Last year, I celebrated New Year’s Eve in Jaipur. My family and I spent the day at historical landmarks, and danced the night into 2020.
My favorite part of the day was going to the Jal Mahal (Water Palace) . It was built as a hunting lodge for the local Raja (or king). The palace was submerged after a dam was built, and to this day remains underwater therefore the only way to see the Jal Mahal is by land.
I am fascinated by the fact that the palace has five stories, but only the top most is visible from land. The government has restored the palace in the past, and continues to do so, making sure the water surrounding the mahal is clean and the structure remains in-tact.
Other than the Jal Mahal, visitors can shop at the street vendors, go to shops located nearby, and visit other historical landmarks which are only a rickshaw ride away.
I was dressed up by a local photographer in native Rajasthani clothes. I was transformed as quickly as Cinderella from my Western-wear to a traditional Rajasthani outfit. Earrings were placed over my ears, bangles were slid on to my wrists, and the outfit was tied on. I took pictures with the Jal Mahal in the background, and then quickly transformed back into my clothes.
Later that night, festivities started at the hotel I was staying at. I attended a New Year’s party with my family, where I ate and danced the night away. Hindi music blasted into 2020 , which contrasts greatly from my celebration this year.
As this year comes to an end, I am grateful to be healthy and to be spending time with my family. I look forward to traveling again and sharing my adventures!