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Published: December 23rd 2011
Looking out from the Hawa Mahal. Unless you-re a noddy like me and stick your head out people can see out the window but onlookers can't see in as it is dark inside.
After 4 days in Agra, we headed to Jaipur. We weren't quite sure what to expect from this city, with a population of around 4 million. After a hair-raising 4 hour car trip most of which was along a national highway (still a dusty, narrow, cow frequented road, just with more trucks) we arrived in Jaipur. We were both incredibly surprised how clean, well organised and pleasant (well on a scale of Indian cities) the city is.
Day 1 involved walking around the city and visiting the Hawa Mahal which was constructed by the Maharaja for his wives to enjoy watching the city from the 5 storey high. The following day we visited the Amber and Nahargarh Forts, which sit high in the mountains surrounding the city. The views were incredible as is the history of these forts / palaces where many a battles have taken place throughout history. One of the palaces was aptly named the 'mirror palace' several rooms with beautiful marble carving. colours and mirrors imported from Belgium over 400 years ago. It was truly magicial. Another highlight was a tunnel which connected the two forts, used in the event of a siege. Although we were not
able to walk between the two, we were able to see a portion of the tunnel, carved from stone, and occupied by bats....luckily we didn't wake them up....
One thing we have enjoyed about Jaipur is the food. It is cheap and delicious. For around 100 rupees, we can enjoy a curry, some rice, and some naan bread. This comes to about $2.50NZ. The cheapest soft drink we have found was 15 rupees. Which is about 25 cents.
For our final day in Jaipur, we visited the Monkey temple. Constructed in a valley, this beautiful temple is now over-run by monkeys, literally hundreds of them. Monkey's look cute, but trust me, they are not. We kept our distance...
Our guest house was amazing. Apart from the room, the staff and the food being great we really got on with the young manager. He taught us how to play a traditional Indian board game and really got on with Russell. We ended up swapping music collections and he even took Russell down to meet his parents and see his house. Being a tourist it can be hard to see the real people of a country and little experiences
Jaigarh Fort - they probably all look the same to you but they are different.
like this help get past the tourist services and let you get to know a culture.
The next leg of our journey is Pushkar, a much smaller city. Also a very religious city where things like beer and kissing are forbidden..... poor Russ.
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