Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Pink City

Jaipur is unlike any other Indian city I have visited, in that instead of a maze of narrow winding alleys, the spacious streets of the quarter are completely straight and laid out on a grid at right angles. Founded in 1727 this is one of Rajasthan's younger cities.

As mentioned earlier we visited the Fort early this morning taking a fairly hairy elephant ride up the ramparts. Of course we were surrounded by sellers again but they seemed to respond to my singing here! June made some purchaces but appears to have escaped with all her fingers in tack! Then we visited the Maharaja's home, called the City Palace. The Royal family live there but you can visit most of the amazing complex..

The final site we toured is called the Jantar Mantar, a unique location and an inforgetable site of medieval Indian astronomy and astronomical observation. Built by Jai Singh. A total of 18 instruments were built between 1728 and 1734 and these large objects (one as large as 27 metres high) display the unique time in Jaipur and identify the location of the planets etc, well in fact a whole lot more. Our guide was the most interesting we have had thus far. This man could tell you from your birthdate and time where the planets were and what influences there are over your personality etc. A real character. Tonight the hotel have a Diwali celebration for the guests so we will join in that, fireworks etc and then we plan to visit the quarter to see how the locals celebrate this event. I will report on that tomorrow as we are on another long coach trip to Jodhpur, so I will have plenty of time and it will stop me looking out of the front at all the on-coming traffic!!!!

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