘to each his own’ but if we had to suggest a few eating-out options in Mandawa, we would definitely recommend the ones which have been tried & tested and highly rated by frequent travellers and food bloggers. Some of the best restaurant options in Mandawa are Monica Rooftop, Mandawa Pavilion, Shekhawati Restaurant, Bungli, Rasila and Restaurant Mandawa Junction Palace.
After a wonderful day of sightseeing, head back to your hotel in Mandawa and opt for a good night’s sleep before you start your travels for the following day. It is recommended that you stay in Mandawa for 1 night in order to save time and energy, spent in travelling back and forth to Jaipur.
Next Stop – Jaipur
Begin your journey from Mandawa early, so that you reach Jaipur by mid-morning. The road travel takes about 3.5-4 hours, given the distance of almost 190 km that you have to cover between the two destinations. Hotels in Jaipur are plentiful and you can find several options ranging in budget, comfort, facilities, amenities and location. Select the one that suits your preference and check-in to the hotel, once you reach here from Mandawa. Since you only get half the day at your disposal today, you can choose among the below sightseeing attractions that you can cover within a short period of time.
This marble-clad Hindu temple is part of the many Birla temples located all over the country! The grand white-washed yet serene temple is dedicated to the deities of Lakshmi & Vishnu and is ideal to spend a perfect evening admiring the glorious views of the temple and its surroundings. It is located on the Moti Dungri Hill of Jaipur and is considered to be one of the most prominent attractions of the city. The temple is brilliantly lit-up at night and offers stunning views of its marble exteriors when bathed in soft glowing lights. A perfect escape for you and your partner, if you include this place as part of your Jaipur honeymoon package.
This is the oldest museum in Rajasthan and one of the finest examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture in the country that could form an integral part of your Jaipur tour package. The Albert Hall Museum functions as the state museum of Rajasthan and houses a treasured collection of artefacts such as statues, paintings, antiques, carpets, crystal work, ivory, stone and metal sculptures. It was named after King George VII (Albert Edward) who visited Jaipur city as Prince of Wales and laid the foundation for the ‘Albert Hall’ on 6th February 1876.
Visit the local bazaars, markets of the pink city of India and enjoy shopping to your heart’s content. The markets are located within the main walled city and you can find a huge collection of items here ranging from souvenirs to fabrics and from decorative household items to stunning jewellery pieces. These markets are locally known as ‘Badi Chaupar’, ‘Chhoti Chaupar’ and the several bazaars that can be found here are Tripolia Bazaar, Johari Bazaar, Chandpol Bazaar, Kishanpol Bazaar and Sireh Deori Bazaar. Each of these bazaars is famous for their particular wares and it is here that you will truly find the old world charm of Jaipur still thriving and flourishing! The market area also has a lot of street food options that you can try to savour the local taste of Rajasthan. Another fantastic reason to include this experience as part of your Jaipur tour package for couple!
If traditional food and ethnic culture are what you really desire, then Chokhi Dhani in Jaipur is the perfect place to end your day! Chokhi Dhani is a luxury heritage hotel and ethnic resort built in the theme of a traditional Rajasthani village. It perfectly portrays the state’s signature tagline of ‘Padharo Mhare Des’ with its unique experience of Rajasthani culture along with the finest hospitality. This mockup of a typical Rajasthani village is located about 20 km south of Jaipur but it will definitely fulfil your wishes of getting in touch with the true spirit of Rajasthan. There are open-air restaurants, adventure activities and a host of traditional entertainment events such as Rajasthani dancers, puppet shows, acrobats etc. that you can enjoy at Chokhi Dhani which means ‘special village’. An experience which is definitely worth-visiting that can also be an unforgettable part of your Jaipur honeymoon package.
At the end of this tiring yet fruitful day, rest your feet and relax against the warmth and comfort of your hotel room. Tomorrow is going to be yet another treat for your senses as you explore and discover the many amazing attractions of the pink city of India – Jaipur!
Exploring the pink city of India – Jaipur
Today, you can cover many of the prime tourist attractions of the city! Jaipur is a vibrant city complete with colourful streets, plentiful bazaars, diverse cuisines, royal palaces and architectural gems, all of which come together in perfect harmony to define a quintessential Jaipur tour package. Visit any of the beautiful tourist places given below and you will be guaranteed a trip of a lifetime filled with some amazing memories and remarkable stories!
An icon that is synonymous with the city itself! This spectacular monument is in every way, the true highlight of any Jaipur tour package. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds is an exquisite architectural masterpiece that was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1779. The palace sits on the extreme edge of the City Palace of Jaipur and is actually an architectural façade or a unique 5-storey exterior wall decorated with intricate latticework and beautifully carved jharokhas. Ideal for all package holidays to Jaipur, Hawa Mahal is a must-do and must-visit tourist attraction of the city!
A palace complex that was once the erstwhile seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur! This beautiful complex includes palaces such as Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Maharani Mahal and many such prominent structures that elevate the signature elegance and beauty of this place. It also incorporates a vast number of courtyards, gardens, elegant buildings, temples, museums and till date, remains the residence of the royal family of Jaipur. The palace complex was built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the Maharaja of Amber and is located strategically in the heart of the city. The city palace has gained so much prominence that it essentially forms a part of all Jaipur travel packages.
