Traveller – Mankiran Nagra
Sitting in the lap of Aravalis, with a romantic pink hue prevailing all around, India’s first planned city Jaipur stands true to Rajasthan tourism’s catchphrase “Jaane kya dikh jaye”.
Dyed in pink, the capital city of Rajasthan is a perfect example of tradition mingled with modernity combining its ancient history with the advantages of Metropolis. Unmatched architecture, regal cuisine, traditional folk music, arts, crafts, and the raw beauty of Jaipur makes it a must visit destination.
The unrivaled architecture witnessed in various forts and palaces of the city leaves the visitors spellbound by their magnificence. Jaipur, built by Raja Jai Singh II is a home to architectural marvels like Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Amer Fort, Jal Mahal, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Albert Hall Museum and Birla Temple. Most of the structures are built-in sandstone and marble giving the city a royal pink shade. Hence the name Pink City!
Hawa Mahal, a unique five storeyed building with small windows called “jharokhas” act as a natural air-conditioner with cool breeze flowing through the corridors of the palace giving relief from the tropical heat during summers. From the top of the palace, one can have a wonderful view of the road below with tourists hustling through the markets, Amer Fort on far away Aravalis, Jantar Mantar and the City Palace, located at a walking distance from it. While on the road outside the palace, you will come across an old man clicking pictures with a German vintage camera. Truly, there is always something to see in Jaipur!
The City Palace located deep within the walled city is a unique fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture. The palace has many museums inside it displaying local art and craft, royal costumes with local prints and folk embroidery. For a few hundreds, the local artists can paint a picture on the spot for you.
On the road outside the palace, you will find something to please your tastebuds. The local “Pyaaz ki Kachori” served with garama garam “kadhi” is heavenly. Have it with sweet lassi and your tastebuds will thank you.
The forts on the Aravalli hills give an impressive background to the city of Jaipur. The sand coloured stone of Jal Mahal floating at the centre of Man Sagar lake makes a wonderful contrast with surrounding water. A UNESCO World Heritage Site Jantar Mantar is a scientific marvel with sixteen geometric devices designed to measure time and positions of celestial bodies.
Jaipur is not just about forts and palaces but also it’s colourful bazaars filled with local costumes and fabrics. Known for its handloom and crafts, the city houses many markets, the famous being Johari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Nehru Bazaar. Walk through the markets, shop for local fabrics, shoes, pottery, crafts and bargain as much as you can! Jaipuri Razai(quilt), bandhini and lehariya designed clothes, blue pottery artefacts are few of the many world known items that you can pick from these markets.
Apart from its tradition, architect and culture, the local cuisine of Jaipur is also something that someone visiting the city cannot miss on . With dishes ranging from Dal Baati Churma, Aloo Pyaaz Kachori, Laal Maas, Keema Baati, Ghewar, Jaipur is a foodie’s paradise. Jaipur has something for everyone. The city is a marvel to behold washed in soft glowing shade of blush that deepens every evening on sunset, with people from mix of centuries weaving through the bazaars surrounded by its many palaces amid a cavalcade of rickshaws, motorbikes, cars, decorated elephants, horse carts and a metro running through the city, all buzzing with vibrance.