14 November 2009

Jaipur - the pink city

Jaipur is sometimes referred to as the pink city. In 1876 every building was painted pink, a colour that represents hospitality, for the visit of the Prince of Wales (who would later become King Edward VII). The tradition continues today with the all of the buildings in the old city being painted pink.

The most famous sight in Jaipur is probably Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, which dates from 1799.

The practice of purdah, keeping women veiled and in seclusion, was and still is a custom among some conservative Rajputs. The Palace of the Winds acted like a big burka and allowed the women of the royal court to watch the action in the city street below without having the lustful eyes of any men fall on them. I may modify our balcony at the flat in Birmingham in a similar manner when we get home.

Hawa Mahal is located in the heart of the walled Old City and is surrounded by a chaotic and bustling bazaar. The bazaar is divided into quarters each specialising in a different trade such as saris, gems, pots, shoes and even bangles.

In the middle of the Old City lies the City Palace where the current maharaja lives.

The the highlight of the palace was Pitam Niwas Chowk, a courtyard which featured four ornamental gates that represent spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Just over the road from the palace is Jantar Mantar, built in 1728 by the founder of Jaipur, Maharaja Jai Singh II.

Although it looks like a modern art sculpture garden on acid it is infact an observatory used for tracking various celestial objects and assisting in the bunkum that is astrology.

There's loads of different types of astronomical instruments including the Worlds biggest sundial.

With a height of 27m it can be used to measure time intervals as small as 2 seconds.

We also made a trip out to Amber, a massive walled city 11km from Jaipur that was the ancient capital before Jaipur was founded. At the center of the city is the Amber Fort which dates from 1592.

Although the trip around Amber was fairly interesting the best thing was that the effects of the cyclone had passed and the sun came out!

India isn't reknown for it's night life and we discovered why after a visit to Reds, supposedly the most happening bar in town. The music on the evening we visited consisted entirely of pan pipe cover versions of lame 80's power ballads!

We followed the excitement of Reds with a visit to the Raj Mandir Cinema to catch a Bollywood movie. We saw a film called Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahni which proved quite hard to follow as it was entirely in Hindi! We had a great time though as the cinema experience is a lot more interactive than back home. The atmosphere was crazy. There was so much shouting, cheering and jeering it was more like being at a football match.

1 comment:

  1. I just visit your blog and see most beautiful photo really this is very much impressive me The pink city of Jaipur has a lot of options to do and see. One can see a perfect blend of modernity and traditions in the culture of Jaipur during Rajasthan tours. The city is known for its rich culture, exotic tradition & custom, rich history, magnificent monuments, exotic fairs & festival and above all generous people to welcome and assist you on your Jaipur, Rajasthan tour. The city has status of being a world-class tourist destination offering several tourism options and world class accommodation. There are several luxurious hotels in Jaipur which provide world class accommodation to tourists from all over the world. Hotels are equipped with modern amenities blended with age old charm and tradition.