An iconic monument of Jaipur that houses a collection of 19 life-size astronomical instruments made of stone. Jantar Mantar literally means ‘instruments for measuring the harmony of heavens’ and these two (seemingly) magical words are used to describe a unique site that displays the connection between the science, space and mankind. Jantar Mantar was built by the Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh II in the early 18th century with an aim to accurately predict the positions of the celestial objects and to determine the astronomical calendar. The Jantar Mantar also features the world’s largest stone sun-dial along with many other significant astronomical instruments. Check out this interesting phenomenon with several Jaipur vacation packages to truly appreciate the knowledge of the Rajputs!
Essentially meaning ‘water palace’, this beautiful structure is set amidst the vast expanse of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur. The architecture of this palace is created in the ‘Rajput’ style and displays characteristic specimens of red sandstone, construction finesse and detailing work. The palace is five storeys tall with 4 storeys being submerged under water and the top floor, visible clearly above the surface of the lake. The palace is not open to visitors, but you can catch sight of the wonderful view of this palace surrounded by the lake and the Aravalli ranges, by standing at the lakeshore which is replete with landscaped gardens and memorial cenotaphs. A must-visit attraction that you can cover on your way to Amer Fort, Jal Mahal can be the perfect inclusion in your Jaipur holiday packages.
One of the most magnificent and majestic forts of not just Jaipur but the entire country, Amer Fort forms an integral part of any Jaipur tour package. It is located in the quaint town of Amer in Jaipur, Rajasthan and is situated high up on a hill, overlooking the Maota Lake which forms the main water-source of the fort. The exquisite palace is laid out across 4 levels and consists of a variety of elegant structures and courtyards. The structures in the palace are elegantly carved and the fine architecture is something that will leave you enthralled beyond measure. Visit the Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i- Khas, Sheesh Mahal, Jai Mandir and Sukh Niwas in the palace and you will truly understand why it has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. If you plan your visit around evening time, you can even enjoy a spectacular light & sound show that showcases the history and splendour of the fort! A wonderful experience you can enjoy with your loved one and include as part of your Jaipur honeymoon package.
*There are 2 ways to reach the Amer Fort that is situated on top of a steep hill. A 4-wheeler jeep that will trundle up the sloping paths of the village to reach the top or an exciting elephant ride! Brightly coloured elephants with their mahouts are available below the fort for a fun ride to the top. The elephants slowly make their way up the hill on a zigzag path that leads to the Amer Fort.
Yet another remarkable beauty built by Maharaja Jai Singh II on the ‘Cheel Ka Teela’ extended hill of the Aravalli ranges! The Jaigarh Fort was constructed in order to protect and strengthen the safety of the popular, Amer Fort that was the abode of the royal Rajput family. The fort gets its name from the Maharaja himself and apart from being a palace equipped for protection, it was also one of the cannon foundries of the Rajput kingdom. The fort is blessed with a remarkable location that provides a panoramic view of the Aravalli ranges, the surrounding landscape and the Amer fort! The Jaigarh Fort houses a historical museum, artefacts and weapons used by the royal family and Jaivana Canon – the largest cannon on wheels in the world. Make sure to include this architectural marvel, a part of your Jaipur travel packages.
This fort situated on the Aravalli hills, overlooking Jaipur, once formed a strong tri-arm defence of the city along with the Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort! Nahargarh literally means ‘abode of the Tigers’ and it was so named because it witnessed the maximum number of tiger hunts by the royal family. It was built in the year 1743 by Maharaja Jai Singh II as a retreat for the royal family, given its picturesque location and perfect vantage point that provided a scenic view of the city below and the surrounding landscapes. The architecture used in the fort is mostly of a mix of Indo-European style and the main highlight of the fort is the ‘Madhavendra Bhavan’ – zenana quarters for the royal ladies that consisted of 12 identical suites (2-floored apartments) on either side of the building. Impress your lady love by including this fort in your Jaipur tour package for couple.
End the day with a sumptuous meal at any of the below restaurant options in Jaipur that offer cuisines ranging from local Rajasthani fare to international variety – Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar (LMB), Tapri Central, Handi, Govindam Retreat, 1135 AD, Spice Court, Samode Haveli, Anokhi Café, Rawat Mishtan Bhandar, Cinnamon, Saba Haveli, Sheesh Mahal and Dragon House.
Back to Pavilion!
Head back home today from the wonderful Jaipur city! Catch a flight back home with some amazing memories and experiences of the pink city that will stay with you forever. If you do not have a holiday on this day, you can reach your destination by an early morning flight and resume work on the same day. If you have a holiday on this day, you can probably spend the first half of the day, shopping at the old city markets or simply splurging on a good meal (breakfast or lunch). Most of the well-known and budget hotels in Jaipur, usually have restaurants that offer all dining options and you can simply take advantage of their sumptuous fare, at your own leisure. Catch a flight back home in the evening with a heavy but happy heart that is completely satisfied by the encounter of Jaipur City!
That’s the weekend plan we suggest! More importantly, it is essential to plan a weekend trip that suits your preference, convenience and of course, your budget. If you think you want to go in a different direction altogether and enjoy some adventures instead of the historical aspect of the city, Jaipur can offer exciting adventurous activities too (Ziplining at Neemrana Fort, Hot Air Balloon Ride at Amer Fort, Cycling tours of Jaipur City, Jeep Safari of Nahargarh Sanctuary). While booking hotels in Jaipur, you can either opt for budget-friendly comfortable stay options or you can spend your weekend in a lavish, luxurious 5-star retreat that will rejuvenate all your senses. The choice is yours and so is the weekend! We are here to tell you that, Jaipur as a weekend option is very much possible and you can definitely put it on your checklist when you think of exploring someplace legendary for your next weekend trip. After all, there is no other city, no other state that will welcome you with such warmth and hospitality… Padharo Mhare Des!