Jaipur a modern city with great history

Trip Start Oct 04, 2011
Trip End Nov 28, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Sunday, October 23, 2011

After a four hour trip from Ranthambore National Park we arrived safe and somewhat sound at Jaipur.  We are staying at the Jas Vilas hotel which was once a baron's house that has been converted to a guest hotel.  It is very pleasant. 

Our first day touring we spend mostly in the old city of Jaipur, the so-called Pink City, visiting the City Palace, Palace of Winds and the stone observatory - Jantar Mantar.  We went for a walkabout in a very crowded textile market.

The place is a marvelous place that is still the home of the current royal family of Rajasthan.  They have reserved a large part of the palace as home and the rest is open to the public which I am sure helps in funding the place.  The old royal families receive a pension from the Indian government but it is not enough to pay for the upkeep of their many properties.  This is the place that the maharajahs of India met with the British Viceroy to negotiate away their powers with the coming of independence.

Next we went to the Jantar Mantar, the observatory built by the Raj to study the heavens.  Interest was to create horoscopes by getting more accurate readings.  Looks like a modern sculpture park, fascinating place.

The Palace of Winds is a facade that the royal ladies used to watch the action of the streets without being seen by the public.  It is one room deep and five stories high.

The walkabout was an exercise in touching and being touched or pushed or shoved by hundreds of other Indians in an amazing market place for textiles.

On our second day in Jaipur we both woke with the famous Delhi Belly, took  some drugs and carried on with the day's adventures.  Seemed to work as we got through our tours of the Amber Fort, Govind Devji Temple, Jaigarh Fort and an quick car trip around new Jaipur.

Into the car for the drive to Amber city just outside Jaipur.  On the way we passed a summer palace of the royals in the middle of the lake, seems to be rising from the water.  Off to the Hindu temple and then the Amber Fort.

The temple is similar to other Hindu temples with the carvings and features.  The Amber Fort is very impressive and we enjoyed the walk around it.  As with every stop near a tourist stop you are surrounded by touts selling what ever you wish with junk or postcards, turbans, hats, bangles for your wrist and whatevers.  Some of them are very persistent but ignoring them will win the day.  Unfortunately you are often beset by beggars who have various deformities and mothers carrying babies, all sad but not solvable with giving to them.  Most beggars are part of a mafia type organization that takes the money for themselves giving little back to the unfortunates.  It would be better to give money to NGOs instead.

Tonight we are on for a night drive through the commercial heart and old Jaipur to see the lights that have been put up for Diwali, the major Hindu festival of the year.  Afterwards we will try a recommended restaurant for dinner.

Tomorrow it is the seven hour drive to Udaipur, ugh.

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Padmini on

Lovely pictures, Jacqui . . . makes me a little homesick seeing all these pictures. Looks like you are having a wonderful time!

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