Our journey from Agra to Jaipur (Rajasthan) began at 5:00am that morning. We were about to catch our first train! The journey from Agra to Jaipur took a few hours, and it turned out to be the train that everybody catches to work. Two clueless foreigners with massive backpacks – mine with its yoga mat strapped to it, of course, just to add some extra ‘traveller’ to the mix – pretending that it’s totally normal to be on the train with everyone on their morning commute. We received a few odd looks!
One, awkward, three-hour train journey later, we had arrived in Jaipur. We didn’t know what to expect from Rajasthan; we were working on a single recommendation from somebody we had met in the hostel in Kathmandu. Nevertheless, we were keen to have a look around. This time we stayed in the Moustache Hostel, which had several activities to sign up to. Of course, we signed up for another food tour to do that evening, and it did not disappoint.
The next day, we hopped into a tuk-tuk, which took us to all of the Jaipur tourist attractions. Our first stop was an elephant sanctuary; our time here was vastly different to our experience with elephants in Nepal. Here, we were allowed to feed bananas to a wonderful, 38-year-old elephant named Rohine. After that, we went to Amber Fort. Amber Fort is a massive and intricate expanse of tunnels and corridors, complete with lookout towers that provides a stunning view of Jaipur (which you can see in the picture at the top of the post). You could easily spend a day exploring the fort, but we had to press on. Our next stop was Jal Mahal; also known as the palace in the lake. Jal Mahal is five stories tall, but you can only see the top floor because the bottom four floors are submerged in the lake. After a few obligatory photos with the locals ("Selfie?!?"), we made our way back to the hostel through the Pink City, where we learned about the different spice and textile merchants have traded for centuries - this was my favourite part of our sight-seeing tour around Jaipur.
A couple of days later, we hopped on an overnight bus and headed further west to Pushkar. We arrived the next morning and stayed at the Madpackers Hostel. Pushkar isn’t as big as Jaipur, or as popular as Udaipur or Jaisalmer, so the hostel was very quiet. The city centre was nice; there were lots of market stalls selling elephant pants and incense burners, and we visited the beautiful Brahma Temple built on the shore of Pushkar Lake. Besides visiting the temple, and looking at the shops, we didn’t do that much in Pushkar. It was a good place to recharge though, because it was lovely and quiet.
Our next stop was Udaipur, which we reached a few days later by another overnight bus. I really liked Udaipur; it is built on the shore of Lake Pichola, and it is a very picturesque city. Unfortunately, we had noticed that we were starting to burn through our money quicker than we had anticipated so our activities in Udaipur were limited to walking around the city centre and enjoying the lake views, which was more than enough. Udaipur was a really nice, clean, friendly city and we both enjoyed our time here. It was my favourite stop in Rajasthan.
I’m going to finish this post here as these are the three cities we visited in Rajasthan. We didn't spend a great deal of time in Rajasthan, hence the fairly brief descriptions of each destination. Hindsight has allowed me to realise that this worked out for the best because I enjoyed other parts of India more than Rajasthan. Had we continued westward, we would have gone into the desert and arrived at Jaisalmer, which may have been fantastic. It's one of the negative points of travelling, you can't do it all!
After our time in Rajasthan, we headed south, so my next post will be about our time in Mumbai.
Bye for now,
Bonus embarrassing story for those that read to here: In Jaipur, on the evening that we had our tiki-tour around the city, we went to a pool party organised by the hostel. It was hosted at a nice hotel on the other side of town. Boy and I thought ‘Pool Party’ meant people would be swimming, having a few beers, and maybe there would be some food out. I wore my togs under a long, beach-y dress, Boy wore his shorts and a singlet, and – to top it off – we were both in jandals (or flip-flops/thongs/whatever you want to call them). Turns out, we were wrong. So wrong. On this occasion, ‘Pool Party’ means wearing nice clothes, stilettos and make-up, and dancing to house music. It wasn’t a pool party; it was a party around a fancy waterfall pool, like what you might see in a movie. We looked like fools; we had even brought towels with us! Again, two clueless travellers looking silly in a foreign country. We got our free drink and left immediately.