Sunday, November 23, 2008
Jodhpur to Jaipur
We left the blue city of Jodhpur and headed for the pink city of Jaipur. It is a long drive! We stopped on the way for lunch (it was quite good – at a truck stop kind of place). We then went to a village where we saw block printing of fabric. The smell of the inks was overpowering. Once again we saw, kites be flown from rooftops, lots of children wanting to have their picture taken, and all sorts of animals. What happens to old cows (they are holy after all)? The answer is India has old cow homes for those cows that quite make it on the streets. India does not have old people’s homes for the poor and downtrodden that you see everywhere. They worship and take care of cows.
We arrived in Jaipur and checked into our hotel after an arduous drive around the walled old city. There are lots of elephants, camels and cows everywhere. It appeared to us that Jaipur is the wedding capital of India. Indians take weddings as very big events. They last multiple days, are very elaborate, extremely expensive and over the top. The groom traditionally goes to the bride’s house mounted on a white horse, surrounded by family members and friends to “capture” her and take her to the wedding ceremony. We saw lots of weddings parties.
In the morning we went to the Jaipur Observatory. It is a large area, bigger than a football field and has enormous stone instruments. There are probably 20 of them. They give all sorts of accurate readings of times, and stars. It is amazing to see. This was all constructed in the late 1700’s. Everyone loved seeing these very primitive yet exceedingly accurate instruments.
We then went on a tour of the Maharaja’s City Palace. He still lives there. The Maharaja still live large! It was quite a palace! I finally got to see a snake charmer!
From there we shopped, jewelry, clothes, etc. Jaipur has a lot of shopping opportunities. It also has a lot of beggars and hawkers. For dinner we went to an old Mansion that had been converted to a restaurant and Turban museum. They need to specialize. Tomorrow we visit the famous fort in Jaipur do more shopping then fly to Delhi.