( Recipe in the next post )
Jaipur in Rajasthan is a city of Kings and Queens, of camels and elephants, of Palaces and marble quarries. It is a city of pink walls and pink sandstone buildings. It is a city of men with brightly coloured turbans and women with equally bright saris contrasting the ochre desert behind, of innocent eyes and hearty smiles and above all, of great food.
I would like to share with you what we saw and what we ate.
“There are over 900 small windows”, he said pointing his index finger upwards. This was followed by a palpable pause, as if giving us time to come to terms with the information he just shared. Amit, a vivacious twenty something was our tour guide showing around Hawa Mahal. Palace of winds as it is otherwise known as, is an iconic landmark of Jaipur, India. Ladies of the royal families enjoyed the outdoors from this Palace, without themselves being visible.
The City Palace gives a splendid glimpse of the erstwhile royal life. The textile exhibits, the armouries were worth spending time for.
My eyes were drawn to the shiny pots being neatly arranged for some celebration later in the evening. Just imagine their exquisite contents !
Jantar Mantar, our next attraction, literally translates to “Calculating Instrument”. Completed in 1734 it allowed the observation of Astronomical positions with the naked eye. The majestic Amer Fort rising against the blue sky was our next destination. The grand architecture, the geometric columns, the filigreed windows transported me to the days gone by. Romance, intrigue, drama. I wondered what other emotions must have gone through the walls. If only they could speak! It was time to head out for some food. Amit directed us to the “Pink city” restaurant. We wanted to try the local food. The place was packed with locals and tourists alike. We started with sweet lassi, a yoghurt drink garnished generously with pistachio nuts and rose syrup. The vegetarian Thali (plate), is an elaborate affair, containing nine or ten small bowls neatly arranged around a big dinner plate. Mouth watering yoghurt dish, soul satisfying lentils, curry made with Poppadums, dry dish with cauliflower, raita, rice pudding each calling my name. Rice and two different flatbreads, salad to accompany the above.
The next food stop was at “Virasat”, a royal dining affair. Plush low seating, silverware, live traditional music, complete with a throne for a photo opportunity.
We took a day trip to Pushkar, a couple hours outside Jaipur. This sleepy little town comes to life in November when it holds the largest cattle fair in the world.
We were `spoilt for choices of transport here. There was the luxury tourist bus, air conditioned sedan and brightly decorated double humped camels. Take your pick.
Different shaped sweets decorated with rose petals or pistachio nuts adorned the sides of the road.
Evenings were spent enjoying the traditional folk dances. Ladies with brightly coloured outfits swirled around balancing a pile of pots on their heads.
Our stay was too short and we could only touch the tip of the iceberg.
I would like to go back for a longer holiday.
“Khambagani”, as they say respectfully.
I lost this page after a computer glitch. My apologies if you followed the link from fb and was unable to find this post, I have also lost the previous comments.