Travel guide to India’s Golden Triangle

I am a curious admirer of India’s past and my preferred journeys have been those which express history. I have had several trips to India’s golden triangle cities especially Agra and Jaipur primarily because these have India’s preserved legacy and not too ancient to keep the world unaware of the legends that once existed here. The story behind each fort, palace or personal style is intriguing and makes me inquisitive every time I visit these sites.

I have read, researched furthermore day dreamt these stories while my favorite ones remain the passionate love affair of Emperor Jahangir and Mehrunnissa, legendarily known as Empress Nur Jahan, his 20th wife. Another story which I adore is based on the inspirational life of Her Highness Rajmata Gayatri Devi of Jaipur and I’m deeply spellbound with her sense of dress moreover how she treated the folks of her state and everything besides with incredible grace.

India has been ruled for many years by different dynasties with strong significance in this country’s history. One of the most evident dynasty to rule India was the Mughal, who was keen to rule India while elevating the culture, wealth and harmony. Mughal who migrated from Persia started to rule India in 1526 after the first war of Panipat (An Indian city). The two most significant rulers during the reign of Mughal were Emperor Akbar and his grandson, Emperor Shah Jahan, under the reign of these two the architectural bent of India flourished by many folds.

Mughal had a larger than life way of living. They built massive palaces and forts for their residence. Their eating habits were royal while there love for alcohol became the reason of them falling and few Emperors dying due to severe illness. They were brutal in their political activities and were always involved in wars with a dream of ruling the entire India which led to the death of many innocent soldiers leaving their families in pain.

Due to their political aggressiveness they had plenty wives, few of them married from different clans just for political gains. Apart from wives, they had plenty of concubines and woman slaves for their sexual pleasures. They had Eunuchs, basically few born like that and few men converted to eunuchs forcefully as they couldn’t perform well in wars. These eunuchs were part of woman courtyard in their palaces, famously known as “Zenana” and use to service the royal woman in their day to day activities.

                                                                              Painting depicting the scene at Mughal Zenana

While Mughal came as invaders, Rajput, another strong Indian ruling fraternity who belonged from the northern part of India, enriched their soil with culture and heritage. Their culture was so bulging that even today, Rajput’s (Majorly staying at Rajasthan also called the princely state of India) traditional way of life is evident in their day to day affairs through their rich food, sense of dress & their royal habits. Just like Mughal, Rajput too had many wives, some married for political gains living with harmony under one roof.

The Rajput women were always under Purdah (Veil to cover face) and were not supposed to participate in the political activities of their estate. There were only a few women of royal families who lived with emancipation and were well educated while they also made a mark in the political and social activities. The ladies of these royal families traveled to foreign countries for vacation, education and other purposes.Rajput King and his Queen                                                     Painting of Rajput Prince and Princess in traditional Rajput attire

The Royal habits of both of these coteries built the heritage of golden triangle which is the most traveled journey of the Indian subcontinent. GT is primarily a circuit attaching the city of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur in the northern part of India with each other forming a triangle. This region should unhesitantly be the quest of all history and culture buff all around the world.

How to begin your Journey of golden triangle

You can land at Delhi and begin the GT expedition from here as Delhi’s, Indira Gandhi International airport is well connected with all major cities of the world.

Best Time to Travel Golden Triangle

The Northern part of India gets extremely hot in summers hence it’s advisable to visit this region in the cooler months to avoid the scorching heat. Best time to travel here is from October to March while the winters make your travel comfortable.

                                 Let’s begin the quest for history with our first city – New Delhi!

Delhi is the capital of India and is home to Indian Parliament, Political personalities, and many heritage sites, majorly constructed during the reign of Mughal or during the pre-Independence period by the then ruling British.

Over centuries, Delhi which was once the Mecca of heritage legends turned into a modern and ambitious city with millions living or migrated here for jobs and various other reasons. 

                                   From the Delhi of Mughal to Delhi of British and now the capital of India, Delhi in its varied colors

 

Our story primarily focuses on the features this city has to exhibit for a history and culture buff. Below are the places I strongly recommend to see while you are in Delhi. 

