Jaipur the pink city

Jaipur

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 pink city not exactly pink

but a warm tinge

matching pink sandstone

but who’s counting

you’re too busy

watching your back

from the traffic

and you’re front

it’s full on

it’s wild

the noise nearly splits your head open

an auto rickshaw ride’s like dodgem cars

but it’s India

Rajasthan’s capital

it’s what you’re here for

and it’s got it.

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from the weirdly observatory

to the textiles

the Indian coffee house

like stepping back in time

the old city surrounded by a wall

and gates

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Jantar Mantar

an 18th Century observatory

an intriguing place

wandering amongst Indian tourists

the zodiac signs,

the world’s largest sundial

then into the next door City Palace

the home of the Maharaja

was that the boy in the tower

overlooking the courtyard?

There’s an armoury

full of swords and knives

elephant guns

tiger guns

tales of the past.

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and by the time we get to Hawa Mahal

pink sandstone

palace of the winds

for the ladies of the Maharajah

we climb the tower

the little windows onto the scurrying street

fascinating

from the safety of height

like the black faced monkeys on the bamboo scaffolding must feel

on the busy Johari Bazaar

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but it’s the Amber Fort that appeals most about Jaipur

from the 1590’s

we went early

to the outskirts of town

before the elephant traffic jam

seems Jaipur is so traffic stressed

they make a tourist attraction out of it with elephants

painted

colourful

but before that circus

getting up into Amber while it’s reasonably quiet

created a mystical atmosphere

the amber coloured walls

glowing

the towering massiveness

almost deafening

till the music strikes up

welcoming the first of the elephants

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we went higher

to the next fort

Jaigarh

a couple of centuries younger

less tourist stressed

a hazy view in late December back down to Amber

and the walls running up over mountains

it’s a fort town Jaipur

We go for sunset to the Tiger Fort

Nahargarah

a guide book says there’s a bar

but it’s not worth the effort

the view from the approach

as good as anything else

back down in the old city the Ganesh Restaurant

gave us good food and service

perched up high

like the monkeys

up with the pigeons

one of which we see getting snatched from a ledge by a large cat

it’s survival of the fittest here

up high gives some respite

as does the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel

in a garden

splashing out

worth the effort

wishing we could stay there.

But everywhere is booked

we take whatever we can get

it pays to be organised

in peak season

what happened to spontaneous travel?

It’s all trip advisor now.

And while staying in the old city has many benefits

there’s no respite

from the noise

now so many motorbikes

each with a bus horn

the local motto

horn ok please

and everyone obliges

we meet a French couple who’ve taken to wearing earplugs

everywhere

it’s a good idea.

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~ by Drifting, Rambling on January 5, 2014.

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