My Shopping Adventure in Jaipur!

21.10.2017:

14.45 hrs – My auto-wallah dropped me near the Jal Mahal or Water Palace, which is a small palace set in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. This 200 year old palace attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year and interesting fact is that though this is a five storied building, four floors of the building are under the water and only the fifth is visible. Jal Mahal was constructed by Sawai Madho Singh to lodge himself while he was on his duck hunting parties, but later his son converted this into a more beautiful palace by extending its courtyards and having a garden there!

Tourists are not allowed to enter this palace and we could only see it from the main road. Watching it for a few minutes, I moved towards a road-side dhaba to have my lunch. This is not the place to end up for a good Rajasthani meal – but as I was feeling so hungry, I decided to settle down here! Having had my lunch I reached my hotel to grab some sleep before I set onto my shopping adventure! πŸ™‚

18.00 hrs – I overslept! :-0 , but then, it’s ok! I need this much rest after going all around those beautiful forts! πŸ™‚ Well, my lunch was not upto my expectations – so I decided to eat something first and then go shopping. Rajasthan is famous for its cuisine – and especially Jaipur is famous for its mouth-watering pyaaz kachoris, ghewar and jalebis! I took a cab from my hotel to one of the most popular bazaars of Jaipur – the Johri Bazaar. As the name suggests, Johri Bazaar is famous for gems and jewellery. But I chose a different thing other than gems – I am here to get some good juthis πŸ™‚

Jaipur is famous for its block printed textiles, blue pottery, finely-crafted jewelery, miniature paintings, it’s well known Jaipuri shawls, tie-and-dye salwars and last but not the least their traditional jutis. As this day was the auspicious β€˜Bhai-dooj’, most of the shops were closed by the time I reached there, but few were still bustling with customers looking for their best bets! I walked straight to a Mistan Bhandar or a sweet shop to have some pani-puri before exploring this market further! Having had a papdi chat and pani-puri, I returned to my shopping adventure πŸ˜€

The Johri Bazaar is studded with numerous shops selling gold and silver jewellery, precious gems, stone and other customized jewellery. I walked a little longer and arrived at a shop where I found few Juthis hanging outside. The shop was full of people checking for various varieties of footwear, trying them on and bargaining. I too got settled down on a chair and soon a person was there to help me out on trying those beautiful and elegant juthis. Always remember, that bargaining hard is the mantra here! While the shopkeeper offered the price at Rs. 1100/-, I bargained them for Rs. 300/- and got them! πŸ™‚ Still my friends told me that I paid more indeed! 😦

I picked up two more pairs for my mom and niece. Though Johri Bazaar is also a good place to look for sarees and lehangas, I couldn’t try my hands at them πŸ˜‰ Don’t forget to get a glimpse of the iconic Hawa Mahal here! I returned to my hotel after helping myself with few more kachoris πŸ˜€ . Though it was as hot as in Summer, there was a drastic drop in the temperature during the night. So if you plan to visit Rajasthan these days, do carry a jacket or sweater πŸ™‚

Advertisements

Travelling in Pune..

Pune – a metropolis surrounded by lush green hills and pleasant weather, was once the heart of the Maratha Empire as the Peshwas resided here and today, it’s known as the ‘Oxford of the East’ due to its numerous education institutes. Pune is also best-known for it’s food and cafes.

13.11.2016:

20.30 hrs – The bus reached Shivaji Nagar Railway station and we started walking towards a restaurant for having our dinner when Mythri stopped at a pani-puri wala πŸ™‚ . One of the most popular street foods all over India – Pani Puri (called Puchkas in Bengal and golgappe in Punjab). Puris are puffed, hollow dough balls, fried to a light crispiness and filled with a masala of cooked potatoes, peas or chickpeas, and served with pani (water), a sweet and sour, tangy chutney made with tamarind or coriander. We had 5 puris each and walked towards the restaurant.

The first question we asked the waiter is whether they gonna accept debit cards, and the answer was instant, they do πŸ™‚ . We ordered for some jeera rice, aloo mattar and vegetable raitha as well as some coke. Food tastes better with coke :-p . During our train journey from Lonavala to Pune, Mythri booked our bus tickets to Shirdi, while waiting for the food, I reserved a room for us at Shirdi. Online made everything easy. Thanks to red bus and make my trip πŸ™‚ . We have to kill sometime as our bus is only at 22.30 hrs.

