EXPLORATORY WALK AROUND AMER FORT, MINUS THE CROWDS
– NEERAJ DOSHI, FOUNDER, HERITAGE WATER WALKS
Built in the 16th century, Amer Fort was once the abode of Rajput Maharajas and their families. Surrounded by greenery, a relaxing walk around the fort offers stunning views of Maota Lake, the Panna Meena stepwell and the sunset view from on top of the fort makes for an unforgettable experience. To make your experience truly unique, Doshi takes you on his tour that follows a route that’s exclusive to him and takes you into parts of the fort not open to the average tourist. Using original maps and digital media, Doshi guides you through 8 gates, unlocked just for you, including an underground reservoir around which kings held court in summer, and more. Doshi introduces himself as a 17th generation resident of a “living desert” and dwells into how water is key to Rajasthan’s history, traditions and to life itself. Being a graduate of Boston’s Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, he has worked for over a decade in sustainability and water conservation and now uses his knowledge and experience to tell the story of his home state.
Ph: +91 9910350600
To book a tour visit: www.heritagewaterwalks.com From INR1,100 per person for The Amer Palace Walk, which takes about 2 hours. The fee doesn’t include transportation and is available between 8am and 5:30pm, when the Fort precinct is open to visitors.
Good to know: Doshi also conducts similar storytelling tours of Nahargarh Fort and Ramgarh Dam.
ANOKHI MUSEUM OF HAND PRINTING
Did you know that in the olden days, a print and the kind of fabric it was printed on acted as calling cards for the wearer? It told you what community they belonged to, and where they were placed in society. Prints were also used to create special carpets for judges to sit on and to create board games for people to play with. These are just some of the fascinating insights you’ll get when you visit the stunning Anokhi Museum. Placed at the base of Amer Fort, and housed within a UNESCO-awarded, three-storeyed Rajput haveli (mansion), this museum is an ode to the traditional hand printed textiles of western India. At the end of your tour, you can try your hand at hand printing, or join the many workshops and demonstrations offered by the museum. After visiting the museum, a refreshing drink at the forecourt of the museum hits just the spot, before continuing on to the historic Panna Meena stepwell.
Address: Anokhi Haveli Kheri Gate, Amer, Jaipur – 302028.
To book a tour visit: www.anokhimuseum.com, though tickets can be obtained at the entrance as well. On average, the museum takes about an hour to go through. The entry fee is INR80.
*Closed on Monday*
JHALANA SAFARI PARK
– DUSHYANT SINGH, WILDLIFE TRACKER AND PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR LEADER
Located at Jaipur’s south-eastern border, this park has one of India’s largest concentrations of leopards, several of whom are no strangers to the average tourist – much like the tigers at reserves such as Ranthambhore. This leopard paradise also inhabits striped hyenas, desert foxes, deer, neelgai and many other desert mammals. The thick greenery naturally makes the area a birding paradise, accommodating numerous migratory and resident bird species like the Indian pitta, the dusky eagle-owl, spotted owlet, the Indian roller and more. While the safari is conducted by the forest department in its own vehicles, a trusty guide like Dushyant Singh will be extremely advantageous. He leads photography tours within the park and, hence, has a good handle on tracking wildlife. On request, he can provide breakfast or afternoon tea, which is served on the rooftop of an abandoned hunting lodge which was built many years ago by Jaipur royalty, high above the forests. Think of it as a Royal-TEA with a splendid view.
Ph: +91 99286 33337.
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Fee: From INR3,500 for up to six guests. The fee does not include transportation to the park and the meal. Park entry timings are between 6am and 8:30am and 4pm to 6:30pm.