Jaipur: A mix of culture and modernity

 

The famous Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta once said, “travelling- it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”. According to me a visit to a place is just like watching a film, every time you experience it, something new comes up. The same could be said about my trip or let’s say ‘trips’ to the Pink city- Jaipur. But here I will talk about my latest encounter.

There is a general perception that the kind of vacation you have depends on your company. The enjoyment is different when you travel with your friends as compared to the times you take a trip with family. In this context, I can happily say I got the best of both worlds. I had gone with my school best friend Anandita and her parents. They are almost like my second family in New Delhi. So this trip was meant to be special right from the beginning. It is worth a mention, that this whole visit to Jaipur was very impromptu. I had gone to visit Anandita on 28th December and the next day we hit the road.

We started our journey early in the morning on the 29th of January. Since it was a short trip of two days we had no time to loose and left as early as seven. In the midst of heavy fog and the chilly weather of Delhi, we headed towards the neighboring pink city. All four of us were full of energy and joy. While uncle and aunty were waiting to do their luxury shopping. Anandita and me, were all decked up to explore the city like never before. It was a four-hour journey and we finally landed in Jaipur at the perfect lunch time. While her parents decided to stay at the all so famous Maurya Sheraton, we kept our luggage at the nearby ibis hotel. Both of us thought to waste no time and started exploring from the time we kept foot in the city. Since we were in the mood for some light snacks, we decided not to head to the usual restaurants or the chaat and tiiki wala. ‘Lets check Zomato’, was the first thought that came into our mind.

Our lunch ended up being in a cute little café named Anokhi. As the name suggests, there was definitely something unique about it. It was a small cozy café, which got all its food straight from the farm. We ordered two coffees’ and a pizza. The food on the whole was marvelous and indeed very healthy. After satisfying our food hunger, we headed for a bit of sight seeing. Our first destination being the famous, City Palace. This palace is one of the main attraction of the city and is built on the banks of Pichola Lake. It was built by Sawai Jai Singh between 1729 and 1732 AD. Even though I had visited this city a couple of times I had only seen this place from the window of the car. This time however we decided to buy tickets and visit each of its structure. It was sheer beauty and we crossed each part of the palace, reading the boards on its history. We saw the Maharani Palace, Bhaggi Khan, Govind ji ka temple and Diwan- E – Aam, to name a few. This place was crowded from inside with both Indian as well as foreign tourist. All of them trying to get their pictures clicked behind the beautifully carved doors located inside the palace. So after refreshing our history and culture, we went back to the hotel to rest.

Just like the beginning, the ending of the day was also close to perfection. We got a call from her parents telling us that we would be having dinner at the heavenly Peshawari of the ITC Maurya Sheraton. The highlight was obviously their famous Dal Bukhara. With this, the hectic day finally came to an end.

The next morning, we decided to do some street shopping and headed straight to Mirza Ismail Road or popularly known as MI road. Junk jewelry has always been our favorite and we ran to the first shop we saw on the street. Looking at the amount of shopping we had planned to do even the shop keeper left all other customer and came to us. Taking out new boxes of earrings, anklets and necklaces every five minutes. We also managed to get an excellent amount of discount on them. Other than junk jeweler, the palazzo’s also attracted us and we picked up a few of them. We roamed around Bapu Bazar, Johri Bazar and Nehru Bazar. Later we joined Anandita’s parents and assisted them in their shopping spree.

Shopping as an art does drain you of your energy and therefore we left for another café experience. This time it was Tapri Central, located in S scheme locality of Jaipur. The experience to this place was perhaps the best thing about the trip. Located on the rooftop, it had both indoor and outdoor seating. They transformed simple food items into marvelous dishes. We tried the Tadka Maggie, Masala tea and Dal Pakwaan. Following this mouth watering lunch, we came back to the hotel. For the remaining part of the day, we stayed in the hotel room, gossiping, chatting and reliving our school memories. The next morning, we left for New Delhi.

Even though it was a short trip of two days, it definitely did teach me something. Most of us visit a city once and strike it off our list. One visit or even four or five is never enough to say, ‘I am done with this place’. Each city has a lot more to offer than what is visible from the outside. The city of Jaipur is generally visited for its heritage and local Rajasthani cuisine. But in this small little town, a lot more is happening than we know.

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