You go to a historical place, any historical place, around the world and what do you see?
Royal forts and castles
Royal swords and guns
And sometimes royal reprobates running around ruining everything
What does Fat Uncle Cheapo see when he goes to a historical place?
And before you all dirty minded folks go all woooo, take your minds off the royal gutters you savages, Fat Uncle Cheapo remains as pure as the falling snow.
Cheapo is a hardcore anti-clothist and so inherently anti underwear.
Moreover, the panties were exhibits in a museum.
As you know, Jaipur is the current capital of Rajasthan, the state which is intricately linked with Indian history for the last thousand years.
The name Rajasthan comes from Rajputana or land of the Rajputs – an Indian martial race, who have somehow managed to lose every war they have ever fought.
The Bikaner/Junagadh rulers were the smartest – they set up their kingdom in the middle of the desert and declared a Swiss-like neutrality in all conflicts.
Almost all the others took up a harakiriesque attitude to life. They were happiest when they were losing wars and dying.
As the famous Rajput leader Liamder Singh Nissan said “We have a particular set of skills. We will find you, we will fight you, and we will lose to you.”
The women did not want to be left out and thus held grand opium filled parties before jumping into fire once the menfolk had predictably fucked up the wars.
Weird people, these Rajputs.
But not the Kachchwahahahas of Jaipur.
At the first sign of a foreign invader, they jostled and shoved others to stand first in line to pay their homage to said foreigners.
Just being an ally to save your people is one thing.
But the Kuchchwahahahhahas had to take it a step too far.
They gifted their daughters to the foreign overlords.
And joined the overlords’ army and started harassing native rulers. Half the Mughal army that fought Rana Pratap and Mewar or Shivaji and the Marathas were from Jaipur. (Am leaving out Jehangir and Shah Jahan because their mothers were Rajputs and so at least it made some sort of weird sense to be part of their armies.)
As the lapdogs of the foreign invaders, the Kuchchwahahahhas enjoyed a lot of power and money. They spent all that money to build palaces, observatories and forts.
And that’s why its a heaven for lovers of history and architecture.
And that’s why I took my parents there on their 39th wedding anniversary.
From Honolulu to Hayat
Being in possession of one of the whackiest names in history, I appreciate other out of the ordinary names. And that’s why one of the things I look out for in a hotel is its name. Standard names bore me.
That’s why the years have seen me in Rajhans (Bhopal), Karma (Gangtok), Grace (Gwalior), Buddha Land (Kathmandu), Ganesh (Jaisalmer) Golden Butterfly (Siem Reap), Revolver (Darjeeling), Maya (Hyderabad), Highlands (Trivandrum) and Honolulu (Cochin).
Jaipur saw me in Hayat – not Hyatt mind you, but Hayat.
They have decent food, but lots of spices.
That’s a thing more or less all over Rajasthan though – if you go for curries, be prepared for spices.
But enough about that, let’s talk about the interesting sites and sights.
The City Palace
There are a lot of stuff to see here – whether they are interesting or not is subjective though.
The first palace is now a textile museum – it has all the royal clothes and stuff.
Of particular wonder are the clothes of the fat king, and trust me, when I describe someone as fat, that dude’s fat.
Behind this building to the left is the Princess Diya Kumari Art Gallery – full of paintings and more interestingly old photographs of Jaipur and other places.
Next to it lies a big hall with shops selling Rajasthan art. Next to that is the Armoury Museum.
And then there are the camels!!!
Now you people know that Fat Uncle Cheapo loves all animals (with the exceptions of animal abusers, mosquitoes, Communists, pedophiles, chauvinists, feminazis, presstitutes, hypocrites, mime artists, Indian Anti-National Congress, religious fundamentalists, Liverpool, the bourgeois, lawyers, clerks, bureaucrats, auto drivers and roosters ) and camels are one of his favorites – along with dogs, orangutans, chimpanzees and hippopotamuses.
Nobel animals those hippopotamuses!!!
Anyway, after crossing said camels, you come to the inner courtyard with the Diwaan i Aam or the Hall of Mangoes. This is where the kings used to gawk at the peasants.
Here lie the world’s largest silver vessels. An erstwhile king had filled these will Ganges water on a trip abroad.
There are also a couple of chandeliers where pigeons have made nests.
To the right of this, though a passage lies the throne room – with some giant pillows that have enamored Cheapo.
Altogether, a must visit. If you have mucho dinero, take the VIP tour. It costs 7k INR but allows you access into the royal quarters.
The Jantar Mantar
Just opposite the Palace complex lies the Jantar Mantar – the world’ biggest medieval observatory and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its a fantastic experience for history buffs, science nerds and weirdo astronomers.
Today’s generation of “this mall is like so great OMG” crowd will be bored shitless though.
The Hawa Mahal
The most famous symbol of Jaipur.
Also the most confusing because what you see everywhere is the facade of the building. The actual entry is nowhere near. Most people just take a pic of the facade and buggers off. If you have time, please go inside. If you are reasonably fit, climb up – the views are majestic.
The Jal Mahal
Absolutely useless plus people have made it dirty
Instead, I will tell you about a hidden gem
The Sanjay Museum of Indology
It lies opposite the Jal Mahal and is a treasure trove for lovers of history. The ticket price is a wee bit expensive but its worth it.
The eponymous Sanjay died from disease at a young age. So his father decided to build a museum in his honour and went on a massive artifact collection spree.
This is the result.
The Amber Fort
An UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the hill forts of Rajasthan.
If you love animals, please don’t take the elephants, instead go up by jeep or walk. If you don’t like animals, ride the elephants.
Once you have bought the tickets, get out and get yourself an audio guide. It helps. But please check the condition of the player. While the audio quality and headphones remain good, the numeric buttons are in a bad condition.
The first thing you see is – as is the norm – the Mango Hall (Diwaan i Aam)
There is a covered archway beside it, you can get nice views of the lake from here. Immediately beside it lies the hammam (bathroom).
Then there is The Ganesh Pol (gateway)
The gate leads to the Sheesh Mahal….
the Hall of Pleasure….
the Diwaan i Khas (Hall for VIPs)
and the Royal Enclosure where the king indulged in badankadoinking
The Jaigarh Fort
Home to one of the world’s largest cannons and a lot of monkeys.
The Nahargarh Fort
A small fort, with a couple of buildings still standing. Go only if you have time.
There are numerous temples as well, including as usual one by the Birlas. If you are Hindu and religious, go. If you are not, don’t waste your time, none of them are special architecturally.
And finally, there is
The Albert Hall Museum
It has statues.
It has fabulous miniature paintings.
It has artifacts from antiquity.
And it has a goddamn mummy, one of a handful in India.
I will tell you a tip. Go in the evening. During the day, the museum teems with tourists. And since photography is allowed inside, the tourists are usually too busy taking selfies and destroying the atmosphere. In the evening, its calm, empty and you can loiter around to your heart’s content without any disturbance. Also, the place looks great from the outside when lit up.
Plus it has the Royal Panties
Unless you are a toff yourself and dating/married to a royal or have a laundry service, this is something you will never see. Forts, palaces, temples, museums, towers you can see anywhere.
Where else can you see royal panties?