Monday, 2 January 2017

Jaipur: How Royalty Feels - PART1

Ah! The city is truly owned by its palaces and forts. I never thought we’ll cover half the itinerary on the day we reach the city after travelling for straight six hours. We were welcomed by the nagada along with a welcoming drink made of Imli. After we checked in, we decided to have our lunch at Laxmi Mishthan Bhandaar, popularly known as LMB, which is located in one of the famous local bazaars for gems and jewelry, Johari Bazaar. Not much to say about the restaurant as the food was average.

We next went to what Jaipur is famous for, the Hawa Mahal. I was amazed to see that the structure was planned in a manner which enabled the women of royal families to enjoy the site of street festivals with being unseen from the other side! Not only this, the structure was planned in such a manner that the cool air travelled through the intricate pattern of the 953 windows, air conditioning the whole area during the high temperatures in summer. Another fact, there was slope like ramps with ridges on them inside the Mahal whose purpose was to ease the daily roam around for the queens around the Mahal as they wore 20 kgs. of jewelry and clothes! From the rooftop, we could see three historically important structures standing together, the Amer Fort, Sundial and the Jaigarh Fort a.k.a the Victory Fort which is a home to magnificent cannon named 'Jaivana', the world's largest cannon on wheels then. Witnessing the sight gave a sense of power and protection that the kings had for their land.

Hawa Mahal Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan

A small path lead our way to the City Palace, standing tall and strong since 1732. It now houses a museum that showcases the outfits for every purpose of the Maharaja of Jaipur. As we walked further, we saw two huge sterling silver vessels with the capacity of 4000 litres each and weighing 340 kgs each! These vessels were made of 14000 melted silver coins for the purpose to carry the water of the Ganges to drink on his trip to England in 1901 (for Edward VII's coronation) as the Maharaja was finicky about committing religious sin by consuming the English water.

Left:Diwan-I-Khas, Right: Silver Urn

The huge chandeliers hanging from the roof in Diwan-I-Khas, a court to welcome guests, gave a sense of royalty and extravaganza with which the Maharaja and his generations to come lived. Followed by this was Diwan-I-Aam, an enchanting chamber with the ceiling painted in rich red and gold which still looked vibrant. Not only this, it had a 3D painting of the Maharaja whose eyes, toes and thumb moved in the direction of the observer’s movement.

We wanted to stop as we were tired, yet we wanted to visit places, explore the city. We had few days to capture the whole picture of the city in our minds. To see what anyone else never did. To explore everything so that we never have regrets that we missed out something.

Story continued, read Part-2 here

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Written by Ashna Garg
Ashna grew up in a jazzy town (where she felt she can never fit in), did graduation in economics (where she didn’t fit either) and she writes (where she finally started to feel like she fits in)

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