19 Dec 2018 : “Good Morning Sweetheart, its 0830h”. My hubby wakes me up and requests to get ready to leave by 0930h. We got lot to explore in the India’s first geometrically planned city, “The Pink City, Jaipur”. Sundar was reaching by 1000h, our friend cum local guide. Before you start your day, please park your car aside and board the public transport to explore the city. In the age of Ola and Uber, we have stopped using public transport. May be it’s crowded, inconvenient or whatever. But if you want to explore ‘The Pink City, Jaipur’ use public transport only.
We boarded an E-Rickshaw from Army Holiday Home and moved towards “Hawa Mahal”, the “Palace of Winds” as they say. The Pink City still carries its traditional old culture and yet have adopted the modern trend. On the way to Hawa Mahal, you will cross “Raj Mandir Cinema” towards your right. If you want to experience the rich royal experience of watching movie this is the place for you. Opened in 1976 it still carries the rich heritage for Rajasthan and the best part, at the cost of PVR and INOX. On MI road, you will find branded outlets and handicraft outlets like Rajasthali emporium and Ashoka Arts.
Once you cross MI road. You enter the place which gives the name Pink City to Jaipur via the magnificent gate called ‘Ajmeri Gate’. During olden times the city was surrounded by walls with six gates. The entire old market is inside these gates. It was for purpose of shopping for Queens. In the next article i will share about various market places you should visit for various stuffs. As you move ahead of ‘Ajmeri Gate’ you will enter the Tripolia Bazar. You can see the iconic ‘Tripolia Gate’ on to your left. Why i am mentioning about these gates? Because each gate has its own beauty and historical importance. Amazingly the entire city has been listed in UNESCO world heritage list 2019.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
It’s located in “Badi Chaupar”. On reaching ‘Hawa Mahal’ i faced the reality. The image of Hawa Mahal we see on book covers, magazines or any form of printed media is the backyard of ‘mahal’. The acutal ‘mahal’ is behind those windows or may be not. Ok FYI Hawa Mahal is not palace as its name suggest. This 5 story building with almost 953 ‘jharokhas ‘ was to provide a place to royal ladies. To witness the parades and celebrations during festivals yet unseen by the commoners. The jharokhas constructed in honeycomb structure turns the hot air into cold breeze.
There is an entry fee of Rs 50 per head. We bought the tickets and moved in. Our first expression was ‘it is OK’ but as we moved up. We realised each floor is different from previous one. At the top there are small space near every jharokhas where you can sivt and enjoy the view of market through them. Oh yes! don’t throw your tickets once you enter, as you might have to show them again at the exit gate. You will find few shops at entrance of Hawa Mahal. I would not recommend you to buy stuff from there as you can get the same stuff in the main road market at much cheaper price. After Hawa Mahal we moved to Jantar Mantar.
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
My humble request to you all is walk. The distance is hardly 1 km from Hawa Mahal. As the beautiful city view, hundreds of birds and small colorful shops awaits you. May i ask from you all, do you know how many Jantar Mantar are there in India and what are they for? One in Delhi, used for various political dramas and one in Jaipur, but what’s it’s exact use we don’t know. There are five Jantar Mantar in India i.e in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Delhi. All built by Maharaja Jai Singh. Please don’t ask me the year of construction as am weak in history. We bought three tickets and we entered the Jantar Mantar. I recommend you to hire a guide for this place as then only you can understand how amazing this place is. It was designated as monument of national importance in 1968 and in UNESCO world heritage list 2010.
Some interesting facts about Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar. This is the last one to build out of five, eradicating the flaws in previous four. It has the most precise, largest and functional sun dial with accuracy of 2 Seconds in time. Till date it can precisely track celestial bodies in sky with help of other 19 instruments present here. It is interesting to note, that it has caught interest of various astronomer’s, historians and architects from all over the world. This place home’s the largest such observatory ever built. As we finished with Jantar Mantar we moved towards City Palace. City palace is a museum now. We did not visited it. and walked towards the main road market.
After having kulfi’s at ‘Panditji Kulfi’, we board a low floor red bus to ‘Amer Fort’. Charged us Rs 12 for male and Rs 8 for female. It’s a 20 minutes ride to fort. Enjoying the view outside instead of driving on busy streets of city. We crossed the ‘Jal Mahal’ built in ‘Man Sagar Lake’ on to our right and moved on. The bus drops us infront of ‘Amer Fort’.
Amer Fort, Jaipur
‘Magnificent’ the first thought. Amer fort is a beautiful fort with a lake in front of it. You can either take a jeep or walk up to the “Suraj Pol” (main entrance of the fort). Amer was the main fort of ‘Raja Jai Singh’. The fort had perimeter walls and guard post which are still intact. You have stairs to go all the way up. If someone has time and desire to be the ‘night watch’. Coming back to fort, we choose to walk up the stairs passing via ‘Suraj Pol‘ we entered the lower courtyard. There are two gates to enter the courtyard. One for soldiers and commoners i.e ‘Chand Pol‘ and other for Royals i.e ‘Suraj Pol‘. .
We bought the tickets and proceeded towards main courtyard. It consist of ‘Deewan-e-aam’. This is the place were King use to hold his court of justice. There are 21 pillars in ‘Deewan-e-aam’ which symbolises the 21 districts of Mewar. There are huge windows from where you can admire the beauty of ‘Kesar Bagh’.
(For our generation: Its the shooting location of “kehne ko jashne bahara hai” from the movie Jodha Akbar and in front exists the garden where queen Ashwariya was trying to catch Rabbits).
From ‘Deewan-e-aam‘ we entered ‘Deewan-e-khaas‘. Through a beautifully hand painted gate, which still has its original artwork on it. Gold and vegetable colours were used to create the artwork. ‘Deewan-e-khaas’ meant for living of royals has three parts as summer, winter and monsoon palace. Among three, winter palace is most beautiful, aka the ‘Seesh Mahal”. Built using convex mirrors, which gives feeling of starry night even during day. Behind these three palaces is ‘Rani ki Deodi’. This place meant for queens and only king was allowed to enter. From here we enter the backyard of palace and planned to move to Nahargarh fort and Jaigarh fort. All forts in Jaipur get closed by 1700hr. Since time was already 1630hr. We dropped the plan and decided to explore the market
I will share about the Market in the next post. Till then keep sharing your value comments and experiences with us. Lets together enrich the experience of all.