If you are looking for a respite from your daily hectic life, then Jaipur with its perfect combination of old world charm and gloss of a metropolis is the choice for you. Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan, but if you don’t know it was found in 1727 by the king Jai Singh II. Hence you will see plenty of forts and breathtaking palaces. The city also has its share of street food joints, cafes and all that you need for the perfect vacation.
The best place to stay in Jaipur while you enjoy your sojourn is the Tree of Life Resort and Spa. Nestled among the Aravali ranges, it gives a wonderful view and their spas are all you need to complete the luxury you deserve. Just like royalty! The best thing is that it is located just 21 minutes from the Amer palace and 30 minutes from the city centre. Traveling with my best friend made my stay here even more memorable. Of course, the staff at the Tree of Life Resort and Spa made sure to make our stay even more interesting. The Tree of Life Resort and Spa is known for it’s couple spa and wellness treatments, so make sure to indulge in those. You can also get the spa done in the luxury of your outdoor couples spa inside your villa. The villas are beautifully done, I am in love with the concept of the villas. Each villa is named after a local Flower. The rooms are so beautiful, to be honest, I am in love with the domes above the bed.
The main goal of the resort is to foster serenity and peace, hence it’s away from the hustle bustle of the city life. You can request for a Yoga instructor in the morning too. There are curated experiences which guests can request for! You cannot miss dining on The Ridge which is an open air sit out and you can get a bird’s eye view of the entire valley. We witnessed the sundowner there and it was marvellous.
What I liked the best about my stay was the tractor ride to the surrounding villages! Hearing stories from Kaka on the way to his farm was such a wholesome moment. Kaka used to be the owner of the land on which The Tree of Life Resort lies now. The lands around the village is used to harvest corn, tomatoes, radish and corrots. We got to learn a lot about harvesting Carrots and also ate Carrots right after pulling them out from the soil, after washing of course. Kaka took us to the village school which is just a two minute walk from the resort. It is so good to see the Tree of Life Resort and Spa maintaining a school and working towards educating the children of the village.
I really loved the statues of Lord Ganesha in different styles all over the resort, I was told that the owner of the resort is a big Ganesha devotee and collected these statues from all over the world.
Let’s get to food now, as much as I loved my stay there I didn’t like the food at all. If a resort is focusing on the well being of it’s guests then they should not be serving frozen food. I am not sure if some of the food served to us were frozen but it felt like that. My friend who was visiting India and looking forward to trying out a lot of Rajasthani cuisine didn’t like it one bit. Thankfully I loved the Lal Maas and I have to give it to them that they really got it right. The chef and the staff were the sweetest and always made sure to curate the best meals but I think the quality of food in a property like this needs to be better. There is nothing wrong with the meal preparation but the resort needs to concentrate on the quality of food being used in the process.
THINGS TO DO IN JAIPUR
1. Hawa Mahal or The Palace of Breeze : This breathtaking architectural masterpiece is a must visit. It was built so that the women in the palace could watch the city without being seen themselves since they practiced purdah system. It gets it’s name from the fact that it’s built in a way so that cool breeze passes through it interiors. I have been to Jaipur so many times but this was the first time I went inside the Hawa Mahal.
2. Amer Fort : Located just outside the Jaipur city and overlooking the Maota Lake, this is an UNESCO World Heritage site. This one takes an entire day or perhaps even more.
3. Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace : will take your breath away for sure. The romantic story behind this is that king ordered the construction of this hall as his queen loved the shining stars but she was not allowed to sleep in open air. When candles were lit in the room at night, their flames reflected in the mirrors and it looked like the ceiling mirrors were stars.
4. Jantar Mantar : Jantar Mantar observatory is another UNESCO World Heritage site. You will be awestruck by the advanced scientific temperament of people centuries ago.
5. Nahargarh fort : Jaipur spells royalty. So you will have a lot of forts to see each with its own unique history and experience. Take a cab or even an auto to reach here. And if you love adventure a hike to the Nahargarh fort should be on your list.
6. Shopper’s paradise : The Pink City is a shopper’s paradise. Of course you need to display all your bargaining skills but you will find a plethora of ethnic items from heavy gemstone jewelry to bandhej textiles, Meenakari handicrafts and not to forget their blue pottery.
7. Food : If you go to Jaipur and do not taste Dal Bati Churma, the local favourite, then you have missed out one of your best experiences. But your cultural experience will be incomplete without lal maas, keema baati and the list goes on. And if you have a sweet tooth, then don’t forget about the Mawa kachori. Masala Chowk is a one-stop place for all that mouth-watering street food. This new destination for Street Food in Jaipur is an open food court in Ram Niwas Garden.
Best time to visit Jaipur
The best time to visit Jaipur is October- February. But just remember that the mercury falls here as steeply after sunset as it rises throughout the day. So pack accordingly.
Look out for the time for kite festival, Teej festival, Elephant fair and plan your trip accordingly.