Monday, 11 August 2014

Jaipur - The Pink City


Today we were all set to explore the Pink City – Jaipur. We started our day with Amber Fort.

Amber Fort is 10 Kms from Jaipur on the Delhi – Jaipur highway. The fort is on a hill and takes about 10 mins to climb by car. You can also enjoy an elephant ride from the base of the fort to the entry gate of the fort.

Elephant Ride
Amber fort was built by Maharaja Man Singhji with editions later by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singhji.

Most beautiful part of the fort is the Sheesh Mahal (Glass Chamber).

Panoramic View of Sheesh Mahal
Window screens in the fort offers a wonderful view of the Aravalli ranges and the Maota lake below.

Garden at the Maota Lake
Amber Fort is indeed beautiful and a must visit on your trip to Jaipur. It is one of the best maintained forts that I have seen. Keep lot of time in hand when you visit Amber. It is so majestic and vast that 2 hours would seem less.

An artist at Amber Fort
Next to visit was the Jaigarh fort.

Jaigarh Fort is 1 Km away from Amber Fort. It is located on the top of a hill and it is said to be build for security and safety of Amber Fort and the city.

The fort displays the massive and the World’s largest cannon on Wheels named “Jaivana”. This cannon is the major attraction of Jaigarh. It is has been used only once in its entire lifetime.
We skipped Nahargarh Fort as we were already behind schedule.

Jaivana at Jaigarh Fort
Next we headed to Jal Mahal. It is a huge palace in the middle of a lake. Entry to Jal Mahal is not permitted. We took pictures from outside. It looked like a Mahal floating in the middle of the lake. There are lot of people selling food items, toys etc on the road from where the tourist halt to catch a glimpse of the Palace.

Jal Mahal
After taking few pictures of Jal Mahal and enjoying bhutta we moved towards Gaitore Ki Chatriya (Cenotaphs). Our driver was not aware of this monument and therefore after stopping over few times for directions we reached Gaitore Ki Chatriya – the royal crematorium. Whenever a king or a member of his immediate family (Except Queen/ Queens) passes away, their final rites are done here and a tomb is built in their memory. These Chatriya are built in pure white marble with beautiful and delicate designs.

Gaitore Ki Chatriya
We were very hungry by now and therefore we stopped over at a restaurant suggested by our driver for lunch. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant but the lunch was simple and fulfilling.

After a satisfied lunch we headed one of the most famous tourist attraction of Jaipur, The City Palace.

The City Palace is huge and therefore will suggest that you keep two to three hours in hand for the same.

Panoramic View of City Palace
There is a display of buggies used by the royals earlier at the entrance gate.

Another Panoramic View of City Palace
There are beautiful galleries over-looking a courtyard in the City Palace. The one in the photograph above has been painted like a peacock. 

Just next to the City Palace is Jantar Mantar. I remember going to Jantar Mantar of Delhi in our school trip. Jantar Mantar showcases the brilliance of Indian Astronomy. It is a touristy place is very crowded. It has various complex scientific instruments that can only be understood with a help of a guide. Though on every instrument a detailed board about its use is displayed but it is always better to have a guide to take you through the same.

Along the main street of the city is situated Hawa Mahal with beautifully crafted windows made of sandstone. Hawa Mahal was built at a time when the women of the royal family observed a strict purdah. The women would watch the everyday life on the streets from the windows of the Hawa Mahal without them being watched by anyone. Hawa Mahal is a sight to watch.

Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal is situated in the midst of a popular market.

The bazaars of Jaipur have a timeless appeal – the places where one can shop for exotic blue pottery, Rajasthani souvenirs, tie-and dye fabrics, lac bangles, semi-precious stones and gems and footwear popularly known as ‘jutis’. The bazaars also treasure Kundan and Meenakari work.

We shopped for lac bagles, jutis for everyone in the house as souvenirs from Jaipur.
We were very tired by the time we were though with shopping and headed to our hotel to rest for an hour before dinner.

For dinner we went to Santosh Bhojnalaya which was walking distance from our hotel. A Rajasthani Thali awaits us with gatte ki subzi, dal baati and churma. After a heavy dinner seeped in ghee we hit the bed.

Tomorrow we will bid good bye to Capital of Rajasthan and head to the Ajmer – Dargah Sharif and the holy city of Pushkar. 

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