Jaipur in a couple of days

#1 Sep 24th, 2018, 22:57
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#1
Journey before the trip - crossing four states

For the last six months, since my brother moved to Delhi for two years, with his wife and our mother; I had been waiting for Bappa (Lord Ganesha) to arrive. In other words, waiting for the journey to Delhi to Pune by train to meet them all, while utilising the holiday on 13th September. On 12th Sep, after winding up office early by an hour, I rushed to catch any kind of transport to go from Hinjewadi to Wakad to board the bus to Panvel. People who work in this area must be knowing the horrible traffic during evening, specifically on the eve of Ganesh Chaurthi or any local festival. In spite of all my effort, I was late by 10 mins and the bus was waiting for me. As usual, the bus was late by an hour to reach Panvel due to taking a twenty minutes break at Lonavala and traffic on the road. Unexpectedly it dropped me on the highway to Mumbai instead of mentioned dropping point near Panvel railway station. After walking few meters to get an auto-rikshaw under the overbridge, got one on the way reached station around 9:30 p.m. So, have a couple of hours to board the train. Oh, what a relief!

But to my utter surprise this station is less equipped with facilities than expected. Instead it has local and long distinance connectivity, only two small food stalls are on the platform number 5 and a small rest room for all classes. It was so uncomfortable that I decided to wait outside to get some fresh air though it was not congested inside. After having some snacks to fill up my tank for the overnight journey, while waiting for the train checked out some transport options for Agra, Manali and Jaipur. Finding Manali would be taking 12 hours and remembering Agra already visited by mother - Jaipur remained in the list. It will be a journey of four hours only. I came across a link from HippoCabs against my query in Google. While boarding the train, I called them up for enquiry and they called me back with all the details. It was quite economical as compared to bus journey from Delhi to Jaipur and back, with touring within the city for two days. I opted for HippoCabs by making a payment of fifteen hundred for two days including sightseeing – from 13th midnight to 15th September midnight. Soon realised that journey throughout the night from Delhi to Jaipur and touring within the city on the next day would be very exhaustive. I called up the customer care and mentioned them that though my booking is from midnight, I would set out in the early morning only and the driver should be instructed to have a tight sleep during this time. Our safety during the journey depends on him only. When the attendant came to hand me over the blanket, I asked for the pantry service. Surprisingly I was entertained around midnight with a packet of Egg-Biryani @ 80 only!

The journey from Panvel to Delhi was almost without any event, expect the air cooling system of the compartment was not working properly from next day afternoon. While reporting this to a ticket checker, a person in white shirt came to me after few minutes, who offered me to shift to the next compartment as there are quite a few vacant seats and cooling is working fine. I expressed my reluctance because I was feeling little bit sleepy after the lunch and preparing for a nap. Also, I requested him to go there. But he requested once more. Now I saw few ticket checker behind him. So, this person is not a co-passenger, rather an official or engineer and I am offering him the same what he offered to me to mitigate my suffering! Realizing my mistake and considering to cover up my night sleep, I shifted to the next compartment with all belongings – where I started searching on internet and listing the places to visit in Jaipur.

During my journey by Ernakula-Delhi Duronto, I crossed four states - Maharashtra, Gujrat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. After Panvel only five stoppages - Vasai Road, Varoda, Ratlam, Kota and the last Hazrat Nizamuddin

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#2 Sep 24th, 2018, 23:27
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#2
Let us pack

I was quite astonished when the train arrived almost thirty minutes before the scheduled time. My younger brother was on his way in Metro to receive me at the railway station. Being over enthusiastic and unstoppable to see my mother after six months, I told my brother to wait for me in the Indraprastha Metro station. Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station is not much big and there were only short queues of auto-rikshaw. I had little patience to find out autos from the que for Indraprastha and chose a young auto driver to go there. He was asking for @150 but I managed @80 only. After reunion of brothers and experiencing the journey on Delhi Metro which was quite good, got down at Tilak Nagar after 30 mins. Apart from the cleanliness, the short gap between two trains is really very much appreciable.

