Category Archives: Hot Air Balloon

A To Do List For When You Are In Jaipur

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.

A Waltz In The Sky

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 Gotta.

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.

Jalmahal

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.

The Hot Air Balloon Ride On The 13th March 2011

While you are surfing the net  you get to know a lot different things you might not have known about before. Some you might have use for, some you file away for future reference, some might trigger something in your brain and you are doing something wholly  unrelated to the job you were trying to do on the net in the first place.

Amber from a hot air balloon

While searching for websites related to Jaipur I came across the website of SKYWALTZ, they are on Facebook too,   the company is providing hot-air balloon rides around Jaipur.I started reading the information provided there and I was hooked. I just had to go for a hot-air balloon ride.  I sent them an email and they  fixed the date to fly as  13.3.2010, a Sunday.  There were 2 or 3 days to go before  Sunday and I started having doubts. So I read some more information available on the net. I found things like  in their attempt to fly humans  used the hot air balloons  first of all.

Montgolfier Brothers made the first hot air balloon which carried the frenchmen  Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent d’Arlandes in 1783 in Paris.

The colorful  nylon oval ball is called an envelope and the wicker basket suspended from it is called a gondola-this is where the passengers ride. The envelope  can store hot air which when heated some more with burning gas can makes it rise. In India they use LPG.

You can only go up to 10,000 feet without oxygen.

And like all aircraft it needs atmosphere to fly.

It is called an aircraft as soon as it leaves ground.

World altitude record is held by Shri  Vijaypath Singhania who took off from Mumbai and landed 240 km away in Panchale setting the record by reaching a hight of 21,027  meters or 68,986 feet on 26 November 2005.

The cost of procuring the equipment and the hassle of getting permissions is such that people opt for buying rides from people like SKYWALTZ.

On the Skywaltz website they have given clipping of previous coverage where correspondents took the ride themselves and then wrote up about it.Their detailed description of the flight & the professionalism of the pilots and the outfit  sort of quelled my fears about the flight.

The only issue I could find was about landing the craft. But when the moment came to land, our pilot Mr. Imo Singh from Manipur saw to it that it was not an issue at all. The landing was perfect. We were down in a couple of bumps and bantering with the villagers who had seen our descent and had gathered around the gondola.

A Waltz In The Sky
In the morning  when we reached Amber I saw some people gathered around a couple of  huge envelopes which were being inflated in the dry part of the Mawatha. And soon enough the burners were lit and the balloons were standing tall in the morning sky. Somebody provided a step ladder for us to get in the gondola. Besides Mr.I Singh there were seven of us in the gondola. The other balloon was  being piloted by Mr.Fernando from Spain and was already in air moving and gaining altitude towards the Amber fort. Mr. I Singh also opened up the burners and removed an empty cylinder of gas from the gondola and we were air borne. The first sights we see are the Amber fort, the  Kesar Kyari and then we move on in to the raising sun. There is no anxiety. We are floating in the air the other passengers  are exclaiming at the beauty of the Amber Fort bathed in the rays of the raising sun.  I am taking pictures of the other balloon and the ground. We move some more in the general direction of the Delhi Jaipur highway . There is a lot of smoke here as there are a lot of brick kilns here. Mr.Imo Singh is providing small nuggets of informations. We move towards an area near a brick kiln which is clear enough to land. Mr Imo Singh asks us to take landing positions and pulls some ropes and we are down with a couple of bumps. The first to arrive are the villagers who want to know where the foreign tourists are from. The site team is right behind and are already preparing to deflate the balloon. Once the balloon in down on a big piece a plastic canvas the step ladder makes an appearance again and we get down. In 5 minutes the driver  from the Skywaltz team, who got me to Amber  finds me and the other passengers  and we are on our way back to Jaipur.Just before leaving the landing site, Mr.Rishi from the Skywaltz team hands over to us our first flight in a Hot air Balloon certificates. These certificates will be cherished for all times to come.

Later on I find out that we had landed some 30-40 km, by road, from Amber about 9 km from Nailla and had to drive through some body’s farm house, in a village to get to a road which would take us back to Jaipur.

“The winds have welcomed you with softness,

The sun has greeted you with it’s warm hands,

You have flown so high and so well,

That God has joined you in laughter,

And set you back gently into

The loving arms of mother Earth.”

The Balloonist’s Prayer by Anon.

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