Thrifting at Central Market

A Saturday Flea Market in the Pink City.

On a Saturday morning, if you find yourself in the middle of the Pink City, then wonder round the back of City Palace and head to Central Market. There you’ll find - popping up between the regular vegetable stands and the marigolds - some amazing thrift stalls that gather here on a Saturday at which point you can settle in for a few hours of browsing trying to find that little something. Stalls here sell everything, it’s a playground for bargain hunters. There’s tool stands selling car jacks and wrenches, homeware stands selling crockery, radios, trunks, books and other random collectables and toy stands where you can find paint pots and roller blades, badminton racquets and bicycles to name just a few of the possibilities. There are clothes and shoe stands too to make sure all needs are catered for! Ideally get there before 8am and you can scan the stalls as they are being set up and be sure not to miss what you’re after or just enjoy the slightly cooler streets before the morning sun starts to heat up. 

Behind the main street stretches the beautiful flower market where sari’s are filled to overflowing with orange and yellow marigolds. Most people around you head there to do their daily deals and gather their goods while others take the more laid back approach and chill on their bikes with a chai to watch the day’s trading, whatever takes your fancy. 

Also nearby are the garden’s of Shri Govind Dev Ji Temple there is a lovely park just off the back of the market. Relax after your morning of bargaining and watch the monkeys do what monkeys do!

 

Nahargarh Fort

Dusty pink skies and stunning city views. 

One of the many things Jaipur has in abundance are forts. These are all worth a visit in their own right but sometimes just being in the grounds is enough to get your fix. One of the popular hang outs at sunset for an evening beer is the open air Padao restaurant at Nahargarh Fort.

Built overlooking the city with its walls extending across the surrounding hills, the fort once formed a strong defence ring with Amer and Jaigarh. Nahargarh, meaning ‘abode of tigers’, is also known as Tiger fort and I have heard tales of the odd tiger being spotted on the drive back down so there’s always the added bonus of a chance encounter after a few drinks here!

To get to this amazing view point you need to walk the snaking trail up the side of the cliff. You can drive of course, however the sense of scale you get walking up and looking back down over Jaipur is incredible and well worth the effort! Plus, you can work up your appetite for that Kingfisher at the top! The restaurant entrance fee is a little unnecessary but if it makes it less painful it does get you a complementary soft drink or chai…then of course get yourself some beers and watch the sunset light up the city with that beautiful desert pink haze.

Nahargarh Fort, Amer Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302001

 

The Pink City

The early risers view of the Pink City.

Jaipur, the capital of one of India's most colourful state, boasts the beautiful and thriving Pink City. Built in 1727, it was the first planned city in India and is a must see if you're in Rajasthan. In 1876, every wall was painted pink - the traditional colour of hospitality to welcome Queen Victoria - and so 'The Pink City' was born.

Today, the old city is a busy trading hub. Famous for its palaces and impressive array of goods, it's easy to spend hours wandering the streets and getting lost in the many bazaars. If shopping doesn't appeal to you, perhaps setting your alarm for a mildly early 3:30am does.

Reach Sanganeri Gate by 4am and it'll be just you, a couple of stray dogs and the odd cow for company. Stroll through the deserted streets of Johari Bazaar to Hawa Mahal (The Palace of the Winds), take a left towards Chandpol Bazaar and by 5am you'll be able to admire the first traders laying out their marigolds ready for the day ahead. Grab a chai from a chai wallah and enjoy the sunrise over the stunning skyline before heading off to start your day. 

Squeeze this into your morning and see the Pink City come alive.