The centuries-old walled city of Jaipur lives up to its reputation as a planned metropolis for the most part its enchanting bazaars, forts, and buildings bear their heritage with pride its perfectly laid-out streets are easily navigated and the uniform pink hue of the ancient city walls as well as the grand, regal monuments evoke a flamboyant past. The monuments here are the obvious draw, but lately, the focus is on niche experiences that focus on the Pink City&rsquos many shades. If you are travelling with children, Jaipur can be a treasure trove. From having your photo taken with a 160-year-old "memory box" camera and getting up close and personal with a 2,300-year-old Egyptian mummy to adventures on a hot air balloon, staying in a tree house, and watching a film at one of India&rsquos grandest cinemas. Here's how to make your trip to Jaipur memorable for the kids.
A Picture For The Family Album With A Centuries-Old Camera
When you find yourself near Hawa Mahal, look out for Tikam Chand, who takes pictures with a century-old box camera that dates back to the 1860s. It produces the most amazing black and white photographs. In his family for three generations, the camera has been patched and repaired more than hundred times. The materials needed to develop photos is imported from France.
Catch A Film At One Of India's Oldest Cinemas
Taking in a matinée show at this gorgeous blast-from-the-past cinema hall that dates back to the 1960s Gem Cinema has hosted some of the biggest stars of Indian celluloid, but the arrival of the multiplex culture led to it shutting down in 2005. However, after a restoration drive, it has reopened its doors this year. Spend money on a ticket to immerse yourself in this charming space that looks like it came straight out of a Wes Anderson film. While there, let your kids take in the Art Deco architecture with its geometric gem-like pink and white exterior that looks like cake icing.
Check Out An Egyptian Mummy
The Albert Hall Museum, now called the Central Government Museum, is located in Ram Niwas Bagh, a public garden built in 1868 by Sawai Ram Singh II and modelled on the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The building was designed by Sir Swinton Jacob in the Indo-Saracenic style. The vast collection of exhibits at the facility includes metalware, jewellery, pottery, textiles, and other antiquities. Do look out for the Egyptian mummy and a rare collection of coins from the Gupta, Kushan, Delhi Sultanate, Mughal, and British eras.
Nestled quietly in the lap of the Aravalli Hills lies the Jhalana Leopard Reserve. Just 10 kilometres from the heart of Jaipur, it is the city&rsquos best-kept secret and finds its way onto the itineraries of only the most avid wildlife enthusiasts, often shadowed by the more popular Ranthambore National Park. With an area of 23 square kilometers, Jhalana is said to be the world&rsquos most densely populated leopard reserve. Divided into three zones, each with a different topography, Jhalana is a delight for anyone interested in nature.
Take A Heritage Water Walk
You have heard of heritage walks, but how about a heritage water walk This is an especially topical thing to do, considering the urgent need to conserve our water resources across the planet. Jaipur-based Neeraj Doshi, who has spent a decade and a half working in the sustainability space, started Heritage Water Walks to showcase a cultural phenomenon of the desert state of Rajasthan. Neeraj Doshi, founder of Heritage Water Walks and a graduate of Boston's Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, delves deep into his roots of the village ways to reveal their deeply embedded water conservation practices that are as relevant to the desert state today as they were centuries ago. He has spent a decade and a half working in the sustainability space and started Heritage Water Walks to showcase this lesser-known cultural phenomenon of Rajasthan.
Find out more about the walks here.
Life In Miniature
Miniature paintings, with their long production time and puritanical specificity, wouldn&rsquot have survived without noble patronage, and the lack of everyday visibility even in 2020 makes it difficult for the best of artists to thrive. In looking for workshops that teach you the craft, our top pick as guru was Ajay Sharma, an award-winning and widely-exhibited painter who specialises in Rajasthani and Mughal miniatures. Sharma is a fierce guardian of the craft, insisting students not just mimic the classical form, but understand every step so that the knowledge they pass on is positively archival. His studio borders a surprisingly distracting location&mdashthe railway crossing of Kartarpura Phatak&mdashbut once inside, it's old tunes and instant zen.
Check here for more - liveminiature.com.