Jaipur - Colourful and Exuberance

Rajasthan, when you hear this name, you will think about royal palaces, majestic forts, desert, camel, elephants, jewellery, gems, colorful markets, festivals and food. So when I planned for Rajasthan, all of these things were on my mind and I was not disappointed when I visited Jaipur, Ajmer & Pushkar.

Rajasthan, a desert state this might be but its bursting with colour and exuberance. I am bit confused writing this blog, should I just keep writing about all the places I visited there, should I only post hundreds  of pictures I took or should It be combination of both (would be very lengthy blog). Another feeling is, will I able explain the richness, artistic, colourful Jaipur with my writing or pictures but let me try…

Chitrakoot, Khajuraho, Chhatarpur and then Jhansi, from where I booked my train ticket to reach Jaipur. From Jhansi all my friends got separated. Gaurav was traveling to Bharatpur, Rajdeep back to Bangalore and my destination was Pink city Jaipur

Comedy of error happened. The train ticket I booked from Jhansi to Jaipur was actually for 26 march, not for 26 feb. I didn’t realize, boarded the train and got confused when I saw another man sitting at my berth. After some argument, I checked my ticket carefully and realized my mistake. I had no other option. My ticket was invalid and I had only one option to travel in that train is to get at least one general class ticket, for which I had to reach out to ticket counter. I had no time and train left. Disappointed I came out from station and enquired about other trains to reach Jaipur. No trains for that day. Now next option was to take bus and luckily I got one, that too last seat of bus, from one travel company. 14 hrs bus journey, pathetic road and finally I reached Jaipur next morning 8 am.

I was tired after traveling 14 hrs bus journey but my excitement took over tiredness. By 11 I was ready to explore the pink city. The moment I came out from hotel, 2-3 auto drivers rushed to me and offered me Jaipur sightseeing for one day at 650 rs..I knew that some of places were very near to my hotel, Royal Ashiyana Palace, bani park area. So I ignored all of them and took another running auto, cost me 50 rs to reach Hawa Mahal (Palace of wind)

Stylistic and artistic, these were my two words when I saw Hawa Mahal. Designed in the form of the crown of Krishna. Its unique five-storey exterior, similar to the honeycomb of the beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas. Hawa Mahal was constructed so that the palace women trapped in purdah, could watch the street life. Entry fee was 10 rs there but I bought one composite entry pass for 70 rs. It was valid for two days and you can use it for visiting 5 places(Amber palace, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall, Nahargarh fort, Hawa mahal). Interior of Hawa Mahal is artistic but I really liked the exterior. This architecture is showcased whenever Jaipur is talked about on the touring map.











Hardly 5 mins walk from Hawa Mahal and you will be at Jantar Mantar, the largest and best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This is one of the UNESCO world heritage site. This place is really a tribute to old aged Indian astronomy. All the instruments and shaped were scientifically designed. The instruments are in most cases huge structures, geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars. There were around 15 such structures. If you really interested in the astronomy, then this is the place for you.

To understand each and every structure, you will have to hire guide there or you can take audio tour. I didn’t take any of those. There are many info board to get info on how these structures works. I saw each and every structure, tried listening to the guides (hired by other group) and most of their explanation went above my head. They saw me hearing to them and gave me some curious look, I nodded my head like I am getting what they are trying to explain about those structure. Then I tried reading all those info board. Same thing, so I stopped pretending that I am actually understanding and kept myself busy by taking photographs..



Laghu Samrat Yantra (Small Sundial)


The only one structure I could understand is the The Samrat Yantra (Sundial), can be used to tell the time to an accuracy of about two or three seconds in local India time.its shadow carefully plotted to tell the time of day





City Palace is very near to Jantar Mantar, In fact both are in the same complex. But I had to pay entry fee there, 75 rs and plus 75 for camera. The composite entry pass will not work there. City Palace is delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture. City palace complex includes Mubarak mahal, Chandra palace, Pitam Niwas Chowk, Diwan-e-aam, Diwan-e-Khaas. Chandra mahal is still a royal residence.

Mubarak Mahal is now a museum and repository of variety of textiles such as the royal formal costumes, embroidered shawls, Pashwina and silk saree. You can see many photographs of royal family, polo equipment and winner cups, chess boards. Armoury of Mughals and Rajputs, including royal swords.



The best part of this complex is chandra mahal, It is the residence of the descendants of the former rulers of Jaipur. Only the ground floor is allowed for visitors where a museum is located.




On the top of the Chandra Mahal is Royal Flag which is an indication of King’s presence in the Palace, The yellow flag suggests that the king is in town. When he’s out of Jaipur, the yellow flag will not be there . The other flag is a sign of the king’s property.



This small inner courtyard giving access to the Chandra Mahal is famous for four small doorways representing the four seasons and Hindu gods. I liked the peocock gate representing autumn, other gates are lotus gate for summer, Gree gate for spring and Rose gate representing winter.






Diwane-e-Khaas, unfortunately, no photography allowed there. This place is well guarded by the Royal guards, who keep an eye on your camera and your movement.This part of  palace is very beautiful , where the King used to meet with other Royalties and British govt officials.It has 300 years old carpet which is still very beautiful.

Diwane-e-Aam, another master piece of art. The pillers, the jhoomers (chandeliers), walls everything is decorated so nicely. You can see two giant urns there. listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest silver objects in the world. The story behind these urns is interesting. These vessels were created from melted silver coins for Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh to carry the water of the Ganges to drink on his trip to England in 1901 as he was concerned about committing religious sin by consuming the English water.



Jhoomars   



Overall the city palace is worth visiting. By the time I was done with these places it was 5pm and I started feeling bit tired because of previous night journey. Returned back to hotel and took rest.

First day was good, Will write about the other places in upcoming blogs..

3 comments:

  1. Everyone hears the name Rajasthan called as “Pink city”. There are many historical places, Temples, Forts, and Malls etc. Historical Places like as Hawa Mahal, Nahargar, City Place etc. But one manly thing is important, like as Jaipuri Gota Patti Sarees. Jaipuri works famous all over the world.

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