A long weekend….pleasant weather…..a previous cancelled trip of Rajasthan – all these came down to the booking of to and fro tickets to Rajasthan. Finally! I had 3 days so thought of covering 2 places. First Jaipur and then Jodhpur.
Total cost for Jaipur trip – Approx Rs.2500.
Started off on Thursday and reached Jaipur on Friday. Now, the stay options had to be given a good thought, since I did not want to stay in the same boring hotels or guest houses. So looked around for hostel options. Got few really good ones! As per the availability, booked a bed in bunk-bed dorm in Moustache Hostel located near to the Jaipur Railway Station at a proper location.
Since I went from Mumbai to Delhi for some work and then from Delhi to Jaipur, took the Delhi Porbander Express which reached around afternoon, perfect for me since the check in time to the Hostel was 2:00 PM. From Mumbai BCT Jaipur Superfast Express would be the good option.
First day, got down at the station, few rickshaw pullers and auto rickshaw came running to bid for the ride. Instead of taking those, came outside and took one auto rickshaw from the stand which was only Rs. 40 (I confirmed the rate from the Hostel guys itself over phone).
Reached Moustache Hostel, the entrance and interior will give you a friendly feeling with lots of interactions and good vibes. Ofcourse it’s mostly for the backpackers but to my surprise there were families too! Good rooms, foods and the recreation room was the best thing – read books, play games or sit/sleep there for as long as you want.
Moving on to the next set of action – Got freshened up, and decided to look around the city on foot since it was already evening by then.
Day 1 – Albert Hall Museum and Ram Bagh Niwas
Started to walk towards Albert Hall Museum . On the way to the museum, there is the Ram Bagh Niwas – one of the oldest park in Rajasthan. It was simple, full of greenery and nothing extra unique over there. Then headed to the museum. It has housed different kinds of artifacts , instruments, historic articles and many more.
One very interesting fact is that there is a mummy kept at the basement of the museum. Do watch it!
By the time I came out it was already dark and I was very hungry. Asked some people which is the best place to have the authentic Rajathani dal-baati churma, and I was suggested to try out the thali at Virasat.
Just to give the idea about it, Virasat is a three storey building with each floor having its unique way of presentation – Rajasthani folk dance performance, traditional seating arrangement with costumes, giving you a Royal feel , general Ala Carte too. Although it’s a bit pricey but the food was amazing, no doubt.
Returned to the Hostel and spent time in the common room and terrace. There was BBQ that night for all on the terrace.
Day 2 – Nahargarh , Jaigarh and Amer Fort
Next day, hired a two-wheeler and started for all the major Forts in Jaipur. Yes! Like Goa and Hampi, two-wheeler renting option is available which is definitely a boon! The roads are really well maintained and the view while going uphill to Nahargarh Fort is breath taking. You can spot our National bird – Peacock roaming around on the roads and nearby bushes.
The entry to Nahargarh Fort is Rs. 200.
Then on the way back visit the Jaigarh Fort . This is an interesting one. The largest canon ‘on wheel’ is kept here. Also as per the guide story, the water reservoirs in this Fort was used not only to store the rain water but also to hide tons of gold acquired after winning a battle! Hence when the Britishers used to raid, they could see only water and return without the hint of gold underneath the level of water.
The entry to Jaigarh Fort is Rs. 50 only.
Next is Amer Fort . More famous due to the fact it was the home of Jodhaa Bai. Beautiful, magnificent are very small words to describe the beauty of this Fort.It has been maintained very well by the Govt. Interesting fact is that , Amber Fort and Jaigarh Fort are connected by a ‘tunnel’ . And yes! you can walk through the tunnel which is underground at the Amber Fort side and above the wall on the Jaigarh Fort end.
The entry to Amer Fort is Rs. 50 only.
I walked the entire length of the tunnel and back i.e. starting from Amber Fort and back to it, since I took my two wheeler and had to get back on it.
It was evening by the time got out of Amer Fort, so had food at one of the hotel there. The food was simple and cheap.
While returning saw the Jal Mahal, the Palace in the middle of the Lake.
The day was amazing in the midst of the historic relics.
Day 3 – City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Jaipur Markets
Next day was the City tour.
Started off at the City Palace. Even today the Royal family stays there. Hence half portion is private while the remaining is open to the public. It’s clean and well maintained. The variety of arms display is great. There’s a museum and Rajasthani items exhibit where you can see and buy stuffs from amazing hand made paintings, traditional jewelries, clothes and lots more.
Just in front of the City Palace is the famous Jantar Mantar – first in India. The one at Delhi is a smaller version of this. This is a great place for all especially for the kids. The perfect calibration hundreds of years ago, the calculations as per the astronomy, the zodiacs and the biggest physical Sun Dial in the world are human creations that will leave you simply amazed.
Next, headed for the Hawa Mahal – ‘Palace of breeze‘, famous for its architecture and the constant breeze that blow in the top floors of it. May be previously it was closed for public to get inside as per few locals over there, but now it’s open and you must pay a visit to this other gem of Rajasthan.
Just opposite to the Hawa Mahal is The Tattoo Cafe. You can sit there for hours and enjoy the beauty of it over a sip of coffee or bite a sandwich. Below road is the continuous stretch of the market area. Lots and lots of traditional ‘Mojri’ , clothes, spices, foods are available here. So shop till you drop!
Spotted this Elephant walking down the market road from the Cafe opposite to Hawa Mahal.
This marked the end of the Jaipur trip. For Jodhpur check out the next article, since this has become quite long! Stay tuned and happy traveling… :)
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