Once reaching and meeting with all, I quickly called up the driver. Asked him to have a tight sleep and reach at our doorstep 4 a.m. sharp. Post dinner, we quickly packed our clothes for the trip.
Meanwhile, with the help of IndiaMike website itself, I listed few places to visit in Jaipur –
1. Amber / Amer Fort
2. Nahargarh
3. Jaigarh
4. Jal Mahal
5. Hawa Mahal
6. City Palace
7. Jantar Mantar
8. Govind Devji Temple
9. Galtaji Temple
10. Moti Dungri
11. Bapu Bazar
#3 Sep 25th, 2018, 00:31
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#3
The dawn breaks while passing

It was around 4:30 a.m. when we set out for Jaipur. During the conversation on 13th evening, the driver seemed to be a good person what I was desperately expecting. So he was. Behaviour is the key of business – he proved it along the trip. Within half-an-hour we were on the highway, NH 8. Asked the driver to switch off the AC and rolled down the window glasses. It was followed up by connecting the audio system with my mobile to play some good music while passing through the highway. The mood was set.

It was quarter past six, when I noticed a ray from back. Oh, it was a clean sunrise over the green and yellow fields – mesmerising!

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Tea Break - a Bengali Ritual

After travelling a couple of hours, we decided to perform a Bengali Ritual – Tea Break. The driver had been already told for a pause for tea, where we can get a good taste of tea and some refreshment. He did not disappointed us nor the restaurant. It was much more like a Dhaba but with good ambience and facilities. We had dhosa, paratha and tea of three varieties. Though I cannot remember the exact prices – but it was reasonable. We resumed our journey at quarter to eight.

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#4 Sep 25th, 2018, 03:26
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#4
Interesting and unusual trip report!

I am looking forward to reading more.

Ed.
#5 Sep 25th, 2018, 09:51
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#5
Pay on the way

From Delhi to Jaipur there three toll plazas where you have to pay 65, 130 and 60 rupees respectively. The first was on the NH-48 in Gurgaon, second one is at Shahjahanpur on NH 8 and the last one is at Manoharpura. There is another fee of around hundred per day for travelling within the state, if the vehicle is not registered in Haryana. It can be paid online also. I do not know whether it is applicable for the vehicles with national permit also.
#6 Sep 25th, 2018, 14:37
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#6
Mood change upon arrival
The music seemed to be not interesting anymore, the heat outside compelled us to switch on the AC of the car. Slowly we became bored. Then it started to happen. After crossing two beautiful campuses of NIIMS and AMITY, we saw some shops for stone cut sculptures. The topography of the area also changed. A change in weather inside the car as well, we started wake up and to look around. So, this is how Rajasthan looks like. After few minutes, we saw a thin line on top of the mountain. Oh, it is a wall of a fort.

The three musketeers
On the way we decided to visit three forts before entering into the city, as those will be on the way – Amer or Amber, Nahargarh and Jaigarh.


First impression is the best impression - Amer or Amber
“It’s a fort!” We almost screamed. The yellow racked stones on the green highs were dazzling on the bright sun, while a clean blue sky was giving a perfect contrasting background. It was splendid, it was magnificent, it was mesmerising.
We parked our cars in the parking area against forty rupees and went to check out for the elephant ride. I was almost knocked out, bowled out, blacked out upon inquiry. Rs. 1,100/- for a couple of people only and that only for drop! That is too much. So, I checked with other option, jeep ride and that also not so cheap, around @500/- for both ways. We could have walked up to the entrance but I did not want my mother to suffer. The last was take our cab to the entrance @40/- only. Oh, what a relief! Have to drove back few meters and entered the street to the fort.

All our tiredness of the journey got away when we entered in the premises. What a place! I visited few forts in Maharashtra but they were like ruins or debris. This is a not a fort, almost a palace. After buying tickets @100/- per head, went for a quick photo session.

