The train journey to Jaipur was uneventful, we are getting pretty used to them now. It was pretty late so all we wanted to do was get in a tuk-tuk and get settled in our hostel. During our ride our driver offered his services for a tour the following day.
There is a lot to see in Jaipur but it is all quite far from the town and pretty spread out so organising a driver for the day is the best way to see everything.
The next morning after an expensive and disappointing breakfast at our hostel we met up with our tuk-tuk driver and agreed the itinerary for the day. First stop was the Amer Fort, a red sandstone and marble fort which was beautifully decorated but incredibly busy! There is a choice of how you get up to the fort from the road, as it is situated on top of a large hill, you can either walk or ride on the back of an elephant. As we aren’t fans of riding elephants we opted to walk which was not only more comfortable but way more efficient.
Compared to the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur the Amer Fort was no-where near as well maintained or invested in. We had a nice time exploring but there were many sections which seem very dilapidated in contrast to parts which were beautifully maintained.
After the Amer Fort we shot off to a local step well. I had never heard of or seen a step well before but it did not disappoint. The design is such that people can walk down and access the water regardless of the waters height.
After some photo taking at the step well we were on our way up another hill to visit two more forts. In the same way we got tired of temples, we were starting to grow increasingly tired of forts!
The Jaigarh Fort was our next destination, this fort houses the worlds largest canon – the Jaivana Canon and an old canon foundry. The Jaivana was only fired once and had a range of 35 kilometers!
The next fort was the Nahargarh Fort and its main features were another step well and an palace which had been turned into an art gallery.
The art gallery wasn’t really our thing but the rooftop view was pretty cool.
There were also a lot of monkeys hanging around with very colourful balls!
After all of the forts it was time for a drive past the Jal Mahal, an old palace in the middle of a lake, currently unused which seemed a shame.
After a quick stop for lunch we were taken around a number of shops to look at collections of jewellery and tapestry which we were not going to buy. When we arrived back at our hostel we were exhausted, it was a long day that was for sure. We found ourselves a nice rooftop restaurant that served beer and jumped straight in a cab.
The next day we wanted to visit the City Palace and check out some of the things to see in that area. We had a slow start and it began with brunch in a nice cafe, we didn’t realise when we walked in but it had an amazing view of the Wind Palace. The Wind Palace has 953 small windows which are decorated with intricate latticework. The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey the strict rules of “purdah”, which forbade them from appearing in public without face coverings. There were a lot of these types of design across the palaces we had visited so far but not to this scale.
After lunch we entered the City Palace, which has some impressive displays and a photography collection of the work of an old Maharajah, unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photographs inside a lot of the buildings but it was one of the more interesting Palaces to explore.
Next door to the City Palace was Jantar Mantar, a park with a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments built by a king in the 18th century. It was very impressive, the main feature being a sundial which could tell the time correct to 2 seconds.
As it had been a few hours since Andy had his last feeding, we went to find some lunch in town, we took a walk through a market which was incredibly busy with people getting ready for Diwali, the roads were full of decorations and we had a great thali for lunch.
After a day of exploring we were ready to call it a day, we went out one last time for dinner and then showed our age by having an early night. The next morning we had to be up early to catch our bus to Agra.
Although there was a lot to see in Jaipur, we found it all really busy and very spread out, it isn’t somewhere we will be rushing back to.