India: Jaipur in Pictures

We're going to keep rolling with the pictures rather than the words because Jaipur was equally, but differently, as stunning as what we saw in Agra. Some quick notes before we get to those, though.

Jaipur is in the neighboring state of Rajasthan and is about another 5 hour car ride from Agra.  It is often called the Pink City (you'll see why below) and if I were to compare it to another city, it reminds me of St. Petersburg, Russia: Imperial architecture in ice cream colors, a vibrant culture, and is fairly easily to navigate due to urban planning foresight.  We reached the city Sunday evening, checked into our hotel, and passed out.  Monday morning we planned to meet Anil at 9 am and then headed out for a handful of sites: Amber Fort, City Palace, Jai Mahal, and some shops.  Handicrafts are big in Jaipur and hand-knotted carpets, jewelry, and textiles rule the city.  We really enjoyed our time in Jaipur and were glad we gave that city the biggest chunk of our time while in the north.

To the pictures!

Oh, you know, just a camel on the side of the road.

School kids on a field trip to Amber Fort.

Amber Fort.

You can walk to the top...

...or ride an elephant!

The line for elephants was crazy long so we walked - and got just as close to the animals as the riders!

City of Amber viewed from the fort.

Entry court, elephant valet in background.

Elephants are kind of a big deal in this country.  Note the elephant tusk detail in the column corbel.

Palace gardens.

Elephant traffic jam.  Elephants don't stay in their lanes in India, either.

Walls of the "Pleasure Palace" room.  An early form of air-conditioning was designed in this space using evaporative cooling.

Across the way, a hall made of millions of mirror fragments.


Jai Mahal.  You can look but not touch.

 Handknotting a rug.  Estimated date of completion?  June 2013.

 Wool yarn hung above and pulled as needed. 
Jaipur city and one of the many gates surrounding it.

Inside the City Palace.

 More painted spaces inside City Palace.

 Architecture nerd term of the day: enfilade.

 As Matt pointed out, even 21st century royalty needs DirecTV.

IF YOU GO:  We stayed at the ITC Rajputana hotel and it was excellent.  The audio guides at the major monuments are more than satisfactory so stick with those over the live versions.  We spent over 3 hours exploring Amber Fort on our own and didn't feel slighted in the least.  

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