Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jaipur Revisited

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.


mindspace said...

Hi there,
your love for gardens and travel reflects through. Lovely depiction along with the pics.
I have been to jaipur twice and we drove from Delhi both the times but limited our trip the the city and chokhi dhani only and visited Ajmer on the way back from Jodhpur on a separate trip.. They rightly call it pink city and gives a rich feeling or a beautiful inheritance that must be preserved in its best form.

Claude said...

I am so jealous... we have nothing here to compare to this in any way. Although there is a neighborhood about 2 miles from here where peacocks have started to run the neighborhood... Beautiful pics of a beautiful hotel.

Sunita Mohan said...

Lucky you! You obviously brought in the New Year in style! Jaipur is one of the most interesting places I've seen. Mostly because of the number of crafts that one sees all over the place.
And I love that peacock! But I wonder what happened to his long train? Maybe he's just growing up?

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this bit of travelogue. Lovely pics, too!

Jamie said...

My Indian-born friends here in Sydney, Rema and Ravi, are forever trying to convince us to join them on a trip to India, and your lovely post adds to the temptation. If we go, we're definitely going to Jaipur!

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

Thank you Green thumb for this wonderful guide tour of Jaipur. I was there last year in February and I must say it is a wonderful place. The food, the crafts, buildings and the people most fascinating, thank you for reviving my memory.

Take care/ Tyra

Green thumb said...

Mindspace - Yes I love going to various places and gardening is always a high point of any otherwise ordinary day. Thanks for the comment dear as the above two wouldn't have been half the fun, had I not been able to share them with you.

Claude - Well well, every place has its own beauty. But yes, Jaipur must count high up there in the list of places worth visiting on this Planet.

Sunita - Hi dear! You are right about its tail, but I don't think this guy was at all conscious about his cosmetic anomaly. Considering your expert presentation skills, it would be interesting to have your travel experiences in a blog post.

Anonymous - Thank you! But please, do leave a name in future so that I can express my gratitude to an identity.

Jamie - Welcome to Indiagarden! I am flattered. If my post can coax you into coming to jaipur I'll consider it to be an achievement of sorts for me. And, believe me, you are not going to regret the experience even slightly.

Tyra - O dear Tyra, with all your appreciation and love for this country and its places, I think you deserve the award of being the best ambassador for Indian tourism:-)

Unknown said...

Beautiful photos...brought back memories of my trip nine years ago. We 'did' the length and breadth of Rajasthan. Given a chance I'd surely love to be back. Somehow we did not make it to Pushkar...maybe on that pretext...
Thanks for sharing your wonderful holiday!

Anonymous said...

Traveling always brings us outside our own little world and gives us a glimpse into another's perspective and landscape. I love the pictures especially the last of the city in reflection. I trust you are revived! Happy New Year!

Chandramouli S said...

Aha! How lucky you're to have seen peacock so close and not in bars! Recently I saw a peacock in the fields in my New Year trip to our family deity's temple. Aren't they the most gorgeous bird on earth? Eagles, Peacocks, and Parrots - I'd love to have them as pets!
Oh, you're fortunate to have visited Pushkara! I've always wanted to visit that sacred place. Someday I would, though, Brahma being my favorite deity!
Great photos, GT! Nice to hear you had an awesome time.

Matron said...

So beautiful! I would love to visit one day. Jaipur would definitely be on my list of places to visit, as would Kerala.

Julie said...

How lovely, GT! I know you enjoyed every second of such a luxurious feast for the eyes! Hope the food was great too!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Happy New Year to you and yours dear Green Thumb!

For a few minutes you had me transported to that wonderful country of yours. It is very much like a continent, isn't it, with being so big and so divers.

And how lucky you were that Arya Niwas was fully booked because now you've found an even better hotel and with a much better name too. ;-) It really is the best hotel for garden lovers, isn't it?

Loved the pics of the snake charmer as I'd never seen a real one before.

Jaipur is on my to visit list and thanks to you I know which hotel to book. :-D

My Chutney Garden said...

