It was super 6degrees as we reached Jaipur around 7am. For people like me who have lived my life in Mumbai, where climate even in winters is quite favorable, 6degress was too much to handle. For us Mumbaikars even 12 degrees is too much. The feeling was amazing. As we waited outside Jaipur station for our car to pick us up it literally got unbearable after 10 minutes, luckily the car arrived.
It was an approx. ten minute drive from the station. We had booked ourselves in Hotel Krishna Palace. It’s a nice hotel, has all the Rajasthani décor to the place. And food is appetizing. After having a good breakfast we headed out to explore.
First on the list was:
It’s a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. The palace and the lake around it were renovated in 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh 2of Amber. It is not allowed for the visitors. The palace however leaves you in awe of its beauty.
We decided to explore Jaipur on our own so we didn’t hire any car, as we did not want any time limitations. Instead we opted for rickshaw. Next stop was;
AMBER PALACE & FORT:
This is the major tourist attraction in Jaipur. It was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas. As we were occupied in taking pictures from the outside and thinking as to how were we supposed to visit the whole palace ourselves we were approached by a guy who was an authorized guide and charged minimal. We hired him. I feel a guide is a necessary here as the palace is quite huge and my get lost exploring. Also they have some amazing stories to tell. The fort overlooks the Maota lake which was the main source of water supply to the palace.
The palace consists of Diwan-e-aam (Hall of audience), Diwan-e-Khas (Private audience), Sheesh mahal (Mirror palace), Jai Mandir and Sukh Niwas.The significance of the sheesh mahal is, if you lit a candle it will convert its reflection in to thousands of it giving the illusion of a star lit sky.
Nearby Amer are the Jaigarh and Nahargarh fort.
It was late afternoon when we were done with the complete palace. We bid adieu to our guide and went to a restaurant for a quick bite, which was nearby Jal mahal.
It was almost 5.30 in the evening when we were done with our food. Since we had enough time (or that’s what we thought) we decided to take a stroll near the jal mahal. After only few minutes it got dark and isolated.We grabbed the first rickshaw we saw and were back to the hotel.
Day 2 Jaipur:
It houses the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. It was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. It was built during 1729 – 1732, initially by Sawai Jai singh 2. Later, additions were made by the successive rulers.
Mubarak Mahal, is a museum of textiles such as royal formal clothes, block prints and sarees. There is also a display of clothes of Sawai Madho Singh 1 who weighed 250kgs, but interestingly had 108 wives.
Then there are Diwan-e–aam and Diwan-e-khas. Sabha Niwas, houses paintings of the Kings who ruled from oldest to the recent. It also has the the royal seat on display where the private meetings would take place. For us it was just the start to a royal treat of Rajasthan. We were in awe of the royalty of the Maharajas. There was more to come.
Choki Dhani is a must visit if you have time. You will get a glimpse of Rajasthani folk culture under one roof. Whole place is a village setup. There are numerous stalls for entertainment, from puppet show, dancers, astrology, and magician to gift shops. There are also elephant and camel rides. They offer two options, a complete Rajasthani thali and a multi cuisine buffet. It was a royal treat for our taste buds.
Choki Dhani is located at approx 20kms from Jaipur city. It was a worthwhile experience.