Thursday, 14 April 2016

Jaipur in a Snapshot

Amer Fort in Jaipur

The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur was the home to the royal family that once ruled the region. Jaipur is famously known as the "Pink City" due to many of the buildings in the older part of the town being painted in its trademark colour, pink.

Why the colour pink? Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh, the guy who had all the power in Jaipur back in the day (something along those lines anyway), ordered the whole city to be re-painted in order to impress Prince Albert when he visited India in 1876. The colour pink historically represents welcoming and hospitality.

Many travellers we've met have said once you've seen one fort in India you've seen them all. But, I kind of think they all have their own architectural personalities. The Amer Fort in Jaipur is made from red sandstone and marble, often why people also know it as the Amber Fort. The fort is well known for its artistic Hindu style details, with large ramparts and mazes of cobbled paths and gates (we got lost on our way out). The fort also has a really cool tunnel that runs underneath the structure to Jaigarh Fort, higher up upon the hill.

Elephants are used at the Amer Fort

Elephants are used at the Amer Fort to transport people to the front of the Palace (we chose to walk).

Amer Palace inside the fort

Here you can see the Hindu style details inside the Amer Palace.

Gatore Ki Chhatriyan

Gatore Ki Chhatriyan (featuring a snap happy Spencer).

This complex of tombs and temples is still one of my favourite architectural sites we've seen in India (and the temples, in general, have definitely been more of an interest to Spencer than they have for me, so that's saying something). Gatore Ki Chhatriyan was the Royal crematorium for the rulers of Rajasthan, hence the beautifully carved structures and well-kept gardens. Spencer literally couldn't put the camera down the whole time we were there.

Street food in the Pink City

We spent a day wandering the streets in the older part of the city and came across some of the best street food we have tasted. We noticed the massive line of locals queuing up and waving their 10rupee notes in the face of the sweaty man cooking and we just had to push in to grab some for ourselves. The little balls of goodness are fried in a shallow pan of oil and tasted so good. Unfortunately, I have no idea what was in them and they also gave Spencer a dodgy belly the next day (he couldn't handle the spice) but I'd totally get them again.

Daily commute in India

Our first experience of the Indian railways was on our way from Delhi to Jaipur. I was fascinated by the whole journey, glued to the window for the whole 7 hours. The photo above is of a local train at about 8am. Men and women would be running across the tracks to jump on any passing train heading in the right direction. Imagine if I tried doing that in Brighton when I'd overslept!

How would you feel taking a commuter train in India?

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