Showing posts with label all about jaipur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label all about jaipur. Show all posts

Friday, October 1, 2010

Jaigarh Fort - Jaipur (Rajasthan ,India)

Whenever Man Singh I (late 16th century) or his successors warred and won gold, silver, jewels and other booty, they hoarded it in the Jaigarh Fort. and they had the loyal Minas to fiercely guard their haul. (In fact, legends tell us that the Minas were such strict guards that they let each new Kachhawaha king to enter only once and pick one single piece for himself from the dazzling pile!) Anyway, all this treasure paid first for building Amber, then Jaipur and for centuries of lavish living. Indian Government officials tried to retrieve whatever was left; they dug the place in 1976 but found nothing. In fact they even drained the three arched water tanks (in a courtyard on the way to the northern end of the fort) in the hope of finding the fortune there. Some say that everything was used up in building Jaipur while others claim that it is still there somewhere. 
The dictum of the ancient Hindu scriptures, the Puranas, 'a fort is the strength of a king', must have loomed large in the minds of the Rajputs while building the Jaigarh Fort. The ambitious Jai Singh II then expanded, remodelled and renamed it in 1726. and since this fort never fell in the hands of enemies, it stands almost intact to this day.

The Location of The Fort 
Jaigarh or the 'Fort of Victory' is perched on Chilh ka Tola (Hill of Eagles), 400 feet above the Amber Fort. The walls of the fort are spread over three kilometers. Once you enter through the massive south facing Doongar Darwaza, you'll instantly get a tangible feel of Rajput romanticism. and if you're lucky, Thakur Pratap Singh, a handsome Rajput with a fine moustache will be around to tell you stories of Jaigarh's illustrious past. The other entrance to the fort is through the Awani Darwaza in the east. 

Main Attractions of The Fort 

The Huge Cannon
Jaigarh Fort is a remarkable feat of military architecture. After you enter, head straight for the gigantic cannon Jaivan perched on top of a tower. Weighing 50 tons with an 8m barrel and a trajectory of about 20km, it is said to be the world's largest cannon on wheels. Such was its might that it took four elephants to swivel it around on its axis. But surprisingly (and thankfully!) it was never used. Despite its awesome firepower, it has a delicate scrollwork of birds, foliage and a roaring elephant at its mouth. Jaivan was test-fired once by Jai Singh in 1720 when the cannon ball landed at Chaksu about 38km away! and the impact of it was so enormous that a lake formed at the spot and many houses collapsed in Jaipur. The cannoneer died immediately after the firing, before he could even jump into water. (It is mandatory for the cannoneer to jump into water to avoid the massive impact, and so there's always a water tank beside the cannon.) No wonder enemies didn't ever set their eyes on Jaigarh. There's even a notice here which proudly says, "because of the strong defence system, management and the foresightedness of the rulers, the enemy never dared to enter the fort." 

Vijay Garh 
Walk through a great arch into the courtyard, Jaleb Chowk. But the most important part of the fort is perhaps Vijay Garh, the fort's armoury. Apart from the huge collection of swords and small arms including time bombs, there's an interesting treasury lock with five keys and big wine and oil jars. The 1681 map of Amber kept here is worth a look. If the show of so much armoury awakens the fighter in you, try your hands at the mini cannon which makes a pretty big bang. 

The Jaigarh Cannon Foundry 
The Jaigarh cannon foundry, built by Bhagwan Das in the 16th century, is one of the few surviving medieval foundries in the world. It has a furnace, lathe, tools and a collection of cannons. It was Bhagwan's adopted son, Man Singh I, who brought the secret of gunpowder from Kabul in 1584 where the latter was the commander-in-chief of Akbar's army. Soon cannons began to be made in Jaigarh, much to the displeasure of the Mughals who kept the secret to themselves ever since they used it to fight the Lodis and Rajputs in 1526 (check History of Delhi for more). There's a point called Damdama (meaning 'continuous firing'), where there used to be a battery of ten cannons positioned to check any approaching army. This faces the Delhi Road. This led some to believe that Man Singh was secretly preparing for a showdown with his Mughal allies. 

Seven Storeyed- Diya Burj 
The highest point in Jaigarh is the seven-storeyed Diya Burj, the turret of lamps from where you get a panoramic view of the city of Jaipur. Also interesting is the water supply and storage system of the fort, a real marvel of planning. Sagar Talav, with octagonal bastions and huge dams, is one of the fort's grand reservoirs. The scarcity of water has always exercised the ingenuity of the Rajasthanis, also accounting for the existence of the several baoris or baolis (stepwells) in the state. There are some temples within the fort. The 10th century Shri Ram Hari Har Temple houses images of three gods – Rama, Vishnu and Shiva. It has an interesting doorway. Nearby is the 12th century Kal Bhairava Temple

The museum of artefacts tells the story of the Jaigarh Fort and its vast well-protected treasury. There is an interesting collection of paintings, photographs and coins, and other things like a balance for measuring explosives and several containers including a 16th century coin container. Don't miss the royal kitchen and dining hall; after all food and hospitality were also very much a part of Rajput agenda. 

