Jaipur has always had intrigue since my teenage with the legends of the pink city and the stories we learned from the history classes. The blog is my scoop to capture the glimpses. My quick takeaways:
- The history, culture, way of life, abundance from the past, and incredible depth of artistic creativity we saw during the trip impressed a strong imprint.
- If I were to name one thing that blew me away completely, that would be – Jantar Mantar.
- I think the planning, development, and preservation of the pink city gives a unique brand appeal to Jaipur.
- The heartbeat of the city juiced us up with tremendous energy.
I always thought art has been integral to capturing narratives and cultivating depth in the priceless Indian heritage over thousands of years. I was excited about it in anticipation, and sure enough, we got to see and experience breathtaking creativity with art sprinkled throughout the trip. Following are a few highlights.
City Palace Assembly Area: Artistic Entryways
The city palace has an arena or an assembly area with four entryways and view galleries – each supposedly significant to the year’s four seasons. The paintings on each probably capture stories and express the time’s culture and values. The paintings’ details, mind-blowing colors, and symmetry blew me away.
I hope, wish, and pray for time and opportunity to learn more about its details, spirit, and theme.
The Albert Hall museum in the city has a fantastic range of artifacts. I think it gives an insightful peek into the times in the past and their embedded stories. We did a quick one-hour visit as a guided tour. It created an intrigue, and I might do more exploration later maybe using the online research.
Amber Fort and Palace
The Amber Fort is built in the mountains with an incredibly scenic backdrop. I am in awe of the resources, abundance, and ingenuity to build a fort that probably goes miles in every direction I see.
The palace has wide open spaces with a balance in proportions that felt good.
The intricate artwork of paintings, pattern carvings, and mirrors on the palace walls and ceilings are beyond words.
Our tour guide mentioned that a good chunk of the shooting for the movie Jodha Akbar was done in the fort and palace. Probably a reason to watch the movie again now. 🙂
On the way to the Amber fort, we stopped by one spot to see a stepped well. The layers of stairs going towards the bottom were quite a site.
It is a facade facing a street in the pink city. Supposedly, queens used to peek at the street activity while maintaining their privacy. It gives different flavors to the experience depending upon angle of the sun (behind or in front of it), and lighting at the night time.
Patrika Gate is built recently in Jaipur. We stopped by at night time. The effects of the detailed artwork, shapes of the passageways, and light were stunning.
The Jantar Mantar juiced me up more than anything else in Jaipur. It was a shockingly pleasant surprise.
When I heard the name, I thought it had something to do with magic or a religious ritual/tradition. I learned the word “Jantar” is colloquial for “Yantra” – a machine: “Mantar” refers to “Mantra,” – an equation or a formula.
Colossal stone models map to latitude, the longitude of the location, and the angle of sun rays to show time within the precision of +/- 2 seconds. The largest model has stone walls going as high as probably 80 feet. How incredible to see giant stone pieces meticulously curved and fitted together for precise circular contours. There are models to identify the astrological signs of a person born at any time. The guide explained to us how king Jai Singh – the founder of the city and so the name Jaipur – had the vision to tap into his knowledge and vision to combine science, technology, and engineering talents with building Jantar Mantar.
For years, I believed astrology wasn’t science nor based on something tangible that could be measured or calculated. Seeing the models precisely provide the astrological signs and understanding how they relate to different stars was an eye-opener. There are systems and methodologies to measure and validate it repetitively/consistently. I picked up books on the Jantar Mantar models developed in five cities in India and also on astrology.
Jaipur is the first planned city in India. The old town – the pink city – has buildings clad in pink with the consistent design of the front faces of all shops. It is a one-of-a-kind experience walking on the streets, exploring an eclectic range of local shops, and feeling the energy.
Shop owners have people on the street keen to invite and sometimes lure us inside. While it’s not new or the first time I saw haggling over the price, I think it was still quite an experience.
Another fun part for me was having tea in kullad on the streets. I wish I could have gone crazy with the street food – I think jet lag and my digestive system being the last to adapt to the new time zone gets in the way. Still, we enjoyed the kachori – it appears to be a big part of Jaipur’s way of life. Dal Bati is so “Jaipur” and probably also “Rajasthan” – I absolutely loved the flavors in the Dal. We popped into one place for lunch, and I thoroughly enjoyed the taste of Besan ki Roti.
My gratitude for all the rejuvenating fun and a new perspective from Jaipur. 😄 🙏
Alka Suketu kapadia
“Jaipur “ really a place where we go & had a life time memories which we have but by your such an excellent words I go through all the journey again & it is more valuable for me . Excellent Jaipur by your eyes Devenbhai.😍🙏
Thank you, Alkaben!