I caught a super speedy internal flight to Jaipur which is the capital of the state of Rajasthan – known as the pink city.
The state of Rajasthan – meaning Land of Kings – is named after the Rajput people who came from the area and had a love of water palaces.
The earliest structures in Jaipur were built between 1729 to 1732 – the city is based on a geometric grid plan of squares and linear streets, and was one of the first planned cities.
The city is known for its palaces, miniature paintings, semi-precious stones, pottery, puppets, block-print fabrics and embroidery.
I stayed at Umaid Bhawan 3 star heritage hotel, for approx. $56 NZD per night. The hotel will organise anything for you – drivers, resturants, massages etc. which makes getting around really easy without an Indian cellphone.
Through the hotel I hired a driver to take me to see the sights, which I would recommend as everything is quite spread out. First stop was the Amer Fort (or Amber Fort – see separate post), City Palace, Hawa Mahal (or Palace of the Winds) and Albert Hall, which is a museum that details Indian handicrafts throughout the centuries.
Jaipur has approx. 5-6 million people so is a little less chaotic then the larger cities I have visited.
The palaces are stunning and many have or are been restored. The majority are made from local stone and marble and the stone is then dyed with natural colours to create decorations/patterns.
On the animal watching front we came across camels carrying loads, elephants which carry tourists up to Amer Fort and goats and cows wandering about.
Elephants returning from Amer Palace to their resting area –
Jal Mahal, Water Palace –
Hand-pressed block print which is my favourite fabric print method, common in Rajasthan –
City Palace –
Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Winds –
Possibly my favourite story, the palace was constructed with many tiny windows so the Royal ladies (who were not allowed to be seen by the public) could view what was going on in the street below, aswell as festivals.
The tiny also allowed for the natural breeze to flow through, creating a form of natural air-conditioning during the summer months.
A local Bazaar –
Nahargarh Fort –