High point of Jaipur, the City Palace is one of the most celebrated and visited places in the country.
I gazed in awe at the majestic palace; time had not ravaged its glory. I had managed to find time from the hurried schedule of my cousin’s wedding celebrations to explore the wonders of the Pink City. It was a quick yet fulsome discovery of the city’s royal past. The short tour took me to the City Palace for its rich history, the temple of Govind Dev ji for its religious significance and ended with a sumptuous feast of the famous Pyaaz Kachori with Lassi.
The scorching sun did not kill my excitement and after a bumpy 45-minute ride in the local auto from our hotel, I reached the palace. The first thing that struck me was its sheer perfection and stunning structure. At the entrance, I was welcomed with a puppet show portraying local stories of the Rajasthani Culture.
Further, I had walked into Diwan-i-Khas which has two huge silver pots called Gangajelies. Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II filled these with Ganga water and took them to London with him as he would not drink anything but Gangajal.
Next I went to see the Mubarak Mahal. It is an amazing fusion of Islamic, Rajput and European architectural styles. This building now houses a museum displaying the clothes worn by the royal family.
Built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the palace has many buildings; Chandra Mahal being the most dominating one. Pitam Niwaas Chowk is an inner courtyard which provides access to the Chandra Mahal. The most intriguing feature is that it has four gates, each adorned with themes representing the different seasons. The Peacock Gate is the most pleasant and beautiful of all the four gates.
After this fulfilling historical treat, it was time for some bhakti. Dedicated to the most celebrated Hindu god, Lord Krishna, the temple of Govind Dev ji is part of the palace complex. The ceiling of the temple is ornamented with gold, European chandeliers light up the temple and Indian paintings grace the walls. Head bowed and prasad taken, I walked out in reverence.
After satiating my mind and spirit, it was time to please the body. I stopped at a shop adjacent to the temple for the famous Pyaaz Kachori and Lassi. In the midst of the meal, a call reminded me that it was time to get ready to welcome the baraat. And I rushed back hoping to see the vibrant city’s grandeur in the future.
Entry ticket (City Palace): Rs 35
Timings: 9.30 A.M. – 5.00 P.M.
By Air: Jaipur can be reached from all the major destinations; it also caters to international flights.
By Rail: One can get down at Jaipur Railway Station that is directly connected to New Delhi Railway Station, 3.5 hours away.
By Road: Delhi to Jaipur is 264 km, 4.5 hours by road. Rajasthan State Road Transport buses connect Jaipur with major towns.
Text and cover image by Supriya Aggarwal
Originally published at the author’s blog – http://supriya-agarwl.blogspot.com/