We were told to avoid Rajasthan due to the climate. In April temperatures can reach 50 plus and many of the locals were heading north to escape the relentless heat…... We decided to ignore this advice. We'd just spent the summer months in the Australian bush on pig farms and fruit sheds, we'd be fine, and actually we were. Ok it was hot, but not aussie, no O Zone layer, sear you skin hot.
We were briefly worried when our plane landed and the captain announced, "ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Jaipur. The local time is 9.30pm and the ground temperature is 36c…." but we coped.
Unfortunately the camping out in the desert trip which we were hoping to do was cancelled, but we had a half decent hotel with a pool and decided to stay put for a few days before heading to Agra.
Jaipur is famous for textiles and the pink city. Walking around I felt as though I'd been transported into an Aladdin film. Camels, elephants, goats, donkeys and of course the holy cow wander around amongst the sea of cars, bikes and rickshaws. The streets are lined with market stalls selling spices, fruit and veg, shoes, clothes, flowers , jewels and magic carpets (I didn't technically see any MAGIC carpets, but I did see carpets, so who's to say they weren't magic! ) And all this is surrounded by a collection of forts and palaces. Coming from modern Mumbai, this place felt a lot more authentic and interesting.
The pink city, (I'd personally say it was more like terracotta, but whatever) is home to the tourist hotspots. We spent the day checking out a few including the parliament buildings and the royal palace, where the king still lives in fact; unfortunately he wasn't in that day. It's all extremely grand, large chandeliers, thrones and silly outfits. The guards differed slightly to those outside Buckingham Palace, the furry black hat was replaced with a red turban, the guns swapped for swords, cheesy smiles instead of deadpan faces, and then when you take their photo rather than ignore it they put their hand out…. and it's not for a high five, they want money!! Everyone's always asking you for money.
Later that day when visting the 'Jal Mahal' (water palace) I mistakenly gave some street kids WAY to many Rupees after Nic took their photo. It caused somewhat of an uproar and the trio ran down the street with about 20 other kids yelling and chasing them. We later saw the gang hanging out by a sewage pipe scoffing sweets, they waved and smiled, peace was restored.
Next up the Taj……
Elephants and Genie pants
Katie and Nic