By Saumya Gupta (age 12)
A short trip though it was, the journey was memorable. A hotel called Peppermint, sharp and elegant like its name … a city filled with Rajputs, forts, palaces and innumerable houses.
Elephants, camels and goats are a second sight on the roads. Sitting in the hotel for a whole afternoon annoyed Aditya and me. Not allowed to step out or mess up the room (not that we listened) bored us. While mom and dad worked outside, we sat in a room adding to their credit card bills.
A dinner with dad’s close friend, at a Chinese restaurant, made up the day – at least for me! Back at 10 we crashed in bed and didn’t wake up till 9 the next morning. Having had breakfast, we were then out by 11. On the way we stopped at the “Amer Fort”. Unfortunately, thanks to us being so late, we missed the elephant ride.
It was still an amazing experience! A palace it was with a wall surrounding it within a radius of 3 km! … Women were forbidden to roam about, even in the palace, though were sneaky enough to make a small veranda and sit there, watching as the king solved the people’s problems every day.
On special occasions, such as festivals, the rani and maharani wore 15 kgs of clothes and jewellery! And that was just a minimum! They would wear up to 45 kgs!! Raja Man Singh – the creator of the palace – had 12 wives (ranis). On specific days they were allowed by the king to set foot in a small open courtyard with pillars surrounding it.
The famous ‘Sheesh Mahal’ was visited by us. A long hallway carved in mirrors polished with silver. The mirrors were found in Belgium which travelled to Iran which then came to India and were bought by the king. A truly marvellous sight it was! A must see!
The Rajputs had their own air conditioning. They had water tanks on the roofs, filled with water, connected to a room through copper pipes … these pipes would flow down a small pathway while there would be an open door for the air to enter. When the air and water met, the room would instantly become cool! It was fascinating!
Finally, tired out of our wits, we started to step out when we saw none other than a snake charmer! He started playing a melodious tune while a black cobra stared at it through its beady glassy eyes. A few courageous members of the crowd dared to touch the snake. Fascinated by the show we finally left.
So finally here I am while Aditya ‘gets bored’ (according to him) in the back, mom and dad chat and I type away on her laptop……while our blue Innova heads back home to Ghaziabad after a fun two days in the capital city of the brave Rajputs.
[To read Saumya Gupta's previous post on The Gappuccino please click here.]