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Planning a trip to Jaipur, the pink city? Here is an account of the author’s trip, capturing the grandeur of the place.
The husband: “I have meetings to conduct. We cannot plan a trip.” Me: “Come on Arun, it’s our wedding anniversary. A day or two, what do you reckon?”
Next day, standing in the balcony of a hotel, right in the heart of Jaipur, overwhelmed by pink hued huge architecture of the city, we thought that it was good that we had an overnight journey to the place. Else, we might have missed out on the warm and exuberant smile of rosy turbaned coolies at the station!
The city exudes grandeur, and so does the hospitality. We breakfasted at Rajdhani and they were impeccable in their hospitality. Warmth exudes from the moment we entered the eatery.
When we decided to go sightseeing, Ola cabs came to our rescue, and we didn’t spend much time bargaining on the cab rates. On a suggestion of a local resident, we started with a visit to Albert Museum, only to realise that the museum might be extremely exciting to an amateur archaeologist. It was majestic. However, we could only partly engage ourselves with the monument. Next we stopped at Jantar Mantar, a similar one to the one found in Delhi. Apparently, there are five Jantar Mantar monuments in India, of which the largest is in Jaipur.
We were exhausted. Yet, I wanted to go shopping – I am a woman who is always comforted by retail therapy. Jaipur’s shopping centre ‘Chaura Bazaar’ stood wide open inviting everyone with its melange of colours. Famous for its bandhani work dupattas and trinkets, you would be cruel if you will not carry back souvenirs back from this market.
It was day two, which turned out to be a real winner. The cab dropped us at the Amber Fort. This majestic fort has a place of pride for having being featured in the Bollywood saga Jodha Akbar, amongst many others. There is much more to the fort that what meets the eye, what with untold old stories that live on in the walls of the building.
What was however, intriguing and heart breaking is that this grand culture is confined only within the walls. We saw an old lonesome flute like instrument player, resting against the wall, thriving only on the coins often given by the visitors as a token of appreciation. I realised that we have lost 98% of indigenous music traditions – but who cares? Other than few talent shows in which only a few manage to exhibit their talent, much is either lost or unknown to the world outside.
But back home, I did my part to connect with the forgotten music. When we talk about music closer home, Coke Studio is one of the first things that comes to mind. I downloaded their app from the play store. With the programme thriving on the indigenous voices and music forms, it brought me closer to the unsung heroes, giving me goosebumps.
We were home the next day, but not before making a fleeting visit to Hawa Mahal. Sigh! The infrastructure will take your breath away which you will catch back soon with no dearth of air around coming from windows. It boasts of having a total of 953 windows uniquely carved in the Rajasthani pattern and designs!
We were back from our colourful trip, laden with equally colourful souvenirs, reminding me of famous lines by Khalil Gibran,
“Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours;
Let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”
Published here earlier.
Header image: pixabay
Images credit: Anushree Gupta