Jaipur was our last destination of Rajasthan trip. We reached Jaipur early morning by bus. And like in every tourist places of India, the taxi driver took us for a ride which was so not planned but so much financially benefited for him. While I travel I feel that there is less good people and more bad people in this country. Most of them try to exploit you, if they identify that you are a tourist. But that not so good start of the day couldn’t ruin our day because it’s impossible to have a bad day when you are in a beautiful city like Jaipur.
We already had our two days planned, but before we started following the plan we just walked towards the nearest sweet-shop for breakfast. Of course after checked in to our room. But wait, breakfast in a sweet-shop ??? Ya, I know that sounds so insane but you guys must know that my travel companion is a Gujarati. And I can’t believe how much sweet he eats. I am not a big fan of sweets or let’s say food at all. But as this one person with me wants to chew all the time we usually check out most sweet-shops and restaurants. I really don’t remember what was the name of item that I had from there but I did try their jilebi and was soo delicious. Enough of breakfast. Let’s come back to Jaipur.
So Jaipur as everyone knows is called as pink city, is the first planned city of India. You can see a whole town painted in pink. Shops on both sides in pink color and have only shop numbers no names. That’s a bit weird in this country considering the fact that how big placards the shop owners usually display in front of each shop with their name. But I loved it. It looked neat. We were on a rickshaw while we were passing these shops and I decided to check it out on the way back. We were actually heading to the City Palace. Did you know that the royal family still live there ? Yes, they are. Only half portion of the palace is open for tourists and in the other half the family is there. And to my surprise, the royal family is ready to have visitors to their private palace but only if you buy ticket which cost you around 1000 per person. If you are interested you can even buy tickets for a dinner with the Maharani. Haha. Seriously, the first thing that came to my mind while I was there in City palace was that how business oriented people are. But then I thought how open minded people are. Because you know how the royal family stands out from a normal citizen in India and still they are ready to mingle with the normal people every day. I chose not to take that tickets as it was fun still being a normal citizen and see only the half portion of the palace.
I am not going into the history of this palace but if you want its easily accessible in Google. There is a fine shopping area inside the palace where you can find some antique stuff and clothes and jewelry designed by the princess herself. I felt these stuff a bit over-prized but may be they concentrate mainly on non-Indian tourists. As usual, we had our audio guide with us and we went all the spots the audio guide wanted us. If you guys have never took audio guides while seeing places like this, I must tell you that you should definitely go for one. Because the human guides(mostly local people) might just have their version of the history and is probably wrong. We have really tried this once. I don’t remember where it was but we took only one audio guide and then hired this one guy to guide us who was rushing us through the places talking some stories he made up. We found that 90% of his stories had no similarity with the actual history we heard from audio guide.
While we were in city palace a rickshaw driver told us that there is this shop which opens only once in a week( and it was open on that day) and has authentic antique stuff on affordable price. We thought to check it out. As soon as we reach there we understood that it was just another shop that offered commission to this rickshaw driver for bringing in tourists. Anyway, we went in and I ended up buying some bangles for me and my niece Aami.
By that time it was already afternoon and we were starving. There are so many small places just outside the city palace where you can have some light food. We just had maggi and coffee and left soon as we had Jantar Mantar also in our list for the day. For those who don’t know what Jantar Mantar is – Jantar Mantar is considered to be one of the largest observatories ever built. Combining religion, science and art, the Jantar Mantar is the name given to a series of five, magnificent structures built in Jaipur, New Delhi, Ujjan, Varanasi and Mathura. Jaipur was the seat of Maharaja Jai Singh II during the 1720’s and this is when this magnificent structure was built here. The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five observatories and also houses the world’s largest sundial(Source – Jaipur.org.uk)
No being a science person, it was not so amusing to me but it looked like my friend really enjoyed the place as he read all the details about each and every structure. Unfortunately, by this time our camera battery was down. So no pics from here. After that we went to a nice restaurant and had Rajasthani thali (again ). I didn’t tell you guys that during this trip we actually had at least one Rajasthani thali a day. Yup, I ate so much!!!
Day 2 in Jaipur..coming soon!!!