Old Delhi

The northern part of Delhi, Old Delhi is a cultural delight, this place would give you enough space to learn the traditional way of life of northern India especially with their food habits. The food in certain parts of Delhi is as old as the monuments here and has been surviving successfully for many generations.

Old Delhi is one such place where you would find shops, kiosks by the road selling such items with the same recipes as used by their great-grandfathers. The people of Delhi and rest of northern India are very fond of eating, they appreciate food when it’s deep fried, extremely spicy or sweet basically anything moderate is average food for them.

                                         Few items you must taste on your travel to Old Delhi 🙂

From top: Aloo Papri Chaat, Daulat ki Chaat,Golgappa,Japani Samosa at Manohar Dhabha,Jalebi and finally Chicken tikkas at Karims.

                                                                     Places to experience once you are at Old Delhi:                                         

Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk is the heart of Old Delhi. Narrow lanes with old shops and houses surrounded at both sides, the smell of food, the traffic of tuk-tuk and the black crowded electricity wires on your head is what makes Chandni Chowk a place larger than life. Chandni  Chowk which means Moonlight Square was built by Shah Jahan in the 17th Century and was designed by his daughter Jahanara.

This place still remains one of the important wholesale markets of India dealing in various goods like Spices, traditional couture and more. It’s frequently visited by woman all over India and abroad for their wedding shopping as it encompasses numerous shops selling heavy embellished dresses for both men and women primarily used in Hindu and Islamic weddings.

                    Chandni Chowk during evenings. Image source: Amazing India blog

Once you are at Chandni Chowk you can cover the below places within a short distance by hiring a tuk-tuk or Rickshaw ( light two-wheeled passenger vehicle drawn by man) :

Paratha Wali Gali

Paratha is Indian flatbread and Gali is a Hindi word for a lane. As the name literally suggests, this lane is bursting with shops selling flat Indian bread in different flavors including sweet and sour versions but strictly vegetarian. There are sixth generations of certain families having shops here selling these bread using the same old ingredients. Few of the notable versions of sour parathas are – Aloo paratha, gobi paratha, paneer paratha and few sweet ones like Rabri, Khoya and Kaju Badam paratha.

Strictly do not question one thing here: The Hygiene! View of Parathawali Gali. Image Source: Roadcast

Khari Baoli Spice Market

Considered to be Asia’s largest wholesale spice market, this place is a dish of flavors. This market is being operated from 17th Century and has few traders procuring best of spices and nuts from as close as Kashmir (northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent) to as far as Afghanistan. Apart from spices, one can find a display of nuts, herbs, and other food products of diverse colors and tastes being sold here. What makes it special are few of these items which you may not find anywhere outside Delhi or in the world. If you love spices in your food, don’t miss out on this place.

    Spices on display at Khari Baoli  Market

Jama Masjid

When more than 20000 devotees bend and pray together at one of the largest mosques in India it’s a sight. This mosque was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1656 AD. The Mosque has three great gates all accessible for entry, four towers and two 40 m high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The floor of the mosque is made of black and white marble to imitate the Muslim prayer mats. The holy book of “Quran” is kept inside the cabinet at the north gate of the mosque with prophet’s beard hair, sandals and his footprints implanted in a marble block.

The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 devotees. This mosque was referred as “Friday Mosque” during the Mughal as the word Jama means “Friday” a day considered auspicious in Islam.

There’s no charge to enter the mosque however you would have to pay a small fee for carrying cameras inside, it’s open from 07 am to 12 pm and 0130 pm to 0630pm on all days of the week but closed for tourists during the prayer time. Women need to attire in a conservative manner and are not allowed at certain parts of the mosque as per the tradition.

    Pilgrims praying at Jama Masjid. Image source : Malwalive

Red Fort or Lal Quila

Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan, this colossal structure made of red sandstone was once the residence for Mughal Royal families for almost 200 years. This is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Most of the jewels and artworks of the Red Fort were looted and stolen by various invaders and again by British after the failed Indian Rebellion of 1857. They were eventually sold to private collectors or the British Museum, British Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum. For example, the Koh-I-Noor diamond, the jade wine cup of Shah Jahan and the crown of Bahadur Shah II are all currently located in London.

