5 June 2015

Heritage Tour of Pink City, Jaipur!!!


We were about to reach Jaipur by 5:30 in the morning and we needed a confirmed hotel booking for reaching an unfamiliar place that early. We booked with Golden Hotel(review coming up in following post) who also arranged for pick up from Sindhi Camp Bus stand. We relaxed for a while after reaching the hotel, had breakfast and left for the city tour. While there were many autorikhsaw wala's offering city tour, I knew we didn't exactly needed an auto for the tour, as most of the heritage places of Jaipur were quite closer, apart from the Forts(Amber, Jaigarh, Nahargarh) which we had planned to visit the next day.
Palace cities have a different charm in themselves, the monuments, the streets, the bazaars, speak so much about the royal rule, the city of Jaipur always reminds me of the palace city, Mysore.

Albert Hall Museum
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Albert Hall Museum
As soon as you near museum, all you find is hundreds of pigeons, they are everywhere near the museum and you can find nets dropped down at almost all openings of the museum to stop them entering in.
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In display at Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur's well known craft form Blue Pottery
Dating back to 1880s when the construction of the Hall was started, it gets its name after Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, who laid the foundation. Its an Indo- Saracenic structure with stone ornamentation, with varied classical Indian style from Mughal to Rajput. The inner walls and corridors are decorated with murals and paintings depicting stories from mythology and history. The Museum has a collection of art forms from across Rajasthan and around the world, including metal work, pottery, marble work, ivory, wooden work, miniature painting(one of the well known art forms of Rajasthan). The museum also has a collection of arm and armature, coins, sculptures, carpets, musical instruments.

City Palace/Sawai Man Singh Museum
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Diwan-I-Khas
The drive from Albert Museum to City palace reflects the culture of the city, if time permits its better to walk along the route. As the weather was quite hot and had my little one as well we drove to the palace. Though main entrance looks simple, it has quite to offer inside.  Maharaja Sawai Mahsigh II Museum, well known as city palace was the royal residence of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Its said the outer wall was built in 1729-32 by Sawai Jai Singh II and later on additional buildings were added by successors. 
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The Royal flag flaunting on Chandra Mahal
Starting with Mubarak Mahal(textile gallery), you get along Bagghi Khana, Sileh Khana, Sabha Niwas(Diwan-I-Aam), Sarvatobhadra chowk(Diwan-I-Khas), Pritam Niwas Chowk and others. Off all the one which gains significance is the Chandra Mahal, most of which is still royal residence and Pritam Niwas Chowk, the courtyard providing access to Chandra Mahal. Pritam Niwas Chowk has four gates representing four seasons and its Northeast Peacock gate representing autumn gains everybody's attraction. The royal flag flaunts on the Chandra Mahal, indicating the presence of royal family in the palace. The whole palace has collection of paintings, textile and royal belongs for display. There is also a store inside the palace with artisans selling the art and craft of Rajasthan.

Jantar Mantar
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It was during the rule of Sawai Jai Singh II, that Jaipur city was constructed and the royal rulers moved from Amber to Jaipur. Sawai Jai Singh II, who became the ruler at the age of 11, worked very much on societies well being and contributed to culture and science. It was during his rule, that he built five astronomical observatories in Delhi, Mathura, Banaras, Ujjain and Jaipur. Off which the Jaipur one is still functional. Jantar Mantar has nineteen instruments measuring time, predicting eclipse, tracking location of major stars as the earth orbits around the sun and other astronomical movements.
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You can take guided tour of the observatory to better understand each instrument. You really get astonished with the precision and accuracy with which the instruments operate even today, and their construction back then, without any modern technology. Its said, the precision of an instrument increases with the size of the instrument and hence gave better results. There are lots of books been sold about the observatory in and around Jantar Mantar, you can buy them to know each of the instrument better. Do check out Wiki for more info on the observatory.

