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The pink city...

Jaipur Travel Blog

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One of the instruments at Jantar Mantar.
I really enjoyed my time in Jaipur - probably a mixture between the city itself and the experiences we had there. Jaipur is known as the Pink City, and many of the buildings do have a rosy tinge.

The guesthouse: We stayed at a place called Evergreen, picked out of the Lonely Planet. It wasn't anything to write home about (hot water by the bucket) but the inhouse cafe was good enough for breakfast. It was also nice staying somewhere with a common area and we met an Icelandic backpacker, Egill (he said to call him Erik for ease of pronounciation).

Sightseeing: Jaipur is famous for a couple of things, including the Jantar Mantar, an observatory with intriguing instruments made of stone and marble, on a grand scale, to read time and horoscopes by the stars.
The Palace of the Winds facade.
The Palace of the Winds is a big facade of turrets and windows on the outside (facing the street) and simple courtyards within, built so the harem ladies could watch the goings-on of outside life without being seen. These ladies were pretty slim, if the width of some of the passages were anything to go by!

We were accosted by, and gave in to, a persistent rickshaw driver, John, who took us to another ruined palace and the Water Palace - a red sandstone thing floating on a body of smelly water. We did the usual stop-by-a-couple-of-shops-quickly thing and only bought one thing.

John invited us back to his house - these are the sorts of invitations you just can't refuse (not because it causes offence, but because when else would you be offered an opportunity to have a glimpse into the life of a rickshaw driver/ordinary Indian person?).
Making chapati. (Served with very spicy and delicious chicken curry.)
John, his wife and their 5 children live in a small, clean flat near Tiger Fort. So we met the gang, the eldest of which was Pooja, a sweet 14-year-old girl who was to be married in a few months!! 4 boys, the youngest of which was 3 years. They named one of their sons Sachin, after the cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar!

We drank beer and smoked flavoured cigarettes (gadang garums) while John, his wife and Pooja prepared chapati and curry for us. Only John had any grasp of English which made things interesting, sometimes funny. Dinner was chapati and 4 types of curry, including a very good and very spicy chicken curry. After many hugs and kisses and a big tip, we chalo'ed out of there. Although John really wanted to take us to Amber Fort the next day and invited us back for a feast, we felt a tad uncomfortable after he tried to sell me his wife's shawl and talked about partner swapping.
The impressive Amber Fort.
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Amber Fort: 11km away from Jaipur is the town of Amber which is home to a big palace and massive fort. The palace has many secret corridors, rooms and stairways. The fort was a steep walk up but worth it, with spectacular views and a big cannon on wheels. There were a few elephants and camels around, the elephants decorated with chalk. We had our first encounter with 'hidras', hermaphrodites, dressed as women, who act quite conspicuously, talking loudly and generally being melodramatic.

Food: On our last night, we ate dinner with Erik at a pure veg restaurant near the guesthouse. We made some sort of mistake in our ordering... everything looked the same in sludgy brown sauce and 2 dishes snuck in paneer (it's in almost everything!). This caught up with A later when he threw up his dinner back at the guesthouse. We did have cake after the dinner at Mamu's, a western sort of cafe which has everything from hot and sour soup, to nachos, chow mein and cake on the menu.






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One of the instruments at Jantar M…
One of the instruments at Jantar …
The Palace of the Winds facade.
The Palace of the Winds facade.
Making chapati. (Served with very …
Making chapati. (Served with very…
The impressive Amber Fort.
The impressive Amber Fort.
Up in the eaves of Palace of the W…
Up in the eaves of Palace of the …
Jaipurs Water Palace.
Jaipur's Water Palace.
John, our rickshaw driver, and his…
John, our rickshaw driver, and hi…
The kids - 5 belong to John and hi…
The kids - 5 belong to John and h…
View of the town Amer from the for…
View of the town Amer from the fo…
4,886 km (3,036 miles) traveled
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Jaipur
photo by: oxangu2