With more than half the city covered in the days before, our last day in Jaipur started on a laid-back note. In the wee hours of the morning, Aakash strapped on his camera and went on a morning walk through the city. He wandered through the city streets and stumbled across the Jawahar Circle, the largest circular park in Asia. Its monumental size and stunning architecture was enough to keep him occupied for the next hour to get a perfect shot. Once he got back, we kick-started our morning with a visit to a nearby tea house and café- Thirstea. We planned our day’s itinerary over a cup of hot brew and a short game of ludo before setting out to explore the rest of the city.
Created By: Aakash Aggarwal
First Stop: Birla Mandir
We hailed a cab to reach the iconic Birla Mandir at the base of Moti Dungari Fort of Jaipur. We walked through a metalled path bordered by lush green gardens on both sides to reach the temple entrance. The pristine white temple has three domes, each representing the three core religions of India. Built in pure marble, the temple exhibits a modern influence in its architecture. The walls are intricately carved with Hindu symbols and ancient quotes from the Geeta and the Upanishads. A closer look at these wall carvings helped us trace some notable mythological events of India.
Cut away from the chaos of the main city, the temple had a calming ambience. Undoubtedly a perfect start for our day.
Timings: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Entry Fee: Rs. 20
Second Stop: Albert Hall Museum
Having spent a considerable time in the Birla Temple, we headed out to the famous Albert Hall Museum. The visually stimulating grand monument took our breaths away as a huge flock of pigeons circled over the museum, casting a shadow on the visitors and selfies lovers.
As we entered the main museum complex after purchasing our tickets, the Indo-Saracenic architecture of the museum has us spellbound. The domes and carved arches constructed from inlaid sand stone are reminiscent of the Indo-Islamic architecture with a hint of Neo-Gothic influence of the Victorian era. Constructed in 1876 as a concert hall to entice Prince Albert of England to visit Jaipur during his Indian tour of the country; today the grand complex is a museum displaying relics from Jaipur’s history. The museum has an extensive collection. So went spent more than an hour surveying and exploring the ancient collection before heading out to our next stop.
Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Entry Fee: Rs. 20
Third Stop: Jantar Mantar
Identical to its New Delhi counterpart, the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a large astronomical observatory to measure distances and positions of celestial bodies. Our curiosity got the best of us as we surveyed the 19 odd instruments placed in the observatory. We also stumbled upon the largest sundial in the country, ‘Samrat Yantra’ in Jantar Mantar. It was an out of the world experience indeed!
Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Entry Fee: Rs. 10
Fourth Stop: City Palace
The last and final stop of our incredible Jaipur trip was the much famous City Palace. We took an auto-rickshaw to reach the landmark in the heart of the Pink City. The palatial structure commands attention as it looms over the city dauntingly. The Palace complex sprawls over a large area with a sequence of gardens, buildings and courtyards, a temple and a museum.
As we entered the palace through the heavily ornamented Tripolia Gate, its sheer magnificence surprised us. The structure reflects a typical Rajput and Mughal architecture with a subtle European influence giving it a unique shape and look. We walked through the many structures housed within the grid style complex- ‘Chandra Mahal’, ‘Mubarak Mahal’, ‘Diwan-I-Khas’ and the ‘Govind Dev Ji Temple’s. Ambling through the corridors, studying the ornate walls and gates decked with murals, lattice and mirrors, we got a peak into the opulent lifestyle of the royals and the rich heritage that now resides in this monument.
Resting along the edge of the palace, we soaked in the brilliance of the city and remarked about how a visit to the City Palace was a perfect end to our weekend trip to Jaipur.
Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Entry Fee: Rs. 75
Final Stop: The Bustling Market Streets of Jaipur
As we stepped out of the calm and quiet of the palace, we experienced the jolt of Jaipur’s vibrant market streets. Bapu Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Chandpole Bazaar and Johari Bazaar are a stone’s throw away from City Palace as well as Hawa Mahal. We walked through the bustling market streets, dotted by shops and vendors selling authentic Rajasthani goods and handicrafts like Bandani, Majori, colorful bangles. As we treaded further, the cacophony of the busy vending streets faded.
We checked out of our hotel and headed straight to the Jaipur Railway Station, leaving the royal heritage and vibrant ambience of the Pink City behind, and an enriching experience and memories of Jaipur forever in our hearts.
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