Category Archives: Gardens

A home for the butterflies in Jaipur

Butterfly Valley

Butterfly Valley

In an ambitious project, JDA has developed a 3800 Sq. Mts.( buffer area is 5 acres)  valley in Simriti Ban on JLN Marg, Jaipur as a habitat for 46 species of commonly found butterflies. The area, some 100 mts below JLN Marg,  has been planted with 80 varieties of big and small host plants. The area has some 900 trees and treated waste  water is regularly sprayed on them to keep the moisture in the area high.They have developed waterfalls and ponds decorated with stones brought in from Nathdwara and Haridwar. So come February you need to visit the Butterfly Valley with your camera for a date with the fast vanishing delicate creatures.

 

Butterfly valley in Simriti Ban,JLN Marg,Jaipur

Butterfly valley in Simriti Ban,JLN Marg,Jaipur

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A Visit To KCK Simriti Ban

(Click on Image to view in gallery)

It is always a pleasure to visit the Karpur Chandra Kulish Simriti Ban on the Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg,Jaipur,Rajasthan. The fascinating aspect is the green oasis in a world dominated by sand as Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan a desert state in India. It has water & trees & plants to attract the local birds and other insects & butterflies etc.  It has lot of secluded corners where benches are provided by the administration for the young and not so young couples visiting the park.

My only suggestion is that they should provide an hour each in the morning & evening for nature lovers who would like to photograph the birds and the flora & fauna as the park is very busy during the visiting hours for a serious study to be done. Furthermore boys being boys some of the boys are  intentionally disruptive to the peaceful atmosphere in the park.

JEWELS IN THE CROWN OF JAIPUR

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.

Ghewar

Ghewar

The delicacies one would consider as Jewels in the Crown of Jaipur would be

  1. Gatte Ki Sabzi – A veg. curry made with gram flour dumplings
  2. Ker Sangari- A veg curry made with fruit of Khejari tree & a berry.
  3. Ker ka Aachar- An aachar made with a berry which grows in the wild.
  4. Piyaz Ki Kachori – A Kachori made with a filling of onions & potatoes.
  5. Mirchi Bare- Pakora made out of green chilie & allo based filling & gram flour.
  6. Pheeni- can be had as a dessert or at breakfast with milk.
  7. Gazak – Sweet made of Til & sugar or Gur
  8. Mishri Mawa- Mawa based sweet
  9. Mawa ki Kachori – a Kachori with mawa filling served with sugar syrup
  10. Omlete by Sanjay
  11. Khatto – A curry made with gram flour boiled in buttermilk.
  12. Paneer ki Sabzee & Bejar Ki Roti  with rabri as dessert at Mahaveer Rabri Bhandar
  13. Kulfi- traditional Ice Cream
  14. Namkeens from the Sonthliwalon Ka Rasta
  15. Choorma Daal Baati- It has to be tasted to be defined!
  16. Raabri- A little atta cooked in boiling Chach.
  17. A meal at Chokhi Dhani Ethnic Village
  18. Rajasthani Thali at Natraj, LMB
  19. Heeng ki kachori -Kachories made of asfoetida flavored masala.
  20. Heeng ki sev- Sev made of asfoetida flavored gram flour.
  21. Doodh Jalebi at Breakfast
  22. Meethi Lassi on M.I. Road
  23. Ghewar, a sweet, from LMB
  24. Gulab Sakri Mawa based sweet flavored with kesar
  25. Kangan – traditional sweet made more or less like a Jalebi
  26. A late night snack at the Saras Snack counter on JLN Marg
  27. Laal Maans – Mutton in red curry
  28. Safed Maans- Mutton in white gravy
  29. Paan – chewing betel leaf with slaked lime, Kattha & Supari.
  30. Jalebi made in Desi Ghee
  31. Mutton  Sule- Marinated boneless mutton cooked on coals
  32. Shammi Kabab- Minced meat tikiya cooked on a tawa or deep fried in oil.
  33. Mangori Curry- Lentil paste dried in small pieces and later on cooked as a curry.

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.

