A Royal, Rambagh send off


As they say all good things come to an end (a truth that i am constantly confronted with during my travels) and finally it came time for us to leave Jaipur. But not without soaking up as much as we could of both the harsh desert and lux royal lifestyles.

We passed the young cattle herders

who couldn’t be more than 10 years old.

Passing grand forts that grace the dusty hilltops

Cars with figure completely covered in white to guard against heat and dust

and just ordinary people going about their lives creating scenes that seem so foreign to me

And found some relief from the heat in the unair-conditioned car by lying against a cool bottle of water – but it was warm after just 5 minutes

Until we arrived at our last, pre-departure destination. The Rambagh Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan is the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Today it is home to the luxury Taj Palace Hotel.

For nearly two centuries, the Rambagh Palace has been home to generations of royals. Built in 1835 on a modest scale for the queen’s favourite handmaiden Kesar Badaran, it was later refurbished as a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge. Maharani (Queen) Gayatri Devi was married to HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and through this marriage she became the third Maharani of Jaipur from 1939 to 1970. Following India’s independence and the subsequent abolition of the princely states, she became an extremely successful politician. Gayatri Devi was also celebrated for her classical beauty and became something of a fashion icon in her adulthood. It’s not hard to see why.

In 1925, Rambagh was converted into a palace, and became the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur.

The ‘Jewel of Jaipur’ as it is fondly called, remained the home of the Jaipur royal family until 1957, when it was first converted into a luxury hotel by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II.

But it wasn’t until 1972 that Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces took over the reins. It is now the ‘jewel in the crown’ among the authentic palaces of the Taj in India.

We had lunch in The Rajput Room. Known as the Palaces “informal restaurant” i personally found it quite luxurious, overlooking the front lawns amidst the unique interior design which fuzes white marble and dark wood. Its refreshing indoor-outdoor ambience makes it an ideal venue for light meals – and i was particularly impressed by the extensive menu for freshly infused teas – choosing a delicate green tea with cinnamon and apple to top off the meal.

Sipping tea, looking out to an ancient fort in the distance…
…. one of those special little moments.

Then we headed to the airport

traveling through the pink sky of the setting sun

until Delhi,, glittering in the night came before us

All very pleasant, until we had to get out of the plane and the captain solemnly announced “42 degrees celsius outside” AT 8:30 PM AT NIGHT! 42! We had planned to go out but hid from the heat in the room where we feasted on Indian Pizza (pronounced pi-za as opposed to pee-tza) which is distinguished by it’s extra crunchy base and toppings which normally just consist of capsicum, cheese, onion and tomato sauce.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A Royal, Rambagh send off

  1. bagnidilucca

    India is incredible for its contrasts.

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