Jaipur – Day 2 Part 2

Two posts in one day!

Had to post again after a very exciting evening! As an added extra our guide, Raj, arranged for us to visit a retired Brigadier, whose family home, Khatlu Haveli, is now a hotel. It was featured in the TV programme ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’. He showed us around and told a few stories then took us up to the roof terrace, for gin and tonics and snacks. From there we could watch the kite flying which is a nightly event.

The Brigadier in the inner courtyard
Raj enjoyed flying his kite
The sun set was beautiful

But the most exciting part of the evening was the journey there and back in tuk-tuks. It was slightly scary but exhilarating as we bombed through the city in convoy, amongst cars, motorbikes, coaches and even, at one point, elephants. All the locals were getting very excited as they were preparing for Holi, by building bonfires in the streets. The journey back was like Wacky Races, with the passengers in each tuk-tuk cheering each other on. This might have had something to do with the amount of alcohol consumed!

We had 9 tuk-tuks in convoy
Locals ready to light the bonfire
Every street had a bonfire
Tuk-tuks are auto rickshaws
The Albert Hall museum, illuminated

We would have loved to stay out until the bonfires were lit but we had to be back at our hotel for dinner.

Tomorrow we head back to Delhi.

Jaipur – Day 2

We set off in our coach to the Amber Fort. On the way we stopped to take photos of the ‘Palace of the Winds’ and we saw some snake charmers.

Five stories high but only one room deep, it was built to allow ladies of the harem to watch the street scenes without being observed.
We passed the milk market where the quality of the milk can be felt by putting a hand in the milk!

At the Amber Fort we swapped our comfortable coach for jeeps to take us up to the fort. Many tourists make the trip by elephant.

The elephants only work for a short time, doing 3 or 4 trips only.
We were welcomed with colourful powder (gulal) as it is Holi (one of the most important Hindu festivals) today and tomorrow.
View from the fort
Back to the coach in our jeeps, we drove to a jewellery shop where stones are cut and polished. On the way we saw Jai Mahal, the water palace, which featured on Michael Portillo’s programme recently.
We then visited a textile factory where the cloth is hand printed. I bought a tablecloth.
We saw many stalls selling gulal ready for tonight.
We arrived back at the hotel for a well earned rest before setting off out again at 5pm. More of that later!