Royal Chhatris of Gaitore, Jaipur

Everytime, we think Jaipur, its all about splendor, opulence, grandeur, towering forts, royalty, mahals, palaces, colorful bazaars, lots of shopping and ghee dripping delicacies. With little time on hand and so much to see most tourists would not venture beyond the famed sites and Gaitore remains one of the most skipped sites in Jaipur. Located on the Jaipur Amer Road about 5 kms outskirts of Jaipur, Gaitore is the Royal Cremation site for the erstwile princes and rulers of the Kachwaha clan who are better known as the Royal Family of Jaipur.

After spending 2 whole days exploring the forts, palaces and markets in Jaipur, I was completely in awe of some of the kings who thought much ahead of their times, I was keen to see their place of eternal rest since I was told they would often conceive their tombs in their lifetime. After traveling through narrow lanes and by lanes in an auto, with the driver assuring me that he was taking me through the shortest routes, I landed in front of a series of exquisite tombs within an enclosure. Gaitore is derived from the term “Gaye ka Thor” which means the resting place of the departed.

The majestic marble one in the center dedicated to Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II ( founder of Jaipur) almost resembles a temple of sorts, with its rich carvings, embellished pillars and the high ceiling. The panels along the entrance depict elephants, horses and warriors to symbolize their lives. Walking in and out of the many Chhatris (Cenotaphs), I stood by one behind the giant tree which seemed to have 9 tombs which were dedicated to the 9 children of one of the rulers who lost their lives very young. On closer observation, it will be quite apparent that with time, the cenotaphs dedicated to the rulers have not only reduced in size, but also lack the intricate carvings and grandeur that the earlier ones had. It is a calm and peaceful place, away from the hustle and bustle of busy Jaipur and not too touristy. Most of the rulers of the princely kingdom of Jaipur were celebrated rulers during their life time and now some of them are lost in pages of history, some remembered by the palaces, forts, gardens and cities by their name, some through their valor, but at death they all found a little corner in the kingdom they once ruled !!

Travel Tip: Make a quick stop on the way back from the famed Forts (Amber, Jaigarh, Nahargarh) of Jaipur.

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