Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and the “pink city” (the old city was painted pink, the color of hospitality, in 1876 by Maharaja Ram Singh to welcome the Prince of Wales), proved to be a good stop for the Indian tour. We were able to take an elephant ride up to the Amber Fort (not sure how kind they are to the elephants although we did check and the govt. has now at least regulated how many times a day the elephants can make the trek up to the fort – here’s an interesting article by fellow blogger and traveler friend about the ethics of riding). This was probably one of my favorite forts throughout the trip and the views surrounding it are impressive.
One thing about India that is distinct is the architecture and the colors. I’ve wondered if the difficult lives most Indians lead as well as the relative barrenness of the land drives them to the impressive and ornate architecture as well as the colors of clothes and houses. The temples are definitely different and I’m quickly learning Hindi is a complex religion with a host of gods (over 3 million).
Our tour continued with the Lake Palace and Wind Palace – built for the many women of the court as you’ll see by the many windows on the pics – and the city palace. We were also lucky enough to see some friends of Erinn’s family who are working in the area – the lone contact we have in India. It was good to be with some friendly people after not really having this for a bit. They were gracious hosts treating us to some Indian “sweets” in preparation for Dewali, the festival of lights, which was coming soon.
The shopping also continued (or at least looking and being pressured!) with rugs, jewelry, clothes, and more. E has said she was looking for that elusive space in her backpack to accommodate…