Monday, January 5, 2009

5-6 December – Jaipur, India

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, one of India’s most fascinating states. We read that Rajasthan is now the number one tourist destination in India, ahead of Goa and Kerala. We can understand why. Rajasthan is full of impressive forts, old cities, natural wonders, temples, camels and colorful people.
Outside Jaipur, up on a hill, lies the magnificent Amber Fort. We rode up to the fort on elephants – definitely a highlight on our journey so far. The elephant carrying Nina, Temba and Tinna got a head start and the elephant carrying Ola, Disa and Atlas had difficulties catching up. It was a close race, and it ended in a draw.

At the top, the kids were allowed to pat the huge elephants.
After exploring the labyrinth structure of the enormous Amber Fort we headed back to Jaipur.

We camped at a beautiful ‘haveli’, a summer town house for the wealthy which the heir to a noble Rajasthani family had turned into a guest house. Our car was parked next to a Shiva temple and it was very interesting to see all the religious ceremonies carried out to please the demanding goddess. It is hard work to keep Hindu gods happy and benevolent.
Jaipur is called ’the pink city’. Apparently the whole city was painted pink in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales. Strange, but nice for today’s tourists. One of the nicest buildings in the city is the Hawa Mahal where the noble ladies could sit and watch city life from behind the lattice screens.

No comments: