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In no particular order these are some points about Jaipur anybody would consider as the Jewels in the Crown of Jaipur.
Everybody has to eat something some time. So let us list salient points related to food about Jaipur.
Jaipur is part of the desert state of Rajasthan & lack of adequate rainfall & transport saw to it that people ate ‘ana se ana’ as vegetables were scarce. Also because of the heat and the hard work the people put in the fields red chilies & Desi Ghee were used in abundance.
The delicacies one would consider as Jewels in the Crown of Jaipur would be
As Rajasthan is a border state & the Princes in The Rajputana were at war more than they were at peace so you will find Forts & Palaces in which ever part of Rajasthan you might venture. But the monuments of Jaipur are special as they are not only in good condition but the administration takes pains to keep them in pristine condition.
There are so many ancient Temples in Jaipur that it is also called Choti Kaashi.
Clubs of Jaipur-These are the best options for eating, drinking, staying, exercising or meeting people of Jaipur. They have rules about allowing non-members to use their facilities.
It does not matter if you like festivals to disrupt the hum-drum day to day rhythm of life or not they do leave you rejuvenated by their mere presence. These are some of the important festivals celebrated in Jaipur.
1. Sawai Jai Singh Ji II (1688-1743) A keen Astronomer he made the Jantar Mantars of Jaipur, Delhi etc and also founded the city of Jaipur.
2. Rajmata Gayatri Devi( 1919-2009) Voted as one of the World’s 10 most beautiful women by Vogue she was also an educationist & a philanthropist. She founded MGD School for girls & Sawai Man Singh Vidyalaya. She also revived the art of Blue pottery.
3.Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt- Born in 1952 he won the Grammy award in 1994 & the Padam Shree in 2002 for taking Indian classical music to new heights.
2. Nagaur- Cattle Fair
3 Looniyawas, near Sanganer- Gadarbh (Donkey) Mela
1. Jaipur Zoo Ram Niwas Garden
2. Animal rescue centre at Nahargarh
3. Deer Park & Duck Pond are located in the C-Scheme. Nice place for a visit with children or a date.
Interesting Facts to Know.
1. State Tree of Rajasthan – Khejari
2. State Flower of Rajasthan – Rohida
3. State Bird of Rajasthan – Godawan or Great Indian Bustard It is pretty rare now.
4. State Animal of Rajasthan – Chinkara (an antelope)
Mums, Chrysanthemums, Guldaudi, Sevanti… Call it what you like but it is the first week of November and Guldaudi plants are in the process of budding. The Sevanti will bloom in a riot of colors, shapes & sizes within a month. That is when the Rajasthan University Nursery is planning its yearly Mum Exhibition.This year there will be about 4000 potted Guldaudi plants of about 215 different varieties. This 3 day exhibition concludes in a sale of these potted plants. This year the authorities are going to sell these pots of Guldaudi for 50 Rupees each to the Jaipur populace.
Have you been to the Jawahar Circle Garden Lately?
No, no. What I mean to ask is, have you been to the Jawahar Circle Garden between 7pm & 7.30pm lately? If you have not then it is time you went?
That is when the Musical Fountain Show is performed!
If you are going to say that you have seen musical fountains,before. Then you would be wrong! Because you have not seen musical fountains like this before. Not in Jaipur, anyway.
JDA has spent 170 lacs for the development of this circle. The money has been judiciously spent on a Jogging tracks, Walk way, Parking,Landscaping, Benches & a Musical Fountain.
The Fountain has been installed in a water-body in the center of the park. Every evening at 7 pm a show is held for 30 minutes, when the water sprays dance to the music & are illuminated by colored lights all adding up to a rare experience. Taking a hint from the Si-Fi world they even show music video’s on a wall of spray. And after the show you can have some chaat or Saras Lassi or Custard Kulfi in the Chaat Bazaar.
Radius of the water body is 47 mts. There are 290 effects. Height of the fountain is 25 mts. Water screen size is 27mts wide by 9 mts height. There are 316 colored lights. The video projector is 15000 lumens.
A fact worth appreciating here is that Rajasthan is a desert state & to maintain such big gardens & fountains with drinking water would be foolhardy so the government is using re-cycled water which though safe for the garden & the fountain is definitely not safe for drinking or for bathing with. So it is a good idea to stay away from the water in the fountain.
