Gulabi Shahar-The Pink City

The MD’s Journal – ‘Gulabi Shahar’ – The Pink City

For everyone who wonders why Jaipur is called the Pink city? Back in 1876, Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II chose terracotta pink as the color for Jaipur as historically it represents welcoming and hospitality. It was his strategy to ensure when King Albert visits Jaipur, he will succeed in making him construct a lavish hall in honor of the prince.

From back in the years till date Jaipur has been a famous destination which is getting popular by the day and every first time traveler should not miss it .Every second, third time traveler should also not miss it.

For me Jaipur is much more than that, as I grew up here and it’s my home. I have memories as a child playing in the empty lanes. Every time I visit, it takes me back to memory lane and fills me up with nostalgia. The slow paced city has picked up very quickly and this has led to an immense variety of experiences, adventure, shopping and some great food outlets.

Rajasthan has a mix culture of the Rajputs’ and the Marwari community. The Rajputs predominantly have played a big role in tourism by opening their homes for the tourists and sharing their aristocratic way of living. Another major part of the community is the Marwaris who have added to the now cosmopolitan Jaipur.

Personally a very interesting aspect for me is the famous Jewels of Jaipur. My mother & wife love to visit the jewelry shops whenever they get a chance exploring the various choices of meenakari, lac, thewa, kundan and silver jewelry.

I recently visited Jaipur though it was a short visit, it was full of surprises. I even experienced some new places for food and adventure.

Food is everyone’s soft spot and nothing like exploring some local joints and mixing with the locals as I am one too. So my first discovery was rather interesting as we all know about the Majestic Amer fort but do we know about The Stag? I happen to visit this café located right opposite Amer fort and was astounded by the spectacular view. I thoroughly enjoyed Amer ki chai along with some interesting snacks. I also recommend Tapri which is stated as the “Chai ki dukaan converted into an organized place”. I personally think what makes it stand out is the location and the terrace view of the city. It’s got a very interesting menu in which my favorite was the famous Tapri Vada pao.

These quirky food joints have added a zing to the vibe in Jaipur and it’s a delight for the tourists as they get a feel of a local.

I even explored a slice of wildlife right in the middle of Jaipur. This will make Jaipur stand out as not only a cultural destination but also a wildlife one.

Jhalana Leopard Safari spread over an area of 21 sq.km right on the periphery of Jaipur. They have Jeeps arranged by a private vendor which are very comfortable. I had fun as we drove through the park in search of the wild cat in his own home of decadent Aravalis. I spotted some interesting birds too. I couldn’t wait for the expected as I believe sighting a leopard in this park is a sure thing due to the size. The driver was very knowledgeable and a passionate wildlife enthusiast himself. All I could hear was him saying over the phone “Dikh raha hai kya”.The jeep drivers were coordinating to keep each other updated as at one time four to five jeeps were inside the park. Then finally I had my first leopard sighting of Prince, known as the sub adult male leopard .I can only describe it as a feeling of elation which is indescribable. The locals say that Prince is very comfortable with the people and jeeps driving by so that makes him the most easily spotted leopard. As of now Jhalana Park is home to around 25 leopards, which are visible from a distance of 10-20 feet. A delight for a wildlife lover and an absolute must visit is my recommendation.

I had a fantastic time and every time one visits Jaipur it will have many more surprises hidden under its belt and much more left to explore.

By: Dipak Deva

Dipak Deva is the Managing Director of Sita. He is committed to showing travellers a deeper meaning to what they do and how they explore the many facets of the Indian sub-continent in a unique yet easily accessible manner.

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