HOW ROYALTY FEELS PART 1
Ah! The city is truly owned by its palaces and forts. I never thought we’ll cover half the itinerary on the day we reach the city, Jaipur, after travelling for straight six hours. We were welcomed by the nagada along with a welcoming drink made of Imli. After we checked in, we decided to have our lunch at Laxmi Mishthan Bhandaar, popularly known as LMB, which is located in one of the famous local bazaars for gems and jewelry, Johari Bazaar. Not much to say about the restaurant as the food was average. However, it is a much buzzed about place to eat in Jaipur.
We next went to what Jaipur is famous for, the Hawaa Mahal. I was amazed to see that the structure was planned in a manner which enabled the women of royal families to enjoy the site of street festivals with being unseen from the other side! Not only this, the structure was planned in such a manner that the cool air travelled through the intricate pattern of the 953 windows, air conditioning the whole area during high temperatures in summer. Another fact, there were ramps with ridges inside the Mahal whose purpose was to ease the daily roam around for the queens around the Mahal as they wore 20 kgs. of jewelry and clothes! From the roof top we could see three historically important structures standing together, the Ahmer Fort, Sundial and the Jaigarh Fort a.k.a the Victory Fort which is a home to magnificent cannon named Jaivana, the world's largest cannon on wheels then. Witnessing the sight gave a sense of power and protection that the kings had for their land.
A small path lead our way to the City Palace, standing tall and strong since 1732. It now houses a museum that showcases the outfits for every purpose of the Maharaja of Jaipur. As we walked further, we saw two huge sterling silver vessels with the capacity of 4000 liters each and weighing 340 kgs each! These vessels were made of 14000 melted silver coins for the purpose to carry the water of the Ganges to drink on his trip to England in 1901 (for Edward VII's coronation) as the Maharaja was finicky about committing religious sin by consuming the English water. The huge chandeliers hanging from the roof in Diwan-E-Khas, a court to welcome guests, gave a sense of royalty and extravaganza with which the Maharaja and his generations to come, lived. Followed by this was Diwan-E-Aam, an enchanting chamber with the ceiling painted in rich red and gold which still looked vibrant. Not only this, it had a 3D painting of the Maharaja whose eyes, toes and thumb moved in the direction of the observer’s movement.
We wanted to stop as we were tired, yet we wanted to visit places, explore the city. We had few days to capture the whole picture of the city in our minds. To see what anyone else never did. To explore everything so that we never have regrets that we missed out something.
HOW ROYALTY FEELS PART 2
Tired by all the travelling, we decided to end our day with a light and sound show in the Amer Fort. The show talked about the history of Jaipur and Amer Fort. This amber colored structure shined like gold in the rays of falling sun. Splendid by its beauty we decided to see the palace from inside. The fort housed an elegant mandir, as white as if piousness had a color, engravings on the walls and pillars still looked clear. The pandits held aarti in the same style as it used to be 400 years ago. Sun fell till we lead our ways out of the temple. The walls of the fort were painted with colors made from vegetables in floral patterns which were as fresh as a year old painting! Made of millions of small mirror pieces and stones, the mesmerizing Sheesh Mahal was shining in all its glory. The chamber justified the purpose for which it was made taaron ki chaon. Every mirror once witnessed the reflection of a Maharani.
We are lucky that we belong to a country that still carries a bag full of culture and a rich history. The Amer Fort stood with its chin up surrounded by the rocky hills.
The next morning welcomed us with a sumptuous breakfast. The hall where our breakfast was served was full of guests and then there was band, not a rock band people! They were three in number and played flute, dholak and one of them sang to the tune. It was a calm day. A very happy day! For a moment we forgot that we are in 21st century!
After a session of brainstorming with my parents, as to where we should go next, we decided to visit the Nahargarh Fort. Lead by a thin road, on the edge of Aravalli hills stood Nahargarh Fort. It was a scary route as the road was too sleek. And finally we reached. The entrance gate was so narrow that our car almost, by an inch, could pass through it! The fort had multiple rooms. This is the same palace which has Rang de Basanti cliff. Yes! We saw the cliff! The sun shined in all its glory. It was afternoon.
We went back to our hotel, gave rest for the last day in the magical city. Took spa and enjoyed the Tana Bana of the hotel, drank all night long and sat around the pool.
This was a much awaited and needed vacation for us. To hold on a second and visit a new place to have new experiences and yeah bond more with each other. We did not want to come out of that dream. The next day, we packed our bags and drove back to our home with only one thought in our hearts, ‘why do all good things come to an end!’