After Delhi we headed to our second city stop on the Golden Triangle tour – Jaipur, the Pink City. Some centuries ago a King wanted to welcome the British to the area and decided to paint the whole town the colour of hospitality, and there has since been a law to keep all buildings in the centre that exact colour. English newspapers caught wind of this and nicknamed the city the Pink City, though it is in fact terracotta.
In further colour confusion Jaipur is home to the amazing Amber Fort, which is actually yellow. At the base of the impressive palace, which is encircled by 12km of walls and watchtowers, you’ll find a long queue of tourists. When you get to the front of the queue, you’re welcomed onto the top of a delightful elephant, and given a royal entrance into the palace. Our elephant was called Maharani, which translates to Queen. A favourite within the Palace was the Hall of Mirrors: when it was occupied by royalty they used to change the colour of the carpet which would alter the colour of the hall and surrounding rooms by light reflection.
Jaipur is located in Rajasthan and is home to incredibly talented creators of lovely things, particularly colourful block-printed textiles and handcrafted jewellery, which sent me happily bankrupt.
We also took a walk around the former King’s observatory, which is the perfect place for a maths/physics/astrology geek-out.
I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with the lavish and exaggerated aesthetics of Indian royalty, so was wildly excited to discover that the hotel we were staying in, Shahpura House, was in fact a palace, where a “king” (in what sense was left open to interpretation) still resides on the 2nd storey. The interior didn’t disappoint, with courtyards, murals, embellishment and old photographs of a bygone era at every turn of the eye.
The one word to describe Jaipur? Beauty.
Did you miss part one of the photo series on Delhi? Catch it here, and stay tuned for the grand finale of Agra (cough cough, Taj Mahal).