Conceptualized by the Confederation of Indian Industry better known as CII to give impetus to night tourism during monsoon, the fifth edition of Jaipur By Nite recently concluded at the City Palace, Jaipur. Rajasthan Tourism organized Jaipur By Night. The festival consisted of live music performances, Jaipur Women’s Car Rally, Jaipur by Nite Marathon, and a food festival – The Bite Fest. I attended the event on day three.
The venue of The Bite Fest and the music concert couldn’t be better. Jaipur City Palace ranks among the top five tourist attractions in Jaipur. Therefore it is logical to host this event at one of the premier tourist attractions of Jaipur. City Palace Jaipur is a royal abode. This is where Jaipur royalty has continued to live for close to 3 centuries! Only a few sections of City Palace in Jaipur are open for tourists.
The music concert and Bite Fest took place in the courtyard of the Mubarak Mahal. Let me take you through the photo journey. Don’t forget to check out the music videos of Swaraag Band if you love Rajasthani Folk songs and Indo-western Fusion music.
Entry to the food festival & live music performance was from the gate near Jantar Mantar. We were greeted with the sight of the Mubarak Mahal.
Mubarak Mahal constructed with white marble in 1890 AD looked completely different in yellow light. The word Mubarak implies greeting. Built as a reception center & guest house, it’s a textile museum now. Like the Albert hall museum, the Mubarak Mahal is built in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style. Windows and Jharokhas give it a different look.
One of these art installations looked out of place. While the turban is a symbol of Rajasthan, there was nothing Rajasthani about the other one!
The food festival had food stalls from popular cafes, restaurants & food joints of Jaipur. Many Rajasthani elements were added to the seating space to give it a differentiated look.
Chokhi Dhani is a popular tourist destination in Jaipur providing the setting and cuisine of an ethnic Rajasthani village. Their food stall was a complete letdown going by the menu.
There was a good mix of variety in terms of food joints.
We ordered Delhi Masala from Fat Lulu’s Pizza. The pizza tasted amazing! This prompted us to order another one – Queens!
Unfortunately, the folks at Fat Lulu’s delivered our pizza to some other customer. In haste to deliver our pizza faster, they burned the pizza! When we asked for an explanation, the staff found nothing wrong with the pizza. We didn’t want to waste our time arguing or calling for the manager, so we ate what we could! Not a good review Fat Lulu’s!! You didn’t win any brownie points!
We decided to try Kashmiri food at Zarpar, a newly opened Kashmiri restaurant in Jaipur. We ordered Rajma Chawal since Zarpar had only two offerings for the vegetarians. Did we have a choice?
Frankly, Rajmah Chawal was far from good. It was just okay in terms of taste. What bothered me the most was the smell of non-vegetarian food in Rajmah Chawal! I don’t think it was acceptable by any standard!
After two fiasco’s we decided to avoid any more trials. We headed towards the Indo western fusion music performance by the Swaraag band.
The band played interesting and popular Rajasthani Folk songs in a fusion performance.
Watch Kesariya Balam Padharo Mhare Desh live performance video.
Another popular Sufi song Piya Re Piya Re originally sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was presented in a fusion style by the Sawraag band.
Watch the Sufi song Piya Re Piya Re live performance video.
There weren’t many foreign tourists in Jaipur By Nite’s Bite Fest. Few tourists who attended Jaipur by Nite music performance thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere. Have a look at these two videos.
We also explored other areas of Jaipur City Palace specially lit for this festival – Rajendra Pol, Sarvato Bhadra Chowk, and Diwan-i-Khaas.
Rajendra Pol in Jaipur City Palace is probably one of the finest masterpieces of Rajput architecture. The gate is incredibly beautiful with fine carvings and workmanship, flanked by two white marble elephants on both sides.
Diwan-i-Khaas in Sarvato Bhadra Chowk.
Don’t you think Diwan-i-aam looks incredibly beautiful during the night?
Another perspective of Diwan-i-aam in Sarvato Bhadra Chowk.
Here’s how I sum up my experience at Jaipur By Nite. The idea of a food festival is a great concept. In terms of implementation, the choice of food partners – food joints and restaurants was not attractive to foreign tourists. There was no local food experience for the tourists. The seating was limited considering the crowd. Around 10 PM marathoners invaded the venue leaving little space for everyone. Food options too were limited. Tourists were missing completely. Considering the motive of this event it was not marketed and promoted enough among the tourists. I’m hoping that the next version of Food Bite will be better than this one.
Check out more posts in Jaipur Food Guide
Another video of Swaraag Band
This post also appears for WPC- windows