What a lovely post. I feel as if I have been on a mini-tour of Jaipur. I have always wanted to visit the famous pink city and you have portrayed it so beautifully.
Happy New Year and I wish you and your family everything good for 2009.

My Chutney Garden said...

And yes, you are blessed to live in India.

Green thumb said...

Kanak: I am glad that I could revive your memories of Rajasthan. Well, I hope that you visit Pushkar sometime, and share the experience to revive my memories this time:-)

Layanee: You are so right about the merits of travelling. I had become disgusted with my cocoon, which has become slightly more tolerable after this trip:-)

Chandramouli: Oh yes! peacock's a breathtaking beauty, an intricate work of nature. To have them as pets!, well, maybe. Brahma ji's gonna be thrilled on having you in his fan club:-D

Matron: Jaipur, and also Kerala, are not a place to be missed, I feel. I hope you get to visit them soon enough and I am sure you'll get a royal welcome there.

Julie: Yes dear, the food was as great as is the place. Though a little more spicy, but delicious all the same.

Yolanda: Thank you dear. 'Tara Niwas' as soon as I spotted the name of the Hotel, it rang a bell. Well, now I know it was because the name is shared by the cutest doggie in the world. I hope you visit Jaipur soon, and Tara loves Tara:-)

Chutney Garden: Thank you so much for those lovely words about the post and my country. Thanks to your, and Nicole's blog, I know how similar our countries and cultures are. I wish I can someday visit Trinidad.

Anonymous said...

I could see good pictures of Jaipur through India Garden. I hope that I shall visit Jaipur next as I did New Delhi and Haridwar!

Bob said...

What a lovely tour youve taken me on. I so enjoyed it.

Aiyana said...

Thanks for the tour. It's as close as I'll get to ever visiting. Your photos are great!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Thanks so much for sharing the lovely photos and information about your country. I don't know about that snake, my picture would have been from much farther away :).

Jan said...

Hi Green Thumb, Were you able to take a dip at Pushkar? That would complete your trip--just curious:)

I have been learning about the diversity of your country through bloggers like you, Chandramouli, Kanak, Sunita, etc...and it is a wonderful experience just to visit each of your blogs.

Your trip looks like it was a wonderful get-a-way for you. If I could take that trip, it would be the trip of a lifetime, I am probably won't ever happen:( BUT I enjoy learning through your blog:)

Annie in Austin said...

Staying at the guest house Tara Niwas with all the containers of plants surrounding you does sound like a pleasant way to enjoy life away from home, Green Thumb.
I looked on a map and was interested to see that Pushkar is very near the center of your country - and amazed to discover how ancient Pushkar is...according to wikipedia, it was old enough to need restoration by the seventh century.

Thank you for taking us with you on your travels. As previous commenters have noted, many of us can only be armchair travelers so you have expanded our world!

I don't have to go to India to see peacocks, however - they're found in Austin, too.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Will said...

I’m very fond of India; hence it is really good to read your blog. Personally I am fanatical about growing plants that shouldn’t exist in England. Keep up the good work – Will –

virender said...

My wife is fm Jaipur & have been going there since 1971. However, my Ist trip was in Dec 1956, as a boy scout. One child fell in a dry well at Amer palace & he was brought out with the help of a makeshift rope, made with the help of about 4-5 turbans (all teachers wore turbans almost like a dress code). However, even I enjoyed GT's description & especially Arya Niwas, where I stayed recently. Incidentally, Jodhpur is another marvel, especially because of Umaid Bhawan Palace (ONLY PALACE CONSTRUCTED IN 20th CENTURY according to Guide Map published by Rajasthan Tourism)in INDO COLONIAL STYLE OF THE 30S & Mehrampur Fort (built in 1459 AD) built on a hillock.

Pat said...

What an amazing tour !
Your culture is very interesting.
I find that here in America immigrants from India are a kind and gentle people... I work with a diverse group of people and love learning about all the different cultures.
Thanks for the education and of course your lovely photos.
I must save a link to your page on my blog...don't want to miss anything. :)

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