india chronicles: picturesque rajasthani

majestic forts, monuments and temples was the main reason that i visited jaipur.  three days was not enough for me to visit it all but the ones i have seen have made me appreciate the grandeur of this main tourist destination in india.

my jaipur visit would never be that great without the help of ashish sharma, a local rajasthani whom i contacted through couchsurfing website.  there was a tour guide who approached him when we were in one of the forts and asked him how much i paid for his tour services – he told me he just shrugged him off for he did it for free!  i would highly recommend this trustful young guy to anyone who will need company if visiting jaipur – but of course you have to pay for gas for his motorbike!

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india chronicles: jaigarh fort

i do not know how to drive a motorcycle and it has been ages since i last rode at the back of one.  ironical as it sounds, i took a risk of riding one when i was in jaipur.

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from the busy bustling streets of the pink city, my couchsurfing buddy, ashish and i traversed the concrete road to jaigarh fort, one of the famous three forts in jaipur.  i felt an urge to remove the suffocating helmet that ash bought specially for me to feel the cool wind in my face but restrained myself to do so for my safety.

the fort offers a majestic panoramic view of the sprawling city below.  it was said that the fort itself never came under attack during the course of its history.

the fort was too vast and i declined walking farther for it was getting hot and forgot to bring some bottled water.

these stone railings are a prominent architecture in the fort.

a flag flaps proudly in one of the towers.

a window opens up overlooking the mountains.

the fort is a must visit when you pass by rajasthan.

it was already midday and scorching hot as ashish took a picture of me as i sat behind these doors.  the back of my neck was sunburned but it was way worthy to see this historic place, jaigarh.

india chronicles: arya niwas

i stayed in an old renovated haveli (mansion) in jaipur.  hotel arya niwas is a two-star hotel that has won a certificate of excellence from trip advisor website.

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it was mentioned in their website that the main hall of the hotel is 150 years old, repainted in the original style.

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the hotel has a simple and relaxing ambience.

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i booked a standard single room with aircon.  wi-fi is available with a small fee.

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i had a seat in one of their wicker chairs in their lawn while having breakfast.

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omelette, baked beans on toast and hot cocoa drink to start my day.

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i also dined at their restaurant, chitra cafeteria.  they have this home-like meals that are afffordable and satisfying.

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they have this unique feature where they display the food – so that you will know the portion size as well as the product itself.

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arya niwas was a good choice for me in my stay at the pink city.

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

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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!