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Monday, May 23, 2011

2 day Trip to Jaipur in Apr 2011

Jaipur is around 250 kms from Delhi/Gurgaon and is well-suited for those staying in NCR region for a weekend trip. I planned a 2-day visit to Jaipur with my family over a long weekend (Friday off in addition to Saturday and Sunday being off as usual). I thought it will be a good plan to start on Friday morning, see around some places in Jaipur, stay there on Friday night, see around some more places on Saturday, start from Jaipur by Saturday late in the afternoon to come back by the night and take rest on Sunday to get over the travel exhaustion.

Reaching Jaipur

So off we went on one of the Friday in Apr 2011. We started in our car in the morning from Gurgaon and headed towards Jaipur on the NH8. I expected to reach there well before lunch time but due to huge traffic jam in Manesar (which I believe is the usual thing there) and the construction work going on the entire stretch of NH8 (road widening was under way) we reached Jaipur well after lunch time. Besides, I found NH8 clogged with lots of heavy vehicles (trucks, trailers, container carriers) Overall, the drive wasn't that enjoyable. 

The Hawa Mahal - from Outside

After reaching there we headed straight for the famous Hawa Mahal. On the way I stopped my car to ask someone the direction "can you please tell me how to reach Hawa Mahal?". The gentleman raised his hand and gave the response smilingly "it's right there". Lo and behold our car was on the road opposite to Hawa Mahal! We planned to come back to see it next day and went ahead in search for a place to stay in the night.

The Amber Fort

While searching for a decent place to stay in night we enquired in various hotels and lodges but couldn't make up our mind and in the process reached all the way till Jal Mahal. We did not intend to stop there bur rather were attracted towards the signboard for Amber Fort (Amber is pronounced as Amer, b is supposed to be silent).

At the spur of the moment we decided to visit Amber fort. I drove up on to the hill where Amber fort is situated. One can take the car right till the main gate of Amber fort where ample parking space is also available. If one has never done hill driving or slope driving then one must avoid driving all the way up.

The Jal Mahal, Hotel for Night Stay and Night Outing

After seeing Amber fort we started back towards Jaipur city to find a place to stay in the night. While on the way back I stopped the car at Jal Mahal and we spent some time there. Finally, and since it was getting dark we resumed our search for a place to stay. After checking out in many places we managed to book place for staying in a decent hotel.

After rest again we headed towards the main city (the Pink city). The idea was to see the city in night time and do some shopping as well. Due to parking problem we did not feel like shopping and after a long drive back and forth in Pink city we started back for the hotel room. On the way we had dinner as well.

Inside the Hawa Mahal and City Palace

The next morning after breakfast we went back to Hawa Mahal. It took 1 hour to complete sightseeing of Hawa Mahal and then we went to the City Palace. Seeing City Place took another 1 hour. Thereafter we came back to the Hawa Mahal road and had some Kulfi and Lemon Soda (they make is real good in Jaipur).

The Jantar Mantar

It was now time to see the famous Jantar Mantar of Jaipur which is much bigger than the one in Delhi. It was interesting to find out that even back then Indian astronomy was so advanced. It was afternoon and we thought of returning to main city for shopping before starting back for home. While I waited my family spent time buying some Jaipur special stuff like Rajasthani Saree, Puppets, etc.

The Nahargarh Fort

Shopping time over we thought of starting back for Delhi/Gurgaon. But as we reached close to the road that connects the Delhi road, we decided that it would be better to visit the other two famous forts in Jaipur - Nahargarh and Jaigarh.

The drive is in the same direction as Amber Fort but after climbing up the hill a little bit one has to take the road going towards left. I drove all the way till Nahargarh fort first. There is ample parking space there. The view of Jaipur city from this fort is simply breathtaking.

The Jaigarh Fort

After Nahargarh we started back and on the way took the road going towards Jaigarh fort. The best thing I liked is that one can drive the car into the fort itself and take the car to a very high point on the fort. There is ample parking space otherwise in Jaigarh fort but at the high point the parking is limited. The high point has the biggest canon of the world at that time. The canon is really huge!

An interesting fact I came to know of was about the treasure of Jai Singh which was supposed to have been hidden under a water tank there. I also came to know that during 1975-76 this fort was searched for the treasure.

Returning from Jaipur

It was evening time now and we thought that we should start back immediately. And so we started back. The journey was not that enjoyable again. And since it became dark after some time the roads became difficult to navigate. The traffic was heavier than what I has found a day before - lots of heavy vehicles, etc. It took 5-6 hours to hit Manesar where again there was a traffic jam. And finally we reached home later than we had planned, all tired and exhausted. The sweet memories of Jaipur were still fresh though. It was a memorable experience.

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