Entrance To The Palaces Of Amber

Entrance To The Palaces Of Amber

  1. Amber Fort- Built in the 16th century on a hillock it is a majestic Fort.
  2. The Palaces at The Amber Fort are amazing.
  3. The imposing & artistic entrance to the Palaces of the Amber Fort.
  4. Elephant ride at up the Amber Fort Hillock
  5. Jaigarh Fort about 15km from Jaipur is located on a hill known as Cheel ka Teela & was built in the 16th century by Raja Man Singh & Sawai Jai singh II.
  6. Jaibaan was built in 1720 and is said to be the biggest cannon on wheels in the world.
  7. Cannon Foundry at Jaigarh- Jaibaan was cast here.
  8. Water Tanks at the Jaigarh Fort- Still in use these tanks can store 60,00,000 liters of fresh rain water. Find out about the system thru which they collected this huge amount of water.
  9. Nahargarh Fort was used for the guests of the Maharajas.
  10. Stepwell at the Nahargarh Fort- This step-well was made famous by the film Rang De Basanti.
  11. Man Sagar Lake This Lake is sustained by recycled water & a popular spot for birding. A birding fair is held here, every year.
  12. Jal Mahal Palace- Recently restored to its former glory this palace is in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake.
  13. Sisodia Raani ka Baagh- Built in 1728 by Sawai Jai Singh for his Sisodia Queen, it is a terraced garden.
  14. Galta Ji- A pilgrimage site it was built by Rao Kriparam, the Sun is worshipped here.
  15. Vidhyadhar ji Ka Baagh- This garden is named for the Architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya who designed the city of Jaipur.
  16. Kanak Vridavan Garden- Near the Man Sagar Lake this garden was the adobe of Govind Dev ji before the idol was moved to the City Palace Complex.
  17. Kos Minar at the VT Road circle was a pillar situated by the roadside, it was used to measure distances in the Mughal times.
  18. Peacock Garden- On the JLN Marg near the RCDF offices this garden was decorated with sandstone chatris & fiber Peacocks made by an eminent artist.
  19. Central Park is a most popular place for a morning walk, a date or for birding.
  20. French Sculptures in the Central Park & the Man Sagar Lake- Made by a French artist these sculptures are a thing of beauty.
  21. Isar Laat was constructed to celebrate the victory of the Jaipur forces under Sawai Ishwari Singh Ji in 1749.
  22. Jantar Mantar– An astronomical observatory having with huge Sundials etc made out of marble & masonry.
  23. City Palace-Residence of the ruling family of Jaipur. Some parts are open to public & some parts have been made into museums.
  24. Hawa Mahal Palace- Built in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh ji for the royal women to watch the religious processions etc. & still be in purdha.
  25. The façade of Hawamahal- It has 5 stories & 953 windows & is painted terracotta pink.
  26. The various gates of the walled city- As Jaipur was built according to Vastu Shastra it had 9 gates.
  27. Maharanion ki chatriyans- This is the funeral grounds of the Maharanis of Jaipur.
  28. Gaitore- Cenotaphs of the past Maharajas are here.
  29. Sawai Jai Singh Statue Circle- Almost all circles of Jaipur have statues installed on them but only one circle is known popularly as The Statue Circle. A statue of Sawai Jai Singh stand tall here.
  30. Birla Planetarium-Plan a visit to be updated about the universe.
  31. Conference venue at the Birla Institute of Scientific Research (BISR)
  32. Rambagh Palace Hotel- One of the best hotels in the world today.
  33. Silver urns- Huge utensils cast in silver used to ferry Gangajal to UK for the use of  Sawai Madho Singh II.
  34. Light & Sound Show at Amber Fort
  35. Light & Sound Show at Amar Jawan Jyoti in remembrance of Kargil War Martyrs.
  36. The pillarless hall at the Govind Dev ji Temple is Jaipur’s contribution to the Guinness Book of World records. It is the world’s widest RCC flat roof construction with a single span of 119 feet.
  37. Rajmandir-A single screen theatre, offering bollywood song & dance movies.
  38. Science Park in Shastri Nagar. A huge statue of a T-Rex roars here.
  39. National Flag In The Central Park

There are so many ancient Temples in Jaipur that it is also called Choti Kaashi.

