As usual, I had to suffer a gentle but persistent harassment of rugs sellers.
I resisted this time, and had time to notice that, differently form many other places, only adults were seen working. Only luck?
Very festive & lively celebrations. Everyone is very happy, painted/tainted & wet!!!
It's not dangerous, just colourful ;)
Wear plain white 'sudhras' & 'lenghaas'. So, people can see you've been 'tangoed', and ease up on you.
Take precautions like barrier cream, as some folks use strong colours!
And be careful with your hair!!!
Many of the palaces of Jaipur, some of which are now hotels, proudly display paintings of their former owners. In some cases, they display paintings of other maharajas for decorative purposes. These paintings show the colourful traditional dress of the maharajas. Attached are a few examples.
Much like elsewhere in India, Jaipur is abundant with fauna. While camels and elephants are used for transport, the rest - cows, monkeys, squirrels and sheep - roam the city quite freely, particularly cows which appear to have the right of way in the middle of busy thoroughfares! If you add the large variety of birds, including peacocks, then Jaipur seems like an open zoo!! Attached are a few examples, and for more photos, check out the travelogue: "Jaipur's Fauna".
The plight of the elephants that have to carry tourists up to Amber Fort disturbs me deeply.
Elephants are meant to inhabit forests and jungles- not cities.Moreover, they are not meant to trudge miles along burning hot tarmac-covered roads, carrying tourists. I understand the thrill that a tourist may feel, having a ride on an elephants back- but there is a huge difference between carrying up to 4 people up a steep hill (to Amber Fort) in the heat, and taking a tourist for a short walk.
Elephants that are used for transportation at Amber have to make the 11 km walk from their compound in the old city at Jaipur every morning, carry passengers all day, and then walk back to Jaipur. The heat is intolerable. They suffer from sunburn, and the hot tarmac must be agonising on their feet (often affected by foot disease) Their Mahouts, who also work under difficult circumstances and often have concern about the welfare of the elephants, have to prod them with metal goads. This desparate, painful discipline is needed to keep their charges in order. Elephants need a lot of water every day, and the water supplies are low in summer.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take this advice if you care for animals- WALK up the hill to the fort, or take a jeep. It will be one less load on a Jaipur Elephant.
If you like your nuts then this is the place to come to whilst in Jaipur. For some reason all the nut sellers seem to be congregated here - here being the road you take into the City Palace complex from the Hawa Mahal (off of Siredeori Bazaar, which runs outside the Hawa Mahal). Don't quite know why they're here. Suppose there's a lot of passing trade.
Needless to say, labor is cheap in India, and so a bucket brigade to hoist cement or stucco to build or repair a building is not uncommon. In this image notice the bamboo scaffolding and the women who come in support of the workers.
A festival celebrated around Holi, great occasions for the visitor, to watch several elephant sports and enjoy the festival of colours. A magnificent spectacle, it unveils the majesty and grandeur of elephants. A royal procession of sixty elephants in their best finery, a match of elephant polo and an elephant race are main events of the festival.
Ganesha Statues are also called Rupas. Lord Ganesha is the elephant headed God of Wisdom and Success and is believed to help people with new beginnings. He is one of the most popular Hindu deities throughout India. Ganesha can also be referred to as Ganapati. He is not an Elephant god but was more human shape. His head was severed by is father, Lord Shiva, when his father mistook him for someone else. It was his mother, Sri Parvati, who begged Lord Shiva to replace Ganehs'a head, which Lord Shiva did, only this time with an elephant's head.
Jaipur sits around 431metres above sea level. The average summer temperatures range from 25.8C to 40.6C, although it can go up to 45C. The average winter temperature ranges from 8.3C to 22C, fairly mild. The best time to visit is between October and March. The heart of the monsoon time is July/August.
Puppet plays are performed by skilled puppeteers and are based on popular legends. In Jaipur, the making of the puppets (or kathputlis ) is among the traditional family business as well as being part of the culture. Aside from the puppeteer there is also a helper who plays the dholak or drum and may even sing ballads. You will find puppet sellers at the Fort or City Palace for a very cheap price especially outside of these attractions.
The elephant festival is held March/April to celebrate Holi and is held the day after Holi. Elephants are beautifully decorated and paraded in a procession along with camels, horses and folk dances. There are also elelphant races, elephant polo matches as well as a tug of war between elephants and men. Usually held at the Chaugan Stadium.
The beautifully uniformed palace guardsman at the Chandra Mahal, very kindly showed us how to tie a turban.
A turban is a piece of cloth, some 40-50 feet long and about one foot wide, which is wound around the head following a certain pattern. It looked so easy when he did it - I bet it would look nothing like a turban if I tried it!
Next on the itinerary was a silk painting workshop that also sold jewellery, antiques etc. We were offered a handful of precious stones on the black market for 200Rp (ca $15) by the resident gem-cutter. We declined.
We were taken to a block printing workshop - yet another salesploy - guides get 50% commission on anything you buy!
It was still very interesting, seeing how the prints are hand made with small wooden blocks, usually with three different colours.