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Hotel Samode Palace (5 Star Deluxe) - Jaipur

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Recreation/Health and fitness center

During our visit to Samode the highlight was a musical evening of folk dances and songs. Rajasthani bards and musicians with their colourful dress and their unusual musical instruments had come to entertain the visitors. There were one-stringed fiddles, country violins, bagpipes made out of goatskin, castanets, Jew's harps, and even a one stringed instrument made out of a dried gourd, to name a few. The villagers sang with plaintive abandon under the faint light of the crystal stars. We did not notice how far the night had gone, so entranced were we. The bahurupia, danced, around in the grab of a wooden horse while the fire-eater ate fire, swallowed a sword and danced on shards of glass, unmarked by a single cut or bruise. He attributed all this to the blessings of Bahamani Devi his patron goddess. A musical evening can be arranged for all guests, a short notice is needed.

During the day a camel ride through the Samode village and the surrounding countryside is a good idea. Riding this supercilious looking animal with its rocking gait is the best way of relaxing on a sunny morning. You will have to be prepared for aching thighs and sore backsides!

Half an hours walk up steep stone steps leads to the old qila or the fort of Sheogarh. This is where the inhabitants of Samode barricaded themselves in times of war. We climbed up and were told by the old chowkidar (caretaker) that it has now been sold to a bania (businessman) from the town. It is an austere building built on traditional lines. We walked around the now tranquil battlements to the sound of cooing pigeons and doves. The sleeping stones could tell many a tale of battles lost and won. Far away in the distance on top of the next hill lies a fort which belong to the Maha Rawal, and another one on the adjacent hilltop which belongs to Samode. An hour's walk over stony paths and bare hills leads to either one.

Since Samode is only about 40 kilometers from Jaipur it would be a good idea to stay here away from the hustle and bustle of the city. One can drive out to Jaipur - a day's sightseeing and return to this tranquil hamlet in the evening. It is also about two and half hours away form Shekhawati village famous for its havelis with wall murals and paintings.

Basic Data

Country India
State Rajasthan
District Jaipur
City Jaipur
Location In Samode Village, 42 kms from Jaipur, on the Jaipur - Bikaner Highway
Rooms Total 30 rooms

City Information

The old city of Jaipur has neat and broadly laid-out avenues, all painted pink, and that gives a magical glow to the city, especially in the evenings. Hawa Mahal is the best-known landmark of Jaipur. As against the popular belief, it is not really a palace. It is a sandstone screen from behind which the ladies of the court could watch the proceedings on the road below without being seen. In the heart of the city is situated the City Palace, a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The place is now a museum except for one section where the erstwhile royal family still lives. The city palace has an exclusive part devoted to the arms and ammunitions used by the royal family in the past. Jantar Mantar is only one of the five observatories constructed by Jai Singh. The observatories show the passion of Maharaja Jai Singh for astronomy. Central Museum, situated in the Ram Niwas Gardens, has a large collection of costumes, woodwork, brassware, jewelry, and pottery.

Not all the history books in the world can recreate the past as vividly as a visit to the hilltop forts of Nahargarh, Jaigarh, and Amber. For each of them embodies royal traditions of splendor and military one-upmanship. Vast courtyards separate public halls of audience from living quarters, and labyrinthine corridors effectively seal off the women's apartments from public gaze. Jai Singh II built Nahargarh Fort in 1734. Along the ridge-top road it provides magnificent views down to the Man Sagar Lake. In the midst of this lake is a palatial duck blind, which was used for shooting parties by the erstwhile royal family. Named after Jai Singh II, the Jaigarh Fort is perched on a cliff and is surrounded by huge battlements with inside walkways offering stunning views on all sides. Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthan fort-palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by his descendant Jai Singh I. Its rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate refinement. Painted scenes of hunting and war adorn the walls with precious stones and mirrors set into the plaster. In the foreground is the Maota Lake with breathtaking reflections of the magnificent Amber Fort-Palace. For an experience that's truly royal, visitor's can reach the fort through snaking pathways on elephant back.

The other places of interest are Jaipur Museum, Albert Museum, Birla Mandir Planetarium, Sisodia Rani Park, Lakshmi Narain Temple, Kanak Vrindavan, The Rajmahal Palace, Rambagh Palace (now a Luxury hotel), and other parks.

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