Today I read an article about 10 unusual restaurants of India. A facebook friend had shared the link. Being on facebook has its uses, you know! Jaipur did not feature in the list. So naturally I had to make a list of restaurants unique to Jaipur.
1.The Dining Hall, Swarn Mahal, at the Rambah Palace, with its painted ceiling
2. Steam, the Lounge Bar, at the Rambagh Palace, with restored Stem Engine & Victorian Station is very unique.
3. Polo Bar, at the Rambagh Palace, is unique.
4.Revolving restaurant at the OM Tower on M.I.Road is unique.
5.Chokhi Dhani, an recreated ethic village restaurant is unique.
6.Pink Pepper, a restaurant in a bus which goes across Jaipur while the diners eat.
7. Durg Cafeteria at Nahargarh Fort is unique with stunning view of the city of Jaipur.
8. The Dinning Rooms in the RTDC’s Royal Trains are unique.
9. 1135 AD, A Resturant on the ramparts of the fort of Amber is unique.
10. The ancient India Coffee House at the Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) & on the M.I.Road are unique for being hot bed of intellectualism in Jaipur.
11. Tapri, the tea house.
These are all I can think of. If you think I have missed a Restaurant please feel free to add it to the comments.
How To Cook A Raan At Home
Serves 4 persons
Ginger Paste 2 Tea Spoons Heaping
Garlic Paste 2 Tea Spoons Heaping
Curd 400 gms Strained ( with as little water in it as possible)
Rum 1 large peg
Kachri Powder 2 Tea Spoons
2 Tea Spoons Red Chillie Powder
Salt ½ Tea Spoon or to taste
Ghee 150 gms
Oil 150 gms
Saabut Garam Masala ( 4 Doda, 1 ½ inch Dal chini, 5 Big Tej Patta, 20 Kali Mirch,
10 Cloves, 4 Small Ilaichi)
Oninons 4 large minced
Red chillie powder 2 tea spoons heaping ( or to taste)
Corriender Powder 2 tea spoons heaping( or same proportion as the red chillies)
Turmeric ½ Tea Spoon
Salt -One Tea Spoon (Not heaping) or to taste.
Sour Curd 200 gms ( or lesser in proportion to the red chillies as this much curd is needed to take the bite out of the red chillies)
Garlic Paste 2 Tea Spoons
Ginger Paste 2 Tea Spoons
2 green chillies minced
1 leg piece Mutton ( 750 gms. to 1 Kg)
Wash the leg piece and prick it with knife thoroughly. Mix the marinade ingredients & apply them to the raan. Put it in your fridge overnight.
When preparing the mixture for the marinade make sure that it is not watery. You should get rid of the water in the curd by tying it in a thin muslin cloth.
Heat the oil in a cooker till it is smoking & add the ghee. Add all the Saabut Gram Masala fry in oil for on low heat for a moment. Add the onions & fry the onions till they are brown.
Add red chillies, dhania, turmeric & salt with some water & fry till oil sepatrates.
While adding the curd ensure to stir the mixture on high flame till the masala comes to a boil. Keep the flame on low heat and keep frying the curry till it takes the color of deep oily red chillies.
Add the Garlic paste and the ginger paste & green chillies to the curry and cook some more.
Pre heat the oven at 300 Degrees and assemble the marinated leg piece and the masala in the oven tray & put it the oven.
Once the oil starts bubbling set the temperature to 150 degrees and cook till done. If you wish you can turn the leg piece a couple of times as the oil will settle at the bottom of the tray & may not cover the leg piece.
It can also be cooked in a Cooker on a slow fire.
Serve with hot chapaties.
Living in Jaipur is as difficult or as easy as living any where else but here are some reasons why you will fall in love with Jaipur.
In the twelve months of a year you get to experience a whole gamut of weather in Jaipur. There is hot summer, cold winter, hot & humid monsoons & the season when the winter just drifts in. Just when you are thinking I have had enough of this heat or cold or the rains the seasons change, and life goes on.
And with the change of season the eating habits also change. What food! In the monsoons you eat choorma dal baati in some picnic spot in the lap of the Aravali’s which are covered with solid green because of the rains. If you do not have time for a picnic a spot of rain & people are flocking the sweet shops for their favourite snack like samosa, pyaz ki kachri or mirchi bara or if they are watching their weight then they are sipping a hot cup of tea or a cup of coffee at the CCD. In the winters they are eating lal mans or khichda or drinking hot rabri. In summers they drink lassi & eat different varieties of mangoes which keep changing as the summer progresses.