  1. Thikana Govind Dev ji – The rulers of Jaipur claimed to be His Deewans & ruled in his name.
  2. Shilla Mata in the Amber Fort. It has doors made of silver with  9 roops of Goddess Durga & 10 roops of Goddess Saraswati engraved on it.
  3. Laxmi Narayan Temple- A poetry in white marble made by the Birlas.
  4. Ganesh Temple, Moti Doongri, Jaipur ke pratham poojya!
  5. Hanuman Temple, Moti Doongri, Another ancient temple
  6. Kala Hanuman Temple near the old Ram Prakash Cinema Hall.
  7. Garh Ganesh on a hill near Gaitore
  8. Nahar ke Ganesh ji- This Temple is about 175 years old.
  9. Jagat Shiromani Temple-Dedicated to the Lord Krishna His likeness in a black stone idol is worshipped here.
  10. Akshardham Temple-Located in Vaishali Nagar this temple is dedicated to the 18th century saint Swaminarayana.
  11. Ram Krishna Mission is in the C-scheme colony.
  12. Sanghi ji Jain Temple-A 1000 year old Digambar Jain temple at Sanganer.
  13. Choolgiri near Jaipur on a hillock is a Jain Temple.
  14. Padampura Jain Temple is about 30 km from Jaipur on the Tonk road.

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.

  1. Jaipur Club on Jacob Road
  2. Ashok Club on Janpath
  3. Polo Club on Bhawani Singh Road
  4. Golf Club on Bhawani Singh Road.

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.

A Bazaar Decorated For Deepawali

A Bazaar Decorated For Deepawali

  1. Deepawali- The festival of lights is celebrated with much gusto in Jaipur. The whole city is bathed in colored lights to welcome the Goddess Laxmi.
  2.  Makkar Sakranti – A day for giving. The young guns of Jaipur fly kites, this day.
  3. Holi-Is the Festival of colors.
  4. Elephant Festival around Holi- If you wish to see this huge animal in huge numbers in one place all beautified for the day, this festival is for you!
  5. Gangaur – is a widely celebrated festival of Rajasthan where, Gauri, symbolizing Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiv, is worshipped as a symbol of virtue & fidelity. A big procession is taken out from the City Palace on 2 days.
  6. Teej-The festival is celebrated to pray to goddess Parvati for a happy married life, well-being of husband and children. A procession is taken out from the City Palace.

Excursions

  1. Samode is about 42 km from Jaipur Samode Palace is used as a heritage hotel & charges an entry fee for non residents to view the Sheesh Mahal & Darbar hall.
  2. Abhaneri- About 95 km from Jaipur off Jaipur-Agra Highway it is a huge stepwell in the shape of an inverted Pyramid.
  3. Bhangarh– Ruins of an ancient town said to be haunted .It is off Jaipur Agra highway.
  4. Tonk- About 110km from Jaipur it is also known as the ‘Lucknow of Rajasthan’. Sunehri Kothi is a must visit place. It is famous for Namdahs.
  5. Sambhar-About 65km from Jaipur it has the biggest salt lake in India. It is also a birders paradise around monsoons.
  6. Bharatpur-About 175km from Jaipur. It has a rich bird life for the Nature Lover and The Lohagarh Fort for the history buff.
  7. Ajmer- About 135 km from Jaipur. Holiest Muslim shrines of the world, Dargah Sharif is located here.
  8. Pushkar– is about 145 km from Jaipur & is famous for the Brahma Temple and the Savitri Temple, Sarovar  & the yearly Camel Fair.
  9. Pachewar-About 90km from Jaipur it has a 300 year old fort which has been coverted into a heritage hotel.
  10. Sariska Tiger Reserve– About 107km from Jaipur this National Park is spread over 866 sq km.
  11. Bairath or Viratnagar – About 86km from Jaipur. This town has been around since the times of Mahabharat. It was also a flourishing Buddhist centre during the reign of King Ashok.
  12. Seel Maata ki Doongri- 35km from Jaipur near Chaksu. This temple is dedicated the the goddess of small pox. Sheetala Ashtami is her day.
  13. Ranthambore- About 180km from Jaipur. This National Park has a rich natural life to be observed by the Nature Lover besides the Tiger.
  14. Alwar-About 150km from Jaipur. Famous for its monuments & Alwar Ka Mawa.
  15. Siliser-About 110 km from Jaipur near Alwar & Sariska. There is a palace hotel in the middle of the lake.
  16. Shekhawati- Encompasses the Districts of Jhunjhunu & Sikar.It is most famous for frescos painted on Havelies.
  17. Mehndipur Balaji off Jaipur-Agra Highway. The deity here is famous for exorcising evil spirits from a person.

