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Udaipur city palace Rajasthan

Second trip to Rajasthan: Udaipur City Palace, Lake Palace

This is a continuation of a journey that began in Jodhpur. En route to the “City of Lakes,” we stopped at Ranakpur which is famed for its Jain temple.

Seth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi Ranakpur temple Rajasthan
Sadly, by the time we arrived at the temple, it was pretty late in the evening
Ranakpur temple panorama
But we still went in
Seth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi Ranakpur temple entrance
Even though I couldn't get any photos from inside, take my word for it - it's very impressive!
Jain Temple Ranakpur temple at night
The most impressive aspect of this temple is inside you will see over 1,400 beautifully sculpted marble pillars
Jain temple Ranakpur at night Rajasthan
But do get here by daytime
Udaipur fountain at night Rajasthan
We reached Udaipur at night and went to Sukhadia Circle
Udaipur street food stalls Rajasthan India
This roundabout is a popular hangout and famous for its street food. We had some pav bhajji and kulfis. Yummy indeed.

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Second trip to Rajasthan: Jodhpur – Mehrangarh Fort, Umaid Bhavan Palace

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.

Mithun friends breakfast in Jodhpur
It was a chilly morning

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.

Jodhpur panorama view
We arrived at Mehrangarh Fort at around 10am
Jodhpur Mehrangarh panorama
I had to split this panorama into two

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First trip to Rajasthan: Amer Fort, Jantar Mantar and other sights in Jaipur city

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”.

Hawa Mahal Jaipur Rajasthan

Hawa Mahal Jaipur Rajasthan streetThe Hawa Mahal was en route to our main destination, Amer Fort — or Amber Fort as it’s popularly known.

Amber Amer Fort Jaipur Rajasthan IndiaAmber Amer Fort Jaipur Rajasthan IndiaAmber Amer Fort Jaipur Rajasthan India wallsThere was an entrance fee… but I don’t remember how much it was. (Sorry, five years ago.)

Amber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan elephant ride
Elephant rides were popular with the white folks. Not me.

Amber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan courtyard

Amber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan Mithun
5 years ago, that was me. (Not much has changed since then really)

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.

Amber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan corridor
The Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace)

Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace)Amber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan mirror palace ceilingAmber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan gardenAmber Amer fort Jaipur RajasthanAmber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan IslamAmber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan Islam ceilingAmber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan outiside

Amber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan parrotAmber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan templeWe spent nearly an hour at Amer Fort before heading out.

Amber Amer fort Jaipur Rajasthan elephants
Elephants cooling off at Maotha lake in front of Amer Fort

Our next stop was the Jantar Mantar, a collection of astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II a very long time ago.

Jantar Mantar Jaipur Rajasthan dialsJantar Mantar Jaipur Rajasthan dial stepsJantar Mantar Jaipur Rajasthan weird

Jantar Mantar Jaipur Rajasthan samrat yantra
A lot of these massive structures were used to tell time and predict the weather believe it or not

Jantar Mantar Jaipur Rajasthan sun dial

City Palace Jaipur Rajasthan
The City Palace with Amer Fort in the background

After half-an-hour spent at the Jantar Mantar, we had our lunch.

The restaurant was on the road facing the Jal Mahal.

Jal Mahal Jaipur Rajasthan
Jal Mahal (Water Palace)

After that, we were back in the city.

Albert hall Jaipur Rajasthan
Albert Hall Museum

Final stop on our taxi tour was the Birla Mandir in Jaipur.

Birla Mandir Jaipur RajasthanBirla Mandir Jaipur Rajasthan templeBirla Mandir Jaipur Rajasthan templePalace behind Birla Mandir Jaipur RajasthanAnd with that, we were done. By 5pm we were back at the hotel, freshened up, and then made our way to the wedding venue — which was a palace-turned-5-star hotel.

Jaipur Rajasthan wedding Vandhana
'Indian wedding' not guaranteed in the hotel package. But these tourists got lucky.

Jaipur Rajasthan wedding VivekJaipur Rajasthan wedding venueJaipur Rajasthan wedding danceJaipur Rajasthan hotel large marble chessJaipur Rajasthan wedding nightThe 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.

Jaipur Vivek wedding group
The entire group from office who made it to Vivek's wedding

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

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