Jaipur is a heaven for the photography enthusiast. Jaipur has it all. Besides the concrete jungle it also has monuments,huge forts, mountains, an artificially maintained fresh water lake, ancient havelies, temples, bazars, palaces, festivals, friendly people, flowers,birds & photography accessory shops.
Jaipur is doing its best to catch up with the four metropolitan cities of New Delhi,Mumbai,Kolkata & Chennai but life is still laid back & the distances are not what they are in the other metros. You can still drop by a friend for a drink or dinner an evening.
The festivals Jaipur celebrate around the year make sure that there is no ennui in the life of the people of Jaipur. Some major festivals are, holi, deepawali, raakhi,teej,gangaur and makkar sankranti.
If you thought all of the above would keep the people of Jaipur busy enough around the year, you would be wrong, because there are the Jaipur weddings! Some people just go to court to get married but others have such weddings that people from all corner of the world come to Jaipur to get married in a Jaipuri wedding.
These are some of the top reasons to love Jaipur. If you think otherwise please list your choices here below.
Who does not know about the elephants of Amber? We have seen them at the foothill of the Amber fort waiting for their turn to give us a ride up to the Fort. We have seen them around the city in marriage processions and the yearly Teej & Gangaur processions & we have seen them perform at the Elephant Festival at Holi time. But do you know elephants have been declared the ‘Heritage Animal of India’ in October 2010 by the Environment Ministry of India.
60% of Elephants in Asia live in India where they have been part of the human existence for times immemorial. There are about 27,000 elephants in India. And about 3500 are in captivity. The intention of this welcome measure is to take active & concrete measures to protect the tuskers and the environment they live in and to count them.
You made it to Jaipur! Now what?
From the autowallah who brought you from the station to your hotel to the friendly staff of the hotel all have plans for you. Somebody wants to take you shopping somebody else wants you to go out for dinner. But you want to know your options. How best to manage with limited time, money & energy you have at your disposal.
This is the list of options you have when in Jaipur…
When you reach a new town the first thing you ask is’ yahan dekne ko kya hai?’
Jaipur has forts, palaces, temples, gardens, museums & an artificially maintained recycled fresh water lake among other things.
Let us begin with the forts. The three forts protecting Jaipur, built atop the Aravali Mountains are Amber, Jaigarh & Nahargarh. These forts are especially worth a visit during the monsoons as the Aravalies are covered in a solid green of vegetation freshly washed by the yearly monsoon.
Jaipur is also known as Choti Kashi because of the number of new & old temples it has. Some of the main ones are Shilla Devi at Amber, Ganesh Temple & Birla Mandir at Moti Doongri, Govind Devji at the City Palace of Jaipur & the Galtaji.
There are museums in the City Palace Complex, Jaigarh Fort, Albert Hall, Dolls museum, Alice Garg Sea Shells Museum and the Alankar Museum at the Jawahar Kala Kendra on JLN Marg.
There are scores of gardens in Jaipur but the main ones are Sisodia Rani Ka Baagh, Kanak Vrindavan Garden, Central Park, Ram Niwas Garden & Jawahar Circle with its world class fountain & Rose Garden.
If you are visiting during the festival time, fly kites, play holi or see the Jaipur markets decorated to welcome the Goddess Laxshmi.
The newly refurbished Jal Mahal Palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake is definitely worth a visit. They take you to the palace in boats.
The palace section of the Amber fort with the imposing entrance gate is not to be missed, either.
An early morning walk in the Central Park or on the shore of the Man Sagar Lake.
You can go birding in the Central Park, Man Sagar Lake Or the KCK Simriti Ban on JLN Marg.
Take pictures of the monuments of Jaipur at different hours of the day like sunrise or sunset.
During the winters Hot Air Balloon rides are being provided by SKYWALTZ in the picturesque areas around Jaipur.
Take a packed meal & go for a picnic in the hills around Jaipur.
Have Dal-Baati-Choorma at Natraj resturant on M.I.Road.
Have Laal Maans at Niros resturant on the M.I. Road.
