As a Jaipurite, I too am guilty of a sin like most of the locals here. Day in and day out, we brag about the rich culture, heritage, and architecture of the city. On social platforms, amongst friends, and while talking to tourists. But it’s seldom that we take some time out from our schedule to visit these magnificent monuments that top every tourist’s list.
Sure we know every little fact about them, but actually stepping inside Hawa Mahal, City Palace, or Jantar Mantar is a faint and distant memory. But a couple weeks back, I was invited to be a part of a Blogger’s Meet at City Palace and experience the City Palace by Night with all the glam and glaze.
Could I pass up that opportunity? Of course, not! And boy, what a wonderful evening it turned out to be. Here’s are five things that I loved the most at City Palace by Night tour and I believe you would too.
The Royal Welcome
Kacchi Ghodi (Dummy Horse Dancer)/@prayaschutani
Did you guys know that there are 3 entry gates that allow you a pass inside City Palace: Virendra Pol, Udai Pol, and Tripolia Gate. While Virendra Pol and Udai Pol are open to visitors, the Tripolia Gate is heavily guarded and reserved just for the entry of the Royal family.
And for a change, life was kind to me and we were allowed to enter through the Tripolia Gate. Not much fanfare but who doesn’t like a special privilege. What followed was a welcome by dummy horse dancers. Now, I’ve seen the dummy horse dance ever since I was growing up. Heck, throw me a costume and I can even copy their routine.
But it does feel a little special when all that celebration is just to welcome you.
The Painting And Photography Gallery
A miniature artist at work/@prayaschutani
If like me, you too are a history aficionado, then you’ll love to visit this part of the palace. Just next to the Mubarak Mahal, the room houses a collection of paintings and photographs right from Sawai Jai Singh’s era to the more recent ones. Every photograph and painting tells a story about the city which has been written on a plaque right beside it.
There’s also the textile gallery – which is the largest group of historic royal textile surviving in India today. A walk through the alleys of the museum is like observing the city through a time machine.
The Sculpture Lumiére Show
Sculpture Lumiére Show/Connect Jaipur
Definitely the star of the evening. A spectacle of visuals and music put together by world-renowned light artist Patrick Rimoux and his team. The familiar baritone of Amitabh Bachchan welcomes you and for the next half an hour you sit transfixed as you are taken through the history of Jaipur and its rulers.
We were a bit luckier as we were joined by H.H Maharani Padmini Devi to witness this spectacle.
Touring The Royal Residence – Chandra Mahal
Sarvato Bhadra Chowk/@prayaschutani
The seven-storied, palatial residence of former kings of Jaipur. You could tour Chandra Mahal during the day too. But, my god, the view that you get from up there in the night is mesmerising. If you like the insides, crawl through the marvelously built Sukh Niwas and Shobha Niwas with all the ornate decorations and artwork.
But if you like outdoors, just stand in the outer courtyard and enjoy the lovely of glimmering Govind Devji Temple and Tiger Fort on Aravalis as cool breeze brushes by you.
Dine Like Royalty At Baradari
Apple Jalebi and Rose Petal Ice Cream/@prayaschutani
End your perfect evening with some delectable food at Baradari – a recently renovated bar and restaurant. In fact, Baradari has also won the INSIDE Award for the Best Building in the Creative Re-use category.
Serving both Indian and International cuisine, the preparations are lip-smackingly good. My recommendation would be the Chef special Dessert Platter that includes Apple Jalebi, Blueberry cheesecake, and fresh rose petal ice cream. A cherry to top the perfect evening.
You can book a City Palace By Night tour for yourself here.