I remember this day very clearly. I was a little girl with two pony tails, wearing my pink princess outfit and sport shoes (because hey, I had to jump out of the train) who was extremely excited to visit the Pinky City. I expected to see huge Barbie doll palaces with sparkly chandeliers, baby pink houses with huge polka dots all over it and rumbling old forts painted bright pink. As the taxi started moving from the Jaipur station, I started passing by the city, my imagination faded and was replaced by a sense of wonder. Jaipur was beautiful, far more beautiful than anything my 6 year old mind had come up with and there it hit me. I was in love with the city. I had decided that I was going to grow to be a princess and reside in one of the palaces. To fulfill my dreams, my parents picked out the Taj Rambagh Palace, one of the luxury hotels in Jaipur, for our stay.
|Amer Fort: That’s me in green! Picture credit: Priyada|
A red sandstone beauty; majestic in its grandeur with its unique blend of Muslim and Hindu architecture and fine white marble pavilions is a sight to behold. As a child, I used to run around playing hide and seek with my many cousins and as an adult I learnt to listen to the tour guide to know its colourful history. Built on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of the Eagles) the Amer for also known as the Amber Palace has a secret subterranean passage connecting it to the Jaigarh Fort as an escape route for the royal family during times of the war.
|Jal Mahal, Jaipur Picture credit Nithya|
I had the unique opportunity of visiting the Jal Mahal a few years ago when its restoration was just on the verge of completion. The Jal Mahal, once considered to be a fine blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, had fallen to a state of disrepair until the Government of Rajasthan, in collaboration with a few like-minded individuals, decided to restore it to its former glory. After years of extensive research and back-breaking work, the Jal Mahal, which has four floors under the lake, was made accessible to visitors for a few days.