Have rajasthani vegetarian meal at the LMB in Johri Bazar or at Chokhi Dhani.
Have barbeque at the Talk Of The Town,M.I.Road
Sample Heritage liquor/ buy some to take home.
Have Chaat at Link Road next to Saraogi Mansion Or in one of the Kanah Restruants
Buy Ghewar & Mishri Mawa at LMB to take back home with you.
Buy mawa ki kachori from Rawat near Polo Victory Complex, to take back home with you.
Have piyaz ki kacori & mirchi badas at Rawat.
Have Methi Lassi on M.I.Road from the Lassiwalla next to the Charmica.
When on a fast have Falahar at the Falahar counter at the Saraogi Mansion Counter or the Ahimsa Circle counter or at the Raja Park Counter.
Take in a Bollywood Movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema Hall, a single screen movie Hall.
Have a date with ‘heavenly bodies’ & visit the Planetarium at the Science Park in Shastri Nagar or at the Statue Circle.
When visiting Jaigarh Fort hire a guide to learn how cannons were built there because it is also the home of the biggest cannon of the world, the Jaibaan. The Jaibaan was built here and is housed here presently.
Take in a light & sound show at the Amber or at the Amar Jawan Jyoti out side the SMS stadium.
Have your pictures clicked at the Birla Mandir in a traditional costumes
or have a black & white picture taken from an antique camera outside the Hawamahal Palace.
Buy & learn to tie a Saree or a Dhoti or A Turban.
Ride in Jaipur Bus
Buy & read A Princess Remembers by Maharani Gayatri Devi
Pay a token sum to JDA and plant trees in remembrance of a loved one or to mark an occasion.
Read local news-papers one morning. You will realize that the Jaipur folks concerns are more or less the same as yours.
Take a walk in the walled city and see the numerous wares on sale.
Take a walk in Amber.
Buy a puppet to take back home.
Buy Pabu ji ki Paad painting & find out its stories.
Go shopping for Lac Bangles or other stuff made of lac.
Buy stuff made of terracotta & blue pottery.
Buy a bhandej or laheriya Saari.
Buy Jaipuri Razaais(quilts).
Buy choorans & sooparis from Link Road near Sarawgi Mansion.
Spend an evening at the JKK visiting an art exhibition or a play & have a cup of coffee at the India Coffee House counter there.
Have cakes & pastries at the Bake Hut off M.I. Road or Hot Breads on Sarojni Marg or Bakewell in Raja Park.
Have Gulabjamun & rasmalai at the Natraj resturant, M.I.Road.
Visit the stamps museum in the Jaipur GPO on M.I.Road.
Have Dosa at the Garden Cafe near Statue Circle or Sankalp off M.I.Road opp. Tanishq.
Have “kangan” at Gangaur Sweets near Bagdia Bhawan Market.
Visit the Samode Palace Hotel in Samode for lunch.
Buy marble statues from Khazanewalon ka rasta.
If you have the time and the inclination visit Pushkar( Brahma Temple) or Bhangarh (ruins of a haunted town) or Abhaneri ( a huge stepwell) near Jaipur.
This list could have missed your pet past time in Jaipur so please feel free to share it with others in the comments section of this post.
Sisodia Raani Ka Baagh,Jaipur,Rajasthan,India.
No two ways about it Jaipur is in the middle of the monsoon. Though the rains are taking there own sweet time to come as and when they see fit. A couple of days of rain and the rain lily is in full bloom. Pink, yellow, white, big or small the rain lily leads the riot of color which is going to follow. The Aravali mountain range, guarding Jaipur for all these centuries, has a solid cover of green, which is going to last till after the monsoon has left Jaipur. The people of Jaipur & the tourists are thronging the three Forts, Jaigarh, Nahargarh & Amber, during and after the showers. During the summers the people were eating to live, now they are living to eat, choorma-dal-baati & other rajasthani delicacies. No weekend goes by which does not see a ‘Goth’ in a picturesque locations surrounding Jaipur. The plant nurseries of Jaipur are chock- a- block full of various plants in anticipation of the huge demand by public. The people usually plant trees during monsoons as they take root relatively easily. Also, others would like to replace the plants which did not survive the harsh summers.
A Pink Rain Lily in full bloom
A yellow rose in full bloom.