We never intended on visiting Jaipur, but it was included in our golden triangle tour. After exploring all this city has to offer we were glad we made the trip and it ended up being one of our favorite stops in India.
After the five hour drive from Dehli to Jaipur we were greeted with an amazing view of the Amer Fort and Palace. We had to pull off for a picture. We also found out we would get to tour the fort and palace the next day; so more on that later. After that we finally arrived to our hotel – and it was super nice! We were happy to have a pool with 100 degree + weather!
After a brief rest in the hotel’s AC we went out on the town to meet our tour guide. Jaipur’s nickname is the Pink City as so much of the city is painted in a salmon pink color. We started off our city tour with the sun dials. Thankfully here we noticed that it was possible to buy a two day ticket that included eight attractions around the city. This saved us some money over the two days. Jaipur is home to the largest sundial in the world. The main reason it was built so large was to ensure down to 20 second intervals what astrology sign someone was born in. This is immensely important to their culture as this is the first step in their arranged marriage process; ensuring that their signs align correctly.
Next we went to Hawa Mahal. This building consisted of a bunch of little windows that the royal ladies would pear through to watch festivals on the streets below. They needed this hundreds of years ago as it was not proper for these ladies of the King to be seen out in public. Also as the King had so many wives they needed lots of windows.
After we returned to the hotel we were very thankful to have a pool as the temperature was still over 100 degrees. We enjoyed swimming and relaxing by the pool. That night we decided to try out another restaurant from home that is one of our favorites…Pizza Hut! We even splurged and decided to get stuffed crust 🙂 The sauce was very sweet and almost curry like; and the stuff crust also had little mini hot dogs included with the cheese. Overall it was good but not like home.
The next morning we woke up and had breakfast, which was included at the hotel, and got back out in the city to see the sights. We first traveled back to the Amer Fort and Palace to go inside and tour the facility. My favorite was the palace pool. It would have been amazing to swim and lounge their with your friends. Our guide even said that the cut out spots in the wall were so that you could get a running start to jump into the pool. Unfortunately we were not permitted to swim which would have been nice as it was extremely hot! (also the water was very gross).
Next we toured the rest of the Amber Fort and Palace. It was amazing to hear about the palace life of the King and his Queens. The King would have one main Queen but then of course many others. The Queen never walked up or down any stairs or directly on the stone; she always had ramps and carpets to walk on. We enjoyed touring the many chambers and passage ways of the palace and it’s grounds.
Next we traveled to a museum of Rajasthan history and culture called Albert Hall. Rajasthan is that state that Jaipur is the capital of. Jaipur is famous for its wealth in rare gems, stones, and textiles. We enjoyed the educational but hot walk through the museum. When we were leaving there were two boys who asked if we wanted to come watch their puppet show. We said yes and went and sat down as the two boys and their father sang and preformed a shot puppet show for us. They wanted us to buy one of the dolls; which were beautifully made but not the best to be backpacking with. We gave them a tip and thanked them for the show.
That night we relaxed by the pool once again after our tiring and hot but fun day exploring the city. We traveled out to another palace and gardens for sunset although due to traffic and uber issues we didn’t make it. We enjoyed seeing the gardens even in the limited light. On the drive however we did witness some of the immense poverty that is in parts of this country. Rows upon rows of roughly built shacks on dirt floors and sometimes nothing more that a tarp tent to live in. It opened our eyes to the world around us and made us think deeply.
Later that night we went to dinner at a rooftop restaurant not to far from our hotel. We split an Indian dish called Chicken Nawabi. It was a chicken dish in an onion passed gravy with ginger and garlic. We had this with Butter Naan which is now one of our favorites. We even decided to get dessert which is rare for us since they had a brownie sundae with ice cream…yum!
Jaipur ended up being one of our favorite cities in India. Amazingly beautiful architecture and history. The next day we started our journey to Agra and the Taj Mahal!