Tag Archives: amber fort

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.

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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Photographing Monuments Of Jaipur

The Young, The Old And The Ancient.

Light plays a big role in making a photo stand out. Golden hours are the sunrise and the sunset.When shooting monuments you have to know where the sun will be at a given time.

It is a good idea to start the day at the Amber Fort because the rising sun illuminates the Fort and you can have early morning darshan at the  Silla Mata Temple.You can not take pictures around the temple and the palaces will open later on.You should concentrate on the exterior of the Fort only. If you want you can take pictures or make a video   riding an elephant to the top of the hillock. One tourist tweeted from her smart phone while riding an elephant up to the Amber Palace. She wanted to be the first to do so.

Now you have a choice either you can wait for the Amber Palace to open to photograph the interiors and then visit the Jaigarh Fort for taking pictures of the Jaigarh Fort and the Cannons and to take pictures of Jaipur and Amber fort from the Jaigarh Fort OR you can head back to Jaipur and take pictures of the Jal Mahal Palace in the Man Sagar Lake against the rising sun and take pictures of  the facade of Hawamahal bathed in the early morning sun light.

Later on around noon you can take photos of the Jantar Mantar, Isar Lat  & the  City Palace. If the spirit moves you you can climb the Victory Tower after paying a small fee and take pictures of the Nahargarh Fort from there.

On your way to the Nahargarh you can take pictures of Jal Mahal from high up.

If you do not mind heights you can even book an early morning hot air balloon ride  to take pictures of the city from high up.

Sisodia Rani ka Bagh has to be captured in your camera in the morning. In the evening you will be shooting the palace against the light. Central Park is nice in the evening.The facade of the B.M.Birla Conference venue on the Statue Circle  is best shot in the setting sun. The founder of Jaipur’s  Statue stands tall at the Statue Circle.You can take its picture also now.

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Open Air Theatres in Jaipur

Amber Palace-A Birds Eye View

Besides the soon to be open Garden Theatre located between OTS and the Karpoor Chand Kulish Smriti Ban on JLN Marg  there are about six other open air theatres in Jaipur.

1.Behind Rabindra Manch in the Ram Niwas Garden

2.In the Jawahar Kala Kendra on JLN Marg.

3.Near the Nahargarh Fort.

4.In the Rajasthan University Campus.

5.Central Park  behind the Birla Planetarium is often used for the monthly fixtures of the Music In The Park .

6.Kesar Kyari near the Amber Fort is the venue for the light and sound show on Jaipur.

White Peacock Sculpture

The Garden Open Theatre has a seating capacity of 600 persons, a stage of the size  56′ X 28′, a projector room for screening film shows , a cafeteria and a rain water harvesting system. It is being built on 10 acres  of land and the  cost of the project after budget over run is  about 3.5 Crore Rupees. The Theatre will be decorated with sculptures made by Raj Kumar Pandit. He has been commissioned with the task of  making models of White Peacocks and Butterflies. It has also  been proposed to open a butterfly garden in the theatre campus on the style of Singapore butterfly gardens, come March 2010. When the garden is fully commissioned there will be about 50,000 flowers and various  fruit trees like pomegranate,banana etc and the garden will cover an area of 7 acres. Plants are also being brought in from Kolkata and Hyderabad. Besides being a butterfly preserve it is also going to be a place where one can educate one self about  the various  species of  butterflies. This preserve will be a welcome addition  as one more feather in the cap of the  city of Jaipur.

A picture taken in the Karpoor Chand Kulish Simriti Ban

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Jaigarh

Jaigarh

Jaigarh

One of the three forts which have stood sentinel over  the city of Amber & Jaipur ,  Jaigarh has been standing proud since the 11th century when Kakil Deo laid its foundation. The fort has been added to and brought to its present state over the years by the successive Kachawaha rulers of Amber and Jaipur. Jaigarh is built atop the aravali hills at a height of 602 meters above sea level.From North to South it stretches for 3 km while it  has a width of about 1 km. To guard this vast region from intruders there used to be  27 maned check posts. Jaigarh is 15 km from Jaipur thru the Doongar Gate and only 1.5 km from Amber thru the Awani Gate which connects the Amber fort with Jaigarh by a steep road paved with stones. One more Gate known as the Sagari Gate is, now a days, used only on the day following Deepawali when anakoot is celebrated here and on the eve of Bhairav Asthmi.

