Had a great night’s sleep! Beds at the Fortune Hotel were amazingly comfortable, we did not feel like getting up at all. Against the will of a good rest, we forced ourselves to get up and down to breakfast.
The breakfast spread was nice, lots of vegetarian Indian options, some good pastries and my fav, the egg/omelette station, my mouth was definitely on the mend now and was able to eat much more non spicy food. My go to eggs, fried single side! Pooja was enjoying the pastries and the equivalent of the Coco Pops cereal. Nita and Neha were happy to try the Indian options and then switch to continental.
Good breakfast overall, not the same as Novotel Juhu, but in no way was it a let down, it was good .
Got down to the lobby just after 10am and spoke to the Manager again re: our interconnecting rooms, was assured it would be sorted today – fingers crossed! Now it was time to head out. Into our car hired for the day (much easier that the hotel had their own private cars, no hassles with finding a good driver etc).
First stop was Jantar Mantar – a site with a lot of traditional astronomical instruments.
Jantar Mantar was in the OLD Jaipur city, entering the old city, the difference was stark, could tell why Jaipur is referred to as the PINK city, most of the buildings here had a PINK cladding.
Arriving at Jantar Mantar, first were the swarm of street sellers trying to sell you everything from souvenirs to maps etc, next were the line of guides wanting to show you around. Purchased the tickets to the site, and were in. Picked a guide who could speak English – needed both my girls to understand what this site was about. Told the guide, to concentrate more on explaining to my girls! He was very enthusiastic and at times that also made it seem quite funny.
tip: highly recommend you hire a guide at Jantar Mantar, there are lots of devices which are difficult to get an understanding off without someone explaining it.
The large Sun dial was interesting to all, it was accurately able to give the time of day – girls loved that!!
We were there for just over an hour, time to head out and onto the City Palace, which was opposite Jantar Mantar.
Outside Jantar Mantar, Neha and Pooja stopped by a couple of Snake Charmers! They got to touch the snakes and feel the skin – something we do not normally get a chance to do back down under.
Tipped the snake charmers and now to move on to the City Palace and more pics….
Lots of amazing designs and architecture, in the centre mahal, Pooja located some ladies doing Mehndi, time for Neha & Pooja to get that done.
All getting a bit tired with the amount of walking around, saw a cafe within the City Palace, checking it out, was surprised at how nice the ambience was – decided to take a break there for lunch!
tip: highly recommended, eat at the Baradari cafe in the City Palace, wonderful vibe and very good food!!
We ordered a Margarhita Pizza, Pasta and a big bowl of chips!! All of the food options were great, Pizza and Pasta were wow!!
(at the exit of the city palace)
Getting out of there, called our driver/car, he was sooooo surprised when he learnt we had eaten inside the city palace, and was like, “oh my god, you would have got reaped off, no one eats there, and I would have taken you to a better place….” blah blah blah, they are all after commissions and I guess he had missed on todays lunch commission ! Seriously avoid the drivers hype and make a point of eating at Baradari – definitely worth it.
Next stop was the Jaigarh Fort, which has the largest Cannon on wheels. Ride there was a bit over 30 minutes, good scenic ride going up the mountains.
Finally there, the driver dropped us off near a large door and told us to start the tour from there – typical drivers – all of them after commissions, that entry was to a Museum selling the historic artifacts, local art etc, got out of there just as quickly and made our way up to the place where the Worlds largest Cannon on wheels was mounted.
The fort is huge, amazing how this would have been built in the years gone by.
Up we walked, till we reached the highest point of the fort where the massive cannon was mounted, Jaivana – the largest cannon in the world on wheels! To be honest, I was not exactly blown away by it, maybe I was expecting something extraordinary!! It was big, but I had imagined something else in my mind, still good viewing.
Cannon done, ample time to walk around the place, and just enjoy the views from the top, and ofcourse time for more pics…
(Had to explain to the Girls why the walls had holes – to attack the outside forces from the safety of the fort)
And more pics….
Coming down the stairs from the top of the fort to the middle grounds where we were dropped off, we could see the place had numerous monkeys! Pooja and Neha were amazed to see that many, and they could see them being a nuisance to the public, stealing food from everyone! Pooja really wanted to feed them, got some snacks from the local stall walla, and off she went.
It was time to head back to the hotel, along the way we stopped by at Hawa Mahal, nothing to see inside, more a viewing from the outside to admire its design, one pic and time to move on.
Back at the hotel, was surprised when the Manager informed us on arrival that our rooms were changed and we were now in an interconnecting suite! Wow, did not expect that, an upgrade! The rooms were grande, very large and spacey, Neha and Pooja were super happy with these ones! All our luggage had been moved nicely and even the toiletries had been brought over! Wow, amazing service!
Time to freshen up, for the evening we had booked Japanese Teppanyaki at Atsui restaurant, in the Radison Blu Hotel on Tonk Road.
Got there just after 7pm, place looked amazing, got seated at the Teppanyaki bar! Time to order – got dim sums, sushi, prawns and then the Teppanyaki. Food was 5 star!! Very very good and highly recommended. And the mocktails – yes no alcohol for me (Nita had banned me till my throat was sorted!), were simply amazing, I ordered the Mojito and it was wow!!! Neha also got into the Mojito mocktails. It was an amazing night – pity I did not take any pics, however Neha has vlogged it all very well.
Back at the hotel, tomorrow was an early start to take on the elephant rides.
Jantar Mantar is one of my favourite spots in Jaipur – but you’re right, you definitely need a guide. Without a guide it is just a few pretty monuments, with it it is completely amazing. Imagine the manual calculations and detail that had to go in to making these. I need to go see the other Jantar Mantars one of these days.
I never have made it up to Jaigarh Fort – I definitely have to go this time. Last time we were going to go but after a long day of wandering through Amer fort we got near the end and found the tunnel out and to the path to Jaigarh Fort and it seemed like a bit too long to walk at that point. Hopefully we will be back in January.
Really enjoying the stories of your family’s visit.
Thanks Todd, Jantar Mantar was a great visit, the devices are truely ingenious and amazing! This was me second visit here – first one was in 98. Would be great to see their other Jantar Mantars.
Am happy you are enjoying reading our travels. 🙂