in sanskrit ‘chitra’ means ‘picture’ and ‘katha’ means ‘story’. and thus the name literally means ‘a pictorial story’. rajasthan, a land of chivalrous warriors, legendary kings, beautiful maidens and rich traditions has always been famous for its inspiring folktales. come and stay with us in our extended home to bite a story, share the sun, smell the fresh sand and also to borrow some vibrant colours for your memory lane.
Language Assistance
if you are a foreign national or an indian from a southern or eastern state, make sure you are prepared to derive the best. for this you may want to learn a few nuances of which will get you around. and by the way, you will also enjoy shocking the wits of all the locals, in a pleasant sort of way!
when you travel (local transport)
to get from airport/railway station/bus stand
how much to get to ajmer road, chitra katha hotel?
Local language: ajmer road pe chitra katha jaane ka kitna loge`bhaiya?
well, everyone reacts well to love, so address them in a friendly form by calling them bhaiya/ bhai-saab – it means ‘elder brother’ – we assure the ride will be smooth.
if the man refuses to use the auto/taxi meter and quotes a random fare. you should tell him - “no way, this is too much, please go by the meter”
local language: ‘na-hi, na-hi, yeh toh ba-hot zyaa-da hai… please meter se chal-e-ye’ now a guy who has the meter in working condition will use it (in most of the cases). the one who does not,will charge you a reasonable fare. you will have to trust - well, it makes the world go round.
when you shop
when scouting for a location
How far is _______________ from here (in kilometers)?
this ‘blank’ is the location where you want to go to. let’s assume you want to go to the ‘city museum.
Local language: yeh ‘city museum’ yahan se kitne kilometer dur hai?’
How much it would cost me to travel by your auto?
Local language: Auto se jaa-ne ka kit-na loge, bhiya?
bhaiya = buddy/ elder brother (depends on how you pitch it). keep throwing it every now and then. it works. in case you encounter a female shop owner (rare scenario), call her “be-hen-ji or amma ji” if she is old or “di-di” if she is young enough and bubbly.
at the showrooms and shops (non-branded, local shops)
show me that one, please!
local language: woh wala dikha-i-ye, please!
make sure you point in the right direction and eventually lead him to the exact shelf and product you wish to check. just like rest of the world, while window shopping doesn’t cost a thing in jaipur as well, you will find shopkeepers more eager than you to show their wares. They truly don’t mind the effort, even if you don’t buy anything.
At street side vendors
if you spot something you would like to buy and want to ask - how much for this one?
Local language: bhiya, yeh kai-se diya?
it’s just a colloquial way of asking, ‘how much would you charge me for this’
when you eat
if you would like the food not to be too spicy
local language: ‘bhaiya! zyaa-da teek-ha mat bana-iye-ga… please’ teekha – is hot/spicy
it is very nice
local language: bahut ach-ha hai!!!
and we are sure you will be using that one quite often ;)
whenever, wherever
asking a favour
  would you please play some traditional folk music for us?
local language: kya aap ham-e-in apna koi lok-geet sun-aa-yen-ge??
to get in the good books of the locals
  i adore your town.
local language: ham-e-in aap-ka she-her ba-hot pya-ra laga.
  i will come back for sure!
local language: hum za-roor wapas aa-yen-ge bhiya!
use this when the bargain is not working or when you want to avoid any inconvenient situation.
bargaining tips – now, these 6 steps are worth a million dollars!
1. anything they quote, just act as if you are pondering and then walk away, reluctantly. let him know that you were interested
2. more often than not, you will find the vendor behind you, asking you for the ‘final price.’
3. tell him a price that’s almost half of it. (e.g. if he quotes 5000 tell him 2800)
4. he won’t agree but will surely bring it down to something reasonable like; 3500
5. this is the time to hit and seal. quote a middle figure 3200, handover cash and smile
woila! you have your bargain and the deal
you can bargain on almost anything here, trust us, anything.
(important: don’t try this on us – we won’t succumb to our own age-old techniques. we know them better!)