Hawa Mahal
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By the time we were done with Jantar Mantar, we were already late and had to skip visiting Hawa Mahal(inside), though its the outer wall of the palace, which has more significance. While most of the other buildings in Jaipur were built by Sawai Jai Singh II, Hawa Mahal(Hawa, meaning Wind and Mahal meaning palace, Palace of Winds) was built by Sawai Pratap Singh. Its a five storeyed red and pink stone structure, in the shape of honeycomb with 953 small windows. This palace was used by women of the Royal family to observe the street while they would be unseen from outside. Its just not Hawa Mahal, but the other buildings along the street too which are red and pink stone structures and giving an heritage look to that area, so does the city gets its name Pink City.

Shopping in Jaipur
Rajasthan is well known for its handcrafts, which include blue pottery(specialized to Jaipur), miniature paintings(both on marble and fabric), marble work, block painting, tie and die, embroidery, leather works, footwear to name a few. There are many emporiums through out Jaipur city and other places of Rajasthan where you can shop. You can also shop at the street vendors on the Badi Chaupad.

Travel Tips:
Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan state in India. Its well connected with rest of the country by road, train and air.

Timings: 
Albert Hall Museum: 9AM to 5PM
City Palace: 9AM to 5PM
Jantar Mantar: 9AM to 4:30PM
Hawa Mahal: 9AM to 5PM
While entry to all monuments is allowed upto 30minutes from closing time.

Entry Fee: Go for composite entry ticket if you plan to visit these places in one or two days, the composite entry costs Rs. 70, valid for 2days and covers, Albert Hall Museum, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Amber Palace and Nahargarh Palace.
Entry fee for City Palace is Rs. 75/adult, and photography inside the galleries is prohibited.

There is also Light and Sound show in Jantar Mantar in Hindi as well as English in the evening. You can plan for a shopping around Badi Chaupad after your heritage tour and go back for the show.

Best time to photograph Hawa Mahal is during morning hours, I wanted to share this because I didn't have my SLR then and photographing the monument in the evening doesn't turn up well.

Related Posts: Check out the complete series on Golden Triangle Tour.  

25 comments:

  1. Lovely post! The blue pottery looks stunning!

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    1. Thank you Chaitali, thank you for dropping by., :)

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  2. As it is close to Gurgaon , have been to this place many times , thanks for sharing.

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    1. Mahesh, I always envy you Delhiites, you people have so much to explore around. Be it heritage sites or the Himalayas;) Thank you for dropping by Mahesh :)

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  3. Lovely post and thank to remind my memory Jaipur.

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    1. Good to hear this post refreshed your remory. Thank you Kriti..

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  4. Great post, Rajasthan is already on my travel list.
    Beautiful pictures too.

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    1. Thats great Alok. Rajasthan has lot to offer, am looking forward for more trips to the beautiful state..
      Thank you for dropping by :)

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  5. Jaipur is enchanting. I want to be enchanted again.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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    1. True, its such an enchanting place.. :)

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  6. Beautiful pictures! I have been to Jaipur but didn't know about the museum.

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    1. Pradeepa, do visit the museum during your next, is worth a visit. There is also a Zoo just next to it, we couldn't visit it though.

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  7. Amazing shots of the city. There is so much to see here.

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    1. Thank you Rajesh.. True there is so much to see in Jaipur and whole of Rajasthan..

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  8. Wow - gorgeous shots, especially the third and the last one.

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  9. So so lovely! We could learn a lot from Indian architechture!

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    1. True Indian heritage, culture, architecture has lot to teach. Thank you for dropping by.. :)

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  10. Thanks for online sharing Rajasthan tour package I’m glad to your whole dada about rajasthan and all knowledgeable of destination have read all information another cause to see Rajasthan will be their completely safeguarded, prosperous hobby historical past. Your Rajasthan state is often a treasure-trove of the best with Indian handicrafts that draws in visitors from around the globe. It is possible to shop for fantastic textiles with beautiful images, treasured as well as partially treasured gems, Kundan as well as Minakari (enameling with silver as well as silver) diamond, embroidered leather-based shoes or perhaps 'juttis', azure pottery, tiny pictures, carpeting and rugs, blankets, stunning trinkets… all exclusive to the state.

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  11. The real comfort of travel is given by small little things not by luxurious things..........Indian Travel Agents & Indian Tour Operators

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