I did not wish to burn a hole in my pocket by booking an air ticket neither did I have enough time to take a 7 hour long train journey hence, I decided to drive down to the vibrant city of Jaipur. What next? Well, which hotel should I check in at? Honestly, I did not want to compromise on this front and wanted to relax at a hotel that in itself is an eye-candy even if I do not step out at all; hence I chose ‘Savai Mann Singh Rest Rooms’ by Taj, located right next to the Rambagh Palace.
With an archaic yellow suitcase and 2 hand bags full of ‘Farsaan’ and ‘Aloo Puri’, my drive began at 6 in the morning and I had set foot in the hotel at 11AM, sharp.
Through the beautiful ‘Aravalis’ into the city of hues, it was a comfortable drive with no potholes on the roads and moderate sort of traffic. As I got the keys for room number 410, I entered a royal and beautiful room and because I had asked for a garden view, I spotted this beautiful peacock sitting right outside, probably waiting for his beloved before they could pull off a dance!
After some 10 minutes of being awestruck and a nap of about 2 hours, I went in for a quick swim in the hotel pool and ordered some lip-smacking pool side snacks to get rid of ALL the fatigue.
Later in the evening, I walked into the Rambagh Palace for a stroll and the shutterbug within my soul said ‘Time for some night light photography maybe?’ hence, I clicked these pictures – (Thanks to the weather for such a beautiful skyline though)
Post the photography hour, I thought to myself- ‘What does one need at the end of a long day? Good Food? Indeed’ And so, I ordered a special Rajasthani Thali for dinner which consisted of ‘Marwari Kadhi’, ‘Gatte Ki Sabzi’, ‘Nawab-e-Paneer’ and home cooked ‘Dal (Plus desserts, all for Rs. 800) and honestly, this thali tasted much better than what one would get at ‘Chokhi Dhani’ which is a Marwari style ‘village fair’ located at the outskirts of Jaipur.
Being the OCD sort of person that I am, I booked an 8 hour cab for day two in order to explore all the heritage that I could within a day! Oh and not to miss, who wouldn’t want to hit the local markets in a city such as Jaipur? So the day began at 11PM and I quickly asked the driver to drive me down to the famous ‘Bapu Bazaar’ and neighbouring ‘Johari Bazaar’, both famous for Rajasthani craft items and jewellery.
The market was brimming with traditional looking earrings, neck pieces, bangles, bags, kurtas and of course ‘Jootis’. I ended up spending some 4K on shopping but the highlights of course were these ‘Jootis’ I bought for myself and my best friend.
Further, I took a pause for lunch at a local restaurant around 1.30 and then started for ‘Hawa Mahal’ around 2PM which is a palace situated right next to the Tourist Palace Market, so named because it was essentially a high screen wall built so the women of the royal household could observe street festivals while unseen from the outside. As I stood in front of this sandstone giant, I sensed wind in my hair and a storm of good vibes entered my cluttered head, thereby making me feel extremely peaceful.
The next heritage site on my checklist was ‘Jal Mahal’ which is a palace situated in the middle of the ‘Man Sarovar Lake’ which turned out to be a 20 minute ‘rainy’ drive from Hawa Mahal. As I got off from the car, the rain had stopped pouring and the sun was shining through the clouds; rays being filtered onto the structure as well as the surrounding hills and hence I started struggling for the perfect shot to capture on my camera.
As I clicked this picture and got back into the conveyance, the driver told me that all other heritage sites would close down by 3.30 which meant that we would not be allowed to go inside. I felt disappointed for a while but decided to strike off each site from my checklist even if that meant laying eyes on the monuments only from the outside and hence we then marched towards Amer Fort which is a principal tourist attraction in Jaipur.
I couldn’t stop staring at this wonderful structure and the complimentary sky line until the driver honked and asked me about my last destination which was ‘Albert’s Hall’.
‘The foundation of this museum was laid during the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1876 which today stands as a museum of Industrial Arts’ said the driver. Of course I couldn’t go in but, have you ever seen so many crows in one spot in Delhi/NCR ever? I was surrounded by their ‘caws’ for over half an hour and finally, I asked the driver to drop me off at the MI road for dinner.
Post meal, I headed to the hotel for a comfortable sleep as I had to leave for home the next morning.
There’s nothing better than home, but at times; different is good! All in all, the pink city indeed is a visual treat; it’s like food for the soul but pink? It’s not so pink after all!
Do visit this city, when in a desperate need for relaxation coupled with beauty!