Jaipur, Amber, scams and birds
With traffic, I think we spent an hour entering Jaipur. We’re coming in from Bundi. It’s still days when the tuktuks throw themselves at us with totally crazy rates. We attack the line of tuktuks and end up finding one, less ambitious with an electric vehicle!
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan. It’s the pink city. The axes in the old town offer sidewalks! And especially ochre walls that change colors during the day. This is a must for a trip to Rajasthan. It is famous for Amber’s fort, shopping and scams.
The Haveli (Jaipur Haveli) we took is in the old town. The streets are narrow and dirty. The hotel is a marvel, a nice welcome, a clean and pleasantly furnished room. We are offered dinner and other services! We take the opportunity to change cash and buy train tickets.
Tonight we’re going to Massala Chowk. This is a slightly trendy food market near the Albert hall. It’s “clean” and we’re the only Westerners 🙂 We make beautiful encounters and test 3-4 dishes on twenty active signs.
For the next day, we want to do the classics north of Jaipur. We booked a tuktuk (650r). We want to start early to avoid the crowds and heat (38 degree expected). Although I sent him the GPS coordinates, our driver seems to have made the wrong hotel and we start 1 hour after the scheduled time. He was recommended to us in Udaipur and would like to come to Europe to smoke weed…
Amber Fort is a huge ochre-coloured fort. It contains the maharaja palace. As in Khumbalgarh, the walls extend over the surrounding hills.
The ornaments are different from those of Udaipur and Bundi.
Seeing these elephants with tourists on their backs to climb up to the fort makes us sad. That’s not what these animals are made for. Babies are taken from their mothers before they are severely tamed. In spite of ourselves, we will witness a dismal scene later on our trip to Rajaji Park. They’re wild animals.
The city of Amber is worth a look. We appreciate the reservoir and the Hindu temple. For the last one, you have to pay to take pictures… Painful.
On the way back, we stop at length on the shores of lake Jal Mahal, the palace on the water. The opportunity to see buffaloes and many birds.
Our favourite of the day is the Royal Gaitor. We are there alone and we picnic surrounded by birds including king fisher common, parrots, wandering temia, barbet.
The rest is the small business of the locals for tourists (even Indians). We suggest you take you to a textile factory to benefit from great rates. Our driver has worked our trust well and we accept. After a demonstration of the handicrafts, a well-oiled chuckle ensues to extract the tourist from the ground up. On average, products (shirt, trousers, tailored suit, carpet, loose fabric…) do not like us but we leave with 2 scarves for 1000r (13 euros), initially 1500. Tired, we avoid the same thing for “precious stones.” Our tuktuk pretends to buy jewelry for his wife so as not to take us back to our hotel. You should know that the driver receives a commission based on what you buy.
On foot, we meet Ali, a resident of Udaipur at random, on a request for a route. We’re getting to know each other. He explains that we got rolled with our scarves. They should cost 150r each. We spend an hour chatting with him and agree to meet him the next day to meet his wife (who makes him too fat dishes).
In the evening while dining at the hotel, we meet a Chinese couple. They visit India a little but the goal of their trip is to bring back drugs to treat a loved one’s cancer. The drugs are over-the-counter in India.