Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Destination Jaipur

Rajasthan had eluded me for  long time. I finally made the trip across its border recently. The pit stop was the pink city Jaipur.  Maybe because the wait was long, my expectations from the city was very high. I also realized that i  had misconceptions about the city. Both the expectation and the misconception were broken. More about it later.

Considering I was there on an official trip, the time I had for sightseeing was limited. But I managed to  take in Amber place, Jal mahal palace, City palace and of course the Hawa Mahal in the old city. The expectation that was broken was the architecture. Don't worry , i am not getting technical here. To me it was a poor cousin of Fathepur Sikri. I had no idea that Rajasthani architecture was influenced by Mughal architecture to this extent. The architect in me who was hoping to see a new style had to be pacified and be replaced with the photographer me. No doubt of Jaipur's charm and its place in the world heritage  but i wanted more. The thin crowd under the steaming afternoon weather was the saving grace at Amber or Amer place as it gave me some interesting photo opportunities!

 The Jal Mahal is inaccessible and we didn't want to access Hawa Mahal. So it was more photo moments at these locations along with City Palace. I would have loved to spend more time in the museums of city palace but could not.Now for the memorable part of the trip but lets get there after a few more picture!

Now that i am done with pictures, let's get into the world of imagination and dreams. What I am about to describe has very little to do with sight and all to do with taste. Now the only way to recreate the experience would be to go back  to Jaipur and i suggest one does that. Whatever said and done Jaipur  reintroduced me to mouth watering flavors which i had to appreciate though i am not a foodie!  

The cherry on the cake was the kulfi i had at Pandit Kulfi near Hawa Mahal. The creamy calorie filled indulgence on a hot and humid night after going around the block twice looking for it was worth every penny. Move over haagen dazs, London dairy. You will never be able to beat this Indian great!

The cream of the cake was the Chaats of Jaipur. A self confesses chaat addict, I could not resist the sardar who was whipping out pani puri at speed of lighting to each of his customer. The smart entrepreneur had set shop on street of Nehru bazaar or was is it Bapu bazaar. Move over food trucks. Learn from us. We can start a business at any location. After not being satisfied with umpteen number of pani puris, tiki chaat and one more thing that i forget, we decided to go back to LMB. The evening before we had tried the ultimate Dahi bhallas  at LMB. Did i just go and come back from the food  Heaven. Salivating nirvana and we wanted to recreate it again after the street Chaat. The adventurous us decided to have kachori Chaat instead which was not bad by itself. Can one get anymore gluttonous than this!

You must be wondering yeh LMB kya hai , yeh LMB, LMB kya hai? It is Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar Hotel . For a tired soul after some shudh desi romance with the city's shopping, LMB is decent place to put your feet up. Having tried Rajasthani Thali before, I wanted to avoid some of the culinary items and decided to go A la carte. Another trip to the foodie heaven and that was the cake of the cake. I had bela rajasthani (spicy, steamed thick gram flour dumplings with whole spices cooked in jaipuri gravy ) with missi roti and kadi chokanwali ( fried gram flour soft balls with rajasthani herbs and yoghurt curry) with rice.  Move over Michelin star. The palate cannot get more sophisticated than this. If only i could have stayed a little longer and tried all the items in the menu.

Through the trip, I got to try some amazing naan, paneer and lassi. I also i might have eaten urea  in the punjabi dhabas along the Jaipur Delhi highway. But hey , totally worth it! You can forget a meal at a fine dining restaurant but you will not forget eating urea paneer on a highway!

So much for have the cake and eat it too!Oh Btw the misconception i had was that Jaipur would be dry and dull city. It turned out to be greener than the garden city!

Date : July 2013
Place : Jaipur,Rajasthan

Tip :  Always have a large bottle of drinking water.
First : The emergence of the foodie me!
The travel connection :  Gastronomical Heaven!


Abhilasha Trivedi said...

Hey Mamta, firstly, your blog looks lovely!! I must say you have come up with a great post and informative write up. Also, the choice of images is just amazing! Thanks for such a detailed post, its really helpful!

Mamta said...

Thank you Abhilasha. I am glad you liked the write up.

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