I always carry a book whenever I travel; sometime it is just to add the extra 250gm in my hand bag. This time I had picked up, “My Family and Other Animals” but then considering it a bad idea (chuckle) I dropped it and continued with “ Eat Pray Love “ instead. We, a total of 9 people (1 toddler, 4 young and 4 not so young), were off to Jaipur for 4 days .
For me this was my second visit, the last one was our honeymoon, a very memorable one indeed. Usually in honeymoons the boy is lost in the eyes of the new bride but in our case my groom was lost in the details of the forts, maharajas and their artillery . We always had a guide standing sandwiched between us explaining the intricacies of the architecture, and there used to be a twinkle in the eyes of my husband and I couldn’t yawn enough.
Now, you must be wondering why I went to Jaipur again. In short this was a long awaited family tour and Kerela worked out to be costly. So we settled for Jaipur. Also this trip was an experiment on how different people with different tastes survive together for 4 days. If this experiment succeeds we have other tours in mind.
We had not just planned the travel but had also set strategies. Our best strategy was to keep one day tour to Pushkar and Ajmer. Always remember no matter where you go with your parents/in-laws and no matter how well you have planned there will always be this question,” Aren’t there any temples here?”. My mother still has fond memories of the Mangeshkar Temple in Goa.
Day-1: Chokhi Dhaani
We all reached our destination on time by different trains. We headed to the Hotel. We had booked a decent hotel ‘Souvenir Peppermint” somewhere near BaniPark.
In the evening we decided to take every one to Chokhi dhaani . Doing this on the very first day would give them a brief glimpse of almost everything- food, dance, language , culture etc. In my previous visit we had covered it on the last day and by then we had lost interest in the rich food.
We covered almost every thing in Chokhi Dhani – Puppet show, dance, magic show, Bajre / Makke ki Roti with makkhan jaggery and chutney, games, recreated Haldi Ghati scene, camel ride, horse cart ride, paani puri concluded by Jeeman i.e the food. Everyone was elated on being called ‘seth’ and ‘sethani’ by the Chokhi Dhaani boys.
If you go there do have the khichdi with loads of ghee and sugar.I had stopped them from pouring the ghee and sugar powder but upon being insisted I tried it and it was amazing. They are very generous with Ghee and they believe it is ‘ Bhudape Ki Lathi’ (support in the old age) . I had to remind my parents their Cholesterol level and who actually was their ‘ Bhudape Ki Lathi’ .
It was an amazing experience and every one was happy.
Day 2: City Palace – Jantar Manatar- Hawa Mahal and Shopping
Second day after the scrumptious buffet breakfast at the hotel we went to City Palace. We were wise enough to take all the photographs – single, group, selfies etc. well on time before our energy level and the makeup wore out. The rest of the tour was the bitter sweet recap of our honeymoon. The difference was that this time I was not yawning but running after my toddler outside the palace.
After 15 minutes of toddler hyperactivity and group inactivity I went in to find the whole gang glued in front of the displayed dress of Sawai Madho Singh –I. His pajama had drawn all the attention as this Maharaja was 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide weighing 250 Kgs.
The whole group was fascinated.
Immediately after city palace we took a right turn to cover Jantar Mantar. One of my friends had suggested reading about Jantar Mantar beforehand to save time but I was too busy reading food blogs that I forgot this part. The visit would have been better if I had followed that advice. While the gang spent extra time reading about each astronomical instruments I and my daughter sat down at one place and enjoyed watching the lovely foreigners in Indian dresses.
Then before covering Hawa Mahal we thought of giving our legs a bit of rest and went for lunch. The biggest mistake we did was asking the e-rickshaw wala where to eat.He took us to the restaurant which was The Best- ” Venus restaurant”. The moment we enter there was a stench and the food is not worth mentioning here. The learning we got, while traveling never ever ask the auto or rickshaw wala where to shop or eat, they have their own commissions.
Then we took an auto to Hawa mahal . It is photogenic place. In todays world this much is enough to be told , after all our priority these days is to get perfect photos for facebook and whatsapp dps.
In the evening we got a bit late for shopping as the market here closes at 9. So we were not able to grab much.
We asked at a local shop about some good restaurant at Bapu Market and he without giving a second thought said ‘Ganesh restaurant’- perfect for home like food. Everyone was hungry so we headed toward this place. I was bewildered to find this place, the entrance was a steep narrow stairways leading to an open air half constructed roof with few steel tables and chairs. I didn’t speak for the next 15 minutes and kept a tight grip on my toddler as the roof din’t have railings!!!
The food came. You wont believe that it was so delicious that all my anger just vanished.
We had ordered: Laccha Paratha , Butter Roti, Missi Roti , Sev-Tamatar (Local Dish) , Daal Tadka . It costed us 800/- for 8 people!!!!!!
If you guys are shopping in Bapu Market then don’t hesitate to have food in such weird small dhabas placed at every other roof of the shops, as you wont regret the food.
(To be Contd…)