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Published: September 21st 2018
Just outside Nahargarh fort
Without a scheduled tuk tuk driver to get us out of bed we caught up with some much needed sleep. The disadvantage of this is that it gets really hot by 11am and most of the sights close at 5pm. Fortunately we still managed to fit in all our planned sights today, even if the afternoon ended up a little rushed.
The order we have seen things in is rather odd if you look at a map. There is method to the madness though, as we bought a ‘composite’ ticket at the Amber fort yesterday. Valid for 2 days this ticket gets us into the sights we saw today (plus others we didn’t have time to visit). We have left the sights not included (most notably the city palace) until tomorrow when the ticket is no longer valid.
We first headed over to the Nahargarh fort, an imposing fort looking over the north side of the city. To drive there is a 15km trip, to walk is just 2km from the bottom of the hill. They’re just a very steep 2km (one review described it as a ‘brutal’ walk).
We managed the walk without much trouble, whilst steep we didn’t
find it as bad as the walk up to the Jaigarh fort yesterday and being earlier it wasn’t too hot. Once at the top there’s a beautiful step well and some fantastic views of the city (this city isn’t as pretty as the others we’ve seen - it’s mostly just urban sprawl from above).
The fort itself feels like going into a tourist trap. Once through the gates there are signs to a wax works museum, restaurants, a step well and view points. That said we weren’t bothered by anyone and finding the palace was pretty easy.
The palace is small but beautifully painted. It’s built with 10 apartments - one for the Maharaja and the other 9 for his concubines. Each apartment contains living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen & even has a fireplace for winter. There’s currently a sculpture display in the apartments as well, although being rather modern they weren’t particularly to our taste.
Whilst we enjoyed the fort, and the walk up there, it defiantly isn’t a must see if you’re pushed for time.
Fort explored we headed back down to the city.
Searching for food we headed back towards the centre of the old town.
View of Jaipur
From Nahargarh Fort
Finally finding a more expensive restaurant than we had planned for we were pleasantly surprised to find the increased price reflected in the increased quality of the food for a change. Delicious lunch thoroughly enjoyed we headed into the Jantar Mantar - an observatory started in 1728.
This place is weird - it looks like some sort of cool sculpture park and we were surprised to discover what it actually is. There are signs next to each piece of equipment and with Stephen present to help explain it to me we were quite happy without a guide. Most of the equipment seems to be used to track stars through the night sky but there are also a few different sun dials and other things. One of the Sun dials is accurate to 2 seconds - it’s huge, and in my opinion looks like it would make a great slide.
Leaving the observatory we got our first cycle rickshaw over to the Albert Hall Museum (now known as the Central museum). The road down to the museum is a beautiful avenue with parks either side. The cycle rickshaw was actually a very enjoyable way of enjoying the scenery.
Fireplace in one of the apartments
is beautiful, a mix of Indian and European styles. Inside it is a proper Victorian style museum, with big glass cases set up along large pillared rooms. It contains a variety of pottery, armoury, paintings, brass ware and textiles, originally designed to demonstrate the best of Indian arts and inspire Indian artists to continue traditional techniques. It’s undergoing significant refurbishment at the moment and the audio guides weren’t available. Despite this is was very enjoyable to wander round.
As we left the museum it was trying to rain so we hid in a cafe coffee day. Unlike our previous experience in Goa these drinks were fantastic and the comfy seats were worth the ridiculous prices.
Refreshed we walked back towards our hotel after first pottering around the Nehru gardens and along the avenues by the road. These aren’t quite so appealing once you’re walking through them - full of rubbish, beggars, rats and dogs. I have never seen so many rats before, they were popping out of holes everywhere, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say we saw over 100 of the things. And people were still leaving food out! Eugh.
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