Sunday, 16 December 2012 (Jaipur)
We woke up happily that morning knowing that we’d be going sightseeing! If you know, Jaipur is famous for its forts, monuments, handicrafts and beautiful fabrics. I was so excited for the trip. Jaipur, also known as ‘Pink City’, is the capital of Rajasthan. It was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1727 AD. Jaipur is famous for its rich cultural heritage and has today become the most popular tourist destination in India. Now I know why its called the pink city. Almost every buildings and walls you see there are painted in pink. We visited magnificent monuments like the Amber Fort ( known as Amer Fort), Jaigargh Fort, City Palace and the Jantar Mantar. Jaigarh Fort and Amer Fort are the two of the oldest forts that provide great visual treat to the visitors. The view from below and the top of the fort was so breathtaking. It made me think how it would have looked like in 1592, when the fort was built and the world was free from pollution and developments. Must be heavenly, I’m sure.
The Amer Fort is situated in Amer, which is 11 kilometers from Jaipur. Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. The Amer Fort was built in red sandstone and marble and the Maotha Lake adds a certain charm to the entire Fort. I was in loveeee! We had to walk for hours to reach to the top of the Jaigargh Fort but the walk was so worth it when we saw the view of the whole city from the top. 🙂
On the way back from Amer Fort, we saw this amazing palace located in the middle of te Man Sagar lake. It’s called the Jal Mahal. The palace and the lake around it were renovated and enlarged in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber. What an amazing view!
Our second stop of the day after our lunch at the BlueWater Hotel was the City Palace. Located in the heart of the Pink City Jaipur, the City Palace was where the Maharaja reigned from. This palace also includes the famous ‘Chandra Mahal’ and ‘Mubarak Mahal’, and other buildings which form a part of the palace complex. We visited a textile museum that was located inside the palace as well. The museum showcases the clothes that was worn by the royal families back in the past. It is said that a part of the palace is still being occupied by members of the royal family and members of the public are not allowed to go in.
Our last stop of the day was the Jantar Mantar. There are plenty of observatories all over the world, but the Jantar Mantar is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built. Combining religion, science and art, the Jantar Mantar is the name given to a series of five, magnificent structures built in Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura. The Jantar Mantar is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. The Jaipur observatory is the largest and best preserved of these. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars’ location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. We think that we are smart when we score straight As and get the highest cgpa, but people in the past came up with such devices even before the education system was created. Hats off!
|The largest sundial I’ve ever seen!
|Astrological devices for individual constellation. This is for Taurus 🙂
Soon, it was time to bid farewell to Jaipur. I was so happy to have visited some of the most beautiful places in Jaipur and I wish to explore more of Rajasthan in the near future. The tourist attractions, culture, and forts and palaces are the reason why Jaipur is so famous and why the city had a special place in my heart even before I visited India.
We left for the hotel and the dinner was so yummy. I remember the dessert vividly because it was so awesome! Hot chocolate pudding and vanilla ice cream, anyone? Are you drooling yet? I don’t have a picture of the heavenly dessert because you know me, I’m impatient 😛 haha..after dinner there was a short photo session with our coordinators in Jaipur, Mr Ashish Modi and Ms Bhavna Kataria.
After dinner, we went out to the pool area for a shot photo and chit chat session before it started getting freezing cold. We all left for our room to pack our bags because the next day we were leaving for Delhi. I had mixed feeling about it. I was so sad to leave Jaipur but excited to see what Delhi has to offer.
to be continued…