If you have a day or two to spare in Jaipur, Rajasthan this is my recommendation.
Jaipur,the fabled Pink city was built in 1727 by Maharajah Jai Singh who was an avid astrologer.He moved his city from the hilly amber to the flat Jaipur where he could set up an amazing observatory that still exists today. So any trip to Jaipur should begin with a visit to the stunningly beautiful Amber Palace.
The Amber Palace is majestic and exquisite, the Sheesh Mahal or mirrored palace must be seen to be believed. I always use my favourite guide who brings the place to life with his stories of the concubines and princes and leads us through secret passage ways. He is 84 years old and a cultural gem himself, Mr Battacharya. He personally showed JfK and Jackie through the palace years ago.
Following the palace, I like to see the Jantar Mantar, the royal observatory with its geometric measuring devices so accurate that you can set your watch by them.
While you are in the old city neighbourhood check out the Palace of the winds, the Hawa Mahal it is just around the corner and is a charming facade that the ladies of the court would watch the passing parades.
By now you will need a break, so I usually swing off to the best cafe in town. Anokhi.
Here you can eat the best salads safely topped with goats cheese and walnuts and much more. Everything is yummy. Once refreshed I head next door to their boutique,famous for hand block printed textiles in great styles and of silk or organic cotton.
Other great boutiques nearby include Jaipur Modern, Rasa, Fab India and Teatro dhora.
Once done here it is time to hit the famous bazaars of Jaipur, with whole lanes dedicated to bangles and shoes and much more. You can spend days in here and still need more time.
By now it is cocktail hour and one of the best spots is the Rambagh Palace at the Polo Bar , they make great Bloody Marys.
There are so many great things to do in Jaipur and two of my greatest experiences here are visiting the rescued elephants at Elefantastic and having my photo taken by Mr Chand witha 150 year old plus Zeiss camera. He then developed the photos right there on the street.
I will be spending three days in Jaipur on my next womens tour , the Boho Luxe tour.