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gloriajames Jaipur - A travel report by Gloria
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Jaipur,  India - flag India
7032 readers

gloriajames's travel reports

The Pink City of Jaipur

  27 votes
Page: 1 2
Jaipur, located 262km from Delhi, is the Pink City of the state of Rajasthan. The sights here are spectacular as they embrace Rajput architecture in its finest glories and in the colours of red and pink sandstones.


Palace of the Winds
Palace of the Winds
My tour began with a first stop to the famous landmark of Jaipur, ie HAWA MAHAL aka THE PALACE OF THE WINDS which was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.

This unusual architecture of red and pink sandstone 5-storey pyramid style building is beautifully outlined with white borders and motifs, offering a spectacular view of the city and the colourful bazaars around it. In the Rajput days, the royal women watch the street life from the tiny lattice pink windows which have small balconies and arched roofs with hanging cornices. It’s outstanding façade provides excellent photography opportunity.

You may ask what makes Jaipur one of the most famous tourist destinations in India. Let me tell you why.

The history of Jaipur takes us about 300 years back in time, when the Mughal empire in India was on the decline. At this time Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in Rajasthan was looking for a safe place to shift the increasing population of Amber and found Jaipur to build the city. He commissioned Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a fine architect from Bengal, the responsibility of building the city. Jaipur was designed strictly according to Shilpa Shastra, which is the ancient treatise on architecture.

Thus Jaipur is considered as the planned city in India. The city has been divided into nine blocks and is encircled by a wall that has seven gates.

Favourite spots:
Amber Palace at the fort complex.
Amber Palace at the fort complex.
AMBER FORT & PALACE

The Amber Palace lies within this fort complex, and is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. It's construction was started by Raja Man Singh I, an army commander of Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1592 and was completed by Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh, over a period of about two centuries.

The palace is situated atop a hill, so one should take the elephant ride upwards and a jeep downwards. Within the palace are the Diwan-e-Aam or the Hall of Public Audience, the Diwan-e-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience and the Sukh Niws where a cool breeze blows across channels of water for the purpose of air-onditioning.

Here are the private chambers of the queens with windows having latticed screens so that the ladies could watch the proceedings of the royal court in privacy. The palace houses the Sheesh Mahal (House of Mirrors) and is one of the prime attractions of the palace.

What's really great:
City Palace and the largest silver jar in the world. Rudi thinks there's a smile on the jar (
City Palace and the largest silver jar in the world. Rudi thinks there's a smile on the jar (";)
JAIPUR CITY PALACE

This palace oozes the riches and grandeur of the Rajput dynasty and you can see it from the moment you step into the entrance. The sight that welcomes you is the graceful seven storeyed 'Chandra Mahal', or the Moon Palace, home to the present Maharaja of Jaipur - Bavani Singh.

Into the palace you get a fine view of the gardens and the city. A must do is to visit the three museums, ie textiles, armory and art which the palace boasts. I loved the textiles and I wished I could buy the garments adorned by the maharani! There is also a courtyard with 4 beautiful and very colorful doors and archways. Please marvel at the peacock designed patterns.

Another sight not to be missed is the world's largest silver jars which had found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Sights:
Jantar Mantar aka Observatory.
Jantar Mantar aka Observatory.
JANTAR MANTAR

Jantar-Mantar (ie instruments for measuring the harmony of the heavens) or Astronomical Observatory, was built by the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh II, and is one of the five observatories built by the king in India.

Constructed between 1728 and 1734, the Jantar Mantar is located in the center of Jaipur. The monument was built to understand the movements of the sun and moon and to find answer various other astronomical mysteries.

The observatory in Jaipur follows the one in Smarkand, Uzbekistan. It is a scientific marvel and leaves you spell bound. One of the sun dials has a 2 sec accuracy. All the calculations are done based on Jaipur’s local time and geographical location.

There are 2 sundials, instruments to measure the azimuth and elevation of the sun and a whole lot of other wonders. It is best to engage a guide to explain to you how it works.

Accommodations:
The Raj Palace Hotel.
The Raj Palace Hotel.
THE RAJ PALACE HOTEL
Chomu haveli,
Outside Zorawar Singh Gate,
Amer Road, Jaipur - 302 002

This is a 5* boutique hotel built in 1728. It is luxurious and has an excellent designed interior. Guess what? Many famous people had stayed here. Look at the photographs on the wall and you will know!

Not for the budget travellers but for those seeking intimacy in the Pink City (";).

****************************************-**************

CLARKS AMER HOTEL
Jawaharlal Nehru Marg
Jaipur
Rajasthan 302 009
PH: 91-141-255 0616
Fax: 91-141-255 0013

This is a 4*hotel, cheap on the budget and conveniently located to the major sights in Jaipur.

Nightlife:
Hand Blockprinted Demonstration at a factory.
Hand Blockprinted Demonstration at a factory.
Honestly, nightlife in Jaipur?? Right!??!! Its just you and your bed till the following morning and your next tour!

