Pink walls & Hammers
So the journey to Jaipur proved to be less eventful than that of the journey to Agra.
We eventually arrived In the Pink City at around 1300 after a couple of rest stops. Like Karauli, our hotel in Jaipur was a classified Heritage property but this time we would allocate the rooms as they were all pretty similar apart from the configuration. A short wash and brush up and its time to head on out into the the heat and mayhem of the City for a visit to the observatory of Maharajah Jai singh dating back to 18C where the sundial there is accurate no less than 11 seconds ..I have been here several times and it fascinates me that someone could have been so advanced with the astronomy, astrologically so long ago..I always like to stand under the Astrological Dial of Capricorn (my Sign) and have a cheesy photo ..Huxley was able to come in on this one and he too had his photo taken ..!
After the observatory came the Maharajah's Palace . Jaipur Still has a Maharajah, and is the only state in India that does. his nickname is Bubbles due to the consumption and use of Champagne used to celebrate his birth. Jaipur is a very regal city, the reason its called the Pink City is because of the scalloped walls which enclosed it are literally painted in a bright salmon pink, the centre is accessed through 4 gates (N,S,E,W)and once within the traffic and life is nothing more than total chaos. Its like one massive confined market with a remarkable level of traffic in all the usual Indian Methods, It is also heavily polluted with exhaust fumes combine that with the stifling heat makes for an interesting time. However, the shopping here is fantastic and I reckon you could buy absolutely anything. Its also a very vibrant city loads of colour mostly from the beautiful Sari clad ladies going about their duties of shopping and haggling in loud gesticulative ways, whilst cows and goats command the respect in the walkways .
I've always Liked Jaipur. Its not the broad organised (loosely talking) boulevards of Delhi, its a cultural mish mash of vibrancies. The gents with their Moustaches & Turbans Rajasthan style, the ladies with their bright coloured Sari's and henna'd hands. It has the Majesty of a once great Royal ruled domain which has slightly lost its gloss. I like the unintentional shabbiness, the way that they hang their washing through the holes in the pink walls, whilst curious Children stare and wave through tiny broken shuttered window frames.
So after another very full day,its back to the Hotel ..i've checked ....there aren't any Chickens outside !! but my air con isn't working so i've asked reception if there is anything they can do .... 10 mins later a man arrives at my door with a hammer with a swift kick and a wobble of the head my Air con is now working !! After all ..this is India. Thank The Gods for Indians bearing hammers.
All my Love Christine Christine is currently on the Moghul Highlights tour after winning the 'Adventure Apprentice' challenge.