The Palace Complex 
The palace complex, built by various kings over a period of two centuries, has the usual structure beginning with the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience). But it goes a step ahead of the Amber Fort in terms of defense; it has a Khilbat Niwas (Commanders' Meeting Hall) in place of the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience). There's also the open pillared hall, Subhat Niwas. But these are insignificant structures as compare to the ones in Amber Fort. This part of the fort is full of secret back passages for royal escape in times of emergency. The luxury suites are very much there – the breezy Aram Mandir (Rest House) and the 16th century Vilas Mandir (Pleasure House). The former has a lovely garden attached to it. It was in the charming courtyard of the latter that the royal ladies had their little parties, janani majlis. The pavilions surrounding the courtyard, with a maze of passages, offer excellent views of Amber. 

The Lakshmi Vilas Palace 
The Lakshmi Vilas Palace is a beautiful experience, with some lovely frescoes in blue and the remains of an old Mughal garden. It also has a little 'theater' hall where the rajas had their share of entertainment – dance, music recitals and puppet shows. Do stop by at this Puppet Theatre which has been revived by some locals who hold charming shows. This old tradition of puppetry continues to be a popular folk entertainment in Rajasthan today, and tourists take a huge delight in watching such shows. 

Visiting Hours : 0930-1645 
Entry Fee : Rs 15, for students Rs 10

Rajasthan Shopping Attractions Complex
There's a lot to see and do in this handicraft centre on Jagat Shiromani Temple Road. You can see demonstrations of the famous Rajasthan block printing, textiles which so many people, especially foreign tourists, are crazy about. Craftspersons churn up some exotic designs with wooden blocks and natural colours. The other centres of block printing in Rajasthan are Barmer, Sanganer, Bagru and others. See Arts & Crafts of Rajasthan for more on block printing. Shops at the complex also sell gems, jewellery, textiles, antiques and other handicrafts. By antiques one means artefacts upto 90 years old. So take home a piece of Rajasthan, though the prices may be slightly high. 

Excursion To Amber Fort
For an excursion to Amber, take a bus from the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. There's one leaving every half an hour (Rs 3). Auto-rickshaws charge Rs 50. There are buses from the Jaipur Railway Station too.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

चोखी ढाणी - Chokhi Dhani - Attractions in Jaipur Rajasthan

Chokhi Dhani has been touted as a must see location in Jaipur and I agree after the visit there this Monday. It is best enjoyed with family and friends. It is a typical village setting with everything except farming thrown in.

Chokhi Dhani Enterance
It is very colourful as Rajasthan is.The variety starts from the check in counter. All the employees are in traditional gear. So are the various performers in the premises. There are low buildings with thatched roof, tiled roof and mud roof. There are several stages for 
Halwai boiling milk at Chokhi Dhani
Kathputli Dance
performers spread across the campus. We watched three sets of traditional Rajasthani dancers performing to the tunes of traditional music. Every now and then, the visitors can join the dancers for a few minutes.

There are magicians and a puppet show to keep one and all amused. 

One can ride a camel. There are camel, horse and bullock carts adding to the variety.Elephant ride catches the fancy of the young and the old. Jaipur is a dusty place and the path taken by various animals and carts have been doused with water to reduce the dust pollution.

The rides are very reasonably priced. There is no extra charge for cameras. This is a welcome exception as the camera charges elsewhere in travel destinations in Jaipur and other towns in Rajasthan is several times the entry fee. At Chokhi Dhani the entry fee is for the sumptuous dinner.
Traditional Rajasthani Food
Woman dancing
One as a choice of sitting under a roof or open space for dinner. It is out and out Rajasthani cuisine and one can hog as much as one wants.The food is served by well trained employees who do not allow one's plate to go clean until one gets up.

A visit to Chokhi Dhani while at Jaipur is a must to get a complete flavour of Rajasthan. 

