Monday, 12 November 2012


We left from Pushkar and got the train over to Jaipur. On the train I was speaking to a family of a mother, grown up son, daughter and the daughter had a baby. They asked if me and Andy were married, now sometimes we say yes, but they were such lovely people I thought I would say the truth and we were just friends. The Mother couldn't believe it, she said that her only friend was her husband. It's so different over here. They then made me hold the screaming baby to take photos of me and her together, she obviously wanted her Mum and not me!

We then got into Jaipur and got a taxi to our Hostel which was lovely. The family there was really lovely, and our room was really big and clean.  We were still tired from sleeping in the desert the night before, so we just had some food and relaxed.

The next day we got a rickshaw driver for the day, through the hotel called Mr Raju. He was such a lovely man and took fun photos of me and Andy such as jumping ones with out us asking him too! He first took us through the city gates into the "pink city" which is Jaipur's old city. We were abit dissatisfied with it as we imagined it to be very pink (like Jodhpur is very blue) but the pink colour didn't really stand out at all! We then went up the Isar Lat. Which is a very tall minaret, which has great views of the city below. We then went to Hawa Mahal (palace of the winds), which is where ladys of court would be able to look down on what was happening below through hundreds of screened windows, while remaining in purdah.

The next (and best attraction of Jaipur as far as I'm concerned) was Jantar Mantar. It was built by Jai Singh as an observatory, with 18 huge stone measuring devices. They were so strange and amazing looking, really modern and abstract, and surrounded by a beautiful garden.; My favourite was the sunken semi circles that were cut out, and also the biggest one which was a huge sun dial that we dubbed "the royal slide", as that's what if looked like from the palace!

We then saw some more cenotaphs which were lovely and made of marble.; We then went to the Amber palace which I really enjoyed. It was up a big hill and when you finally get inside it has a pretty palace structure and a gorgeous garden, and you can imagine the princes and princesses wandering around in the summer heat. It also had a gorgeous room covered in mirrors, and you were left to explore the place with all the nooks and crannies by yourself which was fun. We then walked along the secret underground tunnels which then come above ground take you up to the fort. We walked all the way up to the fort and decided not to go in.

We then went to a charity/co-operative textile factory, for poor/low caste people to work in. We saw how they made the material and coloured in the golden patterns (the men were completely golden coloured), and I bought a bag from them. We then went to a Jewry shop where Andy bought a ring. And I then got henna done!

We then got dropped off at MI road as we had heard it was the main street but all the food places were too expensive so we went (to our shame) to McDonald's. We then got a cycle rickshaw home.  We both felt so awful as this poor man was really struggling up a slight incline. We both felt like getting out and cycling for him. I have never felt more like a rich western bastard in my life! We paid him extra money when we got out, but I guess you have to remember that this is their livelihood and not to use them is actually worse as they can charge westerners more!

The next day we went to monkey temple (Galta) called so because of the hoards of monkeys who live there. We went with an older guy called Neil who wanted to join us and went with the rickshaw driver Mr Raju again as he had been so lovely from the day before. As you drive up to the entrance there are so many wild peacocks its amazing. You then get there and there is a guy selling monkey food, so of course we bought some peanuts.

As you walk in there is abit of an abandoned Disneyland feel, as you can tell it was once a colourful magnificent temple now fallen into disuse. There were half broken statues staring at you (one very forlorn looking broken cow statue), then you see all the monkeys!
They come upto you and take the nuts out your hand, and the babies are so cute, sort of scared of you, but wanting the nuts more. You realise how human they are with all the interactions they have, they seem more human though the younger they are!

We then walked up past the 2 sacred springs (where people where bathing, with fish and terapins) and up to the sun temple at the top, where we were rewarded with a stunning vista of Jaipur. The buildings were cloaked in veil of pollution so we couldn't see the further most part of the city. The rest of the city seemed to be growing by itself with little or no planning.

After we did this we went to an awesome restaurant called the peacock (which our friend Neil suggested) and had some lovely food and beer. We then all went back to the hostel to pack to go that night to Agra!

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