An island of peace in the Pink City

K K Royal Hotel & Convention Centre

An island of peace in the Pink City

Having travelled to Jaipur, the Pink City of the colourful princely State of Rajasthan, on several occasions, I have often preferred a place to spend my night at a peaceful location. There are many hotels spread out in the city which boasts of royal legacy, of

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Maharajas and Maharanis, forts and palaces, of decorated elephants moving up the Amer Fort and historic ruins that remind of a rich cultural past.

The old city, all painted pink, attracts many tourists during the day for its ethnic dresses, jewellery, handicrafts and sculptors amidst crowded bazaars.

Imagine being in the Pink City and still being away from the narrow roads overflowing with traffic. There are very few patches where one can enjoy a roof amidst greenery. I decided to spend a couple of quiet nights on Holi, the festival of colours, an occasion when I try to hide myself away from the revelers who go wild with colours, smearing dark paints on the face making one look like a chameleon. A day before Holi I escaped to an undisclosed hideout in Jaipur.

I decided to stay at a place from where I could see the Amer Fort during the morning and evening when it appears to be narrating the stories of the rise and fall of the kingdom of the Rajput Maharajas depicted by shades of light at dawn and dusk.

Crossing the check-post to the city, I turned towards Amer Fort, but stopped at the first hotel I came across – K K Royal Hotel and convention centre. I checked in as the sun slid behind the once mighty walls of Amer Fort. Amer was just about a kilometer from K K Royal hotel. My room was facing the pool where I could see the shadows of the building slowly dissolving in the water with the sun light dimming.

Having sipped a cup of tea, I walked out to get a glimpse of Amer by evening. Though from the reading lounge on the second floor one could see the majestic fort, but it is an enchanting feeling to be closer to the ruins of history. I walked some 15 minutes from K K Royal to reach Amer Fort. It was slowly getting dark and the lake outside the Fort was turning to a silver grey colour. The gigantic Amer stood like a ghost in the darkening sky, and then, halogens lit up the walls. For a moment it looked fascinating. As I wandered along the boundary of the lake, I felt a cool breeze blowing down the Aravalis.      

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Some minutes later,  I was back at the hotel, well in time for the buffet dinner. I had not expected that there would be enough guests staying at the hotel on Holi, but I was proved wrong. There were quite a few who wanted to escape the Holi revelers.

Initially I was misled into believing that the buffet was vegetarian, but the captain showed me the ‘mutton rogan josh’ kept on a separate table. He explained that the hotel takes care of the sentiments of many vegetarian guests who do not take food from the table where non-vegetarian dishes are kept, so they have to keep them on a different table.

Having enjoyed my meal followed by a large scoop of vanilla on ‘moong dal halwa,’ I decided to take a walk in the lawn outside. Out in the open, the sky was littered with stars, oft shadowed by a cloud that floated by. It had rained the previous night and the forecast was yet again for a wet night. At the far end of the lush green lawn was a large convention hall, a few dim lights lit up its borderline.

Before retiring for the night, I once again walked to the reading lounge which had a view of the Amer Fort. Unfortunately, the illuminations had been turned off, the fort again looked like a large ghost. I walked to my room disgusted to have missed the view.

It was not long before I was lost in dreams of a beautiful morning.

The next morning was Holi. “How lucky I am. No one to colour me red, blue and black,” I thought to myself. My favourite sausages with scrambled eggs were enough

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for a quick breakfast though there was choice of south Indian dishes and ‘aloo paranthas.’

Outside, a brightening sun was warming up the cool morning. One could hear the Holi revelers enjoying loud music in the residential locality nearby. I sat in the morning sun, gaining its warmth as birds chirped in the peaceful environment. Though K K Royal is on the main road that leads to Jaipur city from the Delhi highway, it is built in a way that the noises from the road are barricaded by the wall and the trees that are lined up along the boundary of the compound.

But will the peace not be disturbed when there is a conference in the convention hall? I asked the lobby manager. His explanation was satisfying. The convention hall is at such a distance from the residential part of the hotel, that the noise dies down. Inside the room one cannot hear any noise at all. 

Rooms in K K Hotel are of good size with mini-refrigerator and tea/coffee maker.

I wished to drive down to the city centre, but the fear of Holi revelers kept me inside the hotel premises where spent most of the time exploring the convention centre and settling down for a  game of chess. Having won two rounds, I decided to celebrate in the bar, which, though not large, but was tastefully decorated with wood work. It helps when you are not an alcoholic, but a ‘beeroholic,’ your favourite brand is never far away. Some chilled beer cooled me down, a good appetizer before lunch.

A siesta is ideal after a good meal and I deserved one specially after the beer.

Some days are the best when spent without doing anything, just exploring, wandering and being a good for nothing. This was one such day which anyone like me would love to spend. The evening was planned for a round of badminton, but when I reached the court, I realized that my sports shoes were missing. A real good for nothing, I took out my camera to make some pictures of the sun running down towards the western horizon.

Evening seemed a very busy one for the executives at the reception as a group of overseas tourists were checking in. Each one of them being greeted with a ‘tika’ on the forehead and a garland of flowers, they sat down for their room allotment. The bus seemed to have come from Delhi. The staff at the counter was quick in settling down the group. In the next 20 minutes the group of 16 had cleared the lobby and gone to their rooms.

All good things always come to an end, so did my escape to K K Royal in Jaipur on Holi – a holiday quiet and fulfilling with no cell phones vibrating on the desk. Seven hours later I will be back in the same old rhythm of daily chores, office, writing, shouting, keeping schedules and many things that people hate.

The executive handed over a form to pen down my experience. He wanted to know if I will come again, I replied, “If we have Holi every month, I will repeat my visit without fail.”         

The executive did not forget to remind me about the Lotus convention centre which he said is very popular among corporates from Delhi for conferences. It is one of the largest in Jaipur, he boasted.

The convention centre can cater to 600 to 1200 guests depending on the seating arrangement desired by the guest. The centre is well equipped with audio-visual facilities. The centre spreads out on 15000 square feet of space and those looking for an open banquet space can also use the 30000 square feet of lawn between the hotel and the convention centre.