I woke up on a lazy Saturday morning in my one-bedroom bachelor pad in Delhi and dragged myself to the kitchen for my morning shot of caffeine. My eyes fell upon the wall calendar hanging right outside my kitchen door. It had been there for long but it had somehow escaped my view. As I forced my eyes open, this amazingly colorful picture of Jaipur stared back at me, mocking my dull existence. Sipping down my morning cuppa, I thought of doing something exciting over the weekend. With Jaipur fresh on my mind, I decided to go on a two-day trip to Jaipur, exploring its hidden treasures.
With my car out for maintenance and repairs, I chose to avail a Delhi to Jaipur taxi drop service. The drive was beautiful and on the suggestion of the chauffeur, I took the Delhi-Bhiwadi, Neemrana, Jaipur route. This was around 280km – approximately a 5-hour drive.
On reaching Jaipur, I wandered around for a bit soaking in the Rajasthani culture while contemplating my next destination. I had not researched anything about the city, but one thing was certain – I was going to visit at least three locations that were non-commercialized and under-explored. So, I started with this must-visit places in Jaipur booklet that I picked from a corner store and started striking off places that I didn’t want to visit. I hung out at some local shops and spent a couple of hours in the market before finally having my three hidden gems of Jaipur.
Around 65 km from the Jaipur city, the Sambhar Lake is an unexplored gem in the region. It is the largest saltwater lake in India and runs across the districts of Jaipur, Nagaur, and Ajmer. It is beautiful and serene and yet untouched by the nightmare of excessive tourism. I was lucky to spot a Nilgai venturing right outside the adjoining forest. Also, this is a great place for catching a glimpse of some rare birds from North Asia.
Abhaneri Chand Baori
The Chand Baori (step-well) is the oldest and deepest in Rajasthan and surprisingly not buzzing with tourists. It comes across like an upside-down pyramid with thirteen flights of stairs taking you to a central body of water. It is amazingly symmetrical and the architecture, considering it dates back to the 8th century, is unbelievable.
Any trip to Rajasthan cannot be complete without experiencing the rural life and the cultural and traditional richness of the state. Samode village, at a distance of around 40 km from Jaipur, is one such place. A village that has still managed to hold on to its traditional farming techniques and boasts of some forts and havelis of historical significance, it was the perfect end to my adventure trip.
By the end of the next day, I was exhausted and excited having done what I had set out to do. I had to head back and decided to book a convenient Jaipur to Delhi one way taxi with a driver. I remember coming back home and standing in front of the wall calendar with a smirk on my face – ☺.