If you are visiting Red fort don’t miss to catch the evening light and sound show depicting the Mughal history. Red Fort timings to visit are from 0930am to 0430pm and remains closed on every Monday.The fee to enter the monument is 10 INR for Indians and 250 INR for foreign nationals.

                                                                                                 Red Fort  

Humayun Tomb

Familiar among all, as the inspiration of Taj Mahal, Humayun tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, commissioned by his first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum in 1569-70 and was designed by a Persian architect chosen by her. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent and was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale.

The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and since then has undergone extensive restoration work. The complex encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun and other subsequent Mughal. The famous gardens called “Charbagh” amidst which the tomb is built is an example of typical Mughal garden designs.

Humayun Tomb timings to visit are from 0600am – 0600pm, open all days of the week. The fee to enter the monument is 10 INR for Indians and 250 INR for foreign nationals.

 An aerial view of Humayun Tomb. Image source: Cultural India

                                  While the above was Mughal Delhi, Lets now explore the British Delhi

The Indian Parliament

The finest example of Sir Lutyen’s Delhi and known as a central legislative assembly before Indian Independence.The today Parliament of India was once the office of Lord Irwin, one of the viceroys of India in the pre-independence era. Sir Edwin Lutyens the famous British architect was appointed by the then ruling British government for designing the architecture of this building. It took six years for the building to be completed and was inaugurated in 1927. The building can only be explored from outside and is not open for tourists due to security reasons.

 Indian Parliament

India Gate

Another masterpiece by Lutyen’s, India gate with its architecture of a triumphal arch is often compared with the Arc de Triumph in Paris and Gateway of India Mumbai. A war memorial this masterpiece was constructed to pay respect to thousands of Indian Soldiers who died in world war –I.

India Gate timings to visit are from 0500am1200am, open all days of the week for no fee.

India gate at night

Rashtrapati Bhavan- President House

Formerly known as the Viceroy’s House, this is the official home of Indian President. Encompassing more than 300 rooms, hallways, and offices along with huge gardens known as Mughal gardens this is one of the world largest residences of a state of the head. The architecture is a mix of Indian and British style.

A request for a visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan can be made by On-line booking system through a link on the website http://presidentofindia.nic.in. The visiting days of Rashtrapati Bhavan and Mughal gardens are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Rashtrapati Bhavan is not open for visitors from Monday to Thursday and on Govt. Gazette holidays. Timings of a visit are from 0900 am – 0400pm.

   President House amidst beautiful Mughal gardens

 

Travel Tips while visiting Delhi

  1. Keep the recommended weather in mind while visiting Delhi, if you happen to travel in summers then ensure that you carry a high SPF sunscreen, cotton clothes and keep yourself hydrated by drinking water at all times
  2. All parts of Delhi are well connected by the Metro trains and can be an ideal option to travel places here. Delhi also has Hop-on Hop-off bus option covering all major sites. Make sure you bargain hard on fare while boarding a tuk-tuk and in case of a doubt, use the widely used calculated fare cabs like Uber and Ola that can be booked by you through an app
  3. Single lady travelers must take precautions while traveling late nights in Delhi for their safety

 

  Our Second City – Agra!

Paintings depicting Diwan-i-am & Diwan- i-Khas ( A hall of Public and Private audience) a typical set up in the Mughal architecture designed for Emperors for different kind of meetings

Agra a city located on the banks of river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh was the capital for many Indian rulers for years. Beginning from Sikander Lodhi, a ruler of India in 1488 AD till the Mughal who ruled India in the 1600 AD, Agra became their capital after Delhi. Agra unlike Delhi till date has kept its roots strong with its heritage and culture and that’s the beauty of this place.

How to reach Agra

  1. The aerial distance between Delhi and Agra is 180 Km. Agra can be reached by road or rail transportation only as there is no commercial airport at Agra.
  2. You can take the Delhi Agra Yamuna Express Highway which would cover the distance between these two cities in just 150 minutes either you take a bus or hire your own private taxi on this route. (Kindly follow the speed limit rules to avoid being taxed)
  3. If you prefer a train journey I recommend booking trains like Shatabdi Express (12002) and the newly launched Gatimaan Express (12050) which take only 100 minutes approximately between the two cities. You can pre-book these trains on the Indian Railways official website as the seats get filled fast on these luxury trains. Please log on to www.irctc.co.in for booking a seat.
  4. If you are in a real hurry, you can also hire a charter as there are many charter operators now in India dealing with those requests promptly without much paperwork and other hassles like before.

