. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: January 19, 2001

Friday, January 19, 2001
Delhi to Jaipur, India
India's FlagRajasthan's Flag

Map
Jaipur, India:
Latitude: 26° 54' 57" North
Longitude: 75° 48' 14" East
Altitude: 1577 feet
From Seattle: 8985 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Evergreen Guest House

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: India
Regions: Delhi, Rajasthan
Route: Train: #2015 Shatabadi Express: New Delhi - Jaipur
Path:Delhi - Jaipur, India
Linear:159 miles
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

The Wind Palace facade Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Women Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Details, The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

The Wind Palace Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Store fronts Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Store fronts Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Shop fronts Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Shop fronts Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Traffic Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Traffic Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Rooftops Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Windows Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India

Goat on car Jaipur, India

Old tower Jaipur, India

Alley Jaipur, India

Fry man Jaipur, India

Samrat Yantra (large sun dial) Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Jaipur, India

Looking towards Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace) Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Jaipur, India

Looking towards Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace) Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Jaipur, India

Rashivalayas Yantra (zodiac sundials) Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Jaipur, India

Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) City Palace, Jaipur, India

Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Jaipur, India

Looking towards Chandra Mahal (the Moon Palace) Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Jaipur, India

Rooftops Jantar Mantar (Observatory), Jaipur, India

Chandra Mahal (the Moon Palace) The City Palace, Jaipur, India

Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) City Palace, Jaipur, India

Peacock door City Palace, Jaipur, India

Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) City Palace, Jaipur, India

Door The City Palace, Jaipur, India

Door The City Palace, Jaipur, India

Peacock door The City Palace, Jaipur, India

Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) City Palace, Jaipur, India

Doorway City Palace, Jaipur, India

Brass Krishna door The City Palace, Jaipur, India

Door frame The City Palace, Jaipur, India

Chandra Mahal (the Moon Palace) The City Palace, Jaipur, India

Street Jaipur, India

Roof Jaipur, India

Juice stand Jaipur, India

Kites in tree Jaipur, India

Kites in tree Jaipur, India

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1380
Linear Dist: 269887
Countries Visited: 74
Regions Visited: 276
More stats...
Hotels: 520
Friends / Family: 338
Camping: 130
Hostels: 262
Transit: 86
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4511
Hide...

Journal Entry:
My alarm woke me at 4:35 - good thing as I never did get the wake up call. I took a quick shower, checked out and argued over the price of the taxi. Last night I'd been told 150 Rs - which is already outrageous - but this morning the hotel manager was saying 250 Rs. When I started to walk out he came back to 150, but then wanted a tip! The hour ride to the train station only took fifteen minutes so I had over an hour to wait. There was some confusion when the train did come - because two trains came at the same time on the same spur. Luckily they were well marked. First class wasn't that luxurious - but there was leg room and they served complimentary coffee and corn flakes. The first hour of the trip was in the dark, then between the heavily tinted windows and the thick fog - the daylight didn't help much either.

In Jaipur I hired a taxi driver to take me to a hotel out of the guide book. There was no problem getting a room, and though it's not as nice as my Delhi room - no hot water and I have to supply my own padlock - it's adequate and it costs a tenth the price. After checking in I hung out in the sun and read up - it's not only sunny - it's hot here!

Around noon I hired a rickshaw driver to take me to Hawa Mahal (the Wind Palace) in the walled city center. I'd been planning on just starting there and wandering around - I certainly wasn't going to pay to go in. But after seeing the graceful cascading lines of the facade I decided to go in. The lines remind me of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul - not for any architectural resemblance, but just of the way the building seems to flow. I wandered around the ruins and took a lot of photos both with my SLR and my new digital camera.

After leaving the Wind Palace I wandered around the street. I really like this place. It's not that there are no hassles, I was constantly having to turn down persistent rickshaw and tuktuk drivers, escape salespeople, and was usually followed around by a dozen kids. But people seem friendly and everyone lacks the hard predatory edge they had in Delhi. The city reminds me a lot of Dar es Salaam - maybe because of the heavy Indian influence there? It also reminds me of Aleppo (Syria) and some of the smaller cities in Morocco - it reminded me of so many places, I think because it's completely different from any other one place. The traffic was a solid mix of trucks, cars, tuktuks, mopeds, bicycles, and carts pulled by people, bikes, ox or camel - but somehow it seemed to work.

I finally gave in - I've tried to be good, but I was hungry and it smelled so good - I had a lunch of street food. All spicy, and most good - I'm curious to see how my stomach is tomorrow. And my eating there was amusing to many of the locals. After lunch I eventually found my way through the maze of the City Palace to Jantar Mantar (the observatory) and eighteenth century garden enclosure full of very precise astronomical instruments made mostly of marble. The whole thing feels like a delightful sculpture garden. The most impressive device is the large Samrat Yantra - a sundial that is nearly a hundred feet tall and accurate to within two seconds! The big sundial was closed, but the views of the palace from some of the other structures (still several stories tall) were well worthwhile.

The afternoon light on one of the more beautiful parts of the palace intrigued me so I decided to go into the City Palace as well. The palace complex was more of the same, and really not even as good as the Wind Palace, the observatory, or any of several dozen little courtyard areas off the street - except for the beautiful Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace). It was closed so I couldn't go in it, but the golden light on it's pale surface contrasted with the deep red color of the surrounding structures was sublime - and I have plenty of photos to prove it.

When I left the palace complex I wandered down some random streets until I came upon a boy energetically flying a kite. When I stopped to watch I realized that I could see several dozen of little kites in the sky - flown from neighboring streets, the top of walls, roofs, and even a balcony - they were everywhere. Then I also noticed that the trees on the streets were dressed in the remains of the kites they had snagged. One tree held the remains of what must have been several hundred kites.

I caught a tuktuk back to the guest house as I couldn't bear the thought of entering the heavy traffic again in an unpowered rickshaw. Back in my room I edited the seventy or eighty digital photos I took down to thirty-five keepers. I had dinner then tried to stay up reading, but by ten o'clock I was really starting to feel rundown.


Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: India
CIA - The World Factbook: India

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