National Geographic: The Gems of Jaipur

Jaipur was my favorite place on my tour of India, including staying at the Oberoi Rajvilas, this fall.  Here is my post on National Geographic's blog. Enjoy! 

"The distinctive shade of terra-cotta pink is what I first noticed about Jaipur, India, the capital city of Rajasthan, the Land of Kings. Bazaars, gardens, and palaces show flashes of pink, a color with historic roots. Back in 1853, the city draped itself in this warm hue to welcome Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, on a royal visit.  Now, all buildings facing the main street within the city walls must maintain the pink color.

Behind this bright color is an equally vibrant city. Driving from the heart of Jaipur to my hotel on the outskirts of town, I saw the chaos of daily life on full display–bustling barber shops, games of catch, cooking around a fire, and friends sharing a drink.

During my time in Jaipur I explored the history, royal heritage, intricate architecture, and, of course, the shopping that it is known for. Here are a few of my favorite discoveries:

 

Shopping

You’ll find fabulous goods for sale in Jaipur. Gem Palace is still run by the same family that established the shop in 1852. Even if it’s out of your price range, you’ll still enjoy the warmth of the staff and feeling like a queen while you try on millions of dollars’ worth of jewels. If you’re looking for something within budget, seek out the high-quality goat, camel, and water buffalo leather markets. Central Jaipur has hundreds of stalls to peruse, and you can barter with the owners. 

Read the rest here