Jaipur

We spent a day exploring the so-called “Pink City of Jaipur” (we felt it was more of a red sandstone city, but either way the colour was definitely noticeable!) We began our walk at the New Gate (pictured above), where we walked through the bazaars until we found ourselves at Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds.  This palace is famous for its front side, which we actually didn’t find until after we had explored inside it! We liked the different stained glass windows and exploring the different levels here.

 

Palace of the Winds from the front
Palace of the Winds from the front

 

Palace of the Winds from behind
Palace of the Winds from behind

 

Stained glass in the palace
Stained glass in the palace

 

 

Reubs in the palace
Reubs in the palace

 

Exploring the palace
Exploring the palace

 

 

Our next stop was Janta Mantir, where ancient astronomical instruments are stored.  These huge structures all had English explanations but they were pretty technical – definitely a place for people with more scientific minds than us!

An unknown instrument
An unknown instrument

 

More instruments
More instruments

 

I don't know what this instrument is
I don’t know what this instrument is

 

Our last stop was the City Palace, where we saw the largest silver vessels in the world, the impressive throne room and an outfit belonging to the rather large ruler Sawai Madho Singh – Lonely Planet claims he was 2m tall, 1.2 m wide and weighing 250kg and the clothing certainly seemed to indicate that this wasn’t far from accurate.

 

Karen in the palace
Karen in the palace

 

Silver vessel
Silver vessel

 

 

A pavilion
A pavilion

 

In the palace
In the palace

 

We liked Jaipur, although it was probably our least favourite of our three Rajasthan stops (Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer).  One thing I didn’t appreciate was the techniques for hassling tourists that we hadn’t encountered before:

Stranger: I like your t shirt. Where is it from?

Reuben: Thailand.

Stranger: How much did you pay?

Me: We don’t know, it was a gift. (Reubs has already started ignoring this obvious attempt to get us to go to his shop).

Stranger: But how much was it?

Me: We don’t know, it was a gift.

Stranger: But how much was it to buy?

Me: 200 baht.  (Just wanting to get away at this point).

Stranger: But how much is that in rupees?

Me: I don’t know.

Stranger: But I don’t know baht.

Me: Well, that’s not my problem.  (I walk away).

Reubs: Why did you even keep talking to him?!

 

Immediately afterwards…

 

Another stranger: Can I ask you a question?

Me: Okay.

A.S: Why don’t foreigners like talking to Indians?

Me: I don’t know. Probably because they think they are trying to sell them something.

A.S: But don’t they want to make friends with Indians?

Reubs: I already have Indian friends and I didn’t meet them from talking to strangers on the street. Goodbye!

 

I googled this approach later and found it’s apparently a common scam technique in Jaipur which eventually leads to some kind of gem scam.  It’s a tough one, we don’t want to be unfriendly but we really aren’t interested in engaging with random people on the street – just like in Egypt, if it would seem a bit odd to engage with a stranger on the street in your home country and answer their random questions, why would you think it would be normal in another country?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mum Bunn says:

    I love your captions for all the scientific instruments! I detect a certain lack of enthusiasm…
    You are developing quite a large repertoire of “techniques for touts”. Good on you!

    Like

  2. Lachlan says:

    The Palace of the Winds looks amazing.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s