This trip was made in February 2020 and was one of my best winter trips. Even though the dreaded virus had started spreading, I was lucky to make one last trip before getting locked in my house. A 3 hours drive took me to my destination which was a home-stay this time.
I had my lunch and headed for the Birla Mandir to get some Divine guidance and blessings for a successful trip as I had planned a lot on this trip. The Temple is beautifully built of white marble and hall has a very high roof with the walls intricately carved and mythological stories depicted all around the Temple. It is on the hill side of a small hill that gives a bit of a panoramic view of the surroundings.
Next day I started early and headed straight to the old city or rather the Pink City. My idea was to cover the City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal in one go and I was successful. The City Palace has so much to offer but you got to have the strength to walk and walk a lot. Corridors and stairs going up and down and around just make this a fun yet magnificent place to visit.
Next up the Jantar Mantar and trust me the one in Delhi is nothing in front of this one in Jaipur. I was actually able to check the time, understand the position of all the 12 zodiac signs and even got to know the degrees of the earth’s tilt during the winter solstice. Once you get a hang of how to read the devices installed in this place, it is just mind boggling how much information is there for the taking.
The last of the trinity in this complex, the famous Hawa Mahal. I would area behind the Hawa Mahal complex which is behind those intricately done windows is like a maze. The aim is to reach the top of the complex but you got to find the right path else you can keep going round and round inside the complex and never be able to get that bird’s eye view.
On our way back in the afternoon, we came across the Albert Hall Museum. Amazing building that literally stand in the middle of a huge round-about of about 4-5 roads. Short and simple, this building houses almost the entire history of Rajasthan’s royalty so you can imagine how much there is inside this building and needless to say it is a haven for any historian. And yes, do not forget to visit the mummy in the glass cage in the basement of this museum, gave me a creepy feeling.
Next day was a scheduled to be a long long day. On my way to the Amer Fort, I stopped by to take some pictures of the Lake Palace or the Jal Mahal. Pity, we cannot go and visit this magnificent structure that so very well preserved.
Reached the big one, the Amer Fort. I think even a day is not enough to explore all that this Fort has to offer. But I was at least able to see the major tourist spots inside this huge Fort & Palace. The trek up to the main gate of the Fort is a bit demanding so if you cannot manage it, choose between elephants, camels, jeep ride, e-rickshaw and maybe something more that I cannot remember. From the ramparts of this fort, you can see the Jaigarh Fort which was my next destination.
Jaigarh Fort boasts of the largest cannon in the world called the ‘Jaivan Cannon’ which has been fired only one. The views are absolutely stunning from the Jaigarh Fort and you can literally talk pictures of the entire city from the Fort. One great shot should surely be of the Amer Fort which can be captured in its entirety from the Jaigarh Fort.
Next up the Nahargarh Fort which is the Palace of the Nine Queens or to the mere mortals like us can be better remembered as the place where Rang-De-Basanti film was shot especially with that title track playing in the background. The palace of the Nine Queens are small one-rooms sets which identical and differ only in the colour themes used in each one of them. One thing not to be missed here is the fine dining restaurant that is housed within the palace and serves authentic Rajasthani food with some awesome views from its intricately carved glass windows.