January 20th, the day for which my chums and i waited with a great enthusiasm and eagerness to explore the ancient magical-Rajasthan. What could be more better & thrilling experience than falling in love at first sight, I guess nothing! That’s exactly what happened as soon as i set my foot right in front of the Ranthambore fort. The most awe-inspiring thing was its architectural design, material used like marble, red sandstone, the arch, the dome, minaret and ample of historical facts hidden within the stones. The next lovely artefact we encountered was Badal Mahal – known as “the palace of the clouds”, it’s view from the top of the fort was captivatingly beautiful as we could see the Ranthambore National Park, it’s healthy green foliage and spot all kinds of other wildlife – from spotted dear and monkeys to tropical birds and hundreds of peacocks; antelopes to name just a few of the species that live in there. Moreover, we were closely able to spot two of the female tigresses, one of them named as “Sultana”, from hunting till enjoying her meal which we felt was the luckiest occurrence happened at that moment.
Well, as we returned back to our tents; the day wasn’t over yet since a whole set-up for the evening show was waiting for us to be involved in, held by regional artist performing onto their traditional folk dance and authentic music with campfire around us, warming our hearts while the climate was about 4°C chilly.
The other day, our journey led us to Ajmer; another city in Rajasthan. Uhm! i would say the busiest but blissful out of all. We visited Ajmer Sharif Dargah, the domed shrine of the Muslim Sufi saint Garib Nawaz. This was the first ever time i visited a Dargah and felt so contented with the complete serene experience i took away and is still with me.
It was then 25th of Jan, when we arrived at Pushkar, a “must place to visit” for spiritually curious individuals just like me. A stay in Rajasthan’s holiest town, Pushkar; was one of the highlights from the trip since its the kind of place that fills oneself with an urge to discover much more of inner self.
Talking about Pushkar Lake – around which the town is formed – is said to have been formed when a lotus flower fell from the hands of Lord Brahma. It’s also the only place in India where you can find Brahma temples, this was one of it’s charms. An early morning or evening walk around town and soaking up the atmosphere by the lake can give you all the introduction that’s needed to this place.
The second last day of our journey – we entered the exotic cityscape completely washed in a soft, glowing shade of blush that deepens as the sun sets each evening, Jaipur, “The Pink City”. It was packed with spellbinding festivals, gorgeously decorated elephants, enchanting cultural insights, and a labyrinth of colourful dream palaces at every turn. Here, we got to explore a lot of significant places.
Lets begin with:
Birla Mandir,an astounding Hindu temple in Jaipur, constructed only of sparkling white marble that looked incredibly graceful. Lush green gardens surrounds the temple on the sides and gives a really dreamy touch to the structure.
Jantar Mantar, located two kilometres from Birla Mandir, developed with five astronomical observatories used to identify the positions of the various celestial objects and estimate their distance, the major attraction being Samrat Yantra, India’s largest sundial. We were awestruck with the large-scale geometric formations, jutting out independently with staircases that leads to nowhere.
City Palace, typical Rajput-style architecture, with layers of chambers and halls. While a part of the palace remains the residence of the royal family of Jaipur even today. The centrepiece of the city and the heart of founder Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh reign. The City Palace includes Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal as well as showcases historical relics and art from the city and the region.
Choki Dhani, this was the best luxurious resort we travelled to which holds rich ambience put together with jaw dropping art and cultural presentation.
The evening aura was filled with calmness as each one of us was enjoying numerous live performances by the talented artists, lovely folk songs and the mouth-watering food items totally took my heart away.
All of these were such an unforgetful experience. It was the final day of our trip where we visited replica of Akshar Dham temple and Radhakrishna temple. The beauty of these temples were altogether extremely admirable and appreciable.
The charm of Amber Fort too, was undeniable. The ornate archways, hand painted and mirror worked ceilings and walls were magnificent in itself. The next was Hawa Mahal, recognized as “the palace of the breeze”, built up with romantic pink and red sandstone moulded in the structure of honeycomb. It was strong and yet so delicate, we were all mesmerized with its historical memorabilia. Later, the day ended with exploring and shopping at the local market where we also had a walk through the Sangneri Printing Showroom that delivers unique fabric designs which are hand printed, precise and perfect in its own way.
I believe, this will always be the most memorable journey of mine since each day of the trip went magical. We flourished the roots of Rajasthan’s art and culture in pure sense. History is very much alive and well in Rajasthan where every corner of it was buzzing with a vibrant exuberance. Am completely blissed out for this life changing trip to the “tranquil Rajasthan”.