Capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is the largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. Jaipur is also known as the Pink City of India. Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in India and forms a part of the west Golden Triangle tourist circuit along with Delhi and Agra. Way to Jaipur opens up many more tourist destinations in Rajasthan such as Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur and Mount Abu.
I kick started my journey at 7:00 PM in the evening of 1st of March’18. I am a huge fan of road trips but personally find night road trips a bit boring as the outside scenes can be missed. But travelling with a bunch of crazy heads eases out the journey tiredness and adds a lot of laughter and humour in the air. By road, its approximately takes 5-6 hours to reach Jaipur. With good company, food and music, distance is merely a number. As soon as we reached check-in to our hotel, we all dozed off.
The sky was covered in colours as we woke up from our deep sleep. This month of the year welcomes the festival of colours, ‘Holi’. But before even thinking about engaging ourselves in the festivity, we freshened up and went straight to have breakfast to fill our tummies with food to deal with the whole day. Post having a heart-full meal, we got ready to leave for our first destination - Hawa Mahal. On our way to our first destination, we could feel the high spirits of the people who were out on the roads to celebrate Holi. The crowd had painted self and the city with colours. Jaipur being a tourists places, I came across a lot of foreigners who too were enjoying the festival of colours with full vigour and energy with the local crowd.
Hawa Mahal is an interesting place with a unique five-storey exterior resembling honeycomb with its 953 small windows called jharokhas. The intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey the strict rules of "purdah". This architectural feature also allowed cool air from the Venturi effect (doctor breeze) to pass through, thus making the whole area more pleasant during the high temperatures in summer. Many people see the Hawa Mahal from the street view and think it is the front of the palace, but in reality it is the back of that structure. But due to the festivity, the entry was closed. So, after spending couple go minutes there we headed towards our second destination, Bhahgarh Fort. After a drive of an hour, we reached our destination.
To see the ruins of this place, one has to walk for good 10-15 minutes in the company of monkeys, to reach the main entrance of Bhangarh. It is a village situated in Rajasthan and is famous for its historical ruins. Fort ranks 1st in the list of haunted places in India and attracts a lot of tourists. Due to a few tragic incidents and the widespread belief that the fort is haunted, it is illegal to enter the fort after sunset and before sunrise, as per Government Orders. Entering through the main gate of the completely ruined fort city, one can find temples, palaces, and havelis. As you go up to explore the ruins of the palace, one could imagine the beauty of this place in the past when it would have been glued together as one. The surroundings, the atmosphere, the structure...if I would have a Time Travel Machine, I would have loved to travel back just to witness the architecture and beauty of this place.
With the scorching sun over our head and energy all sucked out, the whole group left the place and headed back to the hotel for little nap before hitting the road again for the next stop - Chowki Dhani.
After taking a little nap and taking a dip in the pool, all of us got ready for our next destination - Chowki Dhani, which is less than 60 mins from the main city of Jaipur. At the entrance, one could feel the authentic rural life being build up to give the tourists the glance of rural life and air. I personally got a chance to experience the variety of small delights that were there to entertain the crowd. Fire show, puppet show, utensil museum, village games, camel rides, horse rides, light snacks like bhel puri, kulfi, etc were cherished at every few steps. And not to forget the mosquito bites...arrhhh. Soon, it was our time to hog on the Rajasthani Thali which was plenty full for each and one of us. The plate contained of Dal Batti Churma, Gattay ki Zabzi, Panner ki Zabzi, Mix Veg., Salad, Chutney’s, Pickle, Papad, Chach and so on.
After a heartful meal, we exited the place with a lot of memories to cling to. Thus, marking our first day in the city of palaces.