Travelling awakens the soul and helps you rediscover a part of yourself you had forgotten in the mundane existence of everyday life. It gives you the rare opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, and boosts your otherwise sagging social life. Whilst it provides for new and exciting experiences, travelling can also provide a deeper understanding of people around you. My last trip took me to Jaipur, the Pink City, in the erstwhile princely state of Rajasthan. The three-day trip with my office colleagues was a unique experience, in that it revealed to us the real person behind each one’s professional mask, and what an experience that was! The mood was perfectly set for fun and frolic as we left the concrete jungle that is Gurgaon, making our way into the pristine beauty of Samode Bagh, a short distance from Jaipur. Located on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway, Samode Bagh has been named one of the finest hotels in the world. Steeped in history and romance, the former palace is modelled on Mughal art and architecture. It boasts of a palatial marble façade, nestled in 20 acres of lush gardens that simply took our breath away.
Jaipur, our final destination, is itself a tourist’s delight. The air of royalty hangs like a mysterious cloak all around this city, and every nook and corner is replete with the grandeur of Rajputana history, quite unparalleled anywhere else in the country. During our trip, we travelled to the various districts in and around Jaipur. The Amber and Nahargarh forts were quite an experience. Climbing the steep hills whilst sharing whacky anecdotes with each other made our trek seem effortless and fun. The first glimpse of the fort in its scenic setting left an incredible impact on us and the view of Jaipur sprawling below was breathtaking. We also visited the Jal Mahal lake, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Chokhi Dhani and Hawa Mahal, some of the popular places to visit in Jaipur. We rounded off the daily excursions with a spot of shopping in Jauhri Bazaar where we bought ethnic clothes, shoes and jewellery. The Rajasthani experience was complete once we tried the local cuisine comprising dal-baati-choorma and other exotic dishes.
Stopping once more at Samode Bagh on our return, the team sat back to reminisce and relive the journey. Sharing jokes and teasing one another proved to be a great bonding experience, and the bonhomie between us was palpable. The atmosphere seemed to affect everyone and even the most straitlaced among us revealed a fun-loving side to their personality — quite a pleasant surprise for everybody. Though the trip to Jaipur was hectic and exhausting, it proved to be completely satisfying and extremely enjoyable.
About the Author
Jigyasha is an avid weekend traveller who also loves to read a book or two on her way. Second love: Theatre.