Another buzzing city- famous for its beautiful forts, facades and palaces.
We stayed in a very cute and quaint hotel called the Jaipur Inn. The hotel was built in 1976 and the room we stayed in was built by the owner as an inspiration to his father. The hotel had greenery and art all over. We had an amazing room with a balcony outside, facing the main road so we managed to people-watch during the late afternoons. This hotel is also where I did my very first yoga class! Isn’t that amazing?
We headed to the Hawa Mahal then on to the Amber Fort on the first day of our tour in Jaipur. This fort is where the Maharajas lived before. From the walk up (crossing paths with elephants) to the amazing details and architecture of the fort itself, this was a fantastic sight. There was so much to see from different gardens and windows to mirrored walls. I kinda felt bad for the elephants as they had to carry up to 3 people up the fort however if you walk it, it isn’t so bad. Though, I have read somewhere that they will stop this as the animals are not being treated properly. I’d like this to happen very soon please!
After the fort we had a small snack for lunch called Samosas- and oh boy, they were very spicy. The pastry was triangular in shape with some mixed vegetables inside. To help our palate we then had some cashew desserts afterwards.
People decided to go the market and the Monkey temple but we decided to do the City Palace tour. Im glad that we did not miss this opportunity as we managed to go to the grand courtyard. The courtyard had four gates showcasing the four seasons in the year. Each one of them was spectacular and were very well detailed. We stayed for almost an hour in the courtyard taking pictures as they were that beautiful.
For dinner we had a vegetarian thali and this was just delicious. The dish had some fresh salad, yogurt, spicy pickled tomato/sambhal, different types of dhal, rice, mixed vegetables, papadoms and chapati. The way to eat this was to use your hands and to mix everything together- this experience has brought some good old memories back from the Philippines.
To Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Day 9 of this trip was a free day in Udaipur. We had a pretty laid back morning and woke up quite late.
Around 11:00 we decided to go to the old town to have an early lunch. We walked around the lake and managed to stepped into Jagat Niwas Palace Hotel where we had lunch. The rooftop restaurant had an amazing view of the Pichola lake and right there and then we fell in-love with the city even more.
Tuktuk’s were not available since most of the road leading to the Jadgish Temple were closed. It’s probably because of Diwali- which will be in two days time. Diwali is the five day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival gets its name from the row of (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians lights outside their homes to symbolise the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness.
The street on the way to Jagdish Temple is decorated with colourful stencils and lights. Most of the smaller temples along the way seems to be having some small celebrations. The street is filled with women selling marigold flower garlands used as an offering to their Gods. It is such an amazing sight to see.
The Jagdish Temple seemed to be less busy as we went around 15:00. From the outside it looked simple but when we got in and took our time to go around the temple that’s when we realised how beautiful and grand the architectural details are. The incense sticks, flowers, colours and chanting brought us to another world.
We watched the sunset around 18:00 on one of the highest view points in Udaipur called the Karni Mata Temple hill top. You can either take the cable cars/ropeway for 103rupees or do a quick hike to get to the top. Obviously we did the latter and we were rewarded with an amazing view. The view of the city from above was unexpected as it felt like we were in a European country.
The evening was spent watching a Rajasthani Cultural Dance and Puppet show at the Bagore Ki Haveli and Im glad that we did not miss this opportunity. The show was about 45minutes long and costs 150 Rupees and if your like us who likes to take photos, you can also pay extra 150 Rupees. It was a spectacular and fantastic show with a rich history and diversity. The oldest performer of the folk show was 70 years old. She managed to balance 11 water carriers towering over her head whilst dancing on a tiny brass plate.
She is so beautiful and well loved that the king had to create a tomb that is so grand and majestic that will make everyone stare and be mesmerised by its beauty.
Every corner of the Taj Mahal is asymmetrical to each other that regardless of which side you take a photograph from, the results are just stunning.
It is made with marbles and it’s arches/corners have intricate details/drawings of flowers, symbols and characters which made every corner so interesting. It’s a shame that the place is so touristy and crowded that my photographs cannot justify just how beautiful the Taj Mahal is.
Visiting the Taj Mahal was one of the highlights of my India trip and so I had to make sure that I have the right dress for this occasion. Some tourists were dressed in a traditional Indian Saree however I wasn’t able to find one that would suit me hence I opted for this silk blue dress I bought in a vintage shop back in London. It wasn’t very appropriate for the weather but it felt as if I was wearing a Saree too.
Below is a photo of me and my friend with aunties wearing beautiful colourful sarees. Don’t we all look pretty?