Authentic Rajasthan | Jaipura Garh | Saffron Stays
It was 3.00 am when we touched down at the Jaipur International airport. The biting cold and the buzz of the Jaipur Sanganer airport felt like a dream for us who happily slept through the whole flight journey from Bangalore to Jaipur. The good folks at SaffronStays had arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the airport.
A forty-minute drive mostly through the highway brought us to the gates of the property, which is about 9 km away from the nearby ‘Chaksu Village’. We had arrived! From the very beginning, the very thought of staying in a heritage Haveli seemed very exciting! This cheerful caretaker greeted us by name Babulal, who quickly showed us around the beautiful premise before leading us to our room. Built over 200 years ago, Jaipura Garh is a royal heritage home, an abode to the Jagirdar (administrative hand of the king). The unique artefacts and the architectural nuances imbibed into the Garh took us back in time, giving us a little flavour of how the elitist folks of the yesteryear would have lived. Saffron Stays have made much effort in tastefully restoring this magical property in an attempt to bring back its glory while retaining every bit of its original element.
The rooms were cosy and are believed to be rooms of the womenfolk back in the old times. Our room had a characteristic two post bed with a beautiful Rajasthani door opening into a sizeable lovely corridor facing the courtyard. Check out the detailing at the ceiling of the roof. The walls were filled with captivating paintings and writings which enhanced the vibe of a royal setting of a glorious past.
It was about 8 am when we’d woken up. We were welcomed by a blogger couple, Sandeepa and Chetan who had just arrived and sipped on coffee by the courtyard. We bonded talking about travel tales from South America to Rajasthan. You never need to worry about awkward silences when you are within the company of well-travelled folks! 🙂
We went out to the first courtyard. Babulal Ji and his assistant, Giridhar, had readied the table for breakfast. Only in Rajasthan, can you find a table with butter, jam, and bhujia! We cannot begin telling you how amazing our breakfast of the Rajasthani poha (with bhujia) and crisp brown sandwiches was. We topped it off with some kadak golden chai. Not all meals are memorable, but this one certainly is.
Just after the amazing breakfast, we welcomed two other bloggers to the Garh. Vishu from ‘Road to taste’ and Piyush from ‘Ghoomleyaar’.
You can be assured that the holidays which begin like this would turn out great! The Garh opens up to a large lush green lawn with a massive tree in the centre which is home to several pigeons and parakeets. We learned so much about the house from Babulal ji standing in the perfect winter sunshine. The tiled exteriors have been designed to include a chess board and Shatranj just under the shadow of the tree. Such an ideal setting!
The management had arranged for a camel cart ride during the afternoon. We rode past the village roads following our shadows, kids from the village waving to us as we trode past them. It was late afternoon and well into the golden hour just before sunset. The (sarson ka kheth) mustard fields were lit up like gold creating a scene so beautiful, that it would remain etched in our memories for a long time to come.
Once we returned to the Garh, before sunset, we had the opportunity to try a hand at traditional pottery on the wheel. The potter from the village showed us how it’s done with such ease and perfection while we struggled to get the hang of this beautiful craft barely. Man! It was tough, but then, at least we tried!
The evening had such a festive atmosphere around the Garh. Arrangements are usually made (upon request) by the management for guests who wish to witness a flavour of the traditional Jaipuri music and dance. The dancers and musicians were dressed in their traditional attire with their musical instruments and ready to perform. At another part of the Garh, sat a traditional lac bangle vendor showcasing all her beautiful work and a Mehendi artist ready to put henna for the womenfolk. Babulal Ji and his team prepared hot soup and Bhajjia while we watched a fantastic performance of dance and music unfold.
Dinner was served around a beautiful bonfire amidst the presence of a village elder who was one of the earlier residents of the Garh recalling his nostalgic memories. With the mercury levels gradually dipping, the biting cold and the star-studded skies made for such a beautiful setting.
The next morning, we were all up and ready to see some beautiful things around Jaipur. We visited two famous places in Jaipur. 1) The Haunted Village of Bhangarh. 2) Chand Bhaori, A stepwell in Abhaneri, where portions of the Hollywood movie – Dark Knight Rises were filmed. We had a beautiful time exploring these gorgeous places in the company of some fantastic people. Everyone had Interesting stories to narrate. We stopped for kullad chai and enjoyed some delicious food along the way while seeing the most spectacular sunset by a beautiful temple. We took breaks to explore villages near Jaipur, where people made marble statues.
We got back after a whole day of exploring two amazing places and seeing a spectacular sunset fresh and hot Rajasthani thali prepared for us. We sat down traditionally, on the floor and ate the delicious dal, baati, churma, bhajra ka roti with some very fantastic subzis. Food was certainly a highlight at the Garh. Each meal was prepared with the utmost detail rendering flavours we never before have experienced. We ended the gorgeous cold day by chilling near the bonfire.
We spent a magical two days at Jaipura Garh. I’m sure most of us have some idea about the Rajasthani culture and its impersonations in every corner of the country. When we visited the Jaipura Garh, we realized how genuine it could get. The Maharaj wasn’t wearing a red pagadi because it was uniform, but because it was his traditional attire and style. The food wasn’t prepared by a chef with an excellent recipe book but made by a resident using the choicest flavours and spices as has been in his family for ages. The Garh wasn’t designed to look like a fort/palace; it was a real fort/palace where the elite once lived. This was as authentic as it could get. The raw and beautiful Rajasthani deal!
How to get there?
Jaipura Garh is 40 km from the Jaipur airport. You can get cabs which will drop you at this location. The drive is beautiful and passes through a lot of Rajasthani villages.
Book your stay for a real Rajasthani Experience at Jaipura Garh here! The room rates are priced at Rs 4000 per night.
(While you are at it, also check out their other properties. It’s totally on our list.)
Our beautiful 3 days of stay in a video! Check it out?