Below are the places in Agra exhibiting the Mughal rule over this city

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is a monument needing no introduction.  Consistently being among the seven wonders of world and UNESCO heritage site this monument is considered a symbol of love due to the story behind its making. Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, one among his seven wives. Mumtaz Mahal was born in Persian nobility in Agra as Arjumand Banu Begum and was married to Emperor Shah Jahan when she was 19 in 1612, however, both were engaged when the princess was thirteen and Prince were fifteen. She gave birth to fourteen kids and died just after delivering her last daughter.

 Emperor Shah Jahan with Empress Mumtaz Mahal 

This wonder of the world is an architectural inspiration, constructed in a period of 22 years by 20,000 artisans. Legend has that Emperor gave orders to cut the hands of all 22,000 artisans so they could not replicate the design and techniques which were used in making of Taj.

For the first time instead of red sandstone unlike other Mughal monuments, marble was introduced by Emperor Shah Jahan for the construction of this monument. Calligraphy is an integral part of the stunning Taj and compliments other elements of the structure. It mainly consists of the verses and passages from the holy book of Quran.

Taj Mahal 

Legends also have that Shah Jahan had abandoned plans to build a second palace across the Yamuna River. This mausoleum was supposedly meant to house the crypt to Shah Jahan himself and was envisioned as a black complement to the Taj Mahal’s white façade.

The timings to visit Taj Mahal are from 0630am – 0630pm closed on Fridays. The fee to enter the monument is 40 INR for Indians and 1000 INR for foreign nationals available on all three entry gates.

  Night Viewing of Taj Mahal  

lifeandtrendz

A much-recommended experience which is absolutely high in romance is to view the white Taj Mahal in full moonlight. This is possible only five days of a month, the day of full moon and two days before and after the full moon. The tickets need to be pre-booked at the Archaeological survey of Agra office during the day. The office is located at 22, The Mall, Agra and open from 1000am – 0600am. The timings for night viewing are from 0830pm – 1230am. They generally take 04 batches of 50 people each hence tickets need to be booked well in advance.

Agra Fort

Another enormous fort made of red sandstone, this monument was once the residence of many Mughal Emperors when Agra was their capital. Agra Fort is another World Heritage site. Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces. Some 4,000 builders worked on it daily for eight years, completing it in 1573.

It was Agra Fort where Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb (Considered to be a brutal ruler) for 08 years gazing the Taj Mahal from one of the windows of his room. The Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) was built in 1635 and was used to receive heads of state, ambassadors, and other diplomatic visitors to the Mughal court. Built during the reign of Shah Jahan, the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) was used for durbars, formal receptions in which the Emperor would conduct state business while ceremoniously enthroned.

Agra Fort timings to visit are from 0600am – 0600pm, open all days of the week. The fee to enter the monument is 20 INR for Indians and 300 INR for foreign nationals.Agra Fort 

Akbar’s Tomb

Situated in Sikandra, suburbs of Agra, The tomb of Akbar was built by his son Emperor Jahangir. Akbar planned the tomb and selected a suitable site for it. After his death, Akbar’s son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605–1613. Later the Mughal rebels ransacked the intricate tomb, plundered and looted all the beautiful gold, jewels, silver, and carpets, whilst destroying other things. They even dragged Akbar’s bones and burned them in retaliation.

About 1 km away from the tomb, lies Mariam’s Tomb, the tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani (a Rajput wife of Akbar, famously known as Jodha Bai), wife of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the mother of Emperor Jahangir.

    Akbar Tomb

Akbar Tomb timings to visit are from 0600am – 0600pm, open all days of the week. The fee to enter the monument is 5 INR for Indians and 100 INR for foreign nationals.

