Wednesday, January 14, 2009
It is slightly late to be wishing a very Happy New Year, but then it is better late than never. At New Year I was away rewinding my bodily machinery on a holiday in Pink city jaipur. This was my second visit to the majestic place, the former abode of Maharjas, my first visit was about two years back. The place is royal in every aspect; studded with forts of the former rulers, Jaipur offers a beautiful glimpse in the History. . This time it was the ambience of the Hotel I stayed in that stole my heart. The taste of the Hotel Authorities in plants is really laudable. Last time when I stayed at the pink city, it was at Hotel Arya Niwas. But this time I couldn't get a booking there and was referred to another hotel under the same management, Tara Niwas. This one was an even better experience than the last one as it was in a quieter part of the city and was less crowded; just like a home away from home without the accompanying headache of preparing food and doing the dishes. The place was full of tray gardens and rows of pots neatly arranged in a lush green lawn. I had my camera clicking the moment we stepped in. On the very first day I found that I was not the only one in love with the ambience, this peacock had perched itself on the boundary wall to have a better view of the lawn. Forts and palaces, malls and supermarkets, traditional and modern, everything coexists in this wondrous city. At one of the palaces, I caught this representation of the old and mystic India, a snake charmer, trying to make the deadly reptile dance to his tunes. A sighting of the Great Indian Rope Trick would have completed the medieval mystic experience; sadly there was none to be seen. Next day we set out for the twin religious places of Ajmer and Pushkar, which are around two hour drive from jaipur. Ajmer is best known for the dargah of Moinuddin Chishti, who was a muslim saint, but his dargah is revered by people of all the faiths alike. From Ajmer is a 30 minute drive to Pushkar which is again a religious place, mainly for the followers of Hindu religion. The drive from Ajmer to Pushkar passes through the picturesque Aravali Hills, a very old rocky formation. According to the Hindu mythology, the holy Pushkar Lake was created by the lotus petals, which fell from the hands of Lord Brahma. The lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots.It is believed that no pilgrimage is complete without a holy dip in the sacred lake at Pushkar. With this my trip came to an end. Sometimes I feel blessed to be born and living in a country which is so diverse and big that it is almost a continent in itself. The climate, culture, language, religion etc., changes totally as we travel from north to south or east to west, yet it is one entity, one administration, one country.