Pink City that has lost it's charm

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Where I stayed
Umaid Mahal Jaipur
Read my review - 3/5 stars
What I did
Amber (Amer) Fort and Palace Jaipur
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

They call this the pink city (and a lot of pink paint has been used on the old city walls!) but to me Jaipur is is a chaotic mess. The city is a massive modern sprawl surrounding a very large 18th century walled city that has been left mostly to decay and overrun by the needy, pigs and cows, and lots of small businesses. The Pink City is interesting to walk through, but is so big smelly and noisy, that the novelty wears off before you reach your destination. There is nothing endearing about it. However, the observatory is a photographer's paradise and pleasant refuge from the noise.
Further out is a park with Albert Hall, a museum dedicate to craftsmen from around the world. Foundation stone was laid by Prince Albert. I enjoyed it for about an hour, but NamasteOm got bored, so we went to Amber Fort, 11kms away by scruffy bus that was packed with locals.

Amber Fort is fantastic. All the ills of Jaipur are forgiven for the delight of Amber Fort. Much more NamsteOm's cup of tea.

We came to Jaipur for the Elephant Festival. 80 decorated elephants that you can touch (Bertt and NamasteOm rode on one, but unfortunately the camera failed us at that moment!) - and many musicians and dancers - it did not disappoint.

The day after that was Holi. We walked up to the Monkey Temple, then took refuge in a great guest house called Pearl Palace (unfortunately we could not get in as guests) but Mr Singh really knows how to throw coloured powder about and spray beer to ensure that everyone got messy.

We shall have have happy memories of Jaipur despite its shortcomings. Be warned travellers - avoid Indian lads on mopeds, tractors and bicycles during Holi. They are just not nice - especially not to western women. There is good reason for the streets to be deserted of women during Holi.

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