Mythic and annoying India at Jaipur
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Rajasthan and Jaipur, 8 years that we hadn’t been there. Back then, we were discovering the “backpackers” style of travelling. But since we live in South India, we’re more looking at the North of India as a different country: more than 1500 kms away, a different culture, architecture and history.
So this time we jumped on the opportunity of relatives travelling in this region to get back there over a week-end (also thanks to the new Air Asia India direct flights from Bangalore).
Jaipur, the getaway to Rajasthan, the most emblematic and touristic region of India is also a real Indian developing city: that, we hadn’t forgotten and it’s with no suprises that we found the usual mess in this kind of city. What we forgot though, was how touristic could be this part of India and how it’s affecting the relations between locals and us. Most of them are just ready to exploit you as much as they can.
Apart from that, Jaipur and the nearby Amber Fort deserved their lots of local and international tourists.
Amber fort, a monument we missed 8 years ago was on top of our to-visit-list this time. The fort, perched on top of an hill and just above a lake is stunning. Also, the elephants climbing continuously to the fort in the morning are adding a magical touch. Inside, the fort is hiding one and even several palaces well maintained and displaying the whole range of local archiectural marvels: carved and painted gates to the maximum, mirrors palace, manicured gardens…
In Jaipur, it’s at the well nick-named “pink-city” that everything happens. In this part of the city, most the buildings are painted in a pale pink and most are following a moghol style. The famous “hawa mahal” or “wind palace”, which was hosting maharajas’ harem is the most stricking example with its frenzy of multiple carved windows. A very photogenic building despite the traffic going on below its windows. This time, we even visited the Jantar Mantar, an other archiectural curiosity hosting a maharaja’s hobby: astrology this time. For once, having guide in this kind of monument is mandatory as it’s pretty interesting to understand how all those different instruments are working to follow the stars. The maharaja went as far as building one of the biggest solar clock, as precise as 2 seconds.
In a nutshell, a pleasant week-end to change of atmosphere and to remind that India can also be a bit over-touristic sometimes…