Monday, October 22, 2012

A Day in The Pink City

My entire life I've had the travel bug.  I blame this solely on my parents.  They loved travel and raised me to love it.  Whether we were flying to Canada or just driving the coast to Half Moon Bay, we loved to explore new places.  Before I came to India, I was told that the kids at Rising Star would have a few weeks off in September where they would go home and spend time with their families.  I took this as an opportunity to see part of the world I never imagined I would be in.  Callie and I decided to plan our trip so we would be in Northern India for a week, and then Sri Lanka relaxing on a beach for the rest of our vacation.  This was the PERFECT plan.   With the help of our awesome travel agent, Benson at Abish Travels (, we flew into Jaipur and began our adventures in Northern India! 

Benson knew Callie and I were on a "volunteers budget", but he somehow managed to set us up in the coolest hotels.

Here are some photos of the first hotel we were in, in Jaipur.  This used to be an old palace and is packed with history...none of which I can remember at the moment (which is how it usually goes for me... I love hearing about anything historical, and then I promptly forget everything I was told) 

If I could go back in time, I would have spent more time in Jaipur. This place was breathtaking!  We spent about a day and a half here, and this is what we did:

My first taste of Jaipur was having a nasty cobra put on my neck. From the pictures you can tell I was THRILLED about this.  Thank you Jaipur and gross snakes for some of the most unflattering photos of myself.  Thank you. 
Here we are at the City Palace in Jaipur. I am now going to tell you about it by copy and pasting from Wikipedia cause that's how I roll.  "City Palace, Jaipur, which includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings, is a palace complex in Jaipur, the capital of the Rajasthan state, India. It was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the head of the Kachwaha Rajput clan. The Chandra Mahal palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is still a royal residence. The palace complex, which is located northeast of the centre of the grid patterned Jaipur city, incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. He planned and built the outer walls, and later additions were made by successive rulers right up to the 20th century."

Next we went across the street to Jantar Mantar.  This place was SUPER COOL.  It was built in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II and is filled with astronomical architecture.  This Maharaja was a genius. 

I don't remember what this next place is, but it looked pretty amazing from far away.

And now, drum roll please, MY FAVORITE PART!!  It was nearing the end of the day and we had already seen so much of Jaipur already, I had no idea what was in store for us later in the day.  The next million pictures are of the Amber (also known as Amer) Fort/Palace.  If you want to know all the history on this, just look it up, but just know this, it will take your breath away. 

We got to ride an elephant to the top!

Yeayyyyy!! "I'm so freakin excited!"

Shesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors)


I am pretty impressed with my photography skills on this one

Dinner is served. 

Lastly, because our tour guide knew I liked textiles, took us to a place where they make traditional Indian block printed fabrics.  They let us make one, which looked like crap but was a lot of fun.

 If you are considering traveling India even just a little bit, JUST DO IT!  I don't know why it took me so long to get out here, but I am so glad I did.  I heart Jaipurrrrr!

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