So I guess its best that I use this section to talk to you about Jaipur's most popular trade - HAND BLOCK PRINTING. For this you have to venture out to the town of SANGANER about 16km west of Jaipur. This colourful town is renowned for its hand blockprinted textiles, a skill aquired in the 16th century. So make an effort to see how long and what skilful hands one must have in order to have a well finished textile piece. I was indeed surprised to learn that it takes at least 4 to 5 different types of blocks to make one pattern! Deftly lots of hardwork !

Hangouts:
A happy tourist trying the sarees! And yes...she bought it!
A happy tourist trying the sarees! And yes...she bought it!
Ah-ha.... Ladies please pay attention, and men too, if you wish to make your better half happy. Jaipur is a shopping paradise! Here's the shopping list:-

1. Bangles - please buy them from the boy hawkers. It comes in a dainty pretty box and makes excellent gifts. Going for a price of 100 rupees and contains 20 pcs.

2. Colourful stone jewellery boxes - a pack of 6 pcs cost about 100 rupees and makes excellent souvenirs for friends.

3. Enamelled and metal jewellery consistings of silver anklets, jaipur designed earrings and bangle motifs of the Mughal era. Please make a stop at the ANTIQUARIAT (INDIA) PVT LTD located at Dashera Kothi, Amer Road, Jaipur. Tel : 2634986. I did serious damage to my wallet here (";) I could not resist buying the unique designed cuffs and bangles.

4. Mirrored and embrodiered wall paintings, cushions covers, table cloths, throwovers.

5. And of course, sarees! Yes...fall in love with the unique Jaipur designed sarees!

Restaurants:
Restaurant at The Raj Palace Hotel.
Restaurant at The Raj Palace Hotel.
I ate at the hotels only. The guide advised us that its best to eat in the hotels as the quality of food was better and most importantly safe. When in India, never drink tap water. Only bottled mineral water.

Must add that the food, ie mainly buffet spread of Rajasthan cuisine. Which I learnt to be very robust and spicy! So watch out! I particularly enjoyed the variety of naan made easily avaiable and the fragrant briyani rice. It went very well with the curries and tandoori. The curries are very heavily yoghurt based and gives a cooling effect to counter the spiciness. And of course, don't turn down the glass of refreshing lassi! For men, fret not, you should try India's Kingfisher beer.

Other recommendations:
Mirror image of Jal Mahal aka Water Palace.
Mirror image of Jal Mahal aka Water Palace.
A definite must-do:

Head to the picturesque Jal Mahal aka Water Palace of Jaipur. Built in mid 18th century, the Jal Mahal is located directly opposite the Trident Hotel at Amber Road. What I learnt was that during monsoon season, the water at the lake rises and creates a mirage.

Published on Saturday March 25th, 2006


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Tue, Nov 17 2009 - 06:47 AM rating by adisidh

Hi Gloria,
Your report is very interesting and picture are great.
Thanks for Reporting on Jaipur city
cheers
Subodh

Wed, Apr 19 2006 - 06:44 AM rating by bhairavee

Heloo Gloria,I just glanced your report by seeing the name of Jaipur ,and I am very pleased to read it word by word ,I can in short say that you are a good writer.
This is one of the best reports I read.
BR

Tue, Apr 18 2006 - 03:26 PM rating by magsalex

Goodness! I have just made my first visit to India and managed to escape work to do a whirlwind trip to Jaipur. Not sure i can compete with this report! No mirror image on my pic of Jal Mahal due to a distinct lack of water!

Thu, Mar 30 2006 - 03:27 AM rating by jwmarkham

Hi Gloria! This is a fantastic report in general, and even more so, because it's about a place I have dreamed of visiting for many years! Thank you for taking the time to put this report together for us! Great job!

Jim

Wed, Mar 29 2006 - 05:18 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Oh Gloria, everytime that I read one of your beautiful reports I have a climax!

Mon, Mar 27 2006 - 01:57 PM rating by sajjanka

nice and good sketch

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 03:20 AM rating by mkrkiran

Excellent report truly reflecting the grandeur

Sun, Mar 26 2006 - 03:00 AM rating by isaacmolina

All is beautiful: the report, the pictures and you!

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 10:29 PM rating by downundergal

Another good read and some fantastic photos. The Amber Palace looks beautiful with so much intricate carving.
Well done!

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 06:12 PM rating by st.vincent

Loads of interesting information and a very easy to read report. Plus of course some outstanding photographs.

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 05:58 PM rating by bear495

As always, your story, descriptions, and information make for an interesting read. Great job!
Russ

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 05:39 PM rating by davidx

It's not fair always to expect a masterpiece when I see your name - but I do and you've never disappointed me!

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 05:20 PM rating by jesusferro

The best of the best. You are unique in Globo writing reports!

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 04:39 PM rating by eirekay

Gloria, you are making it harder and harder to wait for my trip in August! Beautiful report! Thanks for the shopping tips!

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 01:30 PM rating by marianne

Gloria,
What a joy to read, informative, well-written and entertaining. Good photos and I like the Jal Mahal mirror image best. The handblock painting resembles Indonesian cap batik. cap is a kind of stamp and used to make prints on cotton. The result is similar to what is shown in your photo.

Marianne

Sat, Mar 25 2006 - 01:25 PM rating by rangutan

Another full-bodied excellent report. A very interesting and different location.

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