My best friend’s sister was getting married after all. Mehendi, sangeet and the grand wedding could be thought nowhere except “the land of kings and colors”, the incredible Rajasthan . It was the last day of my 12th board’s exam and I was super excited for the destination wedding and the extended holiday to the beautiful city of Jaipur . I reached the grand hotel of Rambagh palace somewhat round 2:00 pm in the afternoon. It was a Saturday and my flight was on time. Things that all this while I had seen in television, pictures and internet seem to come alive altogether- widespread deserts, wheatish coloured maidens and ladies with pots brimming with water and splashing drops as they walked through gave a me an uncommon sense of traditional beauty and culture. Before I forget, I need to mention the Camels, about 7 feet tall and 1500 pounds in weight were majestically massive and adorable. It was a happy place with happy faces riding on the back of that big eyelashed animal that could go without food and water for days.

The palace was beautifully decorated with white and yellow rise lights. The wedding shenanigans was aptly reflected through the mesmerizing environment backed up wedding songs, delicious food and a well dressed couple exchanging rings. The wedding and its rituals took off quite smoothly resulting in ‘happily married forever.’ This palace was a must visit for a luxurious holiday with family and friends. The services were spectacular and the palace was magnificently beautiful. 

India is a country with such broad geographical outlines that even a birth is less to make sure that every part of it is visited and cherished. With the thought of "Carpe diem",I had prolonged my vacations by 3 days to go around the city and flavour all its emotions, culture, tradition, art and architecture. The tiredness of the wedding seemed a bit less effective when it came to my enthusiasm of visiting the ancient monuments of Rajas and Maharajas. The wedding ended on 4th February. On 5th February, I started my journey at 7:30 in the morning from witnessing the most famous “Hawa Mahal”. It was literally the palace of winds as it name suggested. It was a unique 5 storey structure with a blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture. The windows served as the air conditioner of all sorts blowing cool air throughout the place. I had climbed up right up to the top. Though it was exhausting, but the climb was worth it with the wonderful view of the city. The legend goes that the ladies of the royal households could witness the everyday life without being seen.

It was already 1:45 pm in the afternoon when i reached my next stop -  the “Anokhi Museum of hand printing”. It was a mere 10 minutes walk from the streets of Amber. It was magnificently located in a mansion where there was a large variety of display put up on block printed textiles, tools and objects depicting an in-depth look into the ancient tradition. Lastly, i finished with the UNESCO world heritage site - Jantar Mantar. It was not at a long distance from the Hawa Mahal. The monument featured beautifully pieces of stone, mesmerizing brass instrument that were designed on the basis of Hindu Sanskrit text. 'Jantar' referred to the instrument and 'Mantar' referred to calculations. Therefore, as the name suggested the monument had instruments operating in 3 main systems. I was awestruck to know how efficiently the monument was managed and the various kinds of instrument functioning differently. 

6th February started with some serene scenery and cool breeze down my skin , a visit to the Sambhar lake. It is India’s largest inland salt lake located 96 kms southwest to the city of Jaipur. The lake has a mention in the Indian epic “Mahabharata” as a part of the kingdom of the demon king “Vrishparva”. The lake had a breathe taking extensive saline wetland which looks even more amazing during the monsoons. Early morning, the lake witnessed people of different ages performing different activities like sand sculpture making, walking, and ofcourse some sitting and enjoying the view just like i was. 

That day I haulted for the rest of my day at the very famous Rajasthani spot “Chokhi Dhani”. One can see the entire Jaipur celebration at this particular location which motivated me to spend so many hours there with my elder cousin. It was a 5 star rated village resort serving authentic Rajasthani food that made my appetite grow larger than I could ever imagine. I could not resist tapping my feet and dancing to the rhythm of their folk music and folk dance ''ghoomar'. Tourists from all over the world could be seen enjoying the puppet show and the authentic theatre comedy that was scheduled for the day. Till the time i reached my hotel, my bones were breaking and the body was over exhausted, but trust me the beauty made me so transient that nothing was affecting. 

I decided to keep the last day a bit lighter with visiting the "Chand Pol" which offered an excellent specimen of the Rajput architecture with its famed old bazaars. A leisurely walk or a ride on the bicycle rickshaw, i was lucky enough to see few old musicians and drum players performing at the uppermost section of the Naubat  gate in the Moon gate and the day ended with a visit to the “Akshar Dham temple’’ to receive blessings from lord Narayana for a safe and memorable journey that had almost come to an end. Being one of the major popular tourist attractions, it was located in Vaishali Nagar. It is believed that anyone who visits the temple has all his wishes fulfilled and since then, I am waiting for the same. It was truly a marked example of fine sculptors, architecture and culture. 

I had an afternoon flight to catch on the 8th February and the airport was a 9 kms away from my hotel.  The trip ended with loads of love that I was carrying back to my own city. As someone rightly said – “Yeh shehar nahi, mehfil hai.”

Shruti Goyal