A couple of days ago we were in Jaipur where we visited the Fort and the Palace, and viewed the clothes of the amazing 1.2m wide Maharajah, who also had 182 wives (it looked like they all cooked him dinner individually each evening judging by the size of him). However, the Rajasthani food may have had something to do with it, whoever said that going to India would make you lose weight (Helen!) was wrong, we are piling it on over here.
While we were in Jaipur we also went to the 2nd biggest cinema in India and saw the latest release 'U Me aur Hum', which was pretty easy to follow (hindi/english) and had the crowds in stitches (although we didn't know why). Unfortunately we went to the 9.30 viewing and it didn't finish until way past midnight so we bailed out after the 1st half, obviously we have to go and see it again just to see what happens in the end. Its quite a culture shock sitting in the cinema with mobile phones going off all over the place, people chatting, whistling and banging their chairs in laughter. Quite an experience and one we are looking forward to repeating very soon.
Yesterday we were at Fatephur Sikri - the famous ghost city of Rajasthan which was built by Akbar (the great Mughal) and is a whole city constructed sadly enough a very long way away from any water - hence the ghost part of the title. To anyone who is vaguely interested Salman Rushdies new book the Enchantress of Florence is based around Akbar and the ghost city - well worth a read (or a re-read in my case :-))
And after a lifetime of wanting to visit - we finally made it to the Taj Mahal and it is everything you could expect. We arrived at the crack of dawn (6am!) and watched as the sun rose over the mighty Taj, it is such a spectacular sight that photos really don't do it any justice. But it was everything we expected.
We then went to the Agra Fort which is also pretty stunning in its own right and has fabulous views.
And we have finally sussed the hawkers, now instead of saying "no thank you, no thank you, no thank you" we just say "no thank you" and then ignore - it seems to be working so far and we have managed to sail through postcard sellers, trinket box sellers, marble elephant sellers and all the rest combined. We will keep you up to date on our progress on this one.
We are on our own now as our driver has fled back to Delhi and left us here, so we are on the night train to Varanasi tonight and getting picked up from the train station tomorrow morning. Then its onto the Ganges for some more of the bizarre sights and sounds of India.
Will update everyone then, and btw thanks for all the posts - we really appreciate everyone keeping in touch, keep it up.
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