Chokhi Dhani was some 30 km from the place we stayed. Within an hour we were at our destination. It was around 8 in the evening. The entrance was not very impressive neither the location. It was looking like just another big Dhaba, the kind we see on Murthal. Though there was a long queue for parking and we forced to park outside the parking area on highway due to lack of space. There were three kinds of ticket that included the meal charges. We took the ticket that was of 500 Rs. per person and includes the entry fee and meal. Due to rush, our scheduled time for meal was 10.30 at the night.
Finally we entered inside and I was totally surprised and impressed with its offering. It’s like a big-big mela, like one I used to see during my childhood in Sonpur, Bihar. Though Sonpur is famous for its cattle fair, but besides cattle treading there was each and every kind of activity. One can buy clothes, eat almost anything, for entertainment there were magic shows, dance programs, and hell lot of things. After so many years I felt the same madness here.
Wherever you move your eyes something is happening. I want to list the few… Kalbelia dance, magic show, palmistry, camel cart, horse riding, foreigners are dancing with small childrens, boating, bullock kart, a tree decorated with lamp, haveli like small houses, paintings on the wall etc. etc. etc.
I started enjoying soon and so much that the last thing I could think about was break. I want to write this in bold letters, THIS IS A TRULY AMAZING PLACE. If you are ever to Jaipur never miss Chokhi Dhani, even you can plan a trip of Jaipur just because of this place. We started roaming around, clicked lot and lot of images, and moved to an area which had the houses where one can stay. It was most fascinating place of entire Chokhi Dhani. Havelis of different shape and sizes, beautifully designed and made of solid material like cement, still appeared like they are made of clay. With dim lighting they were looking so natural.
Finally it was time to have food and it was so sumptuous that we forgot to click the images. There were 5 kinds of vegetables, 3 kinds of chapattis, curd, sweets, desi ghee and I don’t know what else. After meal my only thinking was that if they fed so much then for some extra charge they should also provide a bed so that one can sleep then and there if felt so. But indeed it was a bad idea even I can’t imagine people sleeping and burping at this beautiful place. So, I scolded myself for such a bad dreaming and we came out more than happy, filled till neck, and started the engine to find a bed as soon as possible.
We woke up on time, the next day which was our last day in Jaipur. And still there were so many things to cover. On priority basis we zeroed on Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall Museum and Birla Mandir. But lastly we were able to cover only three of them living City palace and Jantar Mantar behind.
Our first destination was Hawa Mahal. Here I took the guided audio tour which is an incredible option to explore this architectural marvel.
Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, and designed in the form of the crown of lord Krishna. It is a unique five storey structure with 953 jharokhas (small windows).
It was built of red and pink sand stone. After every few meters there is a mark for guided audio tour and numbered accordingly. It’s a must have if somebody is interesting in history and don’t want to hire a guide.
Hawa Mahal is situated in the heart of main market of Jaipur. There was a roundabout and 8 paths were crossing each other just outside Hawa Mahal. Wherever you take your eyes its all pink. What a city! A delight for heritage lovers.
It was my third day since I left Delhi, and neither I was on hills nor in forest and still I was enjoying. It could happen only in Jaipur. Just behind Hawa Mahal, there is a place which has one of the largest shops of Jaipur and belongs to some trust related to Maharani. I bought few bed sheets and a blanket which was reasonably priced and had some quality stuff. One can also buy any kind of Gem here.
This is another side of Jaipur. I clicked this image outside of city palace which showcases the royalty and glamour of high style living and just outside the walls this was what we called harsh reality. Most of the tourist faces this kind of situation, especially those with families.
Our next destination was Albert Hall Museum. It is the oldest museum of the state and functions as the State museum of Rajasthan. It was named after King Edward VII (Albert Edward), who visited the city as the Prince of Wales.
The building is situated in Ram Niwas Garden. It is also called the Government Central Museum. Here again I took the guided audio tour though it was very lengthy and I had to finished it in a rush.
It was time to call off the day as we planned to leave early morning for Delhi. Completely satisfied with our excursion we all decided to come back to Jaipur whenever get chance.