Jaipur: Day 2

Today we visit some of the other sites of the city. Well-planned wide boulevards lead to the City Palace still home to the Maharajah of Jaipur. Unless you are Elizabeth Hurley or Bollywood sensations you can only visit, not stay in the Palace. You can, however stay at the Rambagh Palace (A Taj Hotel), or even better, at the Oberoi Rajvilas. I know I keep coming back to these hotels, but they just keep getting better and better. Set on 32 lush acres, this property exudes peaceful luxury. One can wander the property in perfect solitude, marvel at every imaginable bird and plant, green of every possible hue, punctuated by vibrant profuse bursts of colorful flowers. And the sound, silence, save the rustle of leaves or the occasional chirp of a songbird. After the cacophony of street side Jaipur, the silence is palpable. The rooms are, of course, exquisite, the staff, perfect. Not only is the staff at the Taj and Oberoi hotels chosen because of their exceptional education, all are multi-lingual, attentive, humble, gracious, and look like they just walked off the Bollywood silver screen.

Anyway, the Palace is chock full of antiques, jewels, textiles, armaments and other memorabilia of Maharajah life.

Later in the day we continue on to Jantar Mantar, a medieval observatory. Interestingly, this, even today, continues to be quite accurate in astronomical measurements.

This evening we finish the night with some newfound best friends. Dining on the outdoor elevated terrace overlooking the gardens is magical. As dusk beckons, burning wood fires in stone and mortar columns outline the restaurant, local Indian dancers sway to the rhythm of live musicians, and the food and drink flows over the table like a wonderful symphony. Satiated, and completely happy, we finally retire to our room for a sleep even Ambien would be proud of.

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