Discovering the Secrets of Jaipur


In the moderately sunny, post monsoon month of September, taking a trip to Jaipur didn’t seem to be such a bad idea. Apart from the crisp weather and fresh green forests on the Aravalli Hills, there was the additional benefit of not having an overwhelming amount of tourist activity in the area.

Being a part of the internationally acclaimed Golden Triangle, Jaipur receives its fair share of tourists from all over the world. But for a young traveller from India like me, the expectations from a holiday are slightly different than just being touristy. A little solitude and peace of mind have always been the prerequisites for all my vacations. In search of these, most of the times, I’m either driven to the Himalayas or to the Western Ghats.

Living in Delhi for a year now, the South Delhi monuments were starting to sprout an interest in history for me. I always knew, a trip to Jaipur was on the cards, but little did I know of a sense of wonder that was waiting to unfold in the beauty of Rajasthan!

Photo of Discovering the Secrets of Jaipur 1/2 by vivek dixit

The best trips are the ones that enthral you, and enrich you with something new. So surprising was the glimpse of Jaipur's beauty, that its flame didn’t just ignite sparks of wonder, but also opened the gates to a beautiful world, that existed half a century ago. Absorbing my first views of the grand forts that have stood like formidable mountains, witness to countless number of changing seasons, made me aware of the vastness of time. So long ago did the Suryavanshi Rajputs excel in the intricacy of detail. It can be seen on the fresco art that adorns the walls of the fort, or found in local paintings made from a single haired brush. It also shows a glimpse of the humane and softer instincts of the Mughal Empire that preserved and nurtured this treasure, instead of hindering it.

Photo of Discovering the Secrets of Jaipur 2/2 by vivek dixit
Fresco Art

Science has always embraced diversity, while society always despised it. Perhaps, Jaipur is one such rare gem, where even society made way for change, and embraced a unique fusion of the existing Rajputana culture with Mughal influences. The amalgamation of the two can be clearly seen in the architecture of the Amber Fort. Here, on alternating window grills, one can find carvings which are representative of Rajput and Mughal architectures.

Star Pattern representing,Rajputana Style

Photo of Amber Palace, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by vivek dixit

The alternate grill with Mughal Star

Photo of Amber Palace, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India by vivek dixit

The description of the Amber Fort given by our guide Mr. Ilyas, transported us back in time to the 16th century. Imagining this beautiful fort with the lavish Pashmina carpets, and curtains with work of gold, now kept in the museum, gave me a true sense of recognition of the Great Emperors, whose folklore kids in India have grew up to. When the elephants would be set on guard and the drums be bellowing, the sights and sounds must’ve been something else through veiled hues of Jalidar windows. Though a detailed explanation of how the waterways once worked to cool down summer palaces had been enough to drop my jaw in awe, the main course of my visit to Amber was still awaiting me.

The Light n' Sound Show that Ranbir Kapoor misses out in YJHD when Deepika stops him for the sunset, was surely a loss for him. That guy must've really loved her to do that! Because the experience of this show is something that is beyond words... To explain it the best, it's a truly functional play of lights that is so smoothly laced with sounds that it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. I haven’t seen a lot of Light n’ Sound shows in the past, but this one truly made me a little teary eyed, amazed by the beauty of this magnificent fort. The stories, pinpointed to detail from legend to folk take you back to as early as the beginning of medieval times, when the area was under the occupancy of Meena tribes, followed by the Kachchwaha rulers later. Such magnanimity of time makes you feel the small tiny lives we live, and the way they change like chapters of a history book. Things like ego and jealousy automatically dissolve and humbleness and compassion sink in. After all these were the emotions that even Akbar was experiencing, which made him Akbar The Great! Listening to how humanity progressed and grew from those early days was interesting.

Next up after the Amber Fort was the Jaigarh Fort. Sitting on the hill right above Amber, Jaigarh was like a vigilant eagle holding its brother’s back. The fact that this particular hillock was locally known as “Cheel Ka Teela” (Eagle's Hill) seems to be a mere coincidence.

Jaigarh is a military fort, which is also the home to the world’s largest canon on wheels. This gigantic machine, popularly known as Jaivaan, was a high end measure to the security of a majestic fort that lay below. Such mighty the power of the canon is acclaimed to be that it deafened a number of people when fired, and lakes are now being fed in the holes that were formed from the explosion! Obviously, nobody dared to attack the kingdom with such armoury, and the canon remained unused except for a trial run.

Photo of Discovering the Secrets of Jaipur by vivek dixit

The sunset from Nahargarh looked amazing, and reminded us that a desert sits nearby.

Photo of Discovering the Secrets of Jaipur by vivek dixit

Apart from these Forts, the temple of Galta Ji looked like another great place one should visit in Jaipur. In the evening, when the sun was setting, the monkeys walked back towards a huge temple complex hidden between the hills. Like a mother, hiding all in her abode, Rajasthan was quickly becoming like a home that has been so close, yet so far.

And now that I have seen a bit of Rajasthan, the one thing I realized is that when in Rajasthan, it does make sense going Royal. The true experience of living in palace hotels would certainly open up a new dimension! And so would taking a hot air balloon ride over the magnificent Pushkar Mela. Having been bitten by the Rajasthan bug now, only time will tell how the Desert Queen plans to unravel her secrets to me. And I'm hoping for, sooner than later...

3 Comment(s)
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Clicks are beautiful :)
Tue 09 20 16, 00:34 · Reply · Report
Indeed a nice trip to pen down with Golden words wrapped up in Royalty. I too find my ways back to the medieval period after reading this. Enjoyed the rhetoric tone of words with the glare of flamboyance. Royalty Reigns here. Good work man.. keep it up. P.S.:- The contrast in the pattern of windows intrigued me the most.
Tue 09 20 16, 00:34 · Reply · Report
WOW !! Nicely written Vivek. Your words make Jaipur a majestic & must visit place.
Tue 09 20 16, 00:30 · Reply · Report