If you’re looking forward to a unique vacation this summer, you might want to book a trip to India. Below are the oddest activities you can do on vacation, and you can do them all while you’re in Jaipur.
This visit is probably those who want to be wowed by a total stranger recounting everything that happened in his or her past. As for “fortune telling”, we find the readings a bit too generically pleasant to be precise. Should you find yourself in Jantar Mantar, look for the board which announces the Rajasthan Astrological Council & Research Institute. This is a small office neatly tucked away in the observatory.
Dr. Vinod Vashtri will read your palm and give you a computer-generated Hindu-style horoscope reading. While the actual readings about your future will tend to be general and generally pleasant, the office is still worth the visit. After all, you wouldn’t really want someone psyching you out of all the goodness out there just because they see something that you don’t. General fair warnings which can help you dodge the bad mojo also come in handy.
See the mummy
Who says mummies are only found in Egypt? In Jaipur, when you visit the Albert Hall Museum, you’ll find one of these mummies and other historical artifacts from India and other parts of the world. The Ptolemic-era mummy from Egypt is still, of course, the main highlight in the museum, but since it is situated in India, you can expect a lot of archeological findings from that part of the world.
There is also ancient Japanese and Chinese pottery displayed at the museum, so history buffs and collectors will never run out of things to admire. It’s better to dodge the tour guides altogether, though. Instead, just rent one of those audio guides with a soothing sitar playing in the background. You’ll be able to walk through the museum leisurely.
These audio guides last for 60 minutes and cost $4. If you think it’s pricy, you’re wrong. It’s worth every cent.
Night tour’s last stop
Intriguing? We think so, too. The Rajasthan Tourism office offers an evening tour across Jaipur, and it’s probably the best view you’ll get of the city. Preferably for five people, you’ll be taken through a guided tour of all the monuments and main landmarks of the city. While you’ll probably see next to nothing save for black silhouettes throughout the tour, it’s not all that bad.
By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what you paid for. The Nahargarh Fort which sits at the Aravalli hills will leave you in awe. The city’s night lights will look like absolutely stellar from this vantage point, and it’s something you mustn’t miss out on if you’re in Jaipur.
Taste the thali
You haven’t really experienced Jaipur until you’ve tasted the city’s local dishes. While most of them are glistening with ghee, you can taste the best local dishes in town simply by ordering this plateful of goodies called thali. This is basically a set-menu, complete with the appetizer, main course, and dessert.
The restaurant located at LMB is one of the best places to go to for excellent Rajasthani thali. If you want all that jazz, though, you might want to go a bit more upscale. At the Om Tower, the thali is just as good. It’s a revolving restaurant, and you’ll be entertained by live performers while you dine.
If you’re going to go this far away from home, you might as well bring something memorable back to the homeland. Jaipur is an old city, and travelers will never have a hard time looking for something good to bring home. The question is, how does one choose?
Why not bring back a photo of yourself, owned by Tikam Chand? The effect of the 150-year-old camera can’t be matched by those fancy digital photo editors. Shot in black and white, the photo will seem like it’s a photo of yourself, only you were transported in the 1950s. That old camera in its rickety tripod is practically Jaipur’s time machine.