Days 255, 256… Jaipur
Day 255… Leave Agra on a local bus to Jaipur (approx 6 hrs). Jaipur was designed by royalty and has delighted visitors for centuries with its pink-hued buildings, wonderful bazaars and rainbow of bright colours dancing along hectic streets. Well… dusty, muted bright colours along chaotic, rambling hectic streets. With cows. Lots of random cows where there should be… oh I don’t know… a large tipper truck stripped to the chasis… a tractor carting a ludicrously over burdened trailer… something good of the ilk as opposed to traffic based livestock. Still quite the surreal thing to see no matter how often that is.
Moving along, we stop at the old capital of Amber and explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Palace… and I decide to do so atop an elephant. On the way i manage to bargain a guy selling turbans down from $1000rupee to $300rupee and get badgered and accosted by the MOST IRRITATING AND AGGRESSIVE hawkers i have ever seen ON EARTH. But the place is amazing, so there’s that. Later we take a walk to the city’s crowded and colourful bazaars, which sell a wide variety of artisan goods, semi-precious stones are the local speciality, and kites. The city LOOOVES kites. So much that there are literally dozens in the air at all times and it gets quite competitive with bits of tiny broken glass tied into the strings so that flyers can attack accosted mazing do cut the strings of his or her kite-enemies. Aggressive stuff! On the way out of the amazing place we are crazy lucky to see a full on traditional snake charmer charming a real live cobra! Brilliant stuff!
In the evening we check out a Bollywood flick at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema – there’s no experience more quintessentially Indian than a couple of hours of brilliant costumes and non-stop song and dance… with an intermission! During which we grab accosted mazing quick McDinner. And the cinema’s attractive art deco surrounds are an added bonus.