Magical India: Jaipur and Shahpura
We continued our journey from Delhi and Agra and headed toward the city of Jaipur. Along the way we passed small villages, farms, goat herds, cows and camels carts as we drove on to discover more of Magical India: Jaipur and Shahpura.
Where to stay in Jaipur
After many hours drive we arrived in Jaipur and checked into Shahpura House . This is a stunning heritage hotel showcases traditional Rajput architect. The room was spacious, with a four poster bed and sitting area, with a very modern bathroom. The restaurant menu extensive, with many cuisines available and dreamlike rooftop restaurant with traditional Rajput entertainment.
Jaipur Street Life
In the afternoon our Guide took us shopping in the streets of Jaipur, we saw artisans making bangles, carving marble and shops selling spices, pickles, children’s bikes, sari’s, flowered necklaces amid the hustle and bustle of street food venders selling their wares. Passing temples and palaces, we experienced the excitement of the Pink City.
The next morning our Guide picked us up and we visited the Hindu Temple of Govind Dev Ji , the chanting in this Temple was so beautiful, it seemed to go straight to your soul, again this remarkable country had me in tears that I found hard to stop and the experience was unforgettable.
The Amber Fort
From there we drove to the Amber Fort. The grandeur of this fortress-palace was breathtaking, perched on top of a hill it seemed to go on forever. When we arrived our elephant was waiting and we climbed on board and wound our way up to the fort, taking in the striking view of the valley below and the Maota Lake and its beautiful gardens, until we reached the top. We spent the morning exploring with our Guide, he had us enthralled as he described the lives the Maharajas and their wives led during their heyday. My favourite part of the Amber Fort was the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace).
Jantar Mantar Obervatory & City Palace complex
Returning to Jaipur we visited the Jantar Mantar Observatory this astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century, our Guide had us fascinated in the workings and accuracy of these early computers.
We continued on to the City Palace complex this complex consisted of many museums including armoury and textile, displaying articles that belonged to the Maharajahs.
After a hearty breakfast our driver Mukesh drove us 1 ½ hours to the rural town of Shahpura. We freshened up at the Shahpura Haveli Hotel a 300 year old palace, which is now a hotel. Our Host offered drinks and was more than happy to show us around this lavish structure. We were shown the hotel rooms with their private sitting rooms and modern bathrooms.
We joined our camel safari, which gave us a chance to see the village life and interact with local villagers. We returned to the Shahpura Havelli for a delicious 3 course lunch which featured soup, a vast array of main course dishes and a desert. All was served in the hotels sumptuous dining room.
After lunch we went on a walking tour to explore the village bazaars. Our Host asked us if we would like to stay overnight and go on a Rural Ramble which is an escorted Jeep drive from the Shahpura Haveli to Viratnaga. Virarnaga is known for its ancient mughal architecture with buddhist scriptures. This is something we would have loved to have done but we had a very early flight the next morning to Varanasi via New Delhi.
We returned to Jaipur and enjoyed a night at the hotels rooftop restaurant. We were entertained with traditional music and dancing and a puppet show. It was a joy to sit and watch the sunset with a cool drink on the opulent rooftop terrace, and have dinner under the stars.
Jaipur and Shahpura are fascinating cities, our time here was a Magical India: Jaipur and Shahpura experience.
We woke early in the morning and headed out to Jaipur airport to catch a flight to our next destination, was the holy city of Varanasi.