As they say “traveling is the most intense mode of learning” and one must always strive hard to learn new things and learning gets more interesting if you travel. So, you see traveling and learning go hand in hand. Lets get on this beautiful journey to this alluring destination Jaipur as this city has lot to offer in terms of history, culture, food and much more. So, its an absolute treat to eyes and taste buds to visit the PINK CITY OF INDIA. Wondering why Jaipur is called pink city? no no … it wasn’t founded by a woman who was totally in love with pink color. Its called pink city because long back in 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India and their itinerary list included Jaipur too. Since pink denotes the color of hospitality, Erstwhile Maharaj (king) of Jaipur painted the whole city pink in order to give warm welcome to the guests. Thus, its called “pink city.”
Jaipur has long and rich history of kings and queens, foreign invasion, Rajput warriors, their valor and victories. Remnants of these can still be traced in the historical monuments of Jaipur. Located just 41/2 hrs drive away from Delhi (capital city of India), Jaipur is capital of Rajasthan (one of the 29 states in India). Jaipur is one of the biggest tourist hubs in India. People from all over the world travel to this pink city to witness its grandeur, grace and beauty. Its a perk for those who reside in Delhi-NCR, they can pack their bags any weekend and drive to Jaipur stealing some memorable family moments. But first , those who haven’t been to Jaipur, I have a lot to tell you and trust me by the time I’ll finish telling you about this city, you will be already looking to book your tickets to get there. So, doesn’t matter where you are coming from, India or abroad, best way to reach Jaipur is via Delhi. You can take a flight to Delhi and can take connecting flight to Jaipur but I would suggest try road trip to Jaipur as well if you are not in hurry. As you reach the outskirts of Jaipur you are greeted by the majestic Amer Fort, which was once inhibited by Rajput royals. This fort overlooks Maota lake, it can be reached by a jeep or an elephant ride. Its a perfect blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture which shows splandour of yesteryears with its elaborate mirror work. Its famous for Shish Mahal, Jas Mandir and Shila Mata temple. Since you are visiting this city, your prime concern would be a perfect place to stay which is pocket friendly too. Jaipur is full of resorts, five star hotels and budget hotels. I will be sharing my experience of staying in different properties in Jaipur in second part of this article (which i will publish soon). Reason being, hotels and resorts in Jaipur are beautifully erected and are in rhythm of city’s heritage. It will be totally unfair to some up everything in just one article.
Hawa Mahal(palace of winds) is pride of Jaipur. Its the first thing every tourist wishes to see. Situated on the edge of city palace, hawa mahal’s unique five storey exterior is akin to honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticwork. This architectural feature also allowed cool air to pass through, thus making the whole area more pleasant during the high temperatures in summers.
Then comes the city palace, it is a unique and arresting complex of several palaces as it has the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings. You will find restaurants there too, catering the authentic taste of Rajasthan indulged in assorted spices.
Jal Mahal(water palace) is a palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. It is a Rajput style of architecture on a grand scale. The building has a picturesque view of the lake but due to its seclusion from land is equally the focus of a viewpoint from the Man Sagar Dam on the eastern side of the Lake.
There are other very beautiful palaces in Jaipur which have been turned into luxurious hotels like Rambagh Palace, which was former residence of Maharaja(king) of Jaipur. Its a beautiful property. other such hotel is Jai Mahal Palace which is set amidst landscaped Mughal gardens.
Jaipur is big shopping destination too, the unique beauty and traditional touch on the things will leave you smitten in no time. Johari bazar is the most popular market of Jaipur. It has everything you need from beautifully designed cloths with the touch of city’s culture, from wedding lehgas, tie and dye, hand embroidery, mirror and kundan work to delicate and dazzling pieces of jewellery. Small small shops along the side of roads are full of colorful fabrics, juttis(footwear famous in Jaipur), handbags etc. Jaipur is famous for its handicraft too, especially blue pottery, its a traditonal craft of Jaipur. The name blue pottery comes from the eye catching cobalt blue dye used to color the pottery. Something to take back home . Not just this, Jaipur has host of handicraft shops catering wide range of handicraft material like bangles, wooden show pieces , mirror work etc.
Food, oh my my, you don’t have to ask around where to eat when you are in Jaipur city. Every nook and corner is full of street food , giving away the authentic taste of Rajashthan. Mirchi vada, samosa, pyaaz ki kachori (indian snacks) are available where ever you go in the city. Trust me my mouth has already watered just by thinking of those sinful gastronomical food. Other than those snacks, you must try dal, bati (cooked lentils, hard wheat rolls) accompanied by lahsun ki chatni(garlic condiment ) and mirchi ka koota (crushed green chilles are cooked with curd and garlic). Other delicacies you must try while in Jaipur, laal maas and safed maas(lamb cooked in red and white gravy) and maawe ki kachori (its a sweet dish).
I would say , I can write on and on about Jaipur still it wont do justice to the beauty of this city. You must visit to experience its grace, grandeur and royalty. In second part of this article, I will share my experiences of different properties I stayed on , trust me they are no less amazing and fun … till then check the availability of tickets for Jaipur. See you all soon!
messy bun and getting the stuff done….. loves the smell of fresh coffee in the morning, out and out dreamer, looks at the world through rainbow lens !