Arriving in Jaipur, the city painted pink in celebration of Prince Albert’s visit in 1876, is a breath of fresh air after Agra. Not without it’s chaos, the poverty here is decidedly understated in comparison to the other points of the golden triangle. We arrive at the beginning of a Hindu festival and are greeted by a bustling celebration of costumes and flashing lights. Enjoying the view from the hotel’s rooftop, I decide to venture out and experience it for myself.
Music comes from every temple, and proud parent’s ask for me to photograph their children. It’s impossible not to fall in love with Jaipur.
The next day we head to the Amber Fort–an ancient place situated high above the city that is among the most spectacular historical sights we’ve visited thus far. As old as it is, the protection from the mountain and maze-like corridoors built to confuse invaders has helped to keep it almost entirely intact.
At the base, we pay a gentleman to take us around on a painted elephant. Normally one can ride up to the fort itself but, because of the festival, doing so wasn’t possible. The elephants are both majestic and sad. I’m glad to have done it, but never again will I contribute to the captivity of such beautiful animals.
Ajecent to the City Palace, still home to the former royal family, is Jantar Mantar, an observatory built in 1728 with elaborate marble instruments that can still accurately measure the time of day, placement of the sun, and the passing of the constellations. I plan to returns to the Pink City one day–a promise made to the countless vendors I didn’t have time to visit with.
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