Personalities

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.

Shopping

  1. Silk/Woolen Carpets, Rugs & Durries made in Jaipur are world famous.
  2. Mojari-Traditional leather shoes.
  3. Lac Work – Bangles made of lac are a must for any auspicious occasion.
  4. Laheriya- A saree dyed in diagonal stripes of different pastel colors usually worn during the monsoons.
  5. Bandhej is the process of tying & dying a saree etc.
  6. Thewa-This process of fusing 23 carat gold with colored glass was developed about 350 years ago in Pratapgarh, Rajasthan.
  7. Jewelry made with silver has much favour with the rural folk.
  8. Kundan- is the process of inserting gold foil between the stones and its mount, commonly used to make necklaces, believed to have originated in Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is the oldest method of making 24 carat gold jewelry in India.
  9. Meenakari is the art of fusing metal like gold, silver or copper with different lacquers of colors like blue, red or green.
  10. Miniature Paintings are a fine rendering in water color of the court life etc over the years.
  11. Brass decorative items are a must buy on a Jaipur visit.
  12. Hand made paper of Sanganer– Paper made out of waste materials. One brand even adds a ratio of elephant dung to the formula. A variety of paper is made of Akda plant, commonly found in Rajasthan growing by the roadsides.
  13. Jaipur Blue or Blue pottery a collectors item.
  14. Jaipuri Razaai-A sheer delight to use, made according to a centuries old formula, a must buy on Jaipur visit.
  15. Bagru Hand Block Printed clothes & furnishings
  16. Sanganeri Hand Block Printed clothes & furnishings
  17. Turbans-Headgear of men in Rajasthan. Every region had its own style of tying a turban. They were made of different colorful materials & designs all with its own significance.
  18. Heritage Liquor- Traditional liquor made by Ganganagar Sugar Mills as per recipes provided by the former Royal houses.
  19. Itra- locally made traditional perfumes
  20. Supari/Churan- A huge variety can be found at Link Road near Sarawagi Mansion.
  21. Gota- Lace made of metal or plastic used to trim traditional clothes of women.
  22. Batik print- A variation of Bandhej tie & dye process.
  23. Terracotta stuff- The best terracotta articles come from Baswa village.

Miscellaneous

  1. Jaipur Bus – A fleet of Lo-Floor Buses are plying the streets the city every day & connecting the far flung areas of Jaipur.
  2. Musical Fountain, Jawahar Circle, JLN Marg performs everyday from 7-7.30 pm in winters. They even show music videos on a wall of spray.
  3. Sanganer Airport – Recently renovated one of the top air-ports of India.
  4. Akshay Paatra- Providing free mid-day meals to the school going children.
  5. Gaalibaazi- An irreverent Kavi Sammelan at Holi, a tradition almost as old as the city.
  6. Hella Khayal Sangeet Dangal have been held in Lalsot on the 2nd day of Gangaur  for more than 257 years now. Through this platform the artists inform the public about current affairs and issues, put forth problems to government officers, or comment on social, political and economic issues.
  7. Jaipuri Weddings– you have got to attend one to know the difference.
  8. Sculptures at the Circles– part of the drive to beautify Jaipur, this is priceless art commissioned for the city of Jaipur.
  9. Mandana-are the rangoli done in white & red colored lime on the floor & walls of a house on an auspicious occasion to welcome the gods.
  10. Bandarwal- door hangings tied at the entrance of a house on an auspicious occasion.
  11. Shorgar-They make traditional crackers by hand in earthen pots to be used at weddings etc.
  12. Neelgar- They dye clothes.
  13. Mehendi is used in all important occasions in life. A woman’s Shringar is incomplete without some mehndi on her hands & feet.

