Pink goes royal blue

Payel Majumdar Upreti | Updated on August 31, 2018

Day in the sun: The private pool villas have a day-bed overlooking the splash pool. It is perfect for languorous days when the real world seems far away

To live like a king — or a queen — take a trip to Jaipur, now being called the City of Palaces

There is something about the Pink City. Jaipur is the traveller’s muse and has been a favourite of not just the Mughals who loved the finer things of life, but of the modern-day tourist as well. And the capital of Rajasthan — the land of the royals — is just the place for those who would like to live life king-size.

Jaipur boasts several beautiful palaces which have been turned into hotels. If you want a fairy tale experience, you could try out the new JW Marriott Jaipur Resort and Spa. It offers a world of crystal clear pools and planned gardens inspired by Mughal architecture, lotus ponds, giant bani thani murals and blue pottery-inspired walls. Live music wafts in the air as you walk down the marble floors of the resort, with the sounds of the santoor and the sitar echoing from inside pillars shaped like mini-chhatris. The emerald greens of the surroundings are particularly pleasing during the monsoons. The private pool villas have a day-bed overlooking the splash pool, made for languorous days when the real world seems far away.

If you want to step out, take a tour of the spectacular Amer Fort, right opposite the Hawa Mahal in the heart of the city. Rajasthan’s elephant village, Hathigaon, is in the vicinity, too. You could spend a day there with rescued elephants that now enjoy the patronage of the government. Tourists can even give the pachyderms a good shower if they wish to.

Jaipur is known for its arts and crafts. If you like its beautiful motifs, you could go to the weavers’ villages nearby in Kukas, or cruise further down to Sanganer, known for its textile and block prints. You could pick up some beautiful cloth with picturesque prints from this little town close to Jaipur.

If you have the time, visit one of Sanganer’s many factories where you can attend workshops on blue pottery, block printing and leather work (check on Airbnb for experiences). While we didn’t try our hand at block printing, we picked up a couple of blue pottery pieces. Sakshi block factory had some cotton block printed beauties with quirky prints that we picked up in bulk to use in different ways back home.


Candle-lit: Mohan Mahal at JW Marriott Jaipur Resort and Spa recreates the magic of a hall of mirrors from yesteryear palaces



Dinner was at the hotel’s splendid Mohan Mahal, a recreation of the sheesh mahal, where the splendour of a glass palace had been painstakingly recreated with thousands of mirrors. Lit only by candles, this is an ideal setting for a couple — or even an entire family — hoping to spend some time together over a luxurious meal. The menu has been inspired by the royal kitchens of Lucknow and Rajasthan, in keeping with the Mughal-Rajput aesthetics of the place. You could also dine at the Nahargarh fort, which overlooks the city. Age-old fresco paintings adorn the walls and original pillars have been retained. The desert state knows the art of treating you as someone special.

(The writer was in Jaipur at the invitation of JW Marriott Jaipur and Spa)

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Published on August 30, 2018
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