Around Jaipur

Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, Jaipur's best known landmark.

Jaipur is huge, with a population of over two million.  It’s hot, congested,  not too clean, and traffic is sheer insanity.

In its favor, it has a profusion of tourist attractions and beautiful buildings, even the ones that aren’t kept up so well.

Jaipur is known as a shopper’s mecca. As in any big city, there are plenty of places to say goodbye to your money. Anything you want, you can find it here. But you need to be careful about being scammed, and touts here are notably persistent. Shopkeepers, too, will call out to you to come into their shop as you pass by, particularly if you’re a foreign tourist.

The devil made me buy this rug.

I found the constant “excuse me, madam, come  have a look” annoying and ended up doing most of my shopping at the Rajasthan Textile Development Corporation, a large, government-sanctioned emporium where Indian families shop. They sell everything from small wood and marble sculptures, art work, fine jewelry, clothing, bed coverings, to rugs. The shopping experience was much more pleasant, as they offer you tea and you can sit while they bring things to you. They do not pressure you to buy. They merely show you all kinds of things in addition to what you came there for and dazzle you into buying!

Stopped at the first interesting looking restaurant I saw when we got hungry for lunch. This one had a bit of entertainment.

Jal Mahal, the Water Palace.

I had mixed feelings about Jaipur. But despite the things I didn’t like, there was much to see and do that was fun and fascinating. If I have the opportunity, I would come again.


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