My sister was visiting us and we wanted to go somewhere for new year’s.
“Let’s go to Jaipur cried the child in me who always wanted to go there but somehow every trip that I had planned got cancelled” and to my liking my family agreed to it 😉
We checked for tickets but since it was a last minute plan the Double Decker train which is the most convenient option had no seats left. “Let’s book a cab instead we would anyways need one in Jaipur so why not we take it from here itself” said my genius sister and since this idea made complete sense we availed the MakeMyTrip outstation service and luckily was successful in booking a cab even a day prior to our travel day. I was using this service for the first time and therefore was a bit tensed on how the driver, the quality of seats and the ride would be but it was unexpectedly great. The cab arrived for the pickup on time, it was clean, smelled fresh and the driver was friendly. Thank you Make My Trip for this convenient service that saved our plan 😊
Excited we left for our long awaited family trip. “Finally! Jaipur here I come”. We reached there in the afternoon and believe you me every stop that we had taken since the moment we had entered Rajasthan served us great food. By the time we reached our destination it was already afternoon so we checked-in our hotel, took some rest and thought of going out for shopping (something my mom was most excited for ).
Girls if you visit Jaipur do not miss out on Bapu Bazaar, it is Jaipur’s one of the oldest markets where you can find everything like literally everything. This market even kept my brother entertained who does not really enjoy shopping but for a change caught his eyes on a very unique pair of mojris.
I will talk about this market in detail in my next blog since there is so much information to share from the collection to the bargain that you must do here xo xo.
Day 2: Jaipur has so many forts that it gets difficult to pick out the ones that you can visit in a span of 2 days.
It was 31st Dec and we went to see the Nahargarh Fort. This fort positions at the edge of the Aravali Hills overseeing the city of Jaipur and was built by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. This was the residence of the women of the royal household, it’s structure being a two-storied building comprises of suites for the Raja and his 12 Rani’s. This fort is at about 6 kms from the main city and to reach there you would need a vehicle, cars/bikes/autos, you can also get autos that drop you till the entrance of the fort. Timings of the fort are from 10 am to 5:30 pm. We reached there at around noon and the views from here were impressively scenic like you can factually get a glimpse of entire city from here and we were still wandering outside the main palace.
The palace was exquisite, its architecture being divided into 9 very similar apartments each including lobby, bedrooms, kitchen, toilet and a store. Another feature of Rajasthani architecture that immediately caught my attention was Jharokha. This not only added to the architectural beauty but also acted as a medium for the women to view the events hosted outside. There were so many Jharokha’s in this palace and also a mini bhool bhulaiya for the dasi’s to hide as soon as the King entered the Rani’s chamber.
because these closed doors at forts really fascinate me
Moving on, since it was new year’s eve and Chokhi Dhani is a must visit we decided to go there and welcome 2018 by embracing our tradition. Normally the entry fee is 700 rs. but since it was new year’s eve the charges were more than double. It costed us 1600rs per person which were totally worth it, I’ll tell you how. As soon as you enter here you get the feel of a small Rajasthan village, you are welcomed with Dhol and Tika (little red dot on the forehead). On one corner there is a full display of Rajasthan’s tradition whereas on the other the delicious Rajasthani food awaits you. Cultural folk music, kalbeliya, Puppet Show, ghoomar dance, live pottery making, camel ride, boat ride, palmistry, loads of games, mehandi wali, Cave guffa Jharna, Ethnic Costume photography and what not. This place offers you so much that you can end up spending hours here without getting bored for even a minute. There are few shopping stores as well which offer cool traditional stuff but somehow for me Bapu Bazar is the real hero as you get the same things at much lesser prices.
Coming to the best part about this place, The food ❤ … OMG! If you are a foodie then this is your Disneyland. The warmth with which you are served is so loving. They offer extremely appetizing pure vegetarian food (North Indian and Rajasthani Cuisines), you might get tired of eating but they won’t ever get tired of serving you, they also won’t let you stop 😉 Chokhi Dhani is definitely a one-stop destination for excitement, entertainment and food.
Day 3: They say that whatever you do on 1st of Jan is what you might end up doing for the rest of the year and I was in Jaipur exploring the city I had never been to earlier, such a satisfying feeling for a wanderer like me. We decided to go to Amer Fort today and cover Jal mahal on our way. Jal Mahal is probably the most peaceful sight amidst the chaos of the city which seems to float in the center of Sagar Lake. There is nothing much to do here apart from gazing at the most magnificent construction and getting some lovely pictures clicked, it being the most photographed monument.
11kms away from the main city was Amer fort, the one that I really wanted to explore. Although we missed the elephant ride ( you can experience it only till 11 am, post that only 1 elephant gives a ride till noon due to few misfortunate incidents that have happened in the past). The visiting hours of this fort are from 8 am till 6pm with an entry fee of rs. 25 per person. If you are someone who is really interested in the architecture of a place then you will be as spellbound as I was, built with red and white sandstone this fort is a remarkable example of ancient Indian architecture, “how were these forts even constructed back then without all the modern machineries and equipments that we have these days” this question always pops up in my head.
The blend of Rajput architecture with animal designs and mughal architecture with floral patters shows how secular the architecture really was, carvings on the walls and ceilings being the extraordinary aspect of this palace. It comprises of various buildings:
Diwan-e- Aam – Hall of public audience that stands on two ornamented pillars. This is where the king use to address the queries of the masses.
Sukh Mandir – The place where the queens and Kings relaxed.
Sheesh Mahal – For me this was the most beautiful part of this palace. According to the tradition back then women were not allowed to sleep in open air, and the King solved this problem by building the mirror palace, beautiful and creative carvings on the walls and ceilings were made with glass which with the reflection of light appeared as little shiny stars and this is how queens use to sleep under the stars.
Kesar Kyaari – Star shaped garden where saffron plants were planted back then ( just think about the change in the climate now and wonder what we are doing to the environment).
There are so many things to do in this fort that you would at least need an entire day to reconnoiter it completely. Listing down a few things that you can experience here:
- Elephant ride around the fort
- Light show at night
- Visit to the museum and garden inside the fort
- Panoramic sight from Char garden which offers a view of the entire Jaipur city.
- Traditional dance that takes place in the evening in Sukh Mahal.
- Puppet shows and traditional songs. These are available during dinner time.
- Really cool Turban museum which is for free and has a large collection of turbans.
- Lots of temples in the palace along with old havelies.
I don’t know about you but such cities with lots of historical significance really mesmerize me, I end up imagining how life would have been then, how the road that I’m walking on now would have been guarded by so many soldiers and cavalry. The air would have been so fresh, how instead of the mobile ringtones and car horns you would hear raag’s and alaap’s.
Jaipur treated us really well, from mouth-watering food to beautiful places, “Thankyou beta for the best start to the year said my mom to us ❤ “