Thursday, April 6, 2017

Jaipur: Exploring Royal Marvels of the Pink City

As part of my study tour to Digantar, I happened to be in Jaipur, the famous pink city, and also it happened to be my first time in Rajasthan. I wasted no chance to explore as much I could! Even though I was there in the month of March, early summers, heat was still bearable and I loved being there. I could not see all of it and I have promised myself to comeback to see Rajasthan soon! You know- Jai Jai connection also works!
Welcome to Jaipur

The evening I reached Jaipur, I took an uber to Amer fort! It was such a delight to see the whole stretch of fort wall beautifully decorate the Aravali hills. A small climb up in the fort leads to spacious palace waranda. We bought tickets there and went further up to explore the Diwan-i-Aam, or "Hall of Public Audience", the Diwan-i-Khas, or "Hall of Private Audience” and the Sheesh Mahal or the mirror palace. The view from any window of these palaces are just breathtaking- where you can sight most part of the city, lakes, roads and more importantly, the breeze that is hitting you soothes you immensely! Hammams or Turkish bathing tub definitely remains in your memory and so does the the maggi & chai you had while sitting in the park below!
Hawa Mahal

From Amer fort, I went to Chokhi Dhani for dinner. Village set up inside is quite fascinating and before we explored it, we treated ourselves with authentic Rajasthani thali- which consisted of signature dal bati churma to amazing kadi! It’s amazing to enjoy these folk arts and dance- once your tummy is full and there is rope beds to rest and there is open sky with twinkling stars to gaze… life is good!
Sheesh Mahal in Amer Fort

Next day, after work, we had a chance to visit Nahargarh fort, which is located next to Amer and also in good altitude. By chance, we visited beautiful amphitheater first, which happens to be the masti ki paathshala of Rang De Basanti (RDB) movie. As we walked ahead ignoring the wax museum, the royal Madhvendra palace standing tall with few tries with no leaves- made us skip some beats! Once you enter the palace, the sight is mesmerising. Of all the palaces I have seen, I would rate this one in top of my list. We spent next hour exploring the palace and climbing up the terrace for more breathtaking views of Jaipur! We spotted Jal Mahal or “Palace in the middle of a lake” from there and we did take a stroll at Jal Mahal in the evening. There are good number of autowallahs to take you down to city from Nahargarh fort and we hired one. He was courteous enough to show us the spot where Aamir Khan was film-shot drinking and falling to lake in RDB and also to stop at a chai point in middle of nowhere where you can sip the chai with hill breeze and galaxy view of Jaipur with Aravali!
Madhvendra Palace

Hawa Mahal, situated in the centre of pink city is the iconic place and most of us would have seen it’s structure looking like a crown in many advertisements. I used cloak room here to park my luggage before I took the stroll inside. It’s beautiful to catch glimpse of the busy streets, Jantar Mantar and rest of city palace complex from the Hawa Mahal, which is in the terrace of the whole structure. 

I missed being at Jaigarh fort and checking out Jantar Mantar in detail. Ofcourse, I missed a lot on catching up with light and sound shows at all the above locations I explored. And there were so many buildings with historical importance in every nook and corner- it caught my attention but could not get time. So there is always a next time!
Masti Ki Paathshala

While in Jaipur- I indeed had a good feast of food. It started with Chokhi Dhani to Rawat Mistan Bhandar to Khandwa Haveli to Falahaar in Bapu bazaar which offered sabudana specials to roadside poha to sugarcane juice to lot of nimbu paani- you know avoiding innumerable Cafe Coffee Days was a challenge and supporting local entrepreneurs to beat the heat was delightful!
This blog would be incomplete if you don't speak about the awesome internet wi-fi supported by Google at the Jaipur railway station! What speed! Experienced Digital India for sure here :)