Lifetime experiences at Agra through the comfort food you would find here – If you are going to Agra do not miss the sweet lassi and spicy bedhai and aloo ki subzi at Taj Ganj area. Agra is also known for its Petha ( A sweet delicacy made of pumpkin and sugar syrup)

                  The very famous Lassi , Bedhai with aloo ki subzi & Petha

The other two notable industries of Agra –  Marble Intricate carving work and leather products.

In case you are driving from Agra to Jaipur which is a highly recommended route, you must halt during your expedition to witness another Mughal milestone known as “Fatehpur Sikri” and further ahead another world heritage site “Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary)

 

Fatehpur Sikri

Located 23 miles south-west of Agra, the city of Fatehpur Sikri was founded in 1569 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. After his military victories over various cities of Rajasthan (neighboring state), Akbar decided to shift his capital from Agra here.

Another reason for Akbar to shift his capital here was the Sufi Saint Salim Chishti. The second Rajput wife of Akbar popularly known as Jodha Bai is believed to deliver here the next heir to the throne after Akbar and their son, Jahangir with the blessings of Saint Salim Chishti. Since then Akbar became a devotee of Saint Salim Chishti and also named his son “Salim”( Emperor Jahangir’s nickname)

Akbar commenced the construction of this planned walled city, which took him fifteen years in planning and construction. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best-preserved examples of Mughal architecture in India.

Although most of the parts are ruined now still noticeable ones are the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Tomb of Sufi Saint Salim Chishti, Panch Mahal and Jodha Bai’s Palace.

Fatehpur Sikri timings to visit are from 0600am – 0630pm, open all days of the week. The fee to enter the monument is 10 INR for Indians and 250 INR for foreign nationals.

             The five-level building in this picture is called the Panch Mahal, also known as wind tower

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

The Keoladeo National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan is a famous fauna sanctuary that has thousands of rare and highly endangered birds such as the Siberian Crane come here during the winter season.

Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It is also a major tourist center with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also a declared World Heritage Site.

View of evening around the water body located inside the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary 

 

Our final destination – The Princely city of Jaipur!

     Painting featuring famous Jaipur Polo club commissioned in 1918

Jaipur is the capital and the largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded in 1726 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amer after whom the city is named. Jaipur is also known as the Pink City of India as the city was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales in 1876 and since then many of the avenues remained painted in pink. Jaipur still holds the quaint charm of a heritage city and still few of Royal families reside here which is why also this cit is known as the princely state.

Amer Fort

Another World heritage site, Amer fort was once the home of many ruling Maharajas of Jaipur and is located around 11kms away from the main city of Jaipur. This fort was built in 1600 by a tribe called Meena and later Raja Man Singh I, ruled here and further renovated and expanded it. The fort was named after the Hindu deity “Amba Maa” who was also primarily worshiped by the Meena Tribe.

Built with red sandstone and marble, Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake, which is the main source of water for the fort. Amer Fort is also popularly known as Amer Palace.

Amer Fort, built on the hill of eagles, Aravali Range

This fort is primarily divided into four main sections each with its own entry gate and courtyard. The most spectacular place to see here is the Sheesh Mahal at the third courtyard also known as Jai Mandir, which is exquisitely embellished with glass inlaid panels and multi-mirrored ceilings.

The mirrors are of a convex shape and designed with colored foil and paint which would glitter brightly under candlelight at the time it was in use. Most of this work was allowed to deteriorate during the period 1970–80 but has since then been in the process of restoration and renovation.

Inside view of Sheesh Mahal

The fourth courtyard is where the Zenana (Royal family women, including concubines or mistresses) lived. This courtyard has many living rooms where the queens resided and who were visited by the king at his choice without being found out as to which queen he was visiting, as all the rooms open into a common corridor.

There is also a secret way connecting Amer and Jaigarh palace, another massive fort located on the same hill for the royal families to migrate from Amer fort in case of any danger during rebel.

  • Amer fort timings to visit are from 0930am to 0430pm, open all days of the week. The fee to enter the monument is 10 INR for Indians and 50 INR for foreign nationals.

Panna Meena ka Kund

Maybe when you ask, there would be just a few people including locals who would know where is this place, so keep your maps and navigation on.

Rajasthan being surrounded near desert has always faced the scarcity of water. In past people here constructed step wells famously known as Baoli to store water wherever there was a shortage of water throughout the state.