Educational Institutions

  1. St. Xavier’s School on Bhagwan Das Road
  2. MGD Girls School, off M.I. Road.
  3. St. Xavier’s College in C-Scheme.
  4. Rajasthan University on JLN Marg
  5. Rajasthan School of Art in Kishan pole Bazaar.

Music

  1. Maand-The local singers sung praises of the Rajput folk heros like Tejaji, Gogaji and Ramdeoji in this style of folk singing.
  2. Pabu ji ki Phad-The heroic stories of the folk hero Pabuji sung as folk songs.
  3. Kathputli- Folk songs which accompany the antics of the puppets on stage.
  4. Ravanhattha is a two-string stick fiddle used by bhopa community to narrate the epic tales of Pabuji.
  5. Panihari- songs sung by the local women, narrating the scarcity of water etc.

Dance

  1. Ghoomar – A dance performed mostly by Rajput women in groups or singly.
  2. Kaalbelia- Dance done by the snake charmer community.
  3. Therah Taali- This dance is performed in praise of folk-deity Baba Ramdeo by the Kamad community of Pokaran & Deedwana.
  4. Kacchi Ghodi- An important dance form of Rajasthan. It is performed with the help of a dummy horse and elaborate costumes.

Mela

1. Pushkar- Camel Fair

2. Nagaur- Cattle Fair

3 Looniyawas, near Sanganer- Gadarbh (Donkey) Mela

Museums

  1. Albert Hall -The central Museum of Jaipur. It has an Egyptian mummy here.
  2. Sanjay Sharma Museum-A fine collection of rare manuscripts, art & shoes.
  3. Alice Garg Sea Shell Museum- A huge collection of sea shells.
  4. In the city Palace
  5. At the Jai Garh Fort
  6. Anokhi Museum- Hand Bloc printing museum
  7. Dolls museum- A collection of dolls from all over the world.

Work-In-Progress

Jaipur Metro Is On Its Way

Jaipur Metro Is On Its Way

  1. Jaipur Metro
  2. Museum in the Old Town Hall in the City Palace complex.
  3. Pet Show- usually held in Delhi going to be held in Jaipur this year.
  4. The tunnel at Ghat ki Ghuni on Jaipur-Agra Road

Unique Eating Places of Jaipur

Rambagh Palace

Rambagh Palace

  1. Swarna Mahal, Dining Hall at the Rambagh Palace
  2. Steam, Lounge & Bar in the Bogies of a defunct train & a Steam Engine
  3. Polobar, Bar at the Rambagh Palace
  4. Neelmahal, Restaurant for snacks at the Rambagh Palace
  5. Durg Cafetaria at the Nahargarh Fort.
  6. India Coffee House(ICH) on M.I. Road
  7. Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) Branch Of India Coffee House
  8. 1135, on the ramparts of Amber Fort.
  9. Restaurant at the Jaigarh Fort
  10. Palace Café, Café at the City Palace.
  11. Cave In Natraj Restaurant
  12. Revolving Restaurant at Hotel Om Tower
  13. Pink Pepper A restaurant on a moving Bus.
  14. Tapri – A tea stall, much frequented by the youngsters.
  15. Niros- If Delhi has Moti Mahal Jaipur has Niros.

Adventure

  1. Skywaltz- A firm providing Hot-Air Balloon rides in & around Jaipur
  2. Vintage Car Rally- An annual fixture in Jaipur’s List of yearly events.

Culture

  1. Rabindramanch– The 1st venue of Jaipur where plays were held over the years.
  2. Open Air Theatre Behind Rabindra Manch
  3. Open Air Theatre near Simriti Ban
  4. JKK- A hotbed of cultural activity in Jaipur
  5. Open Air Theatre at JKK
  6. Jaipur Lit Fest – A trend setting congregation of the elusive faces behind the books we read. An annual affair.

