Pondering in the Pink City

Pondering in the Pink City
After my brief love affair with Chittorgarh, I found myself, together with Marx, in the city known as Jaipur. We arrived at the Jaipur train station at around half past five in the morning. We were greeted by super kulit tuktuk drivers who followed us all over. Marx got irritated with one that they exchanged brief words which almost boiled down to a personal level.

Wandering in the streets of the Pink City.
Well, I see it’s more on the red-orange hue 😉

I could not blame my friend since this one was really insistent and kept on following us anywhere we went. We repeatedly said no to him but he still kept on selling his services. Marx asked me if we are going to finally entertain him but I nodded my head in disagreement. We crossed the street and finally found a much quieter driver. He looked on the address of our guest house, asked a fellow local, and instructed us to hop on. However, after circling around the streets several times, it turned out he was not that familiar with the location of our inn so he asked help from an English-speaking passer-by. At six am, we were ringing the doorbell of our host. I initially had second thoughts upon doing so since it was really very early and the street we were on was still sleepy.

After a few moments, our quiet and gracious host, Mr. Lokendra, opened the door for us. He led us to our spacious room and even served breakfast! Our itinerary stated we were to only drop our bags but our eyelids were already complaining. Sleeping in a moving overnight train would do this to you. We gave in and slid under the covers. Several hours later, we felt recharged and ready to explore the rest of the city for the whole day.

Hawa Mahal’s facade is already an attraction itself

Our first stop was at the Hawa Mahal. I was instantly attracted to this structure the first time I saw it in the pictures. I thought that it was cute and intricately designed and wondered too what Hawa Mahal meant. After doing a little research, I found out that it literally means ‘Palace of the Winds’. I also know now that the famous facade where tourists love to take pictures with, is a palace itself.  However, we no longer went inside as we only wanted to see this famous side of it.

Hawa Mahal  

We had a quick tour of the city palace (yes, just like in Udaipur) and we admired again intricately designed interiors. Nothing much I can say about it but the exterior of the palace could really take advantage from a cleaner and greener surroundings. Oh well, this is India. 

Jaipur City Palace entrance

 

 



City palace interiors

After which, we took a local bus bound for Amber Fort. Paying 10 INR each, I did not mind standing during the whole time since I got to see the changes in scenery. Slowly we climbed up to the countryside along zig-zagging roads. After about 30 minutes, we reached the enormous facade of Amber fort. The lazy afternoon sun made it more regal and majestic.

Amber Fort

 



The fort is huge and tourists of different nationalities were mingling under the hot, afternoon sun. However, this did not stop us from appreciating the surroundings and took many photos of the complex. Another 300 INR could have lead us inside the Amber Palace. I would not have mind paying extra but since we were on a budget, we decided not to go specially after knowing the interior is not as extravagant as we expected to be. Still, Amber Fort was the highlight of our day tour in Jaipur.

I though I am seeing the Great Wall of China
Palace guards


This dog did not mind anyone at all!

Amber fort grounds

We went back to the town proper to have our lunch, freshened up and hired a tuktuk to bring us to Nahargarh Fort. Comparing it to Amber Fort, our visit here was very laid back and quiet. Few people were exploring the grounds though tourists in private vehicles were still arriving even if the night was fast approaching. This fort resides farther and deeper into the mountain tops. Amber Fort can be seen from here.  

Nahargarh Fort

Perfect for picture-taking! No tourists on board.

At about past six in the evening, we asked our driver to whisk us to Boba Bazaar so we could do a little shopping. I bought a couple of Kurta and a matching legging. Marx was wanting to buy a masculine-looking scarf but I decided that merely doing window shopping will do no good. After walking around a bit, I invited him inside one store. After spending some time choosing among the merchandise presented to us, he was able to finally buy a navy blue, non-glittery scarf.

Jaipur was as exciting and historic as the last town we visited. The night did not end without me looking at the pictures I have taken during this day. Though the night was still alive, we slept early since New Delhi was next on our list. Knowing the energy I would need in exploring the capital city, I knew I have to keep my pondering about the pink city at bay. 



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