Jaipur, The Pink City is probably one of the most magnificent cities in the world with such rich heritage and enriched culture. Ever since my childhood, I always wanted to visit Rajasthan but it did not happen in the last 19 years. As I shifted to New Delhi, Capital of our Country, I had a thought of travelling and these places give you easy access to the Northern and Western part of the country.
Before this trip, I had travelled alone for a few times and my parents were a bit concerned because firstly when three guys go for a trip, things might go out of control and secondly Padmaavat released at that time. Let’s not get into that. Being students, we want pocket friendly trips so we boarded a bus from Sarai Kale Khan successfully after being misguided once. Travelling by bus has a different kind of charm and when it’s with friends- it is an entirely different sort of craziness and fun altogether. We had a halt somewhere for a “tea-break” midway. It was around midnight when we reached the Sindhi Base Camp, Jaipur. The first thing I noticed was the Jaipur Metro which has started recently but only spans a few kilometres. We boarded a cab to take us to our hotel. Well, we were quite disappointed by the room as we did not expect Oyo Rooms to allot us a hotel room like this but then since we went during the Jaipur Literature Festival, I figured the rush hour booking allotments.
As is an old habit of mine, I always make sure that I research extensively about the place where I will go prior to the trip. This time also I had done a research and jotted down a list of the places I wanted to visit but then at times we need to cancel a few places for an inevitable time crunch
Our first destination was the very famous Hawa Mahal. The structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. He was so inspired by the unique structure of Khetri Mahal that he built this grand and historical palace. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad. Its unique five-storey exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey the strict rules of “purdah”, which forbade them from appearing in public without face coverings. This architectural feature also allowed cool air from the Venturi Effect (doctor breeze) to pass through, thus making the whole area more pleasant during the high temperatures in summer. Many people see the Hawa Mahal from the street view and think it is the front of the palace, but in reality it is the back of that structure. I will as usual upload a cliché photograph of the historical monument. I tried something new this time. I tried a Hyperlapse in the market area near Hawa Mahal, named Johari Bazaar. Rishav Saha, my friend from school, helped me out with the editing of the video. Click here for the video. I loved the streets of Jaipur because every alley speaks a story and there is a different kind of satisfaction for street photographers in Jaipur. It might sound awkward but yes, my next destination was NIT Jaipur(MNIT). Angkuran’s friend is a student there and we went there to visit him. NIT Jaipur has a great campus and the biggest conference hall in Asia. The first day in Jaipur ended with good food.
For the following day I had a different plan. I wanted to witness sunrise from Nahargarh Fort. I was not confident if my friends and I can wake up at the right time or not so I was awake for the whole night and we boarded a cab when the city was sleeping. Google Maps show a route which does not give access to the cab so we had to go to that place via some other odd route. I wanted to shoot a certain transition which I could not due to the delay but I did shoot a timelapse. The city view from the top and the sun’s rays falling on the city was one mesmerizing sight I wished for. After this mesmerizing sunrise, we came down and had our breakfast in a restaurant at the Sindhi Base Camp. As I did not sleep for the whole night I was pretty tired and needed a power nap. We went back to the hotel for an hour. After the nap Akshat and I went to his aunt’s place to pay a visit and Angkuran went to attend the Literature Festival at Diggi Palace. Akshat’s aunt was very sweet to us and she even booked an auto-rickshaw for us who took us to various other places we wanted to visit.
The crowd was too much at that time because of the Republic Day Weekend and the Literature Festival. It took us two hours to reach Amer Fort. The settlement at Amer was founded by Raja Alan Singh, a ruler from the Chanda clan of Meenas in 967 CE. The Amer Fort, as it stands now, was built over the remnants of this earlier structure during the reign of Raja Man Singh, the Kachwaha King of Amber. The structure was fully expanded by his descendant, Jai Singh I. Even later, Amer Fort underwent improvements and additions by successive rulers over the next 150 years, until the Kachwahas shifted their capital to Jaipur during the time of Sawai Jai Singh II, in 1727. Constructed of red sandstone and marble, the attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists of the Diwan-i-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-i-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the Amer Palace. The palace was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas and their families. At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to Shila Devi, a goddess of the Chaitanya cult, which was given to Raja Man Singh when he defeated the Raja of Jessore,Bengal in 1604. (Jessore is now in Bangladesh). The interior of Amer Fort is marvelously amazing and several films have been shot in the many corners of the fort.
We went for lunch at a nearby dhaba and then set off towards Jal Mahal. The Jal Mahal palace is an architectural showcase of the Rajput style of architecture (common in Rajasthan) on a grand scale. The building has a picturesque view of the lake itself but owing to its seclusion from land, it is equally the focus of a viewpoint from the Man Sagar Dam on the eastern side of the lake in front of the backdrop of the surrounding Nahargarh (“tiger-abode”) hills. The palace, built in red sandstone, is a five storied building, of which four floors remain underwater when the lake is full and the top floor is exposed. One rectangular Chhatri on the roof is of the Bengal type. The chhatris on the four corners are octagonal. This palace looks great at night so basically for one shot I had to wait for another two hours. Meanwhile I shot a timelapse and Akshat fidgeted and tried his hands in Photography. Angkuran joined us after the festival.
After shooting, we had to do some shopping so Akshat dropped us at Bapu Bazaar and went for some other work. Angkuran and I shopped a few things for our family and friends. Back to the hotel room, scene was quite different which cannot be shared here in the post. The very next day we boarded our train back to Delhi with our eyes, hearts, minds, and a stomach (hic!) basking in the glorious splendour of regal Rajasthan!
Check the Hyperlapse here.
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