Kamis, 03 Mei 2012

JAIPUR ,The Pink City is the jewel in the crown of India’s Golden Triangle

JAIPUR ,The Pink City is the jewel in the crown of India’s Golden Triangle  and has regal splendour and style in abundance


The pink marble walls of Jaipur could tell a thousand stories: tales of Rajasthan’s rulers, bloody wars, trade routes and colonial greed. There isn’t just a sense of history here – it’s tangible, in the carvings of the opulent City Palace, the miniature paintings that line the Albert Hall Museum, and the leafy fortresses given second lives as hotels.

Even the city’s dining scene is rooted in tradition: opulent menus feature hundred-year-old recipes, served on hand-crafted platters with regal motifs. Of course, once outside those rosy-hued rooms, Jaipur is throbbing; in true Indian style, modern city living is loud, hectic and delightfully frenzied. Soak it all up in the bazaars and back streets, amongst the clamour and chaos of everyday life. But if it all gets too much, and tranquillity beckons, retreat into those pinky palaces – just like the royals and rulers of old...


MUST-DOS

City Palace (1), a vast complex of ornate royal residences, is home to the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum (msmsmuseum. com) – a gathering of Rajasthani artifacts. Set aside an afternoon, and lose yourself in the labyrinth.


Hawa Mahal (2), known as the ‘Palace of the Winds’, is an intricate five-storey façade which extends the women’s chambers of the City Palace. Its original purpose was to allow royal ladies to observe street life without being seen. They would peek out from the 953 windows at the hustle and bustle below – and you can do the same with access from the Palace grounds.


Hall Museum (3) is one of the city’s oldest museums, located in the sweet-scented heart of the Ram Niwas Gardens. Its Indo-Sarcenic architecture – an ornate combination of Indian and British influences, popular with colonial forces in the late 19th century – houses a rich collection of artwork, jewellery and miniature paintings.

Jantar Mantar Observatory (4), the largest stone observatory in the world, was constructed in 1733. This Unesco-protected site is spectacular for its scale, but the most impressive triumph is its accuracy: the fourteen instruments (which include a giant sundial) are unfailingly precise.

Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh (5), an assortment of landscaped gardens, makes for a refreshing break from Jaipur’s urban sprawl. The grounds are on the Jaipur-Agra road, ten kilometres from the city, and feature shady pavilions, fountains, and a vibrant collection of India’s exotic flora.

Amber Palace (6) is best visited at sunset: orange skies light up its red sandstone and white marble domes. Its hilltop location, among pristine manicured gardens, can be a tough slog, so hire an elephant and guide to take you to the top.


WHERE TO STAY 

The Oberoi Rajvilas (7) (oberoihotels.com), nestled in 32 acres of elegant grounds, is a meticulous reconstruction of a traditional fort, with regal embellishments at every turn. Book an embroidered tent with bath and terrace, and enjoy the view of your private garden.

Amanbagh (8) (amanresorts.com) is a boutique-style hotel on the outskirts of the city – but it’s worth making the trip for the ambiance alone. A haven of eucalyptus trees, marble courtyards and a glorious spa, this retreat has true palatial poise.


WHERE TO EAT

Suvarna Mahal (9) (tajhotels. com), in the magnificent Rambagh Palace hotel, boasts fine dining with a rich serving of decadence. Quaff from goblets and feast on dishes inspired by royal menus.

Durg The Fort (10) (durgthefort. com) is the place for lively nights with dancing, entertainment, and infamous fire shows... The menu is eclectic, with Indian dishes appearing alongside Chinese and Italian favourites.

JAIPUR’S BEST… BAZAARS
Johari Bazaar
This is one of the city’s most famous markets, with a dazzling – and seemingly endless – array of precious and non-precious stones.

Bapu Bazaar
Head to Bapu for the finest textiles: you’ll find everything from handmade lace to sari material here, and the resident tailors and seamstresses can rustle up suits and dresses in no time.

M.I. Road
This lengthy street is brimming with stalls and vendors – you can haggle for jewellery,
woodwork, pottery and brass.

Travel and Country

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