After a restful night in the village, we went back into the chaos of India in Jaipur. Also known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and was built in the 18th century. We were spending two nights in the capital and had many sites to visits and lots of free time to explore!
On our first day, we drove through the Pink City. Our first stop was a textile factory where they demonstrated to us how they make their traditional print fabrics. It was pretty cool to see how they use sets of stamps dipped in natural vegetable dyes to create their beautiful patterns!
Seems like a lot of work if you ask me..
Speaking of a lot of work, driving through the old city was total madness. Seriously? Camels in traffic! I swear, that will never get less exciting to see.
In the afternoon, I went back to the hotel to relax while the rest of our group continued to shop. Luckily, Kevin and I are not big shoppers which helps us keep our packs light and save money for our travels.
Not to mention, I just love lounging. I don’t care where I am in the world – I love having a mid afternoon lounge!
Wow. I really am retired.
Kevin was also lounging as he had been feeling sick the last couple of days. It was even more awful because today was his birthday! What bad luck.
I hoped that I wasn’t India’s next victim…
Later that night when we were well rested, we attended our first Bollywood movie! I have to say for a movie in Hindi with no English subtitles, I got pretty into it even though I had no idea what the storyline was! Maybe I’ll have to watch it again with Pam when I get back to Canada so she can explain it to me. But I think she speaks Punjabi. Damnit. Maybe the foreign versions have subtitles..
The next day, we headed back into the Pink City to get a view of the Hawa Mahal “Palace of Winds.” This structure is a high screen wall that was built for royal women to observe street festivals without being seen by the public.
Next, we headed out to Amber Fort, also known as Amer Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fort is located 11 kms outside of Jaipur in the town of Amer. It was built in the 16th century and is largely made up of a royal palace built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble. It is divided into four main sections each with its own separate court yard.
Like all forts in India, it was amazing! And like all mornings in India, it started off really really foggy..
But we did get some good views of the elephants! Man, do I love elephants!
Even though many tourists opt for an elephant ride up to the Fort, our group passed. The treatment of elephants used for riding is questionable in the tourism industry. I do not want to support any activities that promote removing animals from their natural habitat or support the improper treatment of animals. I was very happy to see that Intrepid also took this stance.
But they were too beautiful not to photograph!
On the way up, we passed this pair of monkeys. Kevin told me they were playing leap frog…
By the time we were leaving, the fog had completely lifted and we could fully appreciate the Fort!
I can see why they chose it for the movie!
After the Fort, we headed back to Jaipur to visit Jantar Mantar which is an archeological site that features 19 astronomical instruments constructed in 1738. They were constructed by the King and founder of the Pink City who was a great scholar and avid astronomer. The site is considered to be one of the largest conservatories ever built and includes the largest sundial in the world!
Pretty impressive of the King, if you ask me.
After a great day in Jaipur, we finished off the evening out celebrating Kevin’s birthday with cake, drinks and dinner!
Oh and a little dancing too!