Jaipur (The Pink City)

Did you know that Jaipur has been Calgary’s sister city since 1973? That’s the reason for the Jaipur Bridge in Eau Claire. Jaipur’s hospital is also named after Calgary. We’ve been exploring the Pink City for the past couple of days.

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and is known as the Pink City because of the coloured sandstone used to construct its buildings. Today modern buildings are made of cement, but they are painted pink to fit in.

Sophie finds the courage to have a monkey on her shoulder

Sophie finds the courage to have a monkey on her shoulder

The city has a number of things to see, and our first top was Galtaji or the “Monkey Temple.” After Sophie’s scare in Vietnam, she was a little hesitant to vist the more than 2,000 monkeys that make the temple their home. But she warmed up to them and even let one sit on her shoulder. We all look slightly disgusted in the photos because monkeys are not the cleanest!

Today we explored the Amber Fort, which was built in the 16th century and served as the royal palace for the maharaja and his family. The fort has survived invasions and takeovers well, and its architectural features are still quite beautiful.

We saw people riding to the top on elephants, but now that we know what to look for, we noticed one elephant with a lame leg and another that was blind. There are allegations of abuse against the elephant owners, so avoid riding on them. Don’t you want to stretch your legs, anyways?

In the afternoon we visited the City Palace. It’s still a royal residence, although maharajas have no power in today’s India. They are simply very rich people who still own palaces. Probably explains the BMW speeding into the complex dangerously close to tourists!

Ceremonial guards at the City Palace

Ceremonial guards at the City Palace

We’re slowly getting used to India. In China, all they wanted was our picture (and liked to laugh with Al about his height). In Cambodia and rural Vietnam, they just wanted a simple “hello” and perhaps a high five. But in India they want money. Money to sweep the dust in front of you, money to give you directions, money to accompany you around a site even though you never asked for help. It’s hard to judge whether someone is just being nice, or if they expect money for their “helpfulness.” Rather frustrating!

We’ve learned to make hasty exits – don’t dawdle or you will be accosted. We’ve also learned to be firm in saying no, even if it sounds a little mean. And because I’m the mom, I get all the young girls with babies begging for money. Sigh.. you can’t save a nation.

4 Comments on “Jaipur (The Pink City)

  1. Market shopping is a real challenge in India. We would have to walk down one side pf the street and look across to the other side to see if there is anything we wanted. Can’t look down at the goods on the side you are on without being inundated. Shirt, shirt, shirt! I’d be looking at jewelry and they’d still try to sell me a kids shirt. You would think the jewelry would be a more expensive sell for them. It was insane. Prices vary so much too that it gets exhausting. However, I absolutely loved India and you articulate it well in your blogs. Overwhelming! What a fantastic place though.

    We too avoided elephants and camel rides. Walking suits me just fine. I hope the weather has cooled for you. It was 40 degrees most of the time we were there. Will you be in India for Christmas? If there is one thing I would have liked to have seen in India, it is a wedding so…if you see one please take pictures. Thanks

    • It’s definitely a frustrating and fascinating place all at the same time! I would also love to see a wedding, but have not been invited to any so far… 🙂 We will be in Mumbai for Christmas, so that will definitely be interesting!

      – Heather

  2. Hi Heather
    Of all the places you visited I like the photos of India the best though it sounds challenging in spots. Love your posts especially as i feel so crappy with the chemo and not being able to go anywhere. You give me a window on the world and your great adventures ! Hope we can face time at christmas. Lachlan is snowboarding with school today. He loves it but for different reasons to skiing. He says he likes flying down the hill!!. Your gifts arrived .Thank you. We are saving them till Christmas day. Cold snowy and -1 today but all in all we are having a super mild winter. Whats the temp. in India.
    We send our love and take care Triona

    • Glad to hear you are doing okay! We’ve been thinking of you! The temperature is very pleasant right now. It goes down to about 15 at night and up to 25 during the day. Best temperatures of our trip so far! And Rajasthan is not muggy like everywhere else because it’s the desert.

      -Heather

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *