Jaipur is considered to be one of the most visited cities for tourism. Most of the guests arriving into India prefer to do the Golden Triangle of New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, which makes it a city thriving with hotels and restaurants, taxi’s, well-kept historical spaces, and of course lots of migration of people- both tourists who come here and locals who make Jaipur to make a living. Jaipur is known for it’s crafts- be it block printing, paper making, lac bangles, silverware, Meenakari jewelry, Quilting, Wire inlay…the list goes on and on, making the city popular with manufacturers of these export quality items as well as their buyers. And if you visit Jaipur during a local festival, this rush multiplies, the noise and chaos triples and sometimes, this magnificent city gets on your nerves.
Over the last few years, I have visited Jaipur a lot of times but this was the first time I was visiting during the Kite Festival. The marketplace is buzzing with excitement and every nook and corner would have a kite shop. Practice would start weeks in advance and kite enthusiasts would be on their terraces, preparing for the big day. It was overwhelming for even an Indian to experience this!
On request of one of my friends who wished to see a sunset, I explored and narrowed down to spending the evening at Nahargarh Fort, one of the three forts of Jaipur. Though Amber Fort is the most popular one, Nahargarh has a very strategic position on the tip of the hill, overlooking the city of Jaipur on three sides. Unlike Amber, which was the place of the residence for the founders of Jaipur, Nahargarh was a retreat. The small palace is worth a visit and provides a breath-taking drive from Amber, giving the viewer stunning views of the Jal Mahal on the way up. Many bypass this fort but I recommend it to everyone for its sunset.
Pearched on another edge of the Aravalli Hills is a restaurant which is run by the Rajasthan Tourism Board. Spread over a few turrets, this restaurants provides basic snacks and refreshments (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on its menu. Though the ticket includes a complimentary tea/coffee, it is passable. Ghummakkad recommends that you take control of a turret and see the sun set over the city of Jaipur. Enjoy the sounds of the city from a birds-eye view and you’ll see how action packed the city is. I could hear sounds of vehicles from different streets, the horn of a railway engine at the station, but mostly I head people, who were on their terraces flying kites. A shout of ‘Kat Gayeee!!!” (I’ve cut your kite) was heard from various angles. There was a faint noise of children playing somewhere. And a distinct buzz of the city. Over a couple of hours, this sound dies down, the lights come on and the Jaipur becomes a completely different city.
If you are looking to do something off the touristy circuit, do go here but make sure you carry a jacket…its windy up here. Make sure that you don’t drive if you are having a drink as the roads downhill are steep at times with strong bends. Moreover there are cops standing at the end of this drive…with a breath analyzer!
Enjoy the pictures though they do not do justice to the experience.