The first planned vacation that I took with my family that is with my wife and daughter together was to a long tour of Rajasthan. I had planned this long vacation during Durga Puja since that is the only time I get a really long vacation from office. Unlike any other vacations that I had taken with my wife or as a solo traveller this was a bit different since I had my three-year-old daughter with me. Considering her age I had to plan my vacation such that she gets good rest between my hops through the different towns.
I had planned to visit Jaipur -> Ajmer – Pushkar -> Jaisalmer -> Jodhpur for this trip. I had purposely skipped some of the other important towns since I wanted to give enough time at every location rather than hurrying from one to the other. Places like Udaipur, Mount Abu, Bikaner etc. was planned to be covered at a later stage when my daughter would grow up a bit to enjoy these places.
Travelling during the Durga Puja has its own set of challenges, this would mean that I had to book my trains four months in advance or alternately take a flight from Kolkata to Jaipur. Jaipur is well connected by multiple Airlines and my preference was Indigo Airlines since it has good direct flights to Jaipur from Kolkata. In the end, I took the train but I would regret that later which you will come to know why a little later.
This was also the first time when I had booked all my Hotels Online, I was bit scared that when I would reach the hotel they would simply deny but none of this ever happened and I had a wonderful experience throughout the trip.
By the time we reached Jaipur it was 3 in the morning, the train was supposed to arrive the previous night at around 10 PM but as usual, it was very late. This is the reason why I regretted not taking the direct flight, it would have taken a lot less time and the journey would have been lot smoother. Luckily our hotel was just a five-minute walk from the station thus, we just walked the whole way. Woke up the hotel manager from sleep and somehow managed to catch few hours of sleep as we had lots of plan for the day.
After having a quick breakfast we were ready for our first day in Rajasthan. Our First stop Amer Fort, this according to me is one of the best that city has to offer. Having seen this fort in the many movies it was really thrilling to see it for the first time with my own eyes. You have the option of taking the vehicle all the way to the top or taking an elephant ride. Since it was the time of Dussera thus the elephants were not in service as many devotees come to the temple on top of the fort to pray.
Amer Fort along with Jaigarh Fort and Jal Mahal form a part of a tourist circle which one can visit at one go. Amer Fort houses some of the most spectacular sections like the Seesh Mahal, Ganesh Pol, Maota Lake & Garden etc. Apart from these, the stone and glass works all around the place will truly take your breath away. If you are not short of time then would recommend you spending a whole day here.
Moving on next we go to Jal Mahal, as the name suggests this is a place built in the middle of a Man Sagar Lake. Unfortunately, this palace in the lake cannot be visited by visitors and one needs to appreciate its beauty only from the distance.
Next, we head towards Jaigarh Fort, this place is quite near to Amber Fort and being on top of a hill you get a very good panoramic view of Amber Fort. Built by Jai Singh II in the year 1726 its main role was as a fortification for Amber Fort. From the top of the fort, you also get to see the Aravalli Range which is quite breath-taking.
Jaigarh Fort had its own Cannon Foundry thus you would be able to see many of the works that were carried out here in the in-house museum and the most famous are that of Jaivana Cannon. You need to see the cannon yourself to actually fathom its size. It’s gigantic and when I mean gigantic it’s really gigantic. According to the guide, this cannon has never been used in any battle and was fired only once that was for testing.
The other tourist attractions in Jaipur are Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall Museum, Birla Mandir, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Rambagh Palace and Jaipur Zoo. I would recommend an itinerary of three days for Jaipur which should be enough to cover all the locations. And when you are in Rajasthan it’s a must to try the local cuisine, try a traditional Rajasthani thali with Daal Bati Chokha and Ghee Halwa.
Our next destination was Ajmer – Pushkar which we did as a day trip from Jaipur but that I will tell you in my next blog. Hope you enjoyed travelling along with me in Jaipur, Rajasthan the land of the Rajas.