Saturday, 24 August 2019

What to Explore – Day 1. (Jaipur Journals, Part 2)

Hi All! Hope you all are in the groove after reading the first part of my Jaipur journals! Let’s hit the road, because Day 2 is long, tiring but full of adventures! Just like the Day 2 of our trip, this post is going to me long, so stay with me & you’ll have some fun!

Day 2 began early for us. We were supposed to head out at 8:30 AM, but got half an hour delayed. Within no time, we were on the road. On Day 2, we covered Jalmahal Palace, Amer Palace, Panna Meena ka Kund, Royal Gatore & Nahargarh Fort.

The highlight of the day was Amer Palace which is timelessly beautiful.


You can visit Jalmahal Palace on the way to Amer Fort. As the name suggests, it is situated in a lake & is very picturesque. No one is allowed to go inside the Palace with the exception of VVIP! The road that’s in front of the lake is broad. You can take a walk there on a nice breezy evening with a stunning sight in front of your eyes. This whole setting took me back to the evening I spent in front of Fateh Sagar Lake in Udaipur. When it comes to lakes or oceans or beaches, a switch in me immediately turns on making me incredibly happy & I’m so grateful for that! Check out a few photos from the viewing point of Jalmahal Palace.

Other Details:
·        15 minutes from City Palace.
·        Open from 6 AM to 6 PM.
·        No Entry Fees.
·        Takes 20-30 minutes to explore.

Viewing Jalmahal Palace put us in a good mood & we were looking forward to the most awaited part of the trip – Amer Palace! We took a guide for this short tour, so now I am very knowledgeable on this. Amer Village has Amer Palace which can be viewed by tourists & also Amer Fort which is accessible only to locals. Naturally, I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to view Amer Fort which had been a dream for me. Nevertheless, Amer Palace didn’t disappoint.

Amer village is more than 1000 years old, whereas Amer Palace is around 400 years old. Stunned? So were we! Apparently, Amer village is also the town of Princess Jodha. It has 365 temples; one for every day. The people in this village work at home & specialize in production of clothing. They make blankets, dresses, sarees & are paid by the Government for this. Even though it seems like a little sad town, it is self- efficient which I really liked. Never judge by appearances!

There are 2 entries to the Amer Palace. Since we were in the car, we went by the back gate, which earlier was the entrance for the common public. Fitting. The front entrance was for the royal family which now was used to bring in foreigners mounted on royal elephants. Again, fitting. If you want to enter through the front gate, you will have to climb a LOT OF STEPS. If you’re not fit enough to do that, just take the back gate, like the common public.

There is also a view of the garden in the center, fort at the top & royal elephants carrying the tourists at the bottom. Even the viewing point is a perfect spot to click pictures! Check it out!

Once you enter the main area, you will be mesmerized with the view! After the entry, we saw Diwan-e-Aam in the front & Diwan-e-Khaas on the right. And, as the name suggests, Diwan-e-Khaas was breathtakingly beautiful. You just cannot take your eyes off of it for 10 whole minutes. Words cannot do it justice, so check it out below!

Other Details:
·        20 minutes from City Palace.
·        Open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
·        Entry Fees Rs. 100 per person.
·        Takes 1.5-2 hours to explore.
·        Take a Guide.
Sheesh Mahal is a mini Mahal inside Amer Palace & oh so fantastic! You can only imagine how pretty a palace of mirrors will look like! You have to see it to believe it. There is an equally romantic story behind Sheesh Mahal. In the olden times, the Queen wasn’t allowed to sleep in the open area where she could look at the stars in the sky. So, the then King asked to make what was the Sheesh Mahal. Since it is built with mirrors, stone & glass, the reflection of several candles makes it look like a beautiful starry night. Just like the Queen wished for. It is quite the remarkable spot!

Though the entry inside the Mahal is not permitted, you can view it from the outside & still be amazed by its extravaganza. This spot is also used in many Bollywood movies! This was easily the most attractive spot in Amer Palace.

Just opposite the Queen’s Sheesh Mahal is the Sukh Niwas or Sukh Mandir where the King & Queen used to relax. It is made with sandalwood & ivory. It’s all white & looks amazing. In between these two rooms is the garden.

After the Amer Palace tour, if you opt for the Guide, he will take you to the shopping centre. They showed us a small demo of how authentic their clothes are. They make colours from all natural things, like fruits & vegetables. So, the colour of the cloth doesn’t change. It can be easily washed. It was quite the marketing if you ask me. Here you can buy razai (blankets), sarees, dress materials, kurtas, jwellery, gems & you also get a free palmistry reading! Most of the things the palmist told me were true! I was blown away by the accuracy.

Amer Palace tour + shopping took a lot of time. It was already close to 1.30 PM when we finished the shopping spree, with one more place to cover before lunch. We hurried to the next stop which was Panna Meena ka Kund aka the Step Wall. Before I describe this place, I want to give a BIG KUDOS to all the photographers who are also blessed with Photoshop skills. The kind of images I had seen & the kind of actual image I saw was leaps & bounds different from each other. Luckily, since there wasn’t much to view here, we were out of the place in less than 10 minutes. We soon headed to Samode Haveli for lunch. (More on this later.)

Other Details:
·        5 minutes from Amer Palace / 25 minutes from City Palace.
·        Open from 7 AM to 6 PM.
·        No Entry Fees.
·        Takes 15-20 minutes to explore.

Our lavish lunch lasted till 3:30 PM, after which we had to hurry to cover the remaining 2 spots. First we went to the Royal Gatore aka Gatore ki Chhatriyaan. I knew from the moment I had seen its photos that I wasn’t going to miss on this spot. It was similar to Udaipur’s Ahar Cenotaphs. It’s the resting place of all the Kings. Because of lack of time, we stayed there only for about 20 minutes & then headed to Nahargarh Fort. Even in that short period, we managed to click Instagram worthy photos!

Other Details:
·        15 minutes from City Palace.
·        Open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
·        Entry Fees – Rs. 30 per person.
·        Takes 40-50 minutes to explore.

After the hurried sightseeing at Gatore, we rushed to Nahargarh fort. This fort is quite a famous one in Jaipur. It’s at the topmost point, which means there were a lot of twists & turns on the road till the top. And in such a situation, my stomach always takes a turn for the worse. More so, we went there right after lunch, so there was a high risk. After reaching the top, in that squeamish state, both of us went to explore Nahargarh fort, so none of us were that excited. We roamed around a bit & saw nothing of fascination. The fort is famous for the views it has to offer. This I can agree on. It provided bird’s eye view of the Pink City. Apart from this, there was nothing to it.

Other Details:
·        35 minutes from City Palace.
·        Open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
·        Entry Fees – Rs. 100.
·        Takes 30-45 minutes to explore.
·        Special for Sunsets.

6 spots & 9 hours later, we were almost done for the day. It was the most eventful day in Jaipur. I never thought we would be able to cover so much in just one day. Sure, it was long & exhausting, but the fun we had! Now that I look back, I think this was my most favourite day in the Pink City. More importantly, the day hadn’t ended with sight-seeing. Another significant thing was pending. Dinner at Bar Palladio. More on this later!

I hope you enjoyed the photos, because we had to go to great lengths to click them. From standing in queues to risking our phones to rain to standing in weird poses & what not! If I had to quote this day, the word would be ‘EVENTFUL’’. I hope to have more & more of such days in my life!

Until next time,

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