TRAVELS IN JAIPUR // India's pink city
S grew up in India, and his parents live in Delhi, so we try to visit once a year. This year I really wanted to go to Jaipur, a city only a short train ride away from Delhi known mostly to tourists for having elephants (!).

Some favorite moments from our trip below (apologies to those who've seen some of these images on my Instagram account):
+ Taking the train out west to Jaipur, an ancient fort city in north-western India, and then exploring the multiple forts and palaces the royal family built there

+ Finally, finally getting to see an elephant in India! I was so excited to see the painted elephants that give tourists rides up to the top of the fort that I gave our driver a laugh, calling out "haati! haati!" ("elephant! elephant!") every time we passed one.

(Total side note: I've been working on my Hindi a little, and recently learned that all the character names in Disney's The Jungle Book are just the Hindi name of that animal. Colonel Haati? Colonel Elephant. Baloo? Totally means bear. Bhageera? Panther. Had no idea.)

+ Getting to hear street musicians is always a treat -- this guy was super talented, and very amused to have his photograph taken. Thank you, sir!
+ Seeing the beautiful mosaics and Mughal architecture of Amer Fort. I have way, way too many pictures of incredibly arched doorways (um, see above and below for more examples)...
+ Hearing stories about how the royal family lived in these palaces -- at one time, there were something like twenty queens sharing one palace, and one king. The group dynamics are just mind-boggling.

+ Seeing the City Palace and it's "four seasons" courtyard, with four beautiful doors (um, and archways) represented each of the four seasons. I believe the one above represented summer, and the door on the first picture of this post represented spring. 
+ Running into Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, while driving down one of Jaipur's busy commercial streets. The structure is designed for cooling breezes, and also to let the royal ladies view the street while remaining hidden.
+ Photographing just one more beautiful archway. So good!
+ Walking along the lake at sunset to see the water palace -- the royal family's summer place to beat the hot weather.

+ Getting countless cups of chai with Savil's family. Every hour on the hour! :)

While visiting the city was wonderful, it really inspired me to put more effort into learning about the history and current events (or even literature?) surrounding these places. Do any of you find that learning about the place adds to your experience of it? How do you go about finding out more about the places you visit?

xo Diana
Topics: travels
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