Once again I am a day late with my blog hehe. Yesterday, we spent the day in Jaipur which is known as ‘the pink city’. Despite, in my opinion, having stone buildings which are more a faded orange colour rather than pink- it’s a pretty name nevertheless.
We started by visiting the Amber Fort where we saw another step-well which was beautiful, but not as impressive as the step-well we saw the day before at Baswa. We chose to drive up to the Amber Fort, however you could also pay for an elephant ride. There was no walking as it was far too hot and too far!
The Amber Fort has many amazing gardens and buildings intertwined within it’s structure. My favourite feature was the ladies building which was covered with mirrors in a mosaic pattern, as shown below. Our guide told us that this was so that the women could watch the night sky from in the mirrors, but personally I think it was so that they could perfect their makeup 😜
After the Amber Fort, we had a short stop at Jaipur’s summer palace named Jal Mahal which four stories deep under water! The palace was built in the 18th Century and belonged to the king who would enjoy recreational activities, such as swimming and duck shooting.
Whilst we were admiring this view, a little boy started to give us a magic show in which he made various coins and balls disappear and then reappear in humorous places. Of course, we tipped him and not before long we were surrounded by many children all claiming to be his friends, yet he denied this.
Our next stop was a textile factory in Jaipur where traditional carpets and pattern printed sheets were being made. Here, we met an elderly man who helped me to print a peacock onto a piece of fabric. I felt a lot of sympathy for him as he was awfully thin and his hands were permanently stained from his life of painting fabrics. We gave him a tip for his help and were guided through the rest of the factory.
We were shown a step by step demonstration of how each carpet was made from the women making the wool from either camel or goat hair to the man trimming and strengthening the edges of the carpet. After this, we were given a sales pitch which attempted to convince us to buy a carpet, but we did not.
Once we had refuelled ourselves with another buffet, we visited the City Palace where the royal family of Jaipur lived. My favourite part of the palace was the peacock doorway as shown below.
Our next stop was the Jaipur Observatory which was conveniently only across the road. My dad found this very interesting as he has the mind of a physicist, but I struggled to understand. Despite this, I still found it interesting how they were able to tell the time using the sun and a precise piece of stone apparatus. At first, the area just looked like a strange playground, but after the many explanations of our guide, it all started to make sense.
The final part of our day was my favourite. Our guide, Veloo, took us to the Elephant Village in Jaipur where we fed and bathed an elephant named Lakhsni. Her name means ‘goddess of health’ and she is thirty years old. Previously, I have visited an elephant sanctuary in Thailand and so to be able to experience another close encounter with the elephants was absolutely amazing. The man who introduced us to the village was impressed by my knowledge of elephants and I felt rather proud as I hardly get chance to make use of this knowledge in daily life. We fed her sugar canes and tried some of the juice ourselves which was deliciously sweet. She then drank a few bucketfuls of water which I really enjoyed. If I placed my hand on her trunk I could feel it tensing up as she took in the water and squirted it out into her mouth. I was even taught some of the elephant language which consists of thirty words by her carer who has lived with her for twenty years. She was so gentle and friendly that I quickly grew an attachment and didn’t want to leave.
I could have stayed with her forever, however as we were leaving, a type of sandstorm called a loo started. We had to quickly get into a tuk tuk and drive to our minibus with our eyes and mouths closed as the sand was getting everywhere.
Once we had escaped the storm and arrived back at our hotel, I fancied a short swim before dinner to relax after a busy day. I loved my swim as the sky was dark and there were traditional Indian dancers and drummers providing entertainment by the side of the pool. As it was about 7pm, I had the pool to myself and absolutely loved it.
At 8pm we went for our last evening meal in the ITC hotel. The pudding was amazing as I had a mango cheesecake followed by chocolate and walnut cake with cinnamon and toffee ice cream. It was gorgeous!
After such a busy day, I felt incredibly tired and so slept very well.
Thanks for reading!