Jaipur - In Tryst With History

8th Oct 2016

Jaigarh Fort

Photo of Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Arushi Sablania

Jaipur has always been close to my heart and with its historical significance and cultural heritage it was a win-win for me. You might think if I wanted to explore historical monuments then why Jaipur, I should have gone to Khajuraho or some place else. But being a solo traveler, I found Jaipur an ideal place because, firstly it was near Delhi and secondly, I was familiar with the city. And for the long Dussehra weekend, I could only get tickets to Jaipur :P

Photo of Jaipur - In Tryst With History by Arushi Sablania

Boarded the train from Delhi at 2 PM and reached Jaipur by 7 PM ( P.S never book a passenger train). The city had changed a lot. I took Uber and reached my hotel - Peppermint near Bani Park.

The hotel was pretty decent but the food was bland (literally no salt or spices).

I had made an itinerary long ago and was strictly going to follow it. First day for Fort hopping and the second day for shopping!

Day 1 - Fort Hopping

Unfortunately, my day started late because the driver took some other family for sightseeing instead of me. I had to wait an hour and a half. When I finally sat in the car and reached Chand Pole, I forgot my camera batteries in the hotel room. *so much stress*

I grabbed my camera batteries from the hotel and officially started my day. I started recording the prominent market spots like Chand Pole, Bada Chaupar. For those of you don’t know, I’m a Rajasthani, and it was captivating knowing your roots. Women were wearing Ghagra Choli, speaking in local dialect, I have always been fascinated by this.

Although I have my fair share of childhood travel memories in Rajasthan, but there was always something different about Jaipur.

One the first day, I visited these places, and I’m going to give these in pointers so that you don’t TLDR it!

1. Jaigarh Fort: Enroute to the fort, you get the best aerial view of the city- tiny houses, Jal Mahal in the middle of the lake and a ground.

Jaigarh Fort

Photo of Jaigaon, West Bengal, Bhutan by Arushi Sablania

As I entered the gates, a tourist guide started giving me a tour of the fort (just for your knowledge, the guides are for free). He told me about the water reservoir from which Indira Gandhi found treasure and how a Jaipur handicrafted multani saree is made from its water.

Day 1

Multani Mitti tank

Photo of Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Arushi Sablania

On the top of the fort, what I saw was a beauty. A massive cannon! It is believed to be the biggest cannon in Jaipur/ Rajasthan.

2. Nahargarh Fort Stepwell:

Nahargarh Fort Stepwell

Photo of Nahargarh Road, Kishanpole Bazar, Chandpole Bazar, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Arushi Sablania

You might remember the stepwell where Aamir Khan’s famous movie ‘Rang De Basanti’ was shot. It is the same step-well. Yes! The place is hardly visited by anyone and mostly ignored due to its location.

3. Nahargarh Fort:

Standing on the edge of Aravalli Hills, overlooking the pink city. This fort once formed a strong defense ring for Jaipur. During the Indian Mutiny, British Resident's wife was moved to this fort for protection.

Nahargarh was a well-known hunting residence of the Maharajas during the reign of Sawai Madho Singh.

Nahargarh Fort

Photo of Jaipur - In Tryst With History by Arushi Sablania

Tip: There is an elegant rooftop restaurant in the fort by the name - Once Upon a Time and is the best place for a fancy meal.

4. Panna Meena ka Kund:

Panna Meena Ka Kund

Photo of Panna Meena ka Kund, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Arushi Sablania

Amidst all the tourism cacophony, this stepwell is a calm oasis for the people finding peace. Situated just below the Nahargarh Fort along with the old residence, this place is a secluded stepwell built similar to Chand Baori- India’s largest step well. This place is an ideal destination for Pre-wedding and fashion shoots.

Panna Meena Ka Kund

Photo of Jaipur - In Tryst With History by Arushi Sablania

5. Hawa Mahal:

Hawa Mahal

Photo of Jaipur - In Tryst With History by Arushi Sablania

According to me, you get the best experience of Hawa Mahal from the streets than from the top.

Built in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-storey exterior is similar to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas decorated with labyrinthine latticework. The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen since they had to obey strict- purdah.

The best shots I got of Hawa Mahal was from the street. You can simply avoid getting a ticket and climbing to the top of the monument like I did.

6. Amber Fort:

Amer Fort

Photo of Amber Fort, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by Arushi Sablania

Known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its massive ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, Amer Palace is the most beautiful structure in Jaipur.

Amer Fort

Photo of Jaipur - In Tryst With History by Arushi Sablania

The fort consist of Diwan-e-Aam and Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), Opposite to which is Sukh Niwaas with doors made of sandalwood and ivory. There’s a channel running to the hall which carried cool water that worked as an air cooler, with the help of the breeze.

Amer Fort Garden

Photo of Jaipur - In Tryst With History by Arushi Sablania

The Maharajas would spend a lot of time at Sukh Niwas with their Queens and Mistresses. The Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace is the most famous and beautiful part of Amber Fort. The walls and ceiling of the palace are carved with beautiful paintings and flowers and that too made with pure glass. The famous song - ‘Pyaar Kia Toh Darna Kya’ from Mughal-e-Azam was shot here.

DAY 2- Shopping

Jal Mahal

Photo of Jaipur - In Tryst With History by Arushi Sablania

I spared an entire day for shopping. I have always been a fan of Jaipur handicraft work from studded purses to bandani (tie and dye) fabric to the jewelry. I started walking from Chandpole to Bada Chaupar and back. It was a huge disappointment how the shops were replaced with retail shops selling local household goods. After walking all the way, I bought from little tourist shops near City Palace and again walked for a Kilometer or so. After crossing Hawa Mahal, I was able to find shops with Jaipuri stuff.

After shopping for family and friends (mostly myself :P), I head back to my hotel.

As quoted Jaipur is a sea of palace windows. I assure you, it indeed is!

Here's a short video of my journey:

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