Jpeg

Thanks to the waiter, as they served our food a bit late, so that the pani puris which we had earlier would have occupied a corner in our stomachs and we can fill the remaining with the food we ordered πŸ˜€ . The food arrived and we ate at a much lesser pace so that we can sit for more time there πŸ˜€ . 21.40 hrs – We finally made a move towards our boarding point which is like a 10 min walk from the restaurant. 22.00 hrs – I made a call to the bus driver to just make sure that we were at the right place waiting for the bus. The bus driver asked us to come to another pick-up point which is like another 5 mins from the point where we were waiting.

22.40 hrs – Boarded the bus to Shiridi, our next destination. Settled down with a blanket covering our faces, I didn’t even notice when our bus moved off πŸ™‚ . A long day.. Wasn’t it??

A day in the ‘Maximum City’

11.11.2016:

14.00 hrs – Ganesh joined us at the Cotton Green Railway station. After exchanging the pleasantries, he asked us what we want to see in Mumbai and the first response from Mythri was shopping. The funny part is that while Mythri meant the proper street shopping, Ganesh mistook it for a grand shopping at the posh malls of Mumbai πŸ˜€ . And we ended at one of the posh malls in Mumbai – The Phoenix Mall at lower Parel. It was designed so well and got exclusive sections for everything and especially the collection of watches at this place is amazing!

14.30 hrs – We were out of the place as finally Mythri told her idea of shopping to Ganesh. Lol! πŸ˜€ . Before leaving the place, we wanted to eat something and that something is obviously the must try in Mumbai! Street food in India is as varied as its landscape, people and culture. It is usually sold on cards on the roads of various parts of the country and in Mumbai, try the famous Vada Pav and Pav Bhaji πŸ™‚ . Just opposite to the mall, there are so many carts on the pavement selling the Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji and other Chinese food. While Ganesh and Mythri opted Vada Pav, Ryan and I voted for Pav Bhaji.

img_0135

One urban legend states that the famous Pav Bhaji has Portuguese origins and that the word Pav comes from the Portuguese word for bread, Pao! Pav Bhaji consists of two things. One is the Pav, which is nothing but a kind of bread, and Bhaji which is a thick gravy prepared from all the vegetables with some spices added to it. A must try delicacy when one is in Mumbai! And to our surprise, the cost of the street food here is relatively cheaper than other places I visited.

img_0143

15.30 hrs – We took a Kaali Billi (Black Cat), the black painted cars which acts as the local auto-rickshaws in Mumbai and headed to the Victoria terminus. Our next destination is the Fashion Street. And the route we took to reach this place is through the Azad Maidan (Ground). Azad Maidan is a triangular shaped cricket ground located near to the Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus Station and is one of the oldest grounds in India. While the youngsters were busy with their net practice and some matches, the hawkers were busy selling pani-puris and clothes on the pavement.

img_0141

Just at the end of the pavement starts the Fashion Street – one of the favorite shopping hubs for the people of Mumbai. This place with over 150 shops selling clothes and footwear of latest trends and few food stalls is a paradise for the shopaholics. The success mantra at this shopping hub is a hard bargain. And trust me, one can get some very good products at a very cheaper rate. We walked across almost all the stalls, while Mythri bought a trendy frock and gladiators, I bought a hand-bag for my mom πŸ™‚ . Done with our shopping, we started walking towards the Gateway of India.

img_0144

17.00 hrs – While we were walking towards the Gateway of India, we came across one of the famous landmarks of Mumbai – the Bombay Gymkhana. Located in the South Mumbai, it was established in the year of 1875 and lies in the southern end of the Azad Maidan. Said to be one of the posh gymkhanas, it is a centralized air-conditioned building with all latest models of cars parked just infront of it. Don’t forget to fight with the security guards at the entrance for a single snap at the entrance of this hi-fi gymkhana.

img_0140

17.45 hrs – Tired of shopping, it’s time for some juice and we started searching for a juice corner and it so happened that my eyes got to see the famous Cafe of Mumbai – the “Cafe Mondegar”. Situated at about 500 meters from the Gateway of India, Cafe Mondegar is a very famous landmark of Mumbai. To be frank, I don’t know how famous this cafe is, nor doesn’t even know that it’s famous first of all πŸ˜‰ . It’s just a random choice and we walked into it. Now, why is this cafe so famous? Coz, this is the first restaurant in Mumbai to houseΒ  a jukebox πŸ™‚ .

img_0233

Cafe Mondegar is famous in other ways too – it was started way back in 1932, the famous Indian Cartoonist and painter from Goa, Mario De Miranda painted his cartoons all over the walls and ceilings of this restaurant. The restaurant offers some amazing continental food. Food and Jukebox – What a superb combo! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Though they say that photography is strictly prohibited, I got few snaps of it πŸ˜‰ :-p

img_0219

To know more about Mario De Miranda, please visit the website http://www.mariodemiranda.com