Although we’d already spent four days in Jaipur we decided that it didn’t count as most of the time had been spent on the loo. So on our return we wanted to pack as much into a day as we could.
We arranged for a rickshaw driver to meet us outside the hotel at 9am who said he’d take us on a tour of all the city sights for just 450Rs. Knowing how busy, noisy and smelly Jaipur’s streets were from our last visit this seemed like a bargain.
We weren’t overwhelmed by the city palace but Jantar Mantar next door was something else. It seemed amazing to me that back in the 1700s while the Mughals and Rajputs were invading and plundering, some people were building stone structures that could tell the time to within two seconds and others that could measure the positions of the stars.
Rob was initially dubious about the accuracy of their sundial- 20 minutes slow apparently – until we overhead a guide explaining that it was built to tell local time, but that of course there’s just one time zone across India now. Ah hah, perhaps they did know what they were doing after all.
The observatory was the highlight of the day for me until we got to Nahargarh (the tiger fort), though as part of our whirlwind tour we also took in the wind palace, the Amber fort and the water palace.
Our driver wouldn’t go up to the tiger fort as part of the deal as it was too steep so we decided we’d walk, and left him at the bottom. Can’t be as steep as kala Pattar!
The palace at the top would make a nice home we decided with a bit of renovation. There would be plenty of guest rooms seeing as the king had a room for each of his many queens.
Despite Jaipur’s mental persona at ground level it was strangely beautiful from above. We located some cold beer and sat watching the sun go down, listening to the surround sound of the prayer chants emanating from across the city.
Ps For the ‘pink city’ Jaipur is not particularly pink. A bit orange I suppose…