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15 Apr 2014

Jaipur - Hawa Mahal - Amber Fort- Johari Bazaar - City Palace, India

India  [印度] •  APRIL 2014
Life is a journey. Now, let's ignite the torches in our dream and start our trip to  Jaipur's most famous landmark -- the Hawa Mahal (Wind Palace). It is also known as ‘Palace of Winds‘ because of its windows that allow the wind to flow in keeping it cool. There are 953 stone-carved screens or windows in the palace.

Why 953 stone carved windows? 
It was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, and designed by Lal Chand Usta in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. It forms part of the City Palace and extends the Zenana or women's chambers, the chambers of the harem. Its original intention was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. The lattice also helps to cool the air flowing through it. 
It has five stories and is constructed of red and pink sandstone, highlighted with white quakeee quick lime. The side facing the street outside the palace complex has 953 small windows, and the breeze (hawa) which circulates through these windows gives the palace its name, and keeps it cool even in hot months.
The entrance opens onto a courtyard with a double-storied building on three sides, and one on the eastern wing with three more stories, which is just one room wide. There are no stairs to reach the upper floors, only ramps

Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra andjaipur, pink city, capital city of state Rajasthan, hawa mahal ... forms the golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trappings of a modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts: Nahargarh, Amer, Jaigarh and Moti Doongari are apt testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance and chivalry.

To reach Amber Fort from anywhere in Jaipur you can hire a taxi or a car. This will your journey more convenient. The public bus to Amber starts at Ajmeri Gate and MI Road which will take around twenty minutes to reach to Amber Fort.

The most exciting part of the Amer fort visit is to go on the top of the hill by the elephant ride , which is accessible for the visitors. Riding an elephant uphill seems a cliche for tourists. But it really helps feeling the ambience and plunging deeper in India. The elephant ride offers a skyline view of the Pink city and a mesmerizing sight over Maotha Lake. We can choose a guide to assist, or an audio guide is even a good option which is available at the doorstep of the fort. To make your trip more spectacular and memorable one, elephant safari will be the best and it provides a royal feeling as well.

It will take around 15-20 minutes if we prefer to go on foot rather than hiring an elephant.If you hire a guide then it will be much better as he will show you around the fort, as there are many interesting places here which can be easily missed. They will give you a quick tour around the Fort, and you most likely wants to walk around for a while longer by yourself. The shade of the fort transforms seemingly as the sun sets. In the night as well the fort comes alive with adorable decorative lights. It is built over the remaining of traditional structure.

Johari Bazaar in Jaipur is spread around Hawa Mahal, the best place for the women of the royal family. Its famous for gold and silver jewelery, as well as costume jewelery and bangles.
Badi Chauper is the largest square in the old city. From here you can walk toward Purohit Ji Ka Katla (adjacent to the Hawa Mahal) and experience a labyrinth of lanes exploding with color and chaos.
Tiny shops are loaded with brocades, gold-embroidered skirts and glittering saris. Women dressed in fuchsia, tangerine and neon pink haggle over the prices with turbaned shopkeepers.
The market is full of locals and tourist hunting for bargains. 
Johari Bazaar is partly closed on Sunday. LMB is at Johari Bazaar, +91 141 2565 844; Pandit Kulfi is at 110-111 Hawa Mahal Road

The next stop visit the magnificent City Palace. If you're feeling a bit tired from walking, you can hail a cycle rickshaw. The distance isn't far, so you shouldn't need to pay more than 10 rupees (bargain hard).The City Palace entrance fee for Indians is 75 rupees, plus another 75 rupees for still cameras. For foreigners, it's 300 rupees and includes a camera.The City Palace blends Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, with the most recently constructed parts of it dating back to the early 20th century. Behind the main courtyard you'll be able to see the towering seven floor Chandra Mahal, which is the Maharaja's residence and off limits to visitors. The flag of the royal family is hoisted when the Maharaja is in residence.In case you're hungry or thirsty, there's a lovely outdoor cafe at the City Palace.However, the most stunning part of the City Palace is without a doubt the Peacock Gate. 

Jaipur is a unique and inspiring experience that is a must do for anyone visiting India.


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