india chronicles: jaipur is colored orange

i went around jaipur with the help of ash, a young rajasthani whom i met on couchsurfing website.  he has his own dependable motorbike with him and i was kind of reluctant at first about the idea of going around the city riding a bike for i was considering my safety.  i took the risk though and i have no regrets doing it (and thank god for not encountering any mishaps).  ash, as he has actually boasted to me, was an expert biker.

jaipur, is called as the pink city for most of the buildings are supposedly painted pink.. but it’s not pink, it’s orange!

various establishments were still closed.

a store selling dresses and a bookshop.

the hawa mahal’s façade as seen in the street.  it is also named as the palace of the winds.

there was no traffic early morning but during the afternoons it can get really congested.

not all buildings were colored orange.

ash and i stopped by in a store that sells traditional lassi, a yogurt-based drink.

there are different variations of the lassi drink and the one that i tasted was sweet and has added rosewater.

it was creamy and tasty like a milkshake.

i also had some kachori, a rajasthani spicy delicacy.  it is a flattened round baked flour with stuffing on it.  i was not sure what was the stuffing made of but i find it delicious.

india chronicles: dandiya raas

my next stop for my trip to india was the pink city, jaipur.  though accessible by land through train, i resorted on taking a flight at jet airways, a local airline company in india. my flight was scheduled in the evening and i took a cab from my hotel in paharganj to the indira gandhi international airport.

terminal 3 in delhi is ultra-modern

wi-fi access is available and free

grabbed some quick bite at mcdonalds while waiting for my flight

four square kilometers of space

i read that the airport has 97 of these automated walkways ( where i accidentally tripped over on my own shoelaces!)

met with these statues depicting yoga poses of sun salutation as i walked to my assigned gate number

i would want to try yoga, but.. will i be able to bend myself like that?!

the surya namaskar, meaning salute to the sun, more info here

*      *      *

i arrived in jaipur airport and was picked up by ‘ashish sharma’ a local whom i contacted thru couchsurfing.  ash made my jaipur experience a great one, acting as a ‘free’ tour guide in the pink city.

we went straight to a dandiya raas festival and i saw this crowd of people in colorful, vibrant ethnic costumes

dandiya raas is a traditional dance played with ‘dandiyas’, a pair of decorated sticks as they move in various hand and feet movements.

the celebration was marvelous and though i felt a little out-of-place (everyone was local and some were giving me a curious look!) i still managed to enjoy the experience!

india chronicles: humayun’s tomb

humayun was a mughal emperor who ruled parts of northern india during the mid-1500’s and his tomb is in one of unesco’s world heritage list.  it was built by the order of humayun’s widow, nine years after his death.

O

O

i walked towards the tomb’s portal entrance and there were a lot of tourists like myself either just starting or just have finished their visit.

O

there were water channels like these around the structure.

O

O

the site plaque and the tomb.

O

O

the structure is mostly made of red sandstone.

O

O

the six-pointed star is a common feature on its designs.  it is actually a hindu symbol as i have read in some mistaking it as the star of david.  additionally, the hexagram is one of the oldest and most universal of all spiritual symbols.

O

 cenotaphs in the entrance.

O

humayun is actually buried in the basement below, this is his cenotaph.

O

O

the chamber dome.

O

O

more cenotaphs inside the tomb.

O

intricate inscriptions.

O

the jaali, are architectural decorations done by carving geometrical shapes on the stones.