Home grown food, markets in the pink city

Home grown food, markets in the pink city
Jaipur, India

Jaipur, India


Jaipur is known as the pink city because it was painted terracotta for the arrival of the British prince. Terracotta is the colour of welcoming in India. Jaipur seems to have more women around, it seems much more together than Delhi. The roads are atrocious and full of potholes, but the people are friendlier and much more well dressed. 6 hours drive from Delhi, we saw many of the sights from the bus on the way into town. Our hotel was a bit kitsch (flowers painted on all the arches and pillars, a doorman wearing a turban with a tail) but cleaner and very roomy compared to the previous hotel. We were welcomed with a bindi and a flower necklace. Unfortunately, no wifi, so you’ll be getting this update later. Once we had set up in our rooms, we went on a walk through the old town markets, a place of spices and lentils in sacks at the front of stores. It looked and smelled amazing. After the walk, we went on a rickshaw ride through the streets. A lot of fun in Indian traffic, I tell you. Lanes are just lines on the road used as guides for which way to overtake, and although most people drive on the left hand side of the island, it’s not a big deal to see a tuk tuk or car going the opposite way. The next day we set out to see the Hawa Mahal, Palace of the Winds, an intricate facade that allowed the royal ladies to watch festivals and parades from the 953 windows without being seen by the commonfolk below. Then to the Amber Palace, a huge complex built on a hillside, with an army barracks built next door. The palace has many entertaining areas, with hooks in the walls to hang tapestries and tents for the summer. They had massage and Turkish bath areas, manicured gardens and black and white marble inlaid with mirrors from Belgium. The architecture incorporated Muslim, Hindu and British tastes to play nice with all the influences that the building had to endure. In the afternoon some of the girls went shopping, but I was looking for some headphones. Another lady from our group had lost hers as well so we left the girls scouring through scarves and saris and went to the electronics market in a tuk tuk. My colleague went for the real deal in a Sony store, whereas I was looking for knock offs, which apparently wasn’t what this market was about (for once). I managed to find a cheapo pair for 350 rupees… about $7. Win! For dinner, we took tuk tuks to a local family home. The husband, wife, his mother and father greeted us, and prepared a very tasty dinner of assorted pakora, masala chai tea, puri, paneer curry, lentils, raita and a mixed rice and butterscotch ice cream for dessert. So very delicious. I wanted her recipe for the paneer curry and raita. We talked about religion, politics and many other aspects of India with the husband particularly, but they were all very welcoming, and friendly. The grandfather had worked in Calcutta, and the house was one of the first in the area.