With the brothers and a bit of Jaipur on the way!
Trip Start Oct 13, 2009
82Trip End Jan 01, 2010
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City Palace which I was mightily disappointed in. Round every corner there seemed to be yet another shopping opportunity. Me thinks the current maharajah has sights well and truly on the wallets and purses of the visitors! Plus the buildings themselves were ok but not that good. A couple of nice bits - courtyard with fab doorways representing the 4 seasons and another Durbar hall. Looking at the photos I reckon I know why it didnt impress me. It looks too new and pristine. No faded grandeur and bits falling down. I like old buildings to look well old!
Then off to a BIG reason why Jaipur ended up being visited: the observatory. The Jantar Mantar. A group of stunning astronomical instruments built on a very big scale. Not only do they work they are stunning architecturally in their own right
Me being me I went inside first: climbed up the ramps (supposedly original to allow the royal ladies to be carried up in the Indian equivalent of sedan chairs) and tried to peer through the latticework on the windows. You really couldnt see a great deal so if it was built so that women could look out they wouldnt have seen a lot! One thing you could see from the outermost parts was the chaos of modern Jaoipur below! You have this wonderful serene building abd it's smack bang in the midle of central Jaipur. Literally next to a major road! If there was ever a building which should me moved it was this one. Or failoing that they need to divert the traffic away from it. But then again it sums up India pretty well: a fantastic building surrounded by chaos and other fab buildings now being used or is that misused(!) as shops, houses, workshops
I had to then go and see it from the outside. Walked down the main street, clambering over pots, pans, food stuffs, zigzagging through people, rickshaws, cows and cow shit until I was underneath the building. Mmmmm thinks Carole me has a problem.....for a good view I need to be over the other side of the street. There is a crossing there with an army/police officer near it so I'll take my life in my hands and cross over. Dodged one car, then one guy decided he didnt really want to stop, then thought better of it...didnt really want to mow down a tourist in front of someone official. For his pains he got a mouthful of abuse from me for not stopping in the first place. I got a round of applause for said torrent of abuse from a group of guys accross the street!
So having survived that I could then walk opposite the temple of the winds and marvel at it from the outside. Naturally after all that there had to be a photo to prove it!
After a long and protracted discussion with an auto-rickshaw driver over prices. There had to be one final bout of negotiations with a rickshaw driver! I headed back to the guesthouse, picked up my now somewhat lighter bag (I had started dumping the clothing I wasnt taking home!) and headed off to Bharatpur and the brothers.
To explain to everyone other than Claire and Bill: the brothers run a guesthouse in Bharatpur where they stayed on their trip over here. Eventually got there, dumped bag, had the first of many curries prepared by Ashok and did battle with the mosquitos. For it was mosquito heaven in the Kiran guesthouse!
So there I was at my last stop before I returned to Delhi and home. Plan was to have a rest, visit the National Park, enjoy the nature and wild and birdlife and last but not least see Deeg palace.