The Palaces of Jaipur
- The first one of them was the Hawa Mahal (In English it would be called as the Wind Palace I think!!).Built in 1799 AD this is a five storied building .The 5th storey is called the Hawa Mandir after which the palace has got its name.
- Some distance away from the Hawa Mahal is Jantar Mantar. This is a world heritage site. It is an epitome of the mastery our people had on their astronomy. This place I suppose would be best enjoyed with a guide (just a hindsight as we chose not to take one). Taking a tour of this place without a professional guide was like admiring a book written in Mandarin. Having saved some money this place did not take a lot of our time.We were out after a brief look at the architecture which helped the kings keep their time in this city. Also it was a more than decent backdrop for some photography.
- Up on a small hill was Amber Fort around 30 minutes away from Hawa Mahal. Here we did take a guide. Also on the menu was the Rajasthan Thali. I bet that this is the heaviest meal on this planet. This is the time when stomach really goes on an overdrive and all your senses ask you to slow down and take a breather. We all shared the thalis so the senses were very active even after we had finished the meal. This fort was a retreat as I remember being told by the guide. Sheesh Mahal is a fascinating portion of this fort. As the name suggests the walls are mounted with glass to reflect the light emanating from a source. The fort was another evidence of meticulous planning which went on behind a building’s architecture in that period. There were concepts of water management, air-conditioning etc. which is a common place found in a lot of these palatial structures
Two places which we could not stop at was the Jal Mahal which is visible on the way to the Amber Fort. The island structure is a sight worth capturing. Also missed were the City Palace, Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort which houses a big canon because the time was running out.
The sun had set and the sky had the orange haze. The day was not over as there was Johari Bazaar which had to be scanned. The place I would say is heaven for women. I would dare not go there .Though I did my purchase as I picked up short kurta which five minutes only. As it grew dark we needed to remind that there was a marriage to be attended and we were running late for it. Surely one day was not enough to experience everything which Jaipur has to offer.