Jaipur is the pristine jewel in the desert sands of Rajasthan. Jaipur is as remarkable for its marvellous architecture and town planning as it is for the lively spirit of the people who inhabit it. The city presents a unique combination of cultures that must be experienced in order to be appreciated.
Jaipur was designed by a young Bengali architect in 1727 and is the only city in the world symbolising the nine divisions of the universe. Jaipur is also known as the Pink City of India (colour washed pink to welcome Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England who visited India in 1883). Palaces, Forts and sublime architecture with a strong influence of Hindu, Jain and Mughal styles make Jaipur very interesting.
The 10th century Amber Fort is ringed by hills, with ramparts guarding all approaches and watchtowers set at strategic points. Windows pierce the high walls and staircases are deliberately narrow so that they could be held by a single warrior allowing members of the royal family and the army to flee to more strategic locations. In the fort is the Sheesh Mahal which is a Hall of Mirrors that glows like a jewelled cavern in the early morning or evening light.
As you venture through the busy streets and colourful bazaars of Jaipur city you come across the beautiful façade of the Palace of Winds which is truly astonishing. The City Palace Complex is worth a visit and in the Jantar Mantar Observatory (a unesco heritage site) you can’t fail to be impressed by the 19 astronomical instruments built in 1734, which includes the world’s biggest stone sundial. We also stopped at the water’s edge of Man Sagar Lake and looked in awe at Jal Mahal: Jaipur’s water palace sitting proud in the middle of the crystalline water.
It was a city my heart will never forget and the mix of different architectural styles and colours will take forever to leave my memory.
The Sadode Haveli
I visited this hotel which is a Anglo-Indian Heritage style property with a boutique style complimented by Jaipur ‘s most inviting pools. It has a lovely courtyard area and outdoor dining terrace with a museum like lounge/library room full of artefacts. The rooms whilst fit in the colonial style are smart with a modern feel with all the facilities you would want – I think this is a hidden gem.
Built over 175 years ago within the city of Jaipur as the royal family manor, Samode Haveli reflects the style and elegance of the royals. A special feature of the Haveli is the elephant ramp. It offers an outdoor swimming pool and a spa and wellness centre.
Fitted with antique couches, rich mosaic and painted arches, the air-conditioned rooms come with a flat-screen cable TV. The private bathroom comes with a bathtub, shower and hairdryer.
At Samode Haveli you will find spa bath and fitness centre. Guests can enjoy puppet show, Rajasthani music and dance performance in the evening. Other facilities offered include a tour desk, luggage storage, currency exchange and a business centre.
The property houses a restaurant that is decorated with colourful hand-painted murals and serves local and international cuisines.
A great hotel choice highly and recommended.