Flowers

  1. Rose Garden- Located at the Jawahar Circle. It is a sight to behold in the winters when the flowers are in full bloom.
  2. Guldaudi Exhibition & Sale – Annual fixture. A very successful show & sale of Sevanti.

Bazaars

  1. Bapu Bazaar & Nehru Bazaar-You can shop here to your hearts content for all the stuff Jaipur is famous for.
  2. Johri Bazaar- You can buy all sorts of jewelry, women’s clothes & bangles etc here.
  3. Thatheron Ka Raasta- A lane home to the utensil makers.
  4. Maniharon Ka Raasta – For Lac jewelry & other stuff made of Lac
  5. Khazanewalon Ka Rasta- Marble stone carvers lane.
  6. Raja Park Market- A micro Punjab in Jaipur
  7. Sonthliwala Ka Rasta- For all things Namkeen
  8. Choti Chaupar- silver jewelry. Rosted Namkeen at Vijay Store. Mithai at Bhagat ji.
  9. Bari Chaupar- Flowers, Bangles.
  10. Rajasthali at Ajmeri gate. A state government (RTDC) showroom offering all goodies Rajasthan is proud of.

Birding At

  1. Simriti Baan on JLN Marg
  2. Chandlai Dam30 km from Jaipur ahead of Sanganer. Home to the Flamingoes visiting Jaipur.
  3. Man Sagar Lake on Amber Road.
  4. Central Park in C-Scheme

Zoo

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.

Library

  1. Maharaja Library 1st public Library of Jaipur home to many rare manuscripts.
  2. Radhakrishna Library Located off  JLN Marg. Popular among the students preparing for their exams.

Activities

  1. Morning Walk in the Central Park
  2. Shopping
  3. Clubbing
  4. Golfing
  5. watching Polo
  6. Camel/Jeep/Horse Safari in the dunes
  7. Attending A Conference
  8. Fine Dining
  9. Judicious Street Food Sampling
  10. watching Bollywood Potboilers
  11. Cycling
  12. Photograph Monuments of Jaipur
  13. Photograph the people of Jaipur
  14. Sightseeing
  15. Birding
  16. Going on Excursions
  17. Fly Kites
  18. Learn to cook Indian cuisine
  19. Learn a language like Hindi or Rajasthani
  20. Write a journal about your Jaipur trip & share it on the Net
  21. Bar hopping
  22. Sampling Heritage liquor & learning its legends
  23. Learn how to tie a turban & its history
  24. Learn how to tie a saree
  25. Learn how to wear a Dhoti
  26. Go for a ride in a Cycle Rickshaw or a Horse drawn Tonga
  27. Go for a ride in a Vintage Car.
  28. Get Mehandi applied to your hands & feet
  29. Learn Indian Classical music at Naad Sadhna www.nadsadhna.com

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)

Guldaudi Is All Set To Bloom Again!

Guldaudi

Guldaudi

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.

Guldaudi Sevanti Mum Chrysanthemum

Guldaudi Sevanti Mum Chrysanthemum

The Flowers Are Back!

Sisodia Rani Ka Baagh

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.

So if you were thinking of going on a picnic, planting a rose garden or visiting folks in Jaipur, then now is the time!
Pink Rain Lily

A Pink Rain Lily in full bloom

Yellow Rose

A yellow rose in full bloom.

Jaldhara

Jaldhara

Jaldhara

A  year on Jaldhara is as popular as ever amongst the city youth. Jaldhara is a ‘Paryavaran Maitri Shetra’ which is spread over a strip of land about 800 mts in length. It is situated on the JLN Marg near OTS in the Jawahar ‘nallah’. It starts nears the Forest Department Nursery and goes till the Bhaskar puliya. It has 2 powerful fountains, trees, flowers, 7 ponds, 10 Anicuts, huts,walkways,steps & flowing water. The water is recycled and it is advised not to put it on any body part. If you do not follow this simple rule you are libel to be fined. Also when at the Jaldhara you are not supposed to smoke or to bring  plastic or to bring food from outside. A snack counter has also been opened recently. It is an effort to provide the city with a picnic spot for the general public.