This fort is really vast. The courtyard seemed to me bigger than a football ground. It was a spectacular view. It has different parts dedicated for different purposes – three courtyards, Kesar Kyaari or Spice Garden, Diwan-e-Aam or Hall of public audience, Tripolia Gate, Meena Bazar, Hamam or Turkish bath, Sheesh Mahal. There is a tunnel to Jaigarh also. It us one-and-half hour to cover it. Before leaving, bought some handcrafted mementos for my daughter and wife, even knowing paying some extra.
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Last edited by Satyabrata Sur; Sep 26th, 2018 at 02:16..
#7 Sep 25th, 2018, 15:35
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#7
Legacy continues – Nahargarh

Amer Fort set a standard of our expectation from our next hop, Nahargarh. It is just a ten minutes of uphill drive from Amer to Nahar. The road gives a scenic beauty as well. But in the fort we could not find many places to see. But what was there – was beautiful. In other words, Small is beautiful.

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#8 Sep 25th, 2018, 16:10
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#8
From the top – Jaigarh

Among the three adjacent forts – Jaigarh is at the highest position. We could see Amer Fort very well. There is a tunnel in between these two. It has the biggest cart carrying canon of the world. Unfortunately, I missed to the capture the picture of it as I came to know about it after leaving. There are few courtyards, some resting places.

Some security people was describing the place as Bhulbulaiya (Labyrinth) and requesting to take guide. But I am used to it. This is not a very big place and we are more than one. I requested one person at every corner of the corridor till I could see the other end. I was paid off. From the corner which is near to Amer Fort, one can see Jal Mahal.

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Jal Mahal
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Amer Fort
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Preparation for a puppet show
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#9 Sep 25th, 2018, 16:32
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#9
It is very interesting to see Jaipur through the eyes of a visitor. We do get more than a few tourists - sometimes several tens of thousands in a single day - but i rarely come across trip reports. Few comments - hope you don't mind.

Nahargarh is known among young college goers as a spot for driving a bike / car or drinking beer. It's not considered a particularly safe place after sunset. It was built for a queen but was named after the Rajasthani word for tiger - Nahar. Jaigarh is the real fort among the three - it controlled the area's water supply through water tanks that are extant; the fort cannot be viewed from the plains Jaipur stands on and is not a 'show' fort like Amer. In Jaigarh, the cannon you missed photographing is called Jaivana : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaivana.
#10 Sep 25th, 2018, 16:43
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post Nahargarh is known among young college goers as a spot for driving a bike / car or drinking beer.
Did Rang De Basanti make it famous?

#11 Sep 25th, 2018, 17:24
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post It is very interesting to see Jaipur through the eyes of a visitor. We do get more than a few tourists - sometimes several tens of thousands in a single day - but i rarely come across trip reports. Few comments - hope you don't mind.

Nahargarh is known among young college goers as a spot for driving a bike / car or drinking beer. It's not considered a particularly safe place after sunset. It was built for a queen but was named after the Rajasthani word for tiger - Nahar. Jaigarh is the real fort among the three - it controlled the area's water supply through water tanks that are extant; the fort cannot be viewed from the plains Jaipur stands on and is not a 'show' fort like Amer. In Jaigarh, the cannon you missed photographing is called Jaivana : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaivana.
I agree with you regarding the trend here. Our driver told us that many young people hang around here and have all kinds of rather any kind of drinks - even some strong cough syrups which gives some drowsiness. Though Amer and other forts are enlighten, those are closed for visitors after 5 p.m. So, it is better to visit those till afternoon or see from the main road which goes to the city.
#12 Sep 25th, 2018, 17:35
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post Did Rang De Basanti make it famous?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvWPa55Qz8M
A lot of Jaipur is a backdrop for a lot of bollywood. It's not always a good thing - 'Veer' movie unit destroyed a portion of a wall in Amer.
#13 Sep 25th, 2018, 18:35
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#13
Refuel

