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54 ~ Jal Mahal or Water Palace + Albert Hall Museum : Jaipur

Flies were an issue

View India 18 - 19 on bruceontour's travel map.

Back into car at 1.25pm / 13:25 and into Jaipur for a late lunch at Green Pigeon.



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Green Pigeon is popular with foreigners probably due to the local guides taking them there. It was almost exclusively full of tourists.

Live cultural music. (Yes, you are expected to tip the dancers).

The first instrument that the man is playing is called Ravanhatha, similar to an instrument called ektara, meaning one string instrument.

The boy is holding an instrument called Khartal. Very widely used over Rajasthan, probably in every nook and children's learn this from very young age, though requires a lot of stamina and strength.

Ravanahatha is a primitive string instrument, made up of locally available materials like bamboo, metal pipes and strings, coconut shell, leather, and horse’s hair. It is largely believed fact that Ravanahatha is the precursor for the modern day string instruments like violin. Evidently, the method of playing a Ravanahatha is quite identical to that of playing a violin. It too includes a bow that is drawn across the strings to create musical vibrations. Furthermore, just alike violin, Ravanahatha has a fingerboard which is used to play the octaves.

The Khartal is another form of percussion commonly used for devotional/spiritual purposes. A bit like clappers, the Khartal has two pieces; one held in each hand. The “male” piece is thicker and held with the thumb, while the “female” piece is thinner, and balanced by the ring finger. “It has derived its name from [the] Hindi words ‘kara’ mean[ing] hand, and ‘tala’ mean[ing] clapping” (Wikipedia). This wooden clapper has metallic discs or plates that produce a clinking sound when clapped together. Therefore, it would be considered an Idiophone due to the combined properties of the vibrator and resonator. Rapid and complex rhythms are encouraged, as this instrument represents assertiveness, strength, and stamina.


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Flies were an issue.

Not good Trip Advisor reviews though!

Anyway, for me it was a Kingfisher lager 300 rupees / NZ$6.10 / US$4.20.
Chicken shami kebab 420 rupees / NZ$8.60 / US$5.90.
Garlic naan 100 rupees / NZ$2 / US$1.40.
Plus GST and a tip came to 1,000 rupees / NZ$20.20 / US$14.

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Chicken shami kebab

I read several times afterwards comments like this … Our driver recommended this place, so got suckered into it, we noticed lots of guides and drivers waiting outside so I assume they get commission for taking you.


Two more brief stops ….

Jal Mahal ~ Water Palace

Got to the Jal Mahal or Water Palace at 3.50pm / 15:50.

The Jal Mahal is the beautiful palace that appears to be floating on the still waters of lake Sagar. This iconic palace was constructed by the Muhjah during the 18th century as an overnight lodge, for use during his duck hunting trips. The Jal Mahal is one of the most charismatic buildings of Jaipur but can only be viewed from the banks of the lake, so a visit is usually less than 15 minutes.

Possibly the most serene sight amidst the chaos of Jaipur is the beautiful Jal Mahal Jaipur, the Water Palace. This low-rise symmetrical palace, that once was a shooting lodge for the Maharajah, appears to float in the centre of Sagar Lake. The light sand coloured stone walls of the Jal Mahal Jaipur are at a stark contrast to the deep blue of the waters of the lake, while from the innards of the palace lush foliage sprouts.

Tourists who view the Water Palace from the banks of Lake Sagar are often unaware of the technological and design achievements of the ancient palace. Though the palace only appears to be a single story there are actual a further four submerged levels. The solid stone walls hold back millions of litres of water and the special designed lime mortar has prevented water seepage for over 250 years.

The Jal Mahal was constructed from pink sandstone and follows the classical Rajput symmetrical style which is found throughout of Rajasthan. Jaipur’s government has made a tremendous effort to improve both the palace and the surrounding lake. Less than 10 years ago the palace was an abandoned ruin with water leaking in while the lake was a foul smelling sewage outlet but today wildlife teems within the lake’s waters a the place is back to its former glory.

The Jal Mahal when translated into English means the Water Palace but the complex was never intended to be used as a palace by Maharaja Madho Singh I. Madho Singh, who constructed the Jal Mahal in 1750, simply wished it to be a lodge for himself and his entourage during his duck hunting parties. Madho’s son Madho Singh II greatly enhanced the Jal Palace during the 18th century interior of the palace adding the courtyard grounds and much of the exterior as seen today.


Anyway, it was as usual the scenes on the footpath with the locals that really interested me.

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Albert Hall Museum

Finally, at 4.30pm / 16:30 got to the outside of the Albert Hall Museum.

Here is the link to Tripsavvy:

This old and famous museum was modeled on the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, with a fusion of Islamic and Neo-Gothic architecture. It was established as a public museum in 1887. The collection includes portraits of local kings, costumes, woodcarvings, paintings, and arts and crafts. The museum is particularly notable for its Egyptian mummy, belonging to the Ptolemaic dynasty. Unfortunately photography isn't allowed. The museum is beautifully illuminated after dark and it opened for night viewing in 2015.



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Back to the hotel 4.40pm / 16:40 at the end of a rather full on day.

Was supposed to meet JD, my G Adventure’s CEO from one of my last India trips but he had to pull out at the last minute.

Dinner was next door in the food court at Vijs Bar-Be-Q = Tandoori chicken - Boneless tender dinner marinated skewered in a clay oven served with mint sauce 329 rupees / NZ$6.70 / US$4.60.
Garlic naan 60 rupees NZ$1.20 / US$0.80.
Plus GST came to 408 rupees / NZ$8.30 / US$5.70.

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"If you got to go, then you just got to go"

Seen around Jaipur.


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Posted by bruceontour 00:09 Archived in India Tagged jaipur albert_hall_museum jal_mahal water_palace ravanhatha khartal

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