Wednesday, February 17, 2010

15-16 February 2010 – Jaipur, Rajastan

Having arrived in Jaipur, we immediately realized that we were in a completely different part of the country. The city is cleaner and greener, and the traffic is not as crazy as it is in Delhi. Once we got off the bus, a rickshaw driver approached us.


I should admit that it is him who will always remind me of Jaipur. Amar belongs to Sikh. He has never shaved his beard or cut his hair. He has been living in Jaipur all his life and knows the city like the back of his hand.

On the way to Atithi Guest House Amar proposed be our driver for tomorrow for 300 rupees. Skipping ahead, I will say that it was a fair deal. Amar showed us not only those places that were not even listed in the Lonely Planet but also guided us against tourist traps (‘do not take a guide, there are plates in English everywhere and you will understand easily”, “do not buy water there, it is not safe”).

­­So in the morning Amar started our tour. Long time ago Jaipur got the name of ‘Pink City’, so are all buildings in the old city center. The most beautiful architecture is certainly in the City Palace:


They love colours in Rajastan. And colourful textile:

As well as colourful elephants:

WATER PALACE – Amar told us a story of one maharaja who built that palace. Maharaja was quite a womanizer. Once upon a time maharaja was enjoying the company of his lover when he heard the bell, a notice of his wife’s arrival. When his wife was going to the Palace by boat, his lover escaped through an underwater tunnel. Currently the palace is under restoration and is planned to be used as a hotel.


According to Lonely Planet, ‘amber’ means ‘high’ in Hindi. However I believe that the English word ‘amber’ suits well as a description of the fort. Construction of the fort was started at the end of 16th century. For some period it served as a capital of Rajastan. On the way to the fort, we met merchants of gigantic jugs and traditional puppets, snake’s charmers and ordinary local people. It is noteworthy that many guys are dressed in European style but girls wear only traditional Indian clothes.


It was as if we peeped in the theater backstage… There were huge cauldrons with dresses, trousers, shirts dyeing… It was hot and humid like in steam bath. We saw many children working there.

Another part of the place was used for dyeing fabrics – silk, crepe-silk. According to the senior guy, only natural dye stuff is used.

Then we came up to the carpet weaver’s loom:

I took no pictures of the shop upstairs with ready-made stuff on sale. Thousands of bed covers, sari, panjabi, pashminas, scarves, and so on. I purchased a lovely pink panjabi shirt (a kind of tunic) made of silk for only 600 rupees. I loved it at first sight and was delighted every time local women were making compliments seeing me in that dress.


I can say close to nothing about this place as we made off quickly. There were swarms of flies in the air, dirty monkeys everywhere (Amar warned us against looking at monkeys’ eyes as it made them angry). We were followed by the kids that were asking for money… My dear friends, this place is to be avoided.
Our day in Jaipur came to an end. In the evening we headed to the train station, and I dared to think that the day is over and there would be no adventures. I was mistaken.
We were sitting at the platform waiting for our train. First we were approached by a guy who asked a standard set of questions – Which country? How long in India? Where were you in India? Is this your girlfriend? What is her name? Later another guy came up. With the same questions. In 15 minutes we were surrounded by a crowd of 50 people with one of them acting as an English-Hindi translator – not everybody spoke English but everybody wanted to know everything about us. It was funny the way they talked – questioning only Thierry, even if the questions were about me but with all eyes stared at me. I was embarrassed and wanted to run away or cover up myself from head to toes… At the end of ‘interview’ we were asked for autographs and phone numbers.

1 comment:

  1. nice to know that you been to jaipur and you liked it instead of Delhi..
    i also don't like Delhi...
    liked your photos,i also live just down of amber fort