After tumbling off our 27 hour train, we quickly found our bearings and decided we’d had enough with public transport and would walk to our guest house. The walk was theoretically a quick 10 minutes but we were slowed by the onslaught of tuk tuk drivers who – despite seeing us refuse the 20 drivers before them – were convinced they could persuade us to take a ride with them. Couple this with the crippling heat of the midday sun we quickly realised what everyone had been talking about saying the north of India is hot and hassled.
While it felt longer, in reality we were soon checking into the guest house which was a gorgeous old building with classic Indian architecture. The owners father was lovely and kind and took us straight to our room to get settled. As soon as he opened the door we were in love; the huge soft mattress and squishy pillows called to us with an en suite that was extremely clean and very western with even a waterfall shower head – the perks of travelling in off season India! Exhausted, we collapsed into the bed and slept until dinner which we had in the guest houses rooftop restaurant. After wolfing down our food and chatting to some of the other guests we retired to our room once more for some sweet, sweet sleep.
Waking up the next day, it was soon clear how much sleep we had been deprived of during the train journey. Waking up at midday we quickly realised that we’d missed half the day (since 12-4pm at 47 degree heat is spent indoors) but felt much more rested and relaxed. Forcing ourselves out at 2pm we walked around the neighbourhood acquainting ourselves with the main MI Road of restaurants, got to grips with crossing 8 lanes of non-stop traffic and just generally getting an understanding of what was around us.
📷 enjoying a milkshake while hiding from the heat on MI Road
Jaipur is known as ‘The Pink City’ referring to the old city which has since ceased to hold the cities inhabitants and Jaipur now stretches far beyond the old cities walls. Walking into the old city you are struck by the markets and shops which seem to be ordered by category (so someone looking for spices only has to go to one lane rather than search thousands) and sell everything under the sun, all with the finest work put into them. The ‘pink’ paint has faded over time and really it’s the orange city however new buildings are still painted pink which gives the city a nice colour scale.
Jaipur’s mains attractions are its palaces and forts. The city palace has a number of tourist attractions in and around it, one of which we managed to eat right next to; Hawa Mahal. Built so the Royal ladies could look down on the street without being seen, there are hundreds of windows all beautifully carved. But of course all views come with a price and the seemingly friendly Indians that approached us at lunch soon appeared to have ulterior motives, each owning a jewellery shop along the way, of course, wanting us to look at each and every one as we walked past. Having batted off the sellers on the street, we were happy to have a tuk tuk tour the following day, showing us all the sights outside Jaipur city and thus taking us away from the hassle of the street sellers.
Our driver, Firoj, was a lovely, friendly Jaipur local who took us to see Amber Fort, Monument, Jaighur Fort and the Water Palace. Each as beautiful as the next, each sight was mesmerising in its skill and unbelievable size. Monument was my favourite; the tombs for Jaipur Kings were insanely beautiful, calm and cool with faithful men caring for the tombs along with the resident dog and her pup.
📷 Firoj, our tour guide.
Making the most of our wifi, bed and insane shower, we stayed in Jaipur a couple of days longer than planned, planning out our route in Rajasthan and booking all train journeys we would take from now until our flight out of Delhi. Keen to avoid any more unbooked disasters, we also booked accommodation at our remaining destinations.
With transport and accommodation all booked up, we’re hoping this is going to be an easy month of small travels and comfortable stays all set against a backdrop of sweltering heat, mind blowing architecture and making the most of India before we set off for Bangkok.