Saturday, 4 October 2014

Jaipur - The Pink City: Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this post if you haven't already.

After booking our cinema tickets, we reentered the old city, passing through another one of the many pink gates that surrounds it.
As well as cows and elephants, there were also plenty of goats hanging around by the streetside.


We reached this busy bazaar that must have been one of the worst places for touts. We were harassed, heckled and followed on about twenty or thirty different occasions just within one street.
Swargasuli Tower.




Angela stocked up on Indian-style shirts and dresses, since a lot of her clothes were not up to this country's conservative standards. That's not to say you don't see a lot of western girls walking around in tank tops and shorts so small you can see their butt cheeks. But Angela, at least, has a little more respect for the local culture.
Strolling around at nightfall.
Back at the Palace of Winds.
The next morning, Bubloo drove us to see Amer Fort, otherwise known as the Amber Palace. Here, Angela poses in one of the beautiful Indian shirts she bought the night before.


As we entered the fort, we were showered with confetti and offered these free flower necklaces. Turned out, today (September 27th) was World Tourism Day, and entrance was free too.


You can see the walls of the fort extended along the tops of the nearby hills, and overlooking the nearby town of Amer.
Maota Lake.


At times, it felt like we were in the 1001 Arabian Nights (not the first time we'd have this feeling in Rajasthan).

Bats!
From the fort we headed to a nearby stairwell that reminded me of an M. C. Escher painting.


Finally, our last palace was Jal Mahal, the Water Palace, which stands in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake.



That evening, we ate Navratan Korma, a Mughlai dish made with nine different vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and Mutter Paneer, a vegetarian curry made with green peas and cottage cheese cooked in a cream-based sauce. Yum!
For dessert we had Gulab Jamun (left), a sort of dumpling drenched in sweet syrup, saffron and rosewater, and Ras Malai (right), a type of cheesecake soaked in clotted cream and cardamon. The gulab jamun was an especially delicious dessert, and one we returned to after many meals in India.
Finally, we returned to Raj Mandir Cinema to watch a Bollywood movie.
We saw Daawat-e-Ishq, a comedy-romance about a girl and her father's attempts to outsmart a dowry-seeking prospective husband. There were no subtitles, but we managed to get the gist of the film through the actions of the characters, and the smitterings of English spoken amongst the Hindi. It was a fun film, and makes us both want to watch more Indian cinema in the future. The best part, though, was during the film's closing song, when a white woman stood up and started dancing to the music, much to the excitement of the local Indian crowds. Hundreds of cameras and phones came out to take pictures, and several locals even started dancing with her. Needless to say, we left with big smiles across our faces.
Jaipur was a crazy but beautiful place, and provided us an excellent introduction to the region of Rajasthan. Next we'd be heading for Jodhpur, commonly known as the "Blue City."

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