The first city I visited in India was Jaipur or – in other words – the Pink City. The historical centre and the main buildings are painted in shades of pink. Jaipur is the capital and the largest city in the Indian state of Rajastan, in the West of India. It is part of the ‘Golden Triangle of India’, alongside Delhi and Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located.
The train trip from New Delhi to Jaipur took about 5 hours and the price of the ticket is modest, starting from 5 Euros. The trip can also be taken by airplane and the duration of the flight is of approximately 50 minutes, plus the price of the ticket – if bought in time – starts from 18 Euros.
- City Palace, Jaipur – The Palace comprises a complex of buildings among which the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces. The royal residence has always encouraged the artistic and cultural field and we can still see the results of such support in these areas nowadays. During my approximately 3-hour visit there, inside the museum open to travellers, I had met painters, writers and other contemporary artists of India.
One of the encounters in Jaipur was remarkable. Inside the museum I met a painter coming from a family of 7 generations of artists, who had an impressive collection of painted elephants. Of all the works exposed, the turquoise elephant caught my attention. After one year, I had it tattooed.
Photo: Cristian Ioan
- Hawa Mahal – or the ‘Palace of Breeze’ was built in 1799 as an extension to the Royal Palace in Jaipur. The building has 953 small-dimensioned windows on the outer walls. The purdah system was strict in that period of time, therefore women were not allowed to appear in public places or be seen by foreigners. Through those windows, the ladies of the royal family could observe public life without being seen.
Visiting hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Entrance ticket: For Indians 10 Rs (rupees)
For foreigners 50 Rs (rupees)
- Amer Fort – At 6.8 miles from Jaipur there is Amer Fort, one of the most visited tourist attractions. The fortress is situated on a hill, thus giving a first impression of greatness. We have been asked if we wanted to ride the elephants up to the fort, but we refused.
- JAI MAHAL or Water Palace – Situated at 2.5 miles North of Jaipur, on the way to Amer Fort. It is in the centre of Sagar Lake. The Palace is not open to visitors anymore, therefore, we have seen it only from the distance.
- BAPU BAZAR – It was the first experience in an Indian bazaar, the first contact with the trade culture in this part of the world. Hundreds of traders try to persuade tourists to buy from their shops. From traditional clothing to carpets, spices, jewellery and any other object imagined or not, I could find everything there. In my last evening in Jaipur I was also dressed in a traditional saree.