Where we stayed @ Jaipur

Because we had such a swell time at Jaipur which was largely thanks to the hotel we were staying at, I have decided to dedicate a post to the hotel. The first post has pictures of the room we stayed in @ the hotel. This post is dedicated to the hotel in general. On the day of check out, we spent the morning taking snaps and walking all around the place. The first spot to get photographed was the Ganesha idol jes outside our room. A puja was in progress and we waited till the pujari left before taking this snap. A puja is performed everyday but we noticed it only today. We must have left for the breakfast buffet at the roof before the puja started which would explain why we missed it.

When I had looked out of the window on the day we arrived, I was quite surprised that the windows of our room gave us a view of the swimming pool. That obviously was the second photograph of the day. Some of the hotel folks can be seen in the corner, fixing something. We did not try too hard to get them out of the picture. There was nobody at the pool in the morning which was great.  We did not embarrass anyone nor did we get embarrassed 😀 Most foreigners are used to Indians taking snaps of them, with them etc. but naturally we did not want to be clubbed with that group!

The paintings on the left of the pool were quite colourful and bright – very typical of Rajasthan, I feel. Naturally, I could not resist taking a snap of that as well. The whole place had a lowe for the brilliant copper sulphate blue. Not only was the pool of that colour, most of the painitings used that color to indicate the sky as well as the water bodies. Kinda overkill but looked lovely nevertheless.

The common areas had a lot of  knick knacks, wall hangings, and comfortable chairs. Though I felt it was quite crowded, we also had an impression of space which was quite odd. On the day of travel, the Arien is usually quite tense. Apart from giving me updates every 5 minutes regarding our packing status, which was non-existant, he also refused to take any more snaps.

I promised that after two more snaps, we could get started on the packing. The common area where ppl staying at the hotel could lounge away for hours together was actually a very difficult room to photograph because of the number of mirrors on the wall which made the snaps come out weird. Finally, the Arien managed a decent shot. Notice the show-piece gramaphone in the corner.

As we walked further, we came across an open space that had a beautiful door, which was locked. While we were wondering if this was some special place, we were politely informed that yoga classes take place here. It made a lot of sense. It was quite cool and you could focus on the amazing designs on the door as you tried to perform some of the tougher yogasanas.  

The door reminded me a lot of the Bulund Darwaza that we had visited at Fatehpur Sikri. But, this place was very clean, with a cool breeze. While I was wondering how it was soo cool, I recieved the next update from the Arien and knew that he was right. We were running late and I had not packed yet. This was such a nice vacation. I enjoyed Jaipur more than I enjoyed Delhi. Delhi, with its myriad options failed to impress, but Jaipur impressed big-time. We were unable to make it to Pushkar which was my only grouse. We were returning to Delhi and then going back home. The Arien is writing accounts – I think we overspent as usual – but who cares if you had a great time – right?!! I think so anyway.


Day of Sight-Seeing in a Rickshaw – Final Part

We were now finally going to visit the Jal Mahal. Both of us were quite excited about the photo-op involved. Since we cannot visit the place – the photo-op was the next best thing to get all excited about.  Don’t you agree? It had looked heavenly during the pink-city-by-night tour. Though it did not look as good during the day. The paint was peeling in some places and the discolouration was quite evident. But, the sunlight was perfect and the picture came out really well. I read this year that they have finally opened the Jal Mahal to tourists and visitors – That is good news!

The rickshaw-wallah wanted to leave for the day but we still had places to see and miles to go before we sleep !!  The first shock of the day was the visit to Maharani Ki Chatri – the gate was closed and a security guard shooed us away. I was quite surprised. I insisted that the Arien take a picture of the closed gate — he refused! So, I took the camera and shot this picture. At that time, I had no clue about the place. I jes felt that the guard was mean. Today, as I blog about it, I had to search far and wide (Ok — googled it ) to figure out what the tourist spot was. 

And far from being an umbrella that the Maharani had owned, the place was actually a monument (usually a tomb) built in honour of the royal maharanis. I always thought that was an islamic tradition – christians also bury and have tomb stones. Did not know that the Hindu maharanis also followed the same tradition.  From the gate, it looks like the place has not been open in a while – maybe I am mistaken.

The next place we planned to visit was Albert Hall. We had another shock. The place was closed for the day. We realized a lil late that most of the tourist attractions are only open until 4:30 pm and it was way past 5 pm now. I could now understand why the rickshaw wallah was all set to leave for the day! Grrr..  We still went and took snaps of the entrance of Albert Hall – yes, of the entrance. This part of the sight-seeing sucked big-time 😦 I felt absolutely cheated – he knew when we went to Amber Fort that we would not even be able to visit half of the tourist spots but he still managed to negotiate a hard-bargain — Felt like total goofs!

Anyway, the rickshaw fellow felt some pity for us and took us to see Hawa Mahal as well. Yet again, we took another shot from across the road and did not venture inside. I really wished we had had more time. The Arien took this opportunity to remind me of my tardiness – Grrr… what a way to end a fantastic day 😦 We returned to our hotel room and decided to take rest and have dinner at the restuarant upstairs. The dinner was great and nobody else was having dinner at that time so we had the entire resturant to ourselves – Nice! The Arien did not mention my late-start and concentrated on the food. I recieved a number of calls frm my family members!