CHOKHI DHANI is around 25 Km from Jaipur. Entry ticket costs 275/- per person & 150/- per child between 3 to 9 yrs in Chokhi Dhani. Chokhi dhani is a ethnic village setup with people skilled in different things. There are dancers, magicians, astrologers, puppet shows, Bailgari, Camel/Hathi savari, Jhoola & a lot of stalls with different entertainment games like Nishanebaazi, local version of Bowling etc
Massage at Chokhi Dhani

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jaipur Life in Poem

Jaipur - Hawa Mahal
Jaipur - Hawa Mahal


Here in Jaipur the old and new worlds meet;

The forts,the temples,and the palaces

Look out on legislative offices

And schools and hospitals.This wide grave street

Worn by three centuries of slippered feet

And tripping pads of camels branches out

In roads that go impartially to meet

Old pleasure-gardens and new factories.

Here is a future growing from past beauty

Owning past inspiration-and a duty

To all men of all trades to build a city

Known for flourish of its industries;

Its roads made smooth for ordinary men

And knowledge climbing stairs to soar again.


Panorama View of Jaipur city
Panorama View of Jaipur city

JAIPUR A Fun Place Even By Night

Gone are the days when a tourist had to languish in his hotel room after sunset in Jaipur.Now they have many options to enliven their evenings besides just having dinner and going to bed.

How would you like to spend your Evening?

Would you like to shop some more?

Head to Guarav Towers,Malviya Nagar and you will find branded shops full of Shoes,Clothes,Music,Movies on DVD, Books,Coffee Bar,Bargains for Rs.99/-,Bakers, Restaurants including the Mac.If you want some more choice step across to  yet another mall just a  stones throw away.

If you do not believe in the mall culture and like to practice the art of bargaining then Bapu Bazaar,Nehru Bazaar,Hawa Mahal Bazaar and other Bazaars in the walled city are for you.Window shop at a leisurely pace amongst the bustle of the people, hawkers, rickshaws, autos,urchins,cows and the ever present honking traffic. And a mute witness to it all are these Red lime washed walls of monuments of times no more and you .

In the mood for a long drive-head for The Chokhi Dhani-Ethnic Village Restaurant( 0141-2770556) on the Tonk Road.The menu and service is traditional rajasthani.There are potter,folk dancers,snake charmer,madaari and a future reading parrot.Camel and elephant rides.Lac bangles for sale.

If you do not feel up to the long drive but want a good north Indian meal under the belt head for “Shree Thal”  restaurant behind the New Vidhan Sabha,near jyoti nagar police station.If in mood for top of the line multi cuisine vegetarian fare head for the “Four Seasons” on Subhash Marg,C-Scheme(0141-2374601).

How about some Chaat?  Chawala’s in Raja Park is the place for you.

Are you thinking Non-Vegetarian?No visit to Jaipur is complete without a meal at the Niros (0141-2374493)on the M.I.Road. Another choice - Copper Chimney (0141-2372275),opp. G.P.O. Spice Court (0141-2220202)on Jacob Road.

Or just feeling like a Pizza-Pepsi only? There is Pizza Hut(0141-2388627),Ganpati Plaza,M.I.Road and Dominoes(0141-2378526),near Raj Mandir Cinema Hall.

Looking for a Gujarati meal-there is “Anapurna” behind Raj Mandir-near the gujarati samaj complex. And the Rajdhani Restaurant above the Mac on Panch Batti Circle.

A south indian meal is readily available at” Sankalp” and “Dasaprakash” (0141-2371313) on the M.I.Road.
And we must not forget the little lady and the young master with you. MacDonald’s has three out lets in jaipur-Near Raj Mandir, Gaurav Tower & Crystal Palm on bais godam circle.(1600-11-00-99)

But the night is still young.What night ends without pubbing.
Geoffrey’s the pub (0141-2360202)at the Park Plaza and Bar Code at The K.K.Square on Prithviraj Road,Steam (0141-2211919) at The Rambagh Palace and Back to Basics at Country Inn & Suites (0141-5103300) on khasa kothi circle.

Or just looking for a cup of that perfect coffee before you turn in for the night -Barista in Mall 21,opp.Raj mandir. Mr.Beans(0141-2223650) & The Rock (0141-2360622)on the Sardar patel Marg,C-Scheme.
If you think no holiday is complete without a hindi movie-we have just the place for you-The Raj Mandir Cinema Hall(0141-2379372).In this day and age of multiplexes-a single screen theater-built like no other and worth a visit.

For the culturally inclined-Birla Auditorium & Planetarium  (01412385224) on Statue Circle, Jawahar Kala Kendra (0141-2705879),opp.Commerce College or Ravindra Manch (0141-2619061) in the Ram Niwas Garden.These places come alive during the yearly fixtures of  Jaipur Festival & Rajasthan Day celebrations conducted by the RTDC and The Jaipur Virasat Foundation.A not to be missed yearly event is the increasingly high profile  Jaipur Literature Festival with writers galore.

