Jaipur – day 23

Another much needed lie-in before heading out for the day. Started by walking to the bus station to check out the bus times for tomorrow’s journey to Pushkar. After that, we continued our walk into the ‘Pink City’. Named as such because in 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh had the entire old city painted pink, a colour associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and the tradition has been maintained – although it’s a kind of orange rather than a pink! We wandered through the bazaars, dodging motorbikes, tuktuks and cows, towards Jantar Mantar. Construction began in 1728 by Jai Singh, Jantar Mantar is an observatory of massive bizarre sculptures.  

Jayne got an audio guide to get an explanation of how each of the instruments work, and how – through watching, recording and calculation – Jai Singh measured time by the course of the sun’s shadow and charted the annual process through the zodiac.  

   I just wandered around the UNESCO World Heritage Site in awe – it’s quite unbelievable and fascinating to think how advanced in thinking he was especially at that time. Our favourite instrument was the Vrihat Samrat Yantra. A sundial, with its 27m high gnomon; the shadow it casts moves 4m per hour and it gives accurate time to within 2 seconds (even over 300 years since being built!). 

We then walked through the bustling streets of the bazaars that make up the old city. We wandered up and down streets selling clothes, shoes, motorbike bits, household goods and pottery. We bought some bangles and watched a man dip silver into a cooking pot so it would become silver plated. It was captivating watching him do it on the street with just an open fire and a piece of cloth.  

 Continued our walk down the alleys until we found the main road back to the hotel. Stopped for dinner, having the nicest chicken tikka kebab that I’ve ever eaten, even if it did make my lips tingle with the spices!! 

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