The Fort had an elaborate Palace Complex, the Lalit Mandir, for the summer retreat of the Maharajas and Subhat Niwas where he addressed the soldiers and Khilbati Niwas where he met with the generals and Lakshmi Vilas the royal drawing room and the puppet show room and 2  Dining halls and kitchen and Garden  and garden house known as Aram Mandir and ladies Quarters known as  Vilas Mandir and Surya Mandir was used for the Gun foundry. There was even a small castle inside the Fort which was used as the armoury  of Jaigarh. Two temples dedicated to Ram Harihar and Kal Bhairava are in  the Jaigarh where most hindu festivals are celebrated.

Jaigarh

Jaigarh

The rulers of Jaigarh took  great effort to harvest water for the people of the fort.They had five big tanks where rain water  was stored  after being lifted from the Sagar lake. For 4 kms around the Fort they had pucca canals made which brought the water of first couple of rains from the catchment areas  to one of the tanks for the use of the horses etc. Some of these tanks are in use even today by the staff running the fort for their drinking water supply.

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Jaipur on Slideshare.net

Jaipur – Presentation Transcript

  1. JAIPUR
    • Part of the Golden Triangle Travel Circuit in India, Jaipur is one of the top travel destinations of the world. It is the capital of the state of Rajasthan, the land of Princes and valour, Sand-dunes, Palaces, Gardens, Museums, Textiles, Blue pottery Mojaris and Paintings. It is known for its hospitality and cuisine. Just about 225 km from New Delhi it is very well connected with rest of the world.
  2. The Idol of Sawai Jai Singh Ji-II At The Statue Circle
  3. Sawai Jai Singh Ji-II Founder Of Jaipur
    • 1727 saw Sawai Jai Singh Ji-II(1688-1744) lay the foundation of what is now The Walled city of Jaipur or the famous Pink City of India.
    • He was crowned in 1699 A.D. He reigned for 45 years.
    • A learned man he built observatories in Jaipur, Ujjain, Matura and Benaras.
  4. Places To Visit
    • If you are looking for new places to visit with a lot of history thrown in Jaipur is the place to be in.
  5. City Palace
    • Except for, Chandra Mahal, the residence of the present Maharaja of Jaipur most of the City Palace is open to Public and houses museums.
  6. Hawa Mahal
  7. Hawa Mahal
    • Built in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh Ji in the City Palace Complex this palace was built so that the ladies of the royal family could watch the royal and religious processions in the bazars and still be in purdha. It has 953 windows.
  8. Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh
  9. Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh
    • About 6km from the city centre on the way to galta ji off Jaipur Agra Highway is a garden built by Sawai Jai Singh for his second wife, a Sisodia princess from Udaipur. It is a terraced garden with a palace on the top terrace.  This garden is a popular venue for weddings and parties.
  10. Vidhyadhar Ji Ka Bagh
  11. Vidhyadhar Ji Ka Bagh
    • Named after the genius who planned the Pink City for Sawai Jai Singh II this garden is under renovation right now( Budget 5 Crores).They have discovered a 250 years old bawadi which was used to harvest water. This water was used for Vidhyadhar Garden and The Roop Niwas Garden.It was also used as  a vineyard for the Jaipur royal family in the times gone by.
  12. Kanak Vrindawan Garden
  13. Kanak Vrindawan Garden
    • This garden is on the way to Amber, near Jal Mahal. Govind Dev Ji temple and the Natwar ji’s Temple and the garden have been recently restored to their former glory by The B.M. Birla foundation. It is a popular picnic spot.
  14. Albert Hall
  15. Albert Hall
    • Built in 1886 and designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, Albert Hall, has been recently renovated with a budget of 4.5 Crore Rupees-this museum is known for Persian Carpets, Egyptian Mummy, antique crockery and metal objects collections. There is an organic restaurant also in the complex.
  16. Jantar Mantar
  17. Jantar Mantar
