I was in Jaipur in 1965 for almost a month. It was training on initiative of Late BM Sharda, who was then the production manager of machine shop in Hindustan Motors. HM was procuring multi-spindle automatic lathes for the first time. NBC, presently known as NEI was already having many of those machine tools. When I met Chander Prakash and Satish in the factory they insisted that I live with them rather than staying in hotel. Both knew me when we as executive trainees were living in Flats of HM. I have many sweet memories of those days. I had visited all the places of interest including the City Palace of Jaipur in those days itself. Jaipur city had impressed me. It was really sparkling clean, green and pink.
This time when with Shannon and Anand when I visited the city, Palace, and Amer, I got morose. Jaipur is too much crowded and appears dilapidated and filthy too. I wish the government and the people could maintain Jaipur, the first planned city of India as a heritage city. Birla Mandir is a new tourist attraction. Amer is under restoration. It is creditable that the authority is making all the places of tourist attraction accessible for physically challenged visitors with ramps.
It was nice to reach so near to the entrance on our vehicle courtesy Satish who knew the road. Shannon couldn’t have elephant ride to Amer. The elephant ride is only one way from the bottom of the fort to the main courtyard and that too at a cost of Rs 500 for two persons. I had thought of enquiring about the person in Amer who is making paper using elephant dung, but couldn’t do that.
Somehow, the history of Amer and Jaipur is not that glorious as that of Chittodgarh and Udaipur. The rulers of Jaipur were peace loving and perhaps more shrewd to move with time, and married their daughters to Muslim emperors. The story of Jhodhabai and Akbar is well known. However, Jaipur has become more popular with tourists. City Palace is still under the control of the family of the King.