Visiting Jaipur?-Think again.
Last week I was in Jaipur-Pink City of India, one of the most visiting cities in India. That’s why I was not publishing anything last week. If you are also planning to visit Jaipur then think again. You are planning to make a dream tour but corruption and cheat people can spoil your dream.
First of all, if you are going by train or bus then make sure don’t go in rainy season, because roads are full of water, mud and holes. I went by train with my relatives. When we came outside station a big group of auto and taxi people were waiting us. But make sure don’t hire taxi or auto from station because they charge high. Instead of them, come outside station and for 3-4 minute walk you will get reward because outside station auto will be cheap then inside station. But still it is high, when they see you with luggage then you are easy prey because you are outsider so you will pay high. No auto is ready to go by meter calculation which is government approved method. Anyway we hired an auto for about 1 k.m. only who charged Rs 50/- only. But by meter it would be Rs 15/- only and we were Indian, so you can think how much they can charge to a foreigner. Best way, ask someone the distance and then 15/- for first K.m. after that about 6/- per k.m. and then bargain for price.
We hired a budget hotel as didn’t want to spend too much money on only sleeping in night. I bargain to reduce price and it is good thing you must negotiate all hotels can reduce prices. Sometime I negotiate to 50% also (it is really true). We came to room it was not best but for price it was ok and everything was there TV, cooler, attached bathroom. But when we tried TV then there was no cable signal. So to complain to manager I picked the phone but phone was also not working. So I came down. Manager told me due to rain TV and phones are not working. But I told that while coming down I heard TV noise in some rooms. He told in some room it is working. So I asked to change the room. He agreed and we took a room in which TV was working. But after shifting we saw there was no cooler in that room. So I complained again by going down (phone was not working in that room also). He told as I negotiate so its room rent is equal to that reduced price so all my negotiation was in vain. We were shifted to a cheap room for which I agreed. So always check everything that it is working and negotiate for rates.
Next day we hired auto again for taxi stand, it was only 5 minute walk away. But as we didn’t know and auto charged 30/- for this (which is really a fraud). Taxi charges were ok but we heard all conditions ; parking charges were not included and there was time bound also. So I negotiate again, he was asking for 600/- but now it was for 500/-. We started from ‘Raj Mandir Cinema’. It is a cinema it was told that it is great inside but inside we were not allowed as taxi can’t go inside. So we saw Raj Mandir but also didn’t saw because we didn’t go inside. Anyway we were on the way. When we went to ‘City Palace’ we paid Rs. 50/- for camera use. But when I tried to take picture inside then security stopped me. I show them receipt of camera use then he told that it is for outside only. What the hell…. Then why I paid for camera? Outside many people were using camera that didn’t pay for camera. So if you are going ‘City Palace’ don’t pay for camera as they allow taking camera with you without paying also and didn’t allow using inside after paying also. This happen to other forts also. So keep this in mind.
Every food item is sold more than MRP. You can negotiate. Cold drinks are normally 5/- extra everywhere in forts and visiting places, sometime they ask more 7/- Rs. than MRP also. Near bus stand I tried to purchase ‘Limca’. It was in scheme 600+ 150 ml free. They asked for 35/-. I saw MRP it was 30/- I asked this so shopkeeper replied that it is extra quantity so he is charging extra. Like he himself is giving free this. I took the small one without scheme and pay as MRP. I got some story plot in mind. Normally I note it in my smart phone. But I wanted to write and I didn’t bring my laptop with me. So I purchase a pen and a small notebook. I purchased Rs. 5/- pen in 10/- (double) and notebook he charged Rs. 13/- but when I saw MRP it was 10/- only. So I objected so he told that it is old price but he got me new with MRP 13/-. But it got more pages than before. So you must always negotiate so that you can get things on MRP only (selling more than MRP is illegal but in Jaipur government didn’t care after all outsiders don’t vote for them.)
When I check out of hotel then they charged 10% as surcharged. I objected then manager told me it is tax. As I am myself a chartered accountant I told him that it is not applicable on him and if yes, then show me proof for paying tax. He opened the table drawer and took out a board captioned “10% surcharge extra” which was not on desk so I didn’t see it before. I again asked for proof of paying tax. He told that he will not but he do pay tax. So I argued and he removed the so called tax amount. You must ask before taking hotel whether charges are inclusive or exclusive of tax. Most budget hotels don’t pay tax so you can argue for this. I saved money by this in many hotels. Big and five star hotel really pay all taxes so you can’t negotiate for tax in them. If they are charging tax then ask for formal bill with Tin (for sales tax) and Service tax No mentioned on the bill.
Jaipur is really worth seeing. Forts and other visiting places are good but security of luggage and this type of cheating is really high. So be careful and keep in mind the above notes.