    • Built in 1827 by Maharaja  Sawai Jai Singh Ji and  situated in the present day City Palace Complex  this Astronomical  Observatory’s instruments are  made with stone, marble and masonry and  consequently were so accurate that Sawai Jai Singh Ji was able to find errors in the astronomical tables then in use. Sawai Jai Singh Ji published his own tables in 1723. There are 18 instruments in the Observatory. The largest instrument is the Samrat Yantra.It is a Sun  Dial. It is 89 feet high and 148 feet wide and can find the local time with an  error of only a couple of seconds. It is in use till date. Samrat Yantra is used on the full moon night of guru poornima to find out when the monsoon is going to set in and how plentiful it will  be.
    • Due to the efforts of UNESCO and Archaeological Survey of India, Jaipur Jantar Mantar has become the second World Heritage Site from Rajassthan. In 1985 Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, had joined the World Heritage Sites list.
  18. Amber Fort
  19. Amber Fort
    • Amber fort was built over two centuries from the 16 th century onwards by Raja Man Singh Ji and Mirza Raja Jai Singh Ji and Sawai Jai Singh Ji.
    • The temple of Shila Mata is also here.
    • A light and sound show takes place in the Kesar Kyrai every evening.
  20. Jai Garh
  21. Jaigarh
    • The most impregnable fort in the world was built by Mirza Raja Jai Singh & Sawai Jai Singh.The museum here showcases Rajput artifacts and weaponry.
    • Remains of 16th century canon foundry where Jaivana was cast can still be found. Jaivana was world’s largest wheeled canon-9 feet high, over 20 feet long and weighed 50 tons. It was engraved with scroll-work. It took 4 elephants to change its direction.
  22. Nahargarh
  23. Nahargarh
    • Built in 1737 and named after the Prince Nahar Singh Rathore it over looks the city. Presently it is under renovation.
  24. Jal Mahal
  25. Jal Mahal
    • Built by Sawai Pratap Singh Ji in 1799 A.D. It is located in the Man Sagar Lake which was built by Sawai Man Singh Ji-I. Presently under extensive renovation every year it stands witness to the annual birding fair held on the banks of Man Sagar Lake.
  26. Isar Lat
  27. Isar Lat
    • The Victory Tower known as Isar Lat or Sargasooli or Vijay Stambh was built by Sawai Ishwari Singh Ji in 1749 to celebrate  his many victories in wars. It over looks the Tripolia Bazar and the Atish Market. Tourists are welcome to climb this tower  by paying a small  entrance fee. It is an easy  climb up to the  top of this seven story tower.It has been recently renovated.
  28. Birla Planetarium Auditorium & Convention Centre
  29. Birla Planetarium Auditorium & Convention Centre
    • It is built over 9.5 acres and is the major conference venue of Jaipur. It’s auditorium can seat 1300 persons. It also has a museum, a library and a planetarium.
  30. Thikana Govind Dev Ji
    • Legend has it that Lord Krishna came in  Sawi Jai Singh Ji’s dream and asked to have His idol installed in a part of the City Palace Complex. The Kachawa rulers of Jaipur have always maintained that the real ruler of Jaipur is Govind Dev ji and they  just Diwans. So Lord Krishna got his wish.
    • The idol of Govind Dev Ji was originally installed in Vrindaban by Maharaja Man Singh Ji but was taken in hiding due to a threat from Aurangzeb’s armies. 45 years later in 1714, Sawai Jai Singh Ji installed the idol in Kanak Vridaban and later on in the present day City Palace.
    • The Govind Dev ji Trust commissioned the State Road Development Corporation with the responsibility of building the new satsang bhawan. The corporation in turn commissioned Jaipur’s noted structural engineer Deepak Sogani to do the needful. Mr Sogani used the latest technology of post tensioning (PT) to cast a single span roof  of 118 feet length and 124 feet width. This architectural feat may be included in the Guinness Book of Records soon.
  31. Laxmi Narayan Temple Ganesh Mandir
    • On the foot hills of the Moti doongri hillock are situated the Laxmi Narayan Temple or the Birla Mandir and the Ganesh Temple.
    • The Ganesh Temple is sure to be visited by the populace of Jaipur one time or another in their lives. Every new vehicle is taken there for blessing and He is the first deity to be invited to any wedding.
  32. Mojari
    • Mojari is traditional Indian style footwear of leather with embroidery done on the upper part of the footwear. They come in numerous shapes and styles. They are a must in weddings where both bride and groom wear them.
