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Jaipur Travel Blog

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The Pink City

Jaipur, the "Pink City", is big, 2.5 million people, and capital of Rajasthan. It was founded by Mararajah Jai Singh only in the 18th century, and named after him. The original part, painted a reddy-ochre colour, rather than pink ( the Reddy- Ochre City doesn't quite have the same ring) was laid out in a grid pattern. The walled bazaar area with its wide avenues, is unlike any other Indian town we have seen, although it still has hundreds and hundreds of little shops. The contradictions of India are here. Outside the old town, there's the "India Shining" of high class shops, big cars, espresso coffee (we had some!) and land development. "JMD: Turning land into landmarks". "Trimurty: Think nature, think quality, think " Then there's also the cycle rickshaws, child beggars, street sleepers and shanties.

Jaipur city palace
In our hotel road, in a very pleasant central residential area, a young woman was burning coals in a pavement brazier. She filled a huge flat iron with them and worked at her street ironing business. Meanwhile, another couple of women drove 3 sheep down the road.

We did the city sights. The Maharaja's city palace was grand. Two high spots. In the Armoury. "Welcome" was spelt out in knives, and "Good by" (sic) in pistols. In the cafe, the waiter whispered, "There's the king" and the Maharajah in light linen suit (but no regalia) ambled through - probably checking on his profits. His family still has a private 7 story section of the palace. The city's iconic building, the Palace of the Winds, was covered in wooden scaffolding. The Health and Safety Exec would have had a field day, examining the working conditions.

The Albert Hall - Jaipur

We went out to Amber Fort, the home of the Kachhwaha/Jaipur maharajas before Jaipur. Elephants are sadly still used to take tourists up the steep hill - but not us. Poor things should be pensioned off to a nice forest park. If our guide was to be believed, the maharajas' only exercise was based on the Kama Sutra. The zenana was interesting, with lots of ramps,  as the women, in their jewel encrusted dresses and silk slippers were pushed around in carriages by the eunuchs. Then our guide announced to us he thought we must be "medium old". His tip was reduced!

On our last day, we did some shopping. In a big upmarket bookshop (like Waterstones but a lot less stock and many more assistants) Hil was asked by an assistant if she was Maggie Smith. She told the truth.

Amber Fort
..We wandered back to the Pink City. In the centre near the Friday Mosque, thousands of Moslem men thronged at the end of prayer. The road was blocked to traffic, and riot police and water cannon stood by - happily not needed. There had been an explosion at the Dargah Mosque at Ajmer the night before - guess the cops were just being prepared. We wondered afterwards "What were we doing there?"!!

We'd been warned by quite a few travellers about Jaipur - the touts, the hassle, the scams. Yes, it was noisier and busier than anywhere we've been except Delhi, but it was not more "difficult". We had a good visit.

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The Pink City
The Pink City
Jaipur city palace
Jaipur city palace
The Albert Hall - Jaipur
The Albert Hall - Jaipur
Amber Fort
Amber Fort
Elephants at Amber
Elephants at Amber
The peacock gate, Jaipur Palace
The peacock gate, Jaipur Palace
From the Palace of the Winds
From the Palace of the Winds
The ice man
The ice man
The chilli man
The chilli man
City scene
City scene
Exiting from the Friday Mosque
Exiting from the Friday Mosque
Jaipur
photo by: oxangu2