Third J of Rajasthan – Jaipur

Jaipur is a bigger city, with the need to spend more time in the crazy traffic to get anywhere. I’ve just finishing Week 9, so another four weeks left in this trip. And I can say I’m not going to miss the horns!

Jaipur is the ‘Pink City’. In 1876, the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India on a tour. Since pink denotes the color of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh painted the whole city pink in color to welcome the guests.

City Palace was started in 1732, with addition of buildings and courtyards until the 20th century.

Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience)

Two giant silver urns (1.6m high) were made for transporting Ganges water for the personal use of the maharajah outside India.

In Pritam Niwas Chowk courtyard there are four gates. Peacock Gate was used in the autumn,Lotus Gate in the summer, Green Gate in the spring and Rose Gate in the winter.

Chandra Mahal gates. From here it was a pricy private ticket with a guide, but no other option. And no photos allowed as the royal family still lives in this section.

My guide was allowed to take photos of me in the Gold Room.

Hawa Mahal (1799) is on the backside of the City Palace. It allowed women to watch street life while not visible from below.

Amer Fort (also called Amber Fort but the ‘b’ is silent anyway) is 11 km north of Jaipur.

Construction started in 1592 on the remains of 11th century fort (hey, a hill top is always popular). It was the capital of Jaipur state until it moved to the city in 1727.

This was as close as the taxi could take me.

Options to get up to the Fort included elephants, Jeeps or walking. I walked.

Unloading the tourists

Jaleb Chowk (Main Courtyard)

Stairway to the main palace

Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience)

Ganesh Pol

Jai Mandir (Hall of Victory) where the embedded mirrors sparkled much more than I could capture!

The fort overlooks Maota Lake, which swimming in is discouraged!

Stopping for a little shopping

Albert Hall Museum, with some uncomfortable flip flops and yoga moves

Villages like Bagru, near Jaipur, are famous for their block printing. With some help from outside business expertise, they are being recognized as the artisans they are. In recent years the buyers have been coming directly to them to put in orders, and therefore increasing their profits and quality of life.

I finally chose to make a scarf, but the choices of blocks and colour combinations were paralyzing! I could have spent a week there!

I also did a bandana that used three blocks designed to deposit three colours into the pattern.

Part of my workshop included a tour of the village.

One of the shared ‘drying fields’ was unusually empty due to a shower in the morning.

Indigo pot that is 10 feet deep!

I was familiar with batik, which is a wax-resist technique. In Badru they also use mud-resist before dyeing

Carving teak blocks for printing

Thieving goats!

And now for some street pictures!

Jalebi – from the oil into the sugar syrup

Gujiya are a special Holi treat, and this fellow was a master at the pleating!

Grinding turmeric and chilies – it definitely made it a sneezy street!

It was time to lighten the load in my backpack – I’ve bought a few cotton clothes that are better here.

So the first step was finding a tailor to make me a cloth bag and sew it shut. The address is written on the cloth with a black Sharpie.

Then it was off to find a post office that took international parcels. It was all rather fun!

My hotel here is a heritage style building, and I love the decor! The front door is my favourite.

Then it was a train trip to Sawai Modphur for a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park. I did a morning and afternoon in different zones, but no tigers for me except a fresh track.

Lots of deer and birds, occasional antelope and crocodile.

Baby monkey, only a few hours old

Some transportation around town.

Another very good veg thali for 250 rupees ($5 CDN) for all you can eat

Tomorrow morning it’s another train to Agra.

Expect a picture or two of the Taj Mahal!

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