  33. Blue Pottery
    • The art of making these glazed pots of multani mitti with intricate designs of blue green and white had almost died until Rajmata Gaytri Devi took an interest in reviving the art and started promoting it.
    • Today it is a flourishing art form.Much in demand in India and abroad.
  34. Bagru and Sanganer Print Textiles
    • These textile prints get their names from the villages where they are produced. These prints used to be produced by hand by wooden blocks. Now a days some times screens are used to keep the costs down. Now a days vegetable dyes are used and the colors are pastel colors. The cloth used is fine quality cotton. The clothes and furnishings etc. made from these textiles are in great demand in India and abroad.
  35. Jaipuri Razai
    • Jaipuri Razais are around 700 to 800 gram in weight with  outer covering  made of very soft cotton cloth which is hand block printed in vegetable dyes in pastel colors and the filling is of finely carded cotton evenly spread in the covering and stitched by hand. The borders are sewn by machine to make them last longer. These quilts come in all sizes. They are filled with the best cotton money can buy brought  from Punjab, Haryana and Ganganagar. They are mostly manufactured in Chardarwaza, Idgah and Shastrinagar and sold mostly in the bazars of the walled city. In keeping with the demands and tastes of the customers the outer coverings are also made of silk and velvet.
    • Instead of hand block printing  screens are also used to print the outer covering to keep the cost of the finished product down. That is why a single quilt can cost from couple of hundred rupees to more than a couple of thousand rupees.
  36. Lac Work Items
    • From 18 th century onwards the  artisans of Jaipur in the maniharon ka raasta  have been producing lac bangles- Chura. Now a days  they make whole jewellery sets of Lac.  They also make gift items of Lac like replicas of guitars, jewellery boxes, mirror frames  bottles  and pen stands. To add beauty to these items they are inlaid  with little pieces of mirror etc. These items are in huge demand by the locals and tourists alike. Lac items are exported also.
  37. Puppets
    • Your children will no doubt enjoy the puppet shows. But you can buy a puppet or two for decorating your sitting room.
  38. Paintings
    • Copies of ancient classical miniature paintings and folk paintings are freely available in art shops besides the contemporary work of local artists.
  39. Carpets
    • Besides daries and carpets Jaipur craftsmen also make silk carpets.
  40. Laheriya
    • Laheriya is a sari design which is especially worn during the monsoon months.
  41. Jewellery
    • Jaipur is known for enamel or meenakari jewellery, thewa and kundankari. It is also known for polished precious and semi precious stones. It also produces silver ornaments.
    • However if you do not have any personal knowledge of jewels or stones do not buy any or buy only from reputed firms.
  42. Hand Made Paper Products Of Sanganer
    • Sanganer is famous not only for sanganer print textile products but also for recycled paper products. These paper products are much in demand in India and abroad.
  43. Marble Statues
    • Jaipur’s Khazanewalon Ka Rasta is famous for articles made from marble. You can even watch the craftsmen at work here.
  44. Raj Mandir
  45. Raj Mandir
    • Raj Mandir Cinema hall is a single screen theatre. They do not build them like this any more. An evening of entertainment by a Bollywood potboiler is a must here.
  46. Cuisine
    • In the old times Rajasthani households subsisted on food made from grains as vegetables were not easily available because of lack of transport.
    • On your visit try to have one Rajasthani meal of choorma-dal-bati. For a non vegetarian a meal with lal maans cooked rajasthani style is a must.
  47. Mehendi
    • When in Jaipur if the women of the family have the time one fun thing to do would be to have mehendi applied to their hands and feet. They can find some body to apply mehendi out side one of the big malls. It not only will make the women’s hearts sing but it is also auspicious.
  48. Links
    • A Guesthouse In Jaipur
    • A Blog About Jaipur
    • M.9828284433