Jaipur, the Pink City. Its at an arm’s distance from Delhi courtesy wide-n-quick NH8 and the toll road, even though it charges a bomb…Read More
One of the most popular cities of India on the International Tourism map is the heritage city of Jaipur. It is the capital of Rajasthan, the state reminiscent of royalty and exuding a regal aura even in the modern times. Jaipur is also known as the ‘Pink City’ because Maharaja Man Singh II ordered his city painted a pretty pink in honour of the visiting Prince of Wales in 1876. The city abounds in heritage sites and provides a plethora of shopping opportunities.
City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Amber Fort, Sisodia Palace and Garden and Jal Mahal Palace are some fascinating monuments that offer a walk through time. Birla Temple, Govind Devji Temple, Jai Niwas Bagh, Ram Niwas Garden and zoo, Government Central Museum, Dolls Museum and Wonderland Amusement Park are other places of interest. A visit to Chokhi Dhani an ethnic village resort is a unique experience and takes one through the rich and vivid culture of the state including bullock cart rides, puppet shows, parrot fortune teller, Kalbeliya Dance, and not to forget the authentic Rajasthani culinary dishes.
Boating at Ramgarh Lake, hot air ballooning, sky diving and camel and elephant safaris are also some activities that can be experienced in Jaipur. The pink city is well connected by air, rail and road.
Best time to visit: October to March
Languages spoken: Dhundhari, Hindi, English
Climate: Hot and dry summers and a cold sometimes freezing winter.
Heritage Sites: City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Amber Fort, Sisodia Palace and Garden, Jal Mahal Palace
Fun places and Knowledge centres: Chokhi Dhani, Jai Niwas Bagh, Ram Niwas Garden and zoo, Government Central Museum, Dolls Museum, Wonderland Amusement Park
Holy places: Birla Temple, Govind Devji Temple
Activities and Adventure Tourism: Boating at Ramgarh Lake, hot air ballooning, sky diving, camel safari, elephant safari
A road trip starting from Delhi to Jodhpur, then over to Jaisalmer and a return back via Bikaner is an amazing experience. It is always advisable to start the journey at the break of dawn to avoid the rush hour. We started around 3:00 AM (did I say break of dawn?) and were in Jaipur by 7.00 AM. The Delhi-Jaipur Highway (NH-8) is under construction for expansion. Be prepared to face a lot of mud & deep craters on the roads. We still managed to go maintain a speed of 60-70 Kmph and sometimes accelerated to about 110 kmph. Good facilities for breakfast and refreshments along the highway provided by Rajasthan Tourism & other privately held outlets make the journey comfortable.Read More
It was Wednesday evening when Sourabh came & asked to go out of Delhi on Weekend. Immediately everybody started looking at him & responded yes in a very strange way. This reaction was not due to the short notice for outing but everybody was surprised that he is not going home on the weekend. Without giving any thought to this idea, everybody said Yes & then asked where you want to go? Ultimately Jaipur was selected & we planned to leave early morning of Saturday.Read More
So, we moved ahead and found the third jewel of this marvelous city, i.e., Hawa Mahal. Standing tall and illuminated, this Mahal had seen off the day of crowded markets and polluted vehicles. The Hawa Mahal told me… “O Traveller! I was built for providing cool air and shelter. My structure was befitting the queens. Pollution is that I am smoking everyday and night, days after days, years after years and generations after generations.” I consoled him in my mind and said “O worthy Palace! Soils made you and soils you would become….The respect you get is the respect you deserve. Stand tall till your strength permits”.
After meeting with the three jewels of this great city, we drove ahead towards the new township. The Janpath of Jaipur leads to the mighty building of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, the seat of power in democracy. It was almost 11 pm and we had to take rest for the journey next day. Still, I stopped in the middle of the Janpath. The building was trying to say something. It told me… “O Travellor! I am the power today. Don’t you agree? Or, dare not disagree.” I smiled in my mind and replied “O worthy building! Come to me after 150 years. I will see you with pride and anoint you with my tears, if your power still remained intact”.Read More
But leaving the roads apart, when I entered Chand Baori, a WOW just came out from my mouth. I mean Neemrana Stepwell was massive, but this one is like some aliens came to build it. This stepwell is enormous and mind-blowing & now I understand that why a scene of Batman 2008 was filmed here. There is no parallel of such structure in India.Read More
Once it came, there was lot of confusion about the number of buses, seats etc. and it ate away lot of precious time. We eventually got seats in the front of the bus. The bus then went around picking up people from RTDC hotels. Anyways, once everyone settled we began the tour. Our guide was an interesting character to be seen apart from the attractions. He wore a listening device in ear, kohl in eyes, safari suit with a hat and broken english. We visited Hawa Mahal but did not stop, then Jantar Mantar, City Palace and then a handicraft store.Read More
As we came out of the hotel, It started raining but we were prepared for this. We took out our Rain-coats and started our exploration. In the market we bargained with an Auto wala and for Rs 600 he agreed to took us to various places including Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Amer Fort and Chokhi Dhani. First of all we went to check out the famous Hawa Mahal of Jaipur. Hawa Mahal is a palace built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, so named because it was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside.Read More
After crossing the Karauli town, you will get the picturesque location of hills on left and the Kalisil River on the right side. Karauli is now extended sanctuary of Rathambore and is renamed as a Kaila Devi wildlife sanctuary. Your tiredness of 300KM journey vanishes from the picturesque location.Read More
Sukh Niwaas, which is opposite to ‘Diwaan-e-Khaas’ having doors made of sandal wood and ivory. There is a channel running through the hall, which carried cool water that worked as an air cooler, with the aid of breeze. In this artistic hall cool climate was artificially created. It is said that the kings used to spend time in this Sukh Niwaas with their queens and sometimes with their mistresses that is why it is known as the residence of pleasure.Read More
Jaipur is renowned for its colorful markets, gorgeous handlooms and wonderfully laid out gardens. The people are very cheerful and friendly. Don’t forget to try the famous Rajasthan delicacies including the thali. Rajasthani arts and handicrafts are things that you can’t afford to miss.Read More
We quickly realized that we should have gone via NH79 (via Bhilwara which is a 4 lane highway). After crossing a town: Beawer, we hit a good road, although single but in excellent condition. We reached Ajmer around 4 pm and headed towards the Dargah.Read More
On the way back, we drove the entire distance over lake only. Trying to absorb more of that dry-dusty frame. We also learned that ‘Jodha Akbar’ was shot here and apparently they created the entire war set here. Another movie, this time of junior Bacchan was shot in the main town. We dropped the Sambhar Salts gentleman back after thanking him for all his help and started back.
As we were driving back, I was thinking that how long the lake would remain like that. Probably 50 years down the line, this story would look like a legend. May be the area would get habituated, the land would be reclaimed to build SEZs and factories or may be the new Jaipur Airport. Who can imagine a 230 sq KM dry lake which is open for driving. You tell that to your grandkid and he would laugh it off. Go and look at it before it vanishes.Read More