Rajasthan Development Corporation Ltd. has started a Pink-City-By-The-Night Tour.(6.30 to 10.30 Pm.) Offering lit up monuments of Jaipur with Vegetarian Dinner at The Durg Cafe,Nahargarh.(Rs.250/-Per Pax Drinks Optional Extra) Contact: R.T.D.C. Tours & Travels,Government Hostel,Opp.G.P.O, Jaipur (P) 01412375466


Where To Shop When In Jaipur

In this day and age of globalization when on holiday one does wonder-what to buy? What to take home?Because a franchisee is selling just the thing you are going to buy today back home too. What he can not sell you is the proud comment from your six year old-my mother got it for me when she went for  a business trip to Jaipur.So buy you must for somebody back home.Or for yourself-no harm came from spoiling ones self just a little bit.

Let us start in the walled city where it would seem all of Jaipur comes to shop all at once.

Tripolia Bazar – Stationery items,Utensils,Hardware,Tin Trunks
Badi Chaupar-Turbans,Tie and Dye Fabrics
Chandpole Bazar-Grocery and Electric goods,Pickles and Sherbets
Chaura Rasta-School and College Text books and Jaipuri Quilts,Namkins,Traditional ladies Tailors
Outside Hawamahal-Mojari,Handmade Crackers,Costume Jewellery
Goplaji ka Rasta-Semi precious stones
Kashinath Ji Ki Gali-Wholesale Market for Wedding Cards
Lal Ji Sand Ka Rasta-Sarees(Lahareya), Ready-made Garments
Gheewalaon ka Rasta and Haldiyon Ka Rasta-Sweets,Churans,Supari
Pitaliyon Ki Galli-Jewelery,Garments,Indian snacks
Partaniyon Ka Rasta-Precious & Semiprecious Stones
Barah Gangaur Ka Rasta-Lac Bangles,Jaipuri Quilts,
Johri Bazaar -Jewelery,Textiles,Bandhani Sarees,Lehariya,Zari,Gota work
Agrasen Market, Johri Bazar,Sarees with Zardozee,Resham,Sequens work,Bhandej, Natural Georgette
Khajano Walon Ka Rasta-Marble Idols of various Gods
Maniharon Ka Rasta-Lac Jewelery and Bangles
Kishan Pole Bazar-Silver jewelery,Ayurvedic Medicines,Kites,Crackers,Cots
Bapu Bazaar & Nehru Bazar-Rajasthani Print Textiles,local perfumes,Suparies & Churans,Camel skin shoes.
Koli Basti-Carpets
Kumharon Ki nadi-Pottery
Nahargarh Road-Local musical Instruments
Raisar Plaza-Mobile & Computer Accessories & Ready made Garments
M.I.Road-Jewelery,Ready-made Garments,Handicrafts,Books,Restaurants,Bangles,
Rajasthali-A Government Emporium offering all that is the best of Rajasthan in one place.
Chameliwala Market-Electricals, Silver items
Saraogi Mansion- Imported stuff,Sarees,Footwear,Cosmetics
Jayanti Market-Electronics,Electricals,Mobiles,Computers
Jalupura-Wholesale Iron Market,Second Hand Vehicles Sale Purchase and Modification.
Sanganer-Handmade paper,Block Print Sarees,Furnishings
Bagru-Vegetable Dye Block Print Sarees,Furnishings
Lavan-Colorful Daris

Besides these traditional bazaars there are malls all over Jaipur which offer a particular item.And some shops are in colonies.If you shop in the day time(Happy Hours) when there is less rush some  Malls & Restaurants may give discounts or gifts.

Neerja International Inc.( 2224395)S-19 Bhawani Singh Road Blue Pottery Items Jewelery Top of The Line.
Anokhi,Block Print Garments and Furnishings (4007244),C-11,K.K.Square,Prithviraj Road,C-Scheme
Fab India,(5115991)C-69, Prithviraj Road,C-Scheme
Central Cottage Industries And Emporium,(2710680)Tonk Road,Near Glass Factory
Soma,Jacob Road,Civil Lines
Mojari,Shiv Heera Path,Chomu House,C-Scheme.
Ratan Textiles(2223185),Papriwal cottage,Ajmer Road
Bhuramal Rajmal Surana (Mfrs)( 2570429)J.L.N.Marg,Near police Memorial. Top of the line Jewelery
Samanvai Art Gallery,Ganpati Plaza,M.I.Road(5114400)
Satguru’s,Raja Park
Kalpana Handmade Paper Ind,bawari ka bas,nashion ka rasta,Sanganer(2732115,2731084)