Tickled pick in Jaipur?

Trip Start Jan 20, 2009
Trip End Jan 19, 2010

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Following an overnight train from Udaipur, we arrived in the pink city and were eager to explore. Our hostel advised us to take a cycle rickshaw instead of an auto rickshaw as we'd get a more authentic experience of the city.  We immediately regretted it as we squeezed into the back and watched our frail old driver struggle to peddle us the 3km to the city centre – definitely an inspiration to diet when we get back!  We jumped out in a bazaar and were met by the normal chaos of India, traffics, people, cows, camels and for the first time elephants all battled for space on the streets.

We eventually made our way to the Hawa Mahal – the most famous building in Jaipur and we took a good look around.  This old building was designed to allow the ladies of the court to have a look at the city and not be seen by the public.  It was full of sandstone screens, coloured glass and elegant courtyards.  The inside of the building was fairly uninspiring and no match for the delicate outside.  It did give us superb views over the city but we realised the moniker "the pink city" isn’t true, it was more of a dull terracotta caked with years of grey traffic fumes. 

Next day we visited the Maharaja’s palace, one of the biggest in Rajasthan.  This was a city within a city and held a textiles collection, arms, paintings, fine old palaces and halls and some lovely courtyards.  After visiting forts and palaces in Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur we were a little forted out but it was still an interesting visit.  Our favourite part of the tour was at the exit where three snake charmers were touting for trade.  We’d never seen one before and it was great to see the snakes react to the music, although a little scary when one snake escaped its basket.

There was much more to do in Jaipur then we had time for, if we’d wanted too we could have visited three further forts, but sometimes enough is enough, not matter how impressive they are.

Here are the photos. 

Next stop, one of the places we’ve been most looking forward to, Agra and the Taj Mahal.
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