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Jaipur & The Little Known Taj

Part One

sunny
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Our train to Jaipur left Delhi at about 12:30pm and we arrived approximately 7 hours later, already I seem to have lost a handle on the time and the day. The train trip was really good, despite the seats being a tad uncomfortable after a while, numb bum was a bit of a feature. We couldn't complain though as we had it very good compared to most. We were in second class with air con and in a sleeper cabin. We could have laid down but both decided to sit up and watch the passing scenery, we were also trying to fight the jetlag which was proving a little more troublesome than we'd expected.

The train was delayed, so we arrived in the dark which made things a little more tricky. Also they didn't announce any stations so we did begin to wonder if we'd missed our stop but thankfully no. We got there and were immediately set upon by a whole host of tuk tuk drivers, we picked one after a lot of gesticulating and banter on both sides. He took us to the touristy area and we had a look at a few guest houses and finally decided on The Heritage Inn. This was a big mistake, I've never stayed in a noisier hotel, there was a hole in the wall and you could see right through to the next room, which became occupied by a family with a screaming child at about 1am. Next morning we headed over the road to a more basic but much more homely feeling place, the cheapest and best room we've had.

First day in Jaipur we made it our mission to sort out our train ticket to Agra, after the trouble in Delhi we were pretty single minded. So headed straight for the railway station and within half an hour we had our ticket, job done! We then organized with a guy outside the station to be taken around the next day in a tuk tuk to see the sites of Jaipur.

It was his brother who took us round, he was one of the friendliest and most upfront people we have met. He only tried a couple of times to ask us if we wanted to go to a “factory” (shop) and look around “not buy,” they get commission if we go but we knew we'd get seriously hassled, so just said no. We went into the pink city which was pretty unimpressive, it's in quite poor condition and has been over run with traffic, rubbish and cows! We also saw an observatory, which was an area filled with strange shaped structures for measuring the sun and viewing the stars, we think. Then the city palace from the outside and that was enough, a royal ghetto which is where the royals are buried, this was a little more interesting and then the water palace which was pretty self explanatory and again not exactly awe inspiring.

After that we went to the Amber Palace/Fort which was definitely the highlight of the day. We walked up the stone steps which snake up the hill side and entered into a wide courtyard area. After paying the entrance fee you get free run of the inside of the palace. There were some great architectural elements to it and some pretty mosaics incorporating mirrors, also there were great views looking out over the red hills.
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We headed back to the guest house after this and had a bit of rest then went out in the evening and enjoyed the best curry we've had so far! Early night tonight as our train to Agra leaves at 6:10am and it's a 30 minute walk to the station with our packs.

Posted by LauHot10 23:23 Archived in India Tagged round_the_world

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