Travel awakens the soul and helps you rediscover a part of yourself that you had forgotten in the mundane existence of everyday life. It gives you the rare opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, and elevates your otherwise sagging social life. While providing new and exciting experiences, travel can also provide a deeper understanding of those around you.
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My last trip took me to Jaipur, the pink city, in the former princely state of Rajasthan. The three day trip with my office colleagues was a unique experience as it revealed to us the real person behind everyone’s professional mask, and what an experience that was! The mood was perfectly set for fun and frolicking as we left the concrete jungle that is Gurgaon, making our way to the pristine beauty of Samode Bagh, a short distance from Jaipur. Samode Bagh is located on the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway and has been voted as one of the best hotels in the world. Steeped in history and romance, the former palace is modeled on Mughal art and architecture. It features a palatial marble façade nestled in 20 acres of lush gardens that are simply breath taking.
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Jaipur, our final destination, is a tourist attraction in itself. The semblance of royalty hangs around this city like a mysterious cloak, and every nook and corner is brimming with the grandeur of Rajputana history, unseen in any other place in the country. During our trip, we traveled to the different districts in and around Jaipur. Amber and Nahargarh Forts were quite an experience.
Climbing the steep hills while sharing anecdotes with each other made our trek seem effortless and fun. The first glimpse of the fort in its scenic surroundings left an incredible impact on us and the view of Jaipur from below was breathtaking. We also visited Jal Mahal Lake, Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Chokhi Dhani and Hawa Mahal which are some of the popular places to visit in Jaipur. We rounded off the daily excursions with a bit of shopping at Jauhri Bazaar, where we bought ethnic clothes, shoes and jewellery. The Rajasthani experience was complete when we tried the local cuisine consisting of dal baati choorma and other exotic dishes.
Upon returning to Samode Bagh, the team stopped again to reminisce and relive the journey. Sharing jokes and teasing each other turned out to be a great bonding experience and the bonhomie between us was palpable. The atmosphere seemed to touch everyone and even the fairest of us revealed a fun side to their personalities – a pleasant surprise for everyone. Although the journey to Jaipur was frantic and exhausting, it turned out to be totally satisfying and utterly enjoyable.