How is Makar Sankranti different here in Jaipur than the rest of the country? We have put together a small list of unusual experiences that you can get only in Jaipur on 14th/15th of January. Travel to Jaipur or if already in Jaipur, live out the day completely and enjoy Sankranti Jaipur-style.
1. Galtaji temple & Sun Temple: The day is celebrated to venerate the ‘Sun’ god and the best way to do that is to rise with the morning sun and visit the 16th Century Galta Ji & the Sun temple located on the outskirts of the old city. If not early morning, go anytime of the day on Makar Sankranti. Be adventurous and trek up the small hill to the temple exiting the City through Surajpol & Galtaji gate. On reaching the hill, descend down into the valley where the temple is actually located. On Makar Sankranti, it is considered especially auspicious to take a dip in the 7 holy Kunds / water tanks located in this stunning Complex. While you are there, you might as well do some Surya Namaskars & get your quota of Vitamin D and all the other health benefits from the blessed rays of the Sun. Maybe just for today, you can go a little easy on the Sub-Block. 😀
2. Kite Bazaars of Jaipur:- Home of the handcrafted -Visit the Kishanpol Bazar and Haldiyon Ka Rasta as they come alive decked up in colorful Kites of all shapes and sizes ready for Makar Sankranti. To be truly called a ‘Patangbaaz’ in Jaipur, you have to have visited the ‘Handipura’ bazar near sitting between the Badi Chaupar and Ramganj Chaupar of the Parkota/walled city of Jaipur. Laden with thousands of kites of all shapes, sizes and colors this market which remains quiet otherwise, peaks up just before Sankranti. The kite lovers carrying their exploits in bundles of 50s & 100s on top of their heads to last an entire day of Kite fights is a sight to behold. As you hear the fading notes of the Azaan at Handipura, intermingled with the excited chatter of seasoned yet passionate negotiations between the smiling shopkeeper & the Patangbaaz, the glowing yellow bulbs suddenly start coming alive in the shops all around. You can be sure that the same passion will be spilled across the colorful dotted sky on Makar Sankranti and every kite will rise high and zealously fight to remain the last kite flying. It’s an incredibly infectious energy to carry with you.
3. Kite festivals: Two amazing venues to enjoy the Kite festival at two incredibly picturesque locations in the city. One is the 3-day kite festival on the terrace of City Palace starting 12th January and the other is on the Jal Mahal Promenade on the 14th of January between 11-2 pm. Do not miss this opportunity to see the kites fight it out in these incredible locations.
4. Hot air Balloon Ride: Rise up in the Sky with the sun or come during sundown. Get a bird’s eye view of the city and the colorful dotted skies of Jaipur by taking a hot air balloon ride. It takes one up for an hour and needless to say, that is all the sun & view you need. As the sun descends the skies are filled with lit and glowing paper lantern kites or ‘Tukkals’, a stunning sight to behold & an experience beyond comparison. Be sure to grab the best sky seats in the house, today.
5. Nahar Garh: City’s favorite haunt, some of the best pictures of the city are taken from this vantage point. Perched high atop a hill forming a picturesque background to the Jal Mahal, one gets a beautiful view of the whole city from here.Whether it’s the kites or the lights of the city, there isn’t a better spot on land to see the colors of festivities from.
6. Laxmi Narayan Temple: The gods are celebrating the day too.The famous Laxminarayan temple at Badi Chaupar in the Parkota is celebrating a 3 day Kite Festival starting 12th Jan. Decorated & bedecked with a multitude of kites all around, the idols of lord Laxminarayan and goddess Laxmi will be seen holding a Gold Kite and a Silver Charkhi.
7. Your friend’s Terrace: Beg, borrow, plead and get an invite to a local’s or a friend’s all day terrace Kite flying party. Stocked with umpteen kites, Maanjhas, Food, and Music, the entire family comes together on this day to picnic out in the open and spend the day taking in the sun & fighting the super competitive ‘Kite Wars’. The delicious feast includes Daal Ke Pakore, Til Ke Ladoo, Daal- Baati-Churma, Bajre Ka Khichra, Sooji Ka Sheera, Paushbara, Pheeni, Gajak and Rewari to name a few. With chairs, Chataais, friends, family and laughter all around, it is one fun-filled & much-awaited festival.
Take in the spirit of this exciting festival, Jaipur’s style, this is special to hold on to in your memories forever.