Jaipur was our last stop in Rajasthan. The pink city surprised me in many ways. I dint expect it too be so crowded, I din’t expect it to be so touristy and I dint expect it to be so Royal. But it was all that and more.
We arrived quiet late in Jaipur and had no idea whatsoever that it would be so different in the morning. We zoomed past so many cars, buses, scooters and lots and lots of people evry time we went out to visit a place. In the beginning it was like the city was testing my patience with so much traffic and chaos but eventually and slowly the city grew on me. And at the end of journey and I kind of liked this place.
What to see :-
Hawa Mahal :- Hawa Mahal is located in a crowded street. It’s beautifully made from the outside with lots and lots of window…for air to pass in. Hence, the name Hawa Mahal- the palace of wind. It is a place where the ladies from the royal family used to sit and watch the people go by as they were not allowed to come out in the open.It was their idea of evening entertainment. You can go inside as well but due to lack of time, and because a lot of people said it’s not that great inside, we decided to skip it. I wish the authorities took a little effort to maintain the place and keep it clean.
Jaipur City Palace :- The City Palace is built in true Rajputana style , and a part of the palace is still the residence of the royalty. You are however, not allowed to enter that part. Luckily for us, the day we arrived at City Palace the royal family was expecting a few guests and so we could witness a grand procession of horses, camels, elephants of the royal family welcoming the guests in true royal style. But once the guests went inside, the gates were closed. But nevertheless it was a magical experience. The part open for tourists houses big courtyards, fountains, gardens and museums which are well maintained and preserved. The architecture is something that will make you sit down and take notice. One of the displays that caught my attention was two magnificient silver urns which were used to carry water for the king whenever he went on a trip. Unfortunately,you are not allowed to take a picture of it.
Amber fort :- Amber fort also pronounced as Amer fort is situated in Amer, 11kms or so from Jaipur. You have to take an Elephant ride to go up there, trust me the ride is worth it and luckily for us our elephant and the rider both were entertaining , we had a ball of a time with them. Once up you will be mesmerised by the beauty of the palace, but what puts you off at the same time is the hundreds and hundreds of visitors, which makes the place super crowded. The palace is full of courtyards, palaces inside each with a story to be told. A lot of movies have been shot here, and you are also told stories of how jodha bai of Jodha Akbar fame used to live here. One marvels, at the largeness of this place. It amazes me as to so much detailing must have gone into designing the interiors which is well preserved. While there I could visualize the lives led by the Rajput royalty.
Jal mahal :- it’s impossible to drive past this place while visiting Jaipur. It’s on your way to Amber fort , the most sort after tourist attraction in Jaipur. Unfortunately, you can’t go inside, and so the place is not that crowded. Tourists just stop by to take some pictures enroute amber fort. But it’s a perfect place to unwind in the evening, with a cup of tea in hand, a walk by lake makes you appreciate this beauty called Jal mahal…especially during sunset. The palace is half submerged in the water.. And hence remains cool from inside. Jaipur is usually hot in the summers. So some say This was used a getaway palace by the king back then during summers. While some say, it was built so that the royalty could do some duck hunting as pastime without having to sit in an uncomfortable boat. It however, surprises me how the palace has stood the test of time and weather without corrosion despite being in the water for so long.
Jantar mantar :- What looks like a sculpture park full of modern art to one, is actually a place full of astronomical instruments. It was built during the end of Mughal era , and allowed common people to learn about the science involved in astronomy. Instruments of marble and stone were used for tracking the movement of stars and planets. It also predicted the arrival of the monsoons. It is still used to forecast opportune time and date for special occasions like weddings. Even if you are not into astronomy, give it a try as this place is worth a visit.
Jaipur & shopping :- Shopping & Jaipur to hand in hand. The old city of Jaipur is full of shops, markets and is a treat for shopoholic’s. Johri bazaar ,chand pole bazaar, tripoli bazaar, Bapu bazaar are all a Shoppers haven. From jewellery, to bags, to textiles especially the famous Rajasthani bandhani, to handicrafts, puppets, arts, mojdi’s etc you name it they have it. Jaipur is also famous for blue pottery and you will find a lot of showrooms on your way to Amber fort.
Chokhi Dhaani :- To experience the whole of Rajasthan under one roof head straight to Chokhi Dhaani at night . With different dance shows, cultural activities, entertainment, mehendi stalls, astrologers and stalls selling products from rajasthan the palace is an experience in itself. Its a complete rajasthani village experience. And then you can savour some rajasthani food in the end which is super delicious.