Jaldhara

Jaldhara

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An Evening At The Jal Mahal Palace

Jalmahal

These are some of the photos of the newly renovated Jal Mahal Palace in the Man Sagar Lake,Jaipur. It is a huge project as you can see and a lot of work has been done. But  a lot of work needs to be done yet though the buzz is they are going to open it to the public in the near future.
Jalmahal

Jalmahal

I have been to the Man Sagar Lake a lot of times but have only seen Jal Mahal Palace’s  view from the Amber Road side. It was a novelty to view it from another angle while sitting in a boat, no less. They have put in a lot of research and effort to faithfully reproduce the finer details as they must have been in the past. The look of the boats has been copied as they were depicted in paintings of days gone by when the boats of Royalty used to ply on the Man Sagar Lake. The top floor has also been faithfully preserved or reproduced as it was in ancient times. There are fountains and marble flooring and lights. The chatris you see from the Amber Road have been painted with murals. A gallery  is also being developed on the floor below the top floor. Original ancient paintings are being blown up and each detail is being reproduced as per the original drawings. I think the artist is going to have his work cut out for him as he will have to maintain them in pristine condition as the moisture from all the water in the lake is going to play havoc with the murals.

They are also  trying to save trees threatened with extinction because of various reasons by transplanting them at great cost in the campus here.

A recent Time Magazine article suggests it is one of the top reasons to visit Jaipur.

All in all this project is a winner and it was an evening well spent.

Jalmahal
I must thank JPC – Jaipur Photographers Club- for organizing this  photo shoot for the photography enthusiasts of Jaipur as one of their weekly photo walks.

Jalmahal

Jalmahal
Jalmahal

Whats Free In Jaipur?

Collage

My father used to remind us time and again that nothing in life was for free but he also said that the streets were paved with money and one only had to pick it up.   His implication was that a little work would see to it that our pocket were full of money. He was right naturally but don’t  we move mountains to get some thing for free or relatively for free.

This is such a list!

A list of  things one can enjoy for free or relatively for free in Jaipur.

This list assumes that you have your own transport to get around the city and a little money.

If you can wake up before day break get your digital camera out and go for a walk. You can photograph Jaipur in all its moods. You can make a photo feature on a day well spent. Some examples of where to go for a walk would be, the Central Park of Jaipur or  lake shore of  the Man Sagar Lake or the quite streets of the city.

If you are into Yoga & laughter therapy there is a session in the Central Park you can join.

Read the local newspaper. Around 5.30 am to 6.30 am you will see the newspaper boys on their way to delivering the morning papers to different houses of Jaipur. You should get one and find a quite place to read it.

Drink a cup of tea at the Sahu tea stall in walled city.

If you do not mind a snack early in the morning you can get a Kachori  near the panch batti circle or at the Rawat Misthan Bhandar.

Or in summers you can have a lassi at the Lassiwala on the M.I.Road.

Time to head home for a shower a change of clothes  and some breakfast.

At 10 a.m you can go for birding & a nature walk in the Simriti Ban on J.L.N.Marg. They also have a museum here where they have displayed the photos of the birds and plants and flowers found in the  area.

If the local handicrafts are your thing, you can head for the Jawahar Kala Kendra for a look. There might be a mela on .While there you can visit the museums and the art galleries  too. More often than not there are painting exhibitions and plays being put up  during the course of the day. These fixtures are not to be missed. Another such venue is the Ravindra Manch and the open air theater there.These two places are the hot bed of cultural activity in Jaipur.

Time for lunch. You can have Dosa & Coffee in the canteen of JKK  managed by the India Coffee House & head home for a  siesta.

At 4.30 pm you can go for birding in the central park.

Once a month weather permitting there is a classical recital in the Central Park by a famous artist.

Every year from 21 to 25 January a literature featival is held where you can hear  the writers talk about their books and even get their autographs.

Two book fairs are held in the second half of the year for the book lovers of Jaipur by the two local papers.

