Touring Jaipur

dave's picture

Yesterday we decided to do something a bit different and we went on a guided city tour. The 9 hour full day tours are run by the regional government tourism office and are supposed to hit 11 sites.

First we rode past a few government buildings and other random highlights. I'm not really sure what we were seeing. The speakers for the back half of the bus didn't work.

Our first stop was a Hindu temple. "20 minutes only. And the bus waits for no one." So in we trot in and make one quick rotation. There were statues of various Hindu gods about, and oddly enough, also of St. Peter, St. Thomas, and St. Aquinas. Strange.

Then in through the old city walls we went. This is what's known as The Pink City. In my mind I was picturing tulip pink, and there was some of that, but most buildings are much closer to terracotta than pink. We visited the observatory and saw instruments created by a maharajah that had 12 wives and 6 fingers on each hand. This included several sundials, moondials, dials for each astrological sign, and other star measuring devices. There was also a huge sundial (a modern construction I suspect) that is accurate to within 2 seconds.

Next to the city palace which contained a few museums of royal artifacts, weapons, and clothing.

Back to the bus. We discover that some of the sites are only drivebys as we zoomed past the Lake Palace. I got one quick shot out the window. And onwards we went to one of forts north of the city. This particular one houses the worlds largest canon. It shoots 34km and takes several elephants to move. Yet another example of an emporer's fascination with falices and war.

On to another fort that had a nice view of the city, or at least as far as you can see through the smog. Here we ate lunch lounging in a room where maharajah's once ate.

Next came the Amber Palace. The bus can only go so far and then we switched to jeeps to get up to the palace.  This was a pretty impressive colosus of marble. Several rooms and courtyards, mirrored ceilings.  Very cool. 

Then back into the jeeps and down the hill, only we didn't go to the buses, rather we were taken to an emporium.  This wasn't on the list of stops ??? We did a quick round of the place and then after being hounded by dozens of vendors went back to the jeeps to get to the bus.  We then waited another hour before all the other guests had returned. We speculated that the guide gets a cut of the sales for bringing the tour group here.  We could notify his boss, but he probably gets a cut too.  

It's 6pm now but there's still two more stops: another Hindu temple, and next door a garden with many fountains.  It might have been nicer in the daylight.

It was also the eve of the Diwali festival so traffic was gridlocked for the next hour as we made our way back to the hotel.  

A bit long, but all in all it was pretty good I think.  All the abnormalities need to be expected in India.   

  • Hi Debbie
    i read a bit of your blog today, i miss you and want you back here. obviously that is not going to happen, so the least i can do is say i miss you and am glad for you, you are out travelling. nothing has changed here, except the elections, oh right that means, nothing changed! as always! :)


    (louise dean shannon) :)