Date: 28th November 2006
My first trip to Rajasthan was in 2005, for a friend’s wedding in Jaipur. This year, another friend got married – in Rajasthan. And although his wedding was taking place in Jaipur, this time I used the opportunity to see the Princely state’s other major cities, first being Jodhpur.
It was suggested we get to Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur’s biggest attraction, at the earliest. Plus we needed to finish our sight-seeing by lunch time as we were going to drive to Udaipur later in the day.
Date: 2nd March 2005
These photos are from my first visit to Jaipur, which also happened to be my first big trip within India. The journey was actually for the marriage of one of our favourite office colleagues at the time. A bunch of us made it for the wedding, most of them by train — but I chose to fly.
This was 2005, Air Deccan (India’s first budget carrier) was still in operation. I got a return ticket from Bangalore to New Delhi for around Rs. 5,000. From New Delhi, we (I was joined by another colleague and his wife) boarded a state bus from Rajasthan House and headed for Jaipur. The journey took us around 3 hours and we were in Jaipur city by evening.
Our friend had put us up at the Best Western in Jaipur and since there was a ‘sangeet‘ that evening, all our sightseeing was kept for the next day.
The next morning, 3 of us set out to see the sights Jaipur city had to offer. The wedding was that evening so we had time until late afternoon. The hotel suggested we hire a taxi and for Rs. 500, the driver offered to take us around to all the popular sights.
First up, a quick stop at the Hawa Mahal or “Hall of the Winds”.
The Hawa Mahal was en route to our main destination, Amer Fort — or Amber Fort as it’s popularly known.
I don’t exactly remember if we hired a guide or not, but we still just followed the path all the guided tours were taking and listened in whenever we heard English explanations.
Our next stop was the Jantar Mantar, a collection of astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II a very long time ago.
After half-an-hour spent at the Jantar Mantar, we had our lunch.
The restaurant was on the road facing the Jal Mahal.
After that, we were back in the city.
Final stop on our taxi tour was the Birla Mandir in Jaipur.
The wedding venue was impressive to say the least. It’s fairly obvious why Rajasthan plays host to a lot of extravagant North Indian weddings. The whole state offers palatial grandeur with many such palaces been taken over, and turned into luxury hotels. Of course, none of this comes cheap.
Anyway, after the wedding, it was back to the hotel for the entire group. Some of us were heading back to Bangalore via Mumbai the next day, while I (& two others) decided to go to Agra instead (& then to New Delhi).
Sorry for not going into too much detail about all the places I went to but I’ve linked out to sources where you can find out more information and read up on their history.
Agra and New Delhi will be another post.
Camera used: Canon Powershot A95; post processing done in Photoshop CS3
P.S: Here’s a small video I took while at Amer Fort