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March 9, 2011

The last time I visited Jaipur I was way too small to remember anything except for the fact that we went to the zoo. This time I strongly believe I’ll never forget.

For the first time in these two years of my college life did i go out for a trip with my classmates. After months of negotiating and planning, finally when I was about to give up all hope, we somehow managed to make a dash out of the city to the exotic land of Rajasthan!

Jaipur seemed to be the perfect place to go, not too far, nor too big and neither too expensive. Over and above that Jaipur has this mystic charm about itself, with forts and palaces in plentiful and art, culture and food defining the magic of the city.

It was only after i re-visited this beautiful city that I realized why Jaipur was a hit with the foreigners. With turban and dhoti clad men riding camel carts, palaces that transport you back into time, food that makes you drool and shop-till-you-drop or go bankrupt.

Jantar Mantar is a marvel that makes you feel proud to be an Indian. This astronomical wonder leaves you amazed and in deep thought about India’s then technological advancement. I wonder where that originality has flown off too? The U.S I suppose.

Right in front of the Jantar Mantar is the City Palace. There are two things that one must must see out there. One, the royal attire up on display. Man were those kings giants or what!!?!! Meters and meters of exquisite silks and chiffons with precious stones adorned their HUGE bodies. The other thing that one just cannot miss is the inner courtyard where 4 magnificent doors stand. Decorated in green and blue Meena work with intricate designs, they take your breath away. Screeching East-European women dying to snap photographs will meanly push you out-of-the-way!

Of course there are other things to look out for too! ALL INDIANS BEWARE at the entrance of the palace they will welcome you by snapping your photograph with a huge poster of Amber fort for free. In the end if you want that photograph it’ll cost you at least 200 bucks!!

One must also not miss on the opportunity to snap photographs with the Big-Big mush men dressed in bandhgalas. Later one can unwind in the city palace’s café where a Rajasthani folk singer playing a sarangi wins your heart away with his beautiful and melodious voice!

Next stop is Amber fort, pronounced as Amer. This beautiful fort sitting atop on a hill far away from the main city is a must visit. The Shila Devi ka temple, within the fort next to the entrance, has beautiful silver doors. The Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khas have intricately carved pillars and the Sheesh Mahal is way beyond beautiful. Look out for the carved flowers on one the pillars which turns into an elephant or a serpent depending on which part you hide. Interestingly, the loos of the palace, or as the government calls them “Laterines” are a unique piece of attraction. Oh and so is the Turkish bath.

Most of the corridors leading to rooms and floors are exceedingly dark and dingy. My piece of advice to everyone is that one must carry a torch, especially girls cause it’s a bit scary when you’re alone. Also, don’t entertain men who want to snap photographs with you, it’s creepy!

The most interesting and amazing thing that amber has to offer is the sound and light show in the evening. There are 2 shows a) English 6:30-7:30 which is for Rs 200 and b) Hindi 7:30-8:30 which is for Rs 100. My advice to you is choose the hindi one, that is if you speak hindi. The English one starts to early and one has to suffer daylight for at least 15 minutes. Plus, the way they address Rajas in hindi is very funny. “Oh mighty! What a wonderful day. The scarlet sky is a good indicator of the impending glory.” HAHAHAHAHA I just can’t imagine Rajputana kings talking like that. But yes the voices and script is BEAUTIFUL!!! The light and sound show is the best that I have ever seen. When they fire the canon the lighting and sound is soooooo good that the whole place vibrates!!!

The night sky is all velvety with glittering stars, a treat for one’s eyes. The setting, the fort and the cool wind transports you to a world of your own. The whole experience leaves you mesmerized wanting a prince of your own so that you too could live in times now gone.

Chokhi Dhani on the other hand is a picnic sort of a place bustling with laughter that everyone must visit once. It’s a traditional village that has been created with camels and elephants and bullocks carts, palmists, hand-driven rides, hookahs, mehandi artists, magicians and a lot more.

The entry ticket is for Rs 350 and includes a traditional Rajasthani meal with unlimited food, in one serving they feed you so much that you feel like a stuffed turkey on thanksgiving day! It has a lot of other things too and the charges are minimal i.e Rs 10. What does one get for 10 rupees in today’s world?!!!

It captures the exotic rajasthan or maybe creates it and presents it to you on a platter. The big mustache men, the decked up women, the food, the entire atmosphere makes the western world’s idea of India seem true, in a good way though.

Jaipur is a city of charm, warmth, lassi, kachuari and splendor! Rawat ki kachauri is as good as it is famous and the soda pop for 5 bucks available on every street is fun and tasty. Wash down the heavy Rajasthani food with a glass a lassi or gorge on Kanji-Vadas. Jaipur is paradise.

Paradise for both foodies and shopaholics. Bapu bazaar, Kishanpol bazaar, Johari, Siredeori, Nehru bazaar or the Manhiharon ka rasta- places where you’ll get everything that is Rajasthani and cheap yet good quality. Every bazaar is known for a particular commodity e.g. Bapu bazaar for its saris and fabrics, Nehru bazaar for trinkets, jootis and perfumes.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2011 4:51 PM

    I lived in Rajasthan for four years and I didn’t happen to go visit Jaipur in all those four years. And now you make me feel bad with wonderful experiences you had there.

    But I had been to Jaisalmer and camped in the desert for two days. Been to sonar kila, and some and experienced a back breaking 2 hour camel safari in those sand dunes. It was some 6 years ago and I still remember all that so well. You made me nostalgic.

    And hey, some of those pictures are not loading at all. check them out.

    • March 16, 2011 12:04 PM

      Yeah i’ve been to bikaner and jaisalmer and its really amazing

  2. March 23, 2011 12:55 PM

    Very helpful and well composed.


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