In all the confusion of Workpermits and VISA approvals, we managed a 10 day trip to Rajasthan in November. That was another destination that was on the bucket list that we ticked off. What
fun it was!
We went along with hubby’s cousin B,his wife S and their nearly 1-year old little baby 🙂 All the planning and booking was done by me and S. 10 days trip and we did the booking all 3 weeks before.We looked at heritage haveli hotels run by families that worked within our budget and planned the route for the 10 days too. We started from BLR to JPR on 27th evening via Air Asia and reached Jaipur late evening. A taxi took us to our hotel at about 8:30pm. The hotel- Umaid Bhavan was just as it was given on Trip Advisor. With decorated walls and huge painted gate-it felt like a Royal welcome! The rooms had four poster beds and even the ceiling around the fan was colourfully painted. Had a really nice sleep that night all set to head out to see Jaipur
the next day.
Had an early breakfast and started with Birla Mandir and Albert Hall. The Birla Mandir is huge and since we were early, there wasnt much crowd and we could enjoy the cool-ness inside while it was already getting hot outside. All made of marble, it was a good beginning of the things to come 🙂 Next we went to Albert Hall museum and the highlight of it for Chutku were the 100s of pigeons there. We quickly saw the displays of the famous Jaipur blue pottery, really
huge shields which have carvings of sages and ramayana etc;
The uniqueness of the city come from the fact that all the buildings inside the old city of Jaipur within a 15kms radius are expected to paint the exteriors of the buildings in Pink – hence the name Pink City.
Next stop was Hawa Mahal. Really-this was a disappointment. Only the one huge wall with numerous Jharokhas is all there is to see. Once inside, its inhabited by people selling wares and dirty. Actually, we could climb up and see that it had fountains inside the structure which was not maintained at all. We decided to take the traditional Rajasthani attire picture
there and spent more than an hour getting the pictures clicked and waiting for them to get printed while I took pictures of the Hawa Mahal from outside.
City Place next. This is very well maintained,infact I guess there was some wedding that had just gotten over the last night and the shamiana was being removed. We saw the famous peacock
gate and the Raj Darbar. Sadly, most of these Darbars are not open for photography but what was the key here was the huge painting of Radha-Krishna that occupied a whole wall.
Lunch was at this really small nondescript place where we had a quick thali and then proceeded to the Amer fort. Boy! Was this a beauty! The gardens with fountains and well maintained hexagonal structures for maintaining the plants, the Sheesh Mahal which is covered in tiny
bits of mirror, it was truely as the kings have named it – “Diwan-E-Khaas” which means this was supposed to be the place where they entertained the close friends and family. Just imagining that these were all done manually, so many centuries ago shows the artistry and creativity of our people.
Coming down from Amer Fort, the driver took us to a govt. run place for shopping – apparently he gets some commission if we shopped there but we didnt like anything that we felt we couldnt
get in Bengaluru.
Out of there and within minutes we stopped at Jal Mahal. Sadly, this place also has no maintenance and we cannot even go inside-just a photo op in front of it. Since the little 1 year old was sleeping, I was the only one who got down to take the pics and was repelled by the dirt and the smell 😦
Finally, our last stop for the day was Choki Dhani village. We were told that if we didnt see this in Jaipur then we are missing something. This is a commercial establishment that opens at 5:30pm every evening and goes on until 11pm. It is like a cultural village where there are
musicians, mehendi artists, puppet shows,dance shows, fire shows, recreated villages of Rajasthan/Kashmir etc; The entry fees is the buffet lunch that we need to pay for before entering the place. There were Ghoda gaadis and Camel rides, small giant(??) wheels for the kids which the little monster enjoyed thoroughly.
Dinner was a served buffet, where we had to sit crossed legged on the floor and we were served with all Rajasthani fare which surprisingly wasnt very spicy. Apart from the Churma didnt actually like any of the sweets they served. Churma was infact the only sweet we asked in all hotels through out the 10day trip and hardly got it in only a couple of places. Wonder what is the traditional sweet of Rajasthanis.
Returned to the hotel happy and tired at 10:30pm and hit the sack. We had a longer day ahead and a lot of travel.
Peacock Gate-City Palace Jaipur
Amer Fort entry
Sheesh Mahal in Amer fort
Diwan-E-Khaas-gardens at Amer fort
Chokhi Dhaani-Chutku enjoying the gaint wheel
Playing with fire
Rajasthani dance-on nails
Entrance to Chokhi Dhaani