Jaipur was also known as Choti Kashi in the days of lore because of the huge number of temples here.You can visit Galtaji or Birla Mandir or Ganesh Mandir at Moti Doongri or the Kala Hanuman Mandir for divine blessings.

On Diwali you can go around the walled city markets to see the hustle and the bustle and the city dolled up  with colorful lights and ‘jhankis’ and decorative gates.

On Holi Chaugan stadium is the place to be where, every year, an Elephant festival is held by RTDC.

On 14th January, Sankrat, watch the city go crazy over some kites and string.

Watch Teej maata’s Savari on Teej Festival.

Get photographed in front of the magnificent Hawamahal or the Sculptures in The Central Park or The Amber Fort.

You can climb to the top of  the Isar Lat for the view.

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Photos Of Some Common Birds Found In The Parks & Gardens Of Jaipur.

OWL

Spotted Owlet (Athene brama indica)

Recently a cousin of mine,Madhav Rathore, an experienced, enthusiastic birder, bought a  Canon EOS 7D with a huge telephoto lens. When I kidded him about buying   such an expensive  camera he insisted on taking me birding in  the Central Park one evening. That is when the use of the camera became apparent to me.  He was shooting birds perched at the top of tallest of trees where as I was limited to shooting squirrels and birds sitting in front of me in the grass.

But I got hooked to birding that day. I am no expert birder but by my own experience it is far easier to watch birds today. I take a picture of the whichever  feathered friend which dares to cross my path and later on I put an ID to it with the help of a couple of Books. Where the books fail The Net comes  to help. This method helps to engrave the names of the birds in the mind too. So the next time I come across the same bird I  say smugly,” That is Brahminy Mayna you know !” and so on…

One thing you will notice is the exotic names of the birds.  I can bet you powers that be who gave names to the birds put more thought in naming the birds than in naming their newborn sons. They have names like starling,Black  Drongo,Grebe,darter etc. And each bird has its own charm. Own uniqueness which will hold you in thrall.

I have been to the Central Park many times before the day we went birding but I  did not notice the birds before that day. Oh I could see the pigeons and the doves but the other beauties were hidden behind a muslin curtain as it were. Somebody had to  point the birds out to me. Do you know  usually we see two types of Doves in Jaipur one is Laughing Dove and the other is the Eurasian Collared Dove. And that the house sparrow may be endangered soon enough! Who would have thought of it!

I have been posting photos I take around Jaipur to www.flickr.com for some time now. If you see the stats on the photos you will realize that people like photos of flowers and plants more than photos of birds. I do not know why that is so but we have to be more aware of the beauty surrounding us in the form of birds more. Birds forage in the early morning but people go for their morning walk just then too. So the birds perch themselves on the highest branches of the trees. I suppose they come down later. I do not know.There are some birds which do not mind people at all and are all over the grass in the Park.

Now a days in every home there is a computer and a digital camera. All you have to do is to buy a beginners guide to birding. Be sure to buy one which has photos of the birds & not sketches. You can graduate to the books with sketches  later.

Now find some time for yourself and the birds and go for a walk in the nearest Park or garden. Happy Birding.

I am posting  some photos of the Birds I found.

Brahminy Myna/Starling

Red-vented Bulbul

Black-Rumped Flameback

Black Drongo

Bank Myna

Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna) - Adult

Green Bee Eater

Asian Koel Male

Rufous Treepie

Partridge

Purple Sun bird female

Eurasian Golden Oriole

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Show Us The Trees In Your Garden!

Gulmohar

Do you know about the people who photograph and blog everything they eat? So many people are doing this that camera manufacturers are even providing a setting to shoot the food at its colorful best.
In that general trend I would like to suggest that we blog about the tree we are most proud of in our garden this present season and leave the link in the comments of this blog post.
Why trees? Because trees are going to be around for a long while once grown they require little water and are majestic in their presence in the garden. Furthermore we need them to attract the rain bearing clouds. And they provide oxygen, fruit, flowers and shade in the summers.
And if this post inspires somebody to plant his favorite sapling this monsoon, all to the good.

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