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If at all there was a ‘Jewel in the crown’ contest, as far as Jaipur is concerned, the Albert Hall would run away with all the honors. This hall still manifests British influences in terms of architecture, which incidentally, is a rare occurrence in a city replete with Rajputana designs. Built-in the late nineteenth century to welcome the erstwhile Prince of Wales, Albert Edward, it was actually envisaged as a town hall but was converted into a museum by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II. Today, however, one can be audience to a mixed bag of exhibits that range from pottery, sculptures, musical instruments, weapons and scriptures. Look out for the Egyptian mummy that is on display on the ground floor. Not only the exhibitions but even the paintings adorning the walls of the entrance, the miniature fountain in the main veranda and the delicate marble work, speak of class and elegance that by far remains unmatched for its old-world elegance. With so much of history behind each carefully picked exhibit, it is best advised to get a guide to take you around, or perhaps opt for an audio guide that is available at the ticket counter in more than five different languages.
For those who need a break from the tourist trail of Rajasthan, nothing could be better than a good movie watched on the silver screen. This is when Raj Mandir cinema to the rescue by screening the latest releases within its comfortable air-conditioned confines. Located in the central area of Jaipur, this theater is a convenient spot for the city's movie buffs. After enjoying a Bollywood hit, head to the nearby McDonald's or Tomatoes, in Silver Square for a light meal.
WAVS at the Maharani Palace hotel is one of the city's top nightlife destinations. Though small, accommodating up to 110 people, the club is well equipped with state-of-the-art sound systems that ensure the party keeps on going. With comfortable private areas, a happening dance floor and a great drinks menu, this Sindhi Camp club is a great place to blow off some steam with friends when visiting the Pink City. The chic décor, delicious eats, and bass-thumping beats combine to make an evening at WAVS one to remember. The theme is usually Bollywood so go ahead and bring your best bhangra moves to this party.
Thakur Dushyant Singh and Thakurani Usha Singh, heirs to the Naila family, share a common and undying passion for art. These Fine Arts graduates from the prominent MS University of Baroda are well-established artists and channelize their ideas towards promoting art on a broader platform. Their efforts are reflected in the Naila Art Gallery situated in the mystic ambiance surrounding the Naila Bagh Palace. Showcased along with their own artworks, are masterpieces and frameworks by known artists and upcoming talents. The displayed collection features fine art, abstract and contemporary art. This gallery welcomes in-house guests as well as visitors. Needless to say, this is a veritable haven for art lovers!
You would hardly find S.R.C Museum of Indology in the regular list of tourist attractions; this does not come as a surprise because nestled in a residential area, this museum is easily overlooked. Spread over two floors, the entire collection belongs to Late Shri Ram Charan Sharma. The first storey is where you will find ancient astronomical instruments, crockery from England and other European nations and old and misprinted currency notes of India. The second storey is divided into two sections, the first displays some of the oldest manuscripts dating as far back as 1143 CE. Here you will find interesting exhibits like the Quran written by Aurangazeb or the entire Bhagvat Gita written on a paper as tiny as a computer chip. The second section is a mixed bag of various exhibits from different eras in history. Right from weapons, coins that are easily 7-8 centuries old and pre-historic tools to paintings from the Mughal and Rajput era, this section is definitely all about history. It is also high on the weird factor; check out the fossilized eggs, flexible stone, a piece of meteor and the floating stone. Do not forget to ask for a guide to take you around as it is included in your admission fee.
On your way to the Amer Fort, you'll find a garden with intricately designed cenotaphs. This place, known as Maharaniyon Ki Chattriyan, is a crematorium once used for the royal ladies of Rajput families. Each of these cenotaphs are designed differently, complementing the individuality of each queen. There is also a separate section built for the kings to mourn for their dead wives. The entire place has an eerie feel to it, maybe that is why this location is used in many horror movies as well. Surprisingly, this crematorium is still functional. The last queen to be cremated here was Rajamata Gayatri Devi in 2009.