Jaipur… two worlds in one pink city
I had never been to Jaipur before and so wasn’t quite sure of what to expect. People had given me varied experiences and views over the last couple of years. So during a long weekend, we grabbed the opportunity of visiting with a few friends. A four hour drive from Delhi and you actually feel like you are in another world. In fact, in my view two worlds welcome you. One which has monuments, bazaars and a small town feel; and another which has five star luxury, world renowned hospitality and stories of grandeur. We experienced both worlds in amazement and delight.
We stayed at the Trident Jaipur (thanks to a great package deal!) which is a lovely hotel with a beautiful pool, kids’ activities, Rajasthani puppet shows, a traditional bangle maker, astrologer and excellent service. Since we didn’t want to stretch ourselves too much (after all it was meant to be a ‘relaxing’ weekend), we went to only a couple of ‘tourist spots’. One was Hawa Mahal which I’m sure looks just as it did many years ago and the other was the City Palace which houses a massive museum. Both spots are surrounded by bazaars filled with traditional jewellery, juthis (shoes), clothes and shawls.
I enjoyed the visit to the City Palace as it told us stories of Kings and Queens and how they lived in those days; and you almost feel like you were there all those years ago, wearing a zardozi filled anarkali suit singing ‘Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya’ to your beloved while white pigeons fly around and wine is served to you by your daasi! I loved listening to all the stories the guide told us and asked for more with my questions like ‘where did they sit?’, ‘what did they eat?’ and ‘Did Jodha really build a temple in her room?’. One interesting story was about a King who only drank Ganga jal and so when he was invited by the British to visit London he had two extremely large (see the Guiness Book) silver containers made to carry the water to London by ship! Where do you hear stories like this?! I have decided to tell my daughter real stories like these rather than stories like Goldilocks and Humpty Dumpty!
City Palace Jaipur
Every room in the palace had a story about a King and his life; every photograph spoke to you; every piece of marble in that palace was a City Palace Jaipurreminder that there lived a king & queen there once and that we are all part of that history in some way. It makes the hair on your arms stand to think that we are surrounded by such amazing history and heritage.
Centuries ago there would have been a married couple eating; sleeping and being entertained just the same way as we are, albeit with technology, advancement and inventions. But the point is that we are the same people with the same wants and desires. That hasn’t changed which makes it beautiful. If you want to escape into the past and day dream about a life that is so different and yet so similar to yours, please go and spend some time in a palace or any historic place. I guarantee you, you will come out feeling rejuvenated with a sense of realism about yourself and your life. Sometimes we go on and on about our worries and our daily struggles; stop and realise that we are one life in millions of lives that have walked the same path, breathed the same air, eaten the same food crop and dreamt the same dream. It’s like a reality check and you will appreciate your life and those of others much more. Maybe my visit to Jaipur was destined as I was becoming so engrossed in my own small daily issues (nanny/office/staff/partners/child) that I needed a reminder that people have lived lives that have been so big and dramatic winning battles, ruling kingdoms and dealing with death with such great intensity.
Uber Luxury at Rambagh Palace Jaipur
The other world was as charming with luxury hotels and old world hospitality. Some hotels were originally palaces and some built more recently in a manner to look centuries old. Rambagh Palace is now a Taj luxury hotel which in the early 19th century was originally constructed as a garden house for the King’s wet nurse. After several additions, alterations and renovations the hotel is one of the finest in the world today. We sat in the garden having a drink and admiring the palace from the outside; it took our breath away. The palace is absolutely stunning. The hospitality is heart-warming and the ambience is so regal that one feels inadequate in a pair of jeans. The Rambagh Palace also has stories galore about the King, his wives, children and all their lives therein. Spending a few hours there was definitely a treat.
Magnificient Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur
Finally, we also visited the more recently developed property called the Oberoi Rajvilas which has beautifully manicured gardens, private pools, courtyards, chalets scattered around the 32 acre land and the most peaceful ambience you could find. After our delicious lunch the hotel staff was kind enough to take us in their horse carriage for a tour around the property. We saw the centuries old Shiva temple which is in the centre and gorgeous peacocks in the gardens. It certainly was serene and definitely a hotel where one can unwind. You will soon see some luxury experiences being offered at this property on the Delight Gifts website.
All in all a wonderful weekend and I would most certainly go back to enjoy the tales of the past and create memories for the future… Jaipur offers it all.
You will notice that I will blog about various hotels, restaurants and spas while I survey the luxuries available to us in order to offer the best there is on www.delightgifts.in so that you have a wide range of experience gifts that you can share with your loved ones or indeed buy for yourself.
India is incredible and I intend to showcase her in the most memorable avatar possible.