Panna Meena Ka Kund, also known as Panna Meena Ki Baoli, is eight levels step well located on the Jaipur-Amer road. Built in the 16th century, the well has criss-cross steps arranged on three sides with small niches created into the walls. Not only did the step well served as a source of water, it was also the place of community gathering where people would come to chat.

View of the criss-cross steps of Panna Meena Ki Baoli

Nahargarh Fort

Nahargarh Fort was built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The fort was constructed as a place of retreat on the summit of the ridge above the city. Though the fort never came under attack during the course of its history, it did see some historical events, notably the treaties with the Maratha forces who warred with Jaipur in the 18th century.

During the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the Europeans of the region, including the British Resident’s wife, were moved to Nahargarh fort by the king of Jaipur for their protection.

Nahargarh fort located high in hills

Nahargarh Fort is also named as “Tiger Fort” as it basically means the abode of the tiger. The fort also embodies nine apartments as the Maharaja who build the fort had nine wives and each apartment was given to these queens along with their name and these names are also mentioned at the top of each apartment even today.

All the apartments are built in double level structure keeping in mind the hot climate of Rajasthan. The queens use to migrate to the second level of the building during summers to enjoy the blowing winds and migrate back to the first level in winters to remain comfortable during the cold weather.

Nahargarh fort timings to visit are from 09:30 am – 04:30 pm, open all days of the week. The fee to enter the monument is 05 INR for Indians and 05 INR for foreign nationals.

Hawa Mahal

The face of Rajasthan and Indian tourism, this structure was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-story exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework.

The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen since they had to obey strict “purdah” (face cover). The lattice also allows cool air flow through the intricate pattern, air conditioning the whole area during the high temperatures in summers. Many people see the Hawa Mahal from the street view and think that it in front of the palace but in reality, it is the back of the structure.

Hawa Mahal timings to visit are from 09:30 am – 04:30 pm, open all days of the week. The fee to enter the monument is 05 INR for Indians and 05 INR for foreign nationals.

The back view of Hawa Mahal which many people consider as front view 

Jal Mahal Palace

Built over the Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal palace is considered an architectural beauty built in the Rajput style of architecture providing a picturesque view of the lake. The Palace and the lake were renovated and enlarged in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber. This palace built in red sandstone is a five storied building out of which four floors remain under water when the lake is full during monsoons and only the top floor is exposed.

The palace was earlier accessible through boat in rainy season while the lake is filled with water however now access to the palace is prohibited for travelers who can only enjoy the view of this spectacular monument from a distance.

The palace had suffered subsidence in the past and also seepage due to waterlogging, which have been repaired under the restoration project undertaken by the Government of Rajasthan.

Jal Mahal

Jaipur is also a shoppers paradise, the traditional Rajasthani royal couture for men and women, exquisite royal designer Jewellery, the flea markets with local handicrafts and souvenirs shops can all be found here. Most of the famous & recommended bazaars (Markets) are surrounded near the Hawa Mahal complex among few of them are the Johari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar, Tripola bazaar.

Ensure that you bargain hard but honestly with my plenty of travel experience in various cities of Rajasthan, what I admire the most is the hospitality that one receives in this part of the world. It’s humble, uncomplicated and very genuine straight from the heart. The people of Rajasthan seems to have hospitality in their veins.

Once you reach this city of colors, do not miss to taste an authentic “Rajasthani Thali” to taste the flavors of this state in one plate.

Eat like a Rajput King when in Rajasthan!

It still makes me anxious when I read a craft associated with the Royalty of Rajput’s and majesty of Mughal. I wish I could see that period live in front of me sometime while I know that’s not likely. The Mughal reign came to end during the Indian mutiny of 1857 and the arrival of British East India Company. The Rajput Royal families had to give away their ruling states and other prestigious royal titles and belongings after the independence of India. Everything wiped out slowly like a beautiful reverie but gratefully the legends survived.

Once you finish your tour of Jaipur city, you can either drive back from Jaipur to Delhi or can board a train. Jaipur also has an International airport with the limited connectivity of flights.

A scene of Indian Mutiny of 1857, against the rule of British East India Company. Image  source: Warfare History Network