It was around five hours to cover three forts. The lunch time has well passed leaving us on the back on the seat to regain energy. We had to look for hotel also. The driver suggested us to stay near Sindhi Camp bus stand as some of our team would leave for Delhi next day morning by bus. So, we decided to have our lunch first then go to Sindhi Camp. On the way, we saw Jal Mahal. As per the folklore, there are seven stories but only one above the water level. The building can be reached only by boat and closed for visitors. We just gave a glance only while passing by. We saw Hawa Mahal as well on the way. I waked up few us who had fallen asleep due to hunger and tiredness. The area is mostly commercial and I was struggling to find a decent place to eat. Finally, car stopped in front of a restaurant. We went to upstairs to get some comfort. When we ordered full plates for Mutton and Chicken dish, the waiter seemed to be surprised. I could not comprehend his reaction. But when the food was served, I understood. Almost the half of chicken in a bowl. That too submerged in a curry with an inch of layer of oil! We eat like hungry monsters but it was enough to finish all and I decided to pack one dish for the driver.

Jal Mahal
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Around 4 p.m. we reached Sindhi Camp area and started looking for night stay. Dodging agents on the streets who were offering night stay, I entered into a hotel. One double bed room @1,200/- for stay only. The room and the attached bathroom was having a dull look. So, checked the other one on the opposite side. Now, that is really good. One double bed room @2,000/- with complementary breakfast. The rooms were big and nicely decorated, with television and a single door refrigerator. We kept the cake for mother’s birthday inside it – good use of the amenities.

A full shower was enough for us to be freshen up. It was followed up by a round of tea. I dropped the plan to have a nap and started to chat with my mother. We planned to go out for shopping in the evening, with other members. But as time passed by, I felt reluctant to go out and others seemed to having sound sleep also. So, I decided to check out in youtube for eating out and shopping places and my mother started calling her sisters to update them about our trip. She was quite happy and another round of tea made us happier.

Around 9 p.m. heard a knock on the door – our companions have finally woke up. Wasting no time we decided to have dinner. I called up the driver to inform him about the plan for the next day. Though the hotel offers lodging for the drivers, he decided to stay in a Dharmshala. He suggested “Santosh Bhojnala” for dinner as others were keen to taste to have Dal-Bati-Churma, a traditional dish of Rajasthan. It was just a few steps from our hotel and the food was good. I liked Churma most, whereas I found Dal as regular lentil of Tur or Chana and Bati as a small ball of wheat like flours. After serving them, the serving boy cracked the Bati and spread some Ghee on it.

While returning to hotel, two of us decided to buy tickets to travel by bus on the next day and I reached with my mother. We sat and chatted till midnight in the hotel room. Just at midnight, we celebrated the much waited event – birthday celebration of my mother. Just the way I wanted – in a different place, in a different way.

Our hotel

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Last edited by Satyabrata Sur; Sep 25th, 2018 at 20:14..
#14 Sep 26th, 2018, 00:46
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#14
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye
But the dawn is breaking, it's early morn
The taxi's waiting, he's blowin' his horn


A knock on the door woke us up at seven in the morning. Our companions are going to board the bus to Delhi. I assured them to meet again at Delhi before the clock hands touches the same digits again in the evening. It left a duo of mother and son to roam in the city of pink, on wheels. Soon I confirmed our drive to start our local city tour at 9 a.m. Wasting no time after a round of tea, we both had shower and rushed to have our complementary breakfast. It really deserved some complements – both for food and the service.

While I was making payments at the reception some attendant of the in-house shop of the hotel, caught my mother. I had planned to buy some mementos but not from here, Bapu Bazar. But the polite behaviour and the decent price almost compelled to buy few items. At least some the must have, have been done – some gifts for my colleagues and my family members.


Pink on wheels

Five past nine when we started to roam around in the Pink City. But actually it is not pink, some mixed colour of pink, brown and yellow. The driver told me that each and every year, the state government repairs and paints all the outside walls of the shops, and it was going on. Though not exactly the same colour what I expected, still it was very nice to find same colour and design patterns in white throughout the city. Do not know how much Metro was needed for this city as I found it obstructing the heritage and beauty of the city.
Last edited by Satyabrata Sur; Sep 26th, 2018 at 02:23..
#15 Sep 26th, 2018, 01:05
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarosh View Post Did Rang De Basanti make it famous?
The Step Well is well inside the fort. The youths hang around the road to Nahargarh

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