I am absolutely in love with the "Pink City" and there's absolutely no doubt about that. This place has its own enigma and there is no dearth of any element in it, be it history, architecture or scenery that it has to offer. If you haven't yet traveled to this part of the country be sure to do it soon.
Rajasthan the state that it is now, is a cluster of 19 princely states which were brought together after independence (owing to their geographical proximity) to form one state of Rajasthan with its capital being Jaipur. The home to the Rajputs, Rajputana is therefore the treasure to art, culture, tradition, architectural marvel and varied ethnicity. The history of this region speaks of bravery conquests and powerful alliances. Each place that you visit here has a story to tell and keeps you intrigued throughout the trip.
The Rajputana architecture consists of forts, temples, observatory and palaces and each one is a spectacle. With the grandeur and intricacy in every monument you can gauge the craftsmanship that was an integral part of the history in this region. Each palace or fort has its own story. The Amber fort, the Jaigarh Fort, the Nahargarh fort, the City Palace, the Albert Museum, Hawa Mahal, the Jantar Mantar, the Moti Dungri Temple are just a few to name.
Photo courtesy :RV Chromatic.
3. The Jaipur Literature Festival
If you are a book lover and you absolutely love reading you can't miss this festival. This takes place every January in Jaipur at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur, a five day long festival that celebrates authors of all kinds from local to international. I am definitely not missing this one the next year.
What is a trip to a place without indulging in some guilt free shopping, otherwise how would you reminisce in the memories of a place so colourful and vibrant. Jaipur offers plenty of options where you can surrender to the urge of buying and splurging. From Rajasthani quilts to Bandhej dupattas or sarees, lac bangles, Rajasthani Mojari, Meenkari jewellery you will find it all here. Bapu Market, Johari Bazar, Badi Chaupar are all places where your eyes will be exposed to a colourful fusion. Chaura Rasta is book lovers heaven.
It's the food of the royals, how can it not be awesome right? Yes get down and get gorging on some amazing, mouth-watering, tempting, flavoursome food of the Maharajas. Rajasthani food is an explosion of flavours, aroma and taste. Start your breakfast with the world famous local delight of Pyaaz ke Kachori with Kadi, trust me a whirlwind of combination that is, or the variety of Pakoda(Bada), especially the Mirchi Bada(huge chillies fried in gramflour batter). For Lunch eat the Rajasthani Thali that will be a mixture of Daal Bati Churma, Lasun ki Chatni (Garlic Chutney) and Gatte ki Sabji, Ker Saangri ki Sabji and don't forget to include the Missi Roti. For dinner go for the royal way of eating meat with Laal Maans, Safed Maans or Mohan Maans. For dessert , indulge in a sumptuous serving of Balushahi, Alwar ka Mawa, Imarti, Jhajharia and a host of other such sugary delights. Sounds deletable? It will taste even better.
5. Chokhi Dhaani
Yes leave everything else aside, this place will give you a combined experience of the entire Rajasthan under one roof. You need at least 6 hours to revel in this place. A host of activities to be done, lots of musical performances to be watched and whole lot of Rajasthani delicacies to be eaten. I enjoyed the pottery making lessons and dancing with the performers and eating of course, animal rides are not my kind of thing and neither do I support it but you can take camel rides as well as elephant rides here.
Every time I think about Jaipur, I feel I haven't seen it all and my longing to go back and explore some more gets stronger. I am sure there must be other such activities or places which I may have missed. Leave me a comment so that I can go there the next time. Until then just keep traveling and eating!