After a very early morning visit to the Taj Mahal, we started on a 5 hour drive for our three day visit to Jaipur
On the drive, we stopped off to visit Chand Baori (where part of The Dark Knight Rises was filmed).
Taj Jai Mahal Palace
We stayed in this unbelievable hotel for three days, and it was one of the best hotels I’ve been in! It was built in 1745 and sits on 18 acres of stunning gardens! We had a beautiful room with a little garden, close to the outdoor pool. The restaurant here is unbelievable – we would sit out on the balcony for ours looking at the nightly Indian dance show. The food here was amazing and one of the best Indian meals I’ve ever had.
We took an early morning trip to the beautiful sandstone complex up on a hill in Jaipur, it started off miserable for me as I stopped for a photo and a snake charmer appeared which freaked the shit out of me 😦 . In the courtyard at the entrance, our guide gave us the history of the fort, and of the city, which was very interesting. One of the most impressive parts of this fort was the room of glass – walls covered in tiny pieces of glass so the light would reflect off them at night to make them sparkle.
City Palace, Jaipur
We paid an additional entrance fee to go into the residence of the palace. It seemed a little dodgy at the time but it was worth it. Part of the palace is still lived in, so we got to see a number of the rooms that are still in use. The coloured marble in the various rooms is stunning, and the mirror room is really unusual! We got to visit the dining hall which gets used regularly and has been used to host dinners with people like Obama, Bill Clinton etc.
This was one of my highlights! Our driver took us here for the afternoon, and we were the only people there! We spent the first two hours feeding Samba before bringing her out to be washed! After 30 mins of scrubbing her, we were able to sit up on her back (my balance wasn’t the best here!) and she continued to wash herself, we didn’t think this through and we both obvs got soaked. After she (and we) dried off, we got to go on a walk around the sanctuary on her back. It was about 45-46 degrees, so we only went on a very short walk. There are about 12 elephants in the sanctuary and their owners live with them and do the same routine every day. It was expensive to go to, but well worth the experience and the money is going to give these rescued elephants a very good life! We also got to visit the owners mother’s house for a home cooked meal, which was amazing! No idea what it was, but it was great!
In the morning time, we visited this temple where hundreds of local people come to bathe. We had heard of the temple before as it was featured on a number of documentaries – our guide here was in the BBC documentary when he was a kid, he explained how he was an orphan and has lived in the temple since he was a child. The temple is built on the side of a mountain, and as we climbed to the top we got to see loads of monkeys! We bought some food, so they could climb up on us, one made friends with my hat and sat on my head for quite some time.
Shopping in Jaipur
We got to visit two places in Jaipur for some shopping – one was a jewellers where we got to see them make earrings, bracelets etc. with local gems (for some reason the workers were all wearing FB branded flip flops). We stayed here for a little while to do some shopping but only ended up buying some earrings. The next place was a block printing factory where we could get clothes made to order, Sean got a couple of shirts and some pyjama’